I didnít watch the 86th Annual Academy Awards. For me, the thrill is mostly gone.

I didnít watch the 86th Annual Academy Awards. For me, the thrill is mostly gone.

Maybe the Oscars seem self-congratulatory for artists, many of whom already earn more per day than most people make in a year. In life, it's easy to root for the underdog, but with the Oscars, it's hard to care about millionaires winning a gold-plated statuette.

Maybe it's because the industry can fall back on the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA Awards and countless other opportunities, including special interest group nominations, for peer recognition.

Maybe itís the pretension. This yearís nominees, cumulatively, made 1,400 films, and "have gone to a total of six years of college,Ē host Ellen DeGeneres said, joking during Sundayís telecast. (OK, I watched ABC's highlights coverage.) Still, celebrities in sunglasses spread ďawarenessĒ about a cause du jour they may know little about, perhaps without fully formed critical thinking skills.

Maybe itís because many nominees, as DeGeneres said, are Oscar fixtures, which undermines the element of surprise. Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese also were up for honors seven years ago, when DeGeneres last hosted.

Maybe itís the morning-after news cycle, which is filled with things that really donít matter. Ellen used an iPhone, not a smart phone from event sponsor Samsung, for backstage tweets. ďBusted!Ē ďShocker!Ē CNN reported. Meanwhile, you can bet more people know about the Oscar hostís record breaking Twitter selfie with A-list stars than they do about Russian troops infiltrating Ukraine. 

Or maybe itís a combination of all these factors.

Films can entertain, inform and inspire us. However, they can do so without a flashy awards show ó one of many ó that solely benefits their handsomely paid producers.

On Friday, Floridaís newspapers got, pretty much, their lone time to shine as nominations for the Florida Press Associationís Better Newspaper Contest went out. I have earned six Alabama Press Association awards and would love for the News Bulletin to receive recognition for quality work that follows our teamís long hours, sleepless nights and painstaking efforts. But even if we donít, I have countless thank you notes and memories of conversations with north Okaloosa readers who expressed gratitude for bringing some issue or view to light.

Who won what award ó whether it's an Oscar or BNC ó really doesnít matter. Itís important to know about things like the Ukraine crisis and where your tax dollars are going.

Last weekend, readers debated the Crestview City Councilís decision to deny funding for the Crestview Heat youth basketball teamís tournament. I understood the councilís position; after all, they were considering layoffs before passing the last fiscal budget, so it seems responsible ó to me, anyway ó to have benchmarks for how to spend public funds. Contributing to one youth basketball teamís efforts would be nice, but it also could open the floodgates for funding anything and everything. Meanwhile, the money just isnít there.

Gulf Power settlement money for overbilling will help ensure city employees won't be furloughed 32 hours, streets will be maintained, and the general reserve account, which City Clerk Betsy Roy has described as ďdangerously low," gets a boost.

Sounds like that money can't be used for just anything. And remember, youth teams always have the option of fundraising.

But wherever you stand on that issue, at least you're debating something that actually matters.

What's your view? Write a letter to the editor or tweet News Bulletin Editor Thomas Boni @cnbeditor.