Dear ‘Dame Streep’
An Homage (of sorts)
By Modern Melly
Dear ‘Dame Streep’,
Let me first say, Brava, madam, brava! Watching your speech last night, well, let me just stand up, beat a slow clap, and let a delicate tear slip from the corner of my eye. Seriously, that was academy award worthy. A fine, delectable piece of performance art, damn it. Can they give an academy award for an academy award speech? I mean, because THAT, that was… wow. You may have outdone your work in Sophie’s Choice, by God.
The way you took that stage, conveying humility, pleading with the adoring audience, ‘Please, stop clapping.’ I think we all knew, magic was about to happen, because…well, Meryl Streep was about to speak. Mortals, behold. Oh, but wait, let me go back, before you walked up there to your place below the lights and above your minions. Viola Davis.
Ms. Davis, you were stunning, beautiful (that dress… spectacular). Such a talent in your own right! I’m so glad for you, that you got to honor the work of a woman you clearly revere (or are acting as if you do. Not really sure, y’all are that damn good, ya know?). Wonderful speech. Although… I couldn’t help but wonder, as I watched Meryl watch you (demurely bowing her head periodically, in modesty, of course and nodding, yes, I feel you!)- did she cringe when you said ‘Dame Streep’ not once, but several times? Did she internally correct you, “It’s Dame Meryl, you fool! Dame MERYL!“
I think so. I honestly do. She, Dame Meryl, would never make such a heinous error. She is a God damn professional. Anyhow, I cried at your tribute, Viola. Even if she didn’t, I did.
Okay, back to Madam Streep. Lady, the way you owned that stage, mhmmm! Your shaky, hoarse voice, as you say “…I lost my mind earlier this year, so I have to read…” You pull your note cards out from behind your back, and then, then (dramatic pause) you give a small head shake, as if to say , ” No, no! Forget these carefully written words of gratitude to every single person who has been on this wild journey, this rocky road we call acting. Never mind my husband (who I coldly walked past as he awkwardly began to lean in for a congratulatory kiss), I have something bigger to say!”
And you gave the speech of your life, yes you did. Just as you knew it would be, because you’re Meryl God damn Streep. It had all of elements! Surprise, passion, conviction, emotion… yes, yes, you had them, us, the world, eating out of your hand! Pan to the audience, glistening tear here, tear there, glistening tears, tears, everywhere! Oh, and the head nods, the ones that say, ‘right fucking on, girl. You tell ’em how it is for us poor vilified actors.'” ***Cuz I’m sure all the actors murdered for just doing there jobs WAY outnumbers the 136 law enforcement officers (you know, the guys keeping your asses safe while you give each other awards) killed in the line of duty. Ahem.***
Ahh, where was I? Oh, right. Meryl. Could you already see the headlines from the next day? Did you already envision the viral spread, your words repeated and quoted across the internet? Of course you did. But what you failed to see was your hypocrisy, and the irony of it. Allow me to quote you,
“And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose…”
Powerful stuff, right? Only… um, ya see what you did there, right? No? Anyone? Anyone? Really??? A world renowned, academy award winning actress whose platform puts her face, her voice into our homes and on our theater screens just (attempted) to humiliate and bully another human being because of her perception of him, thereby encouraging others to do the same thing. She just disrespected the chosen leader of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on national television. And not one of them sees the blatant hypocrisy. You, Meryl, could’ve used your platform to encourage unity, peace, compassion, understanding, but you chose the moment (one that was literally and only meant to simply honor your contribution to the arts, for Christ’s sake) to pontificate in a most theatrical way and venue. So, if that was your mission, consider it accomplished.
Now, I’ll share a moment of GENUINE self depreciation. I know, I know this will never find its way beneath the majestic nose of Meryl Streep, and even if it did, she’d merely scoff and shoo the vile, mediocre work of peasantry away. I also know the handful of people who’ll read this, are ones who agree with me. Those who don’t will read a line or two, roll their eyes and say, ‘shut up you daft cow’ (or some variation of such) and move on. It’s all cool, whatever. I wrote my opinion simply because I can. Just as Meryl spoke her opinion… because she can. So, ha! I guess.
PS. Guess what? I’m still going to watch her movies. She is literally one of my all time favorite actresses. If you can’t see her utter brilliance on screen, I think you might be blind. I’ve heard she’s a wretched bitch in real life. Don’t know, can’t tell. All I know is she’s gifted. I also know that if I’d agreed with what she said up there on that stage, I’d be applauding and saying hell ya along with everyone else. I can’t and won’t say ‘ I wish these performers would just shut up and act’ just because I don’t like their opinions. I mean, I can’t tell you how many of James Woods or Stacy Dash‘s tweets I’ve ‘liked’. I don’t hope they’ll shut up, so it’d be hypocritical of me to want to silence those whose views don’t align with mine. Let that be a note to you, certain people.
About Modern Melly, aka Melanie Cherniack: Melanie a a published author to nine children’s books, as well as two novels, all available through her website modernmelly.com/shop. Melanie is also the founder and designer of the #goodhuman brand, selling empowering, uplifting and inspiring merchandise which benefits numerous charities. Visit igoodhuman.com for more. She is available for book signing events as well as speaking engagements. To book an event email Melanie at email@example.com. Find Melly on Facebook HERE and on Twitter HERE.