by Adam Prosser
Last Sunday, the world watched in horror as the Oscars(tm), traditionally a fun-for-all-ages cavalcade of hair and celebrities, took a gruesome turn. As Billy Crystal launched into the opening number, involving Billy Crystal singing something or other about movies, a faulty ridgebeam cracked and the entire Dorothy Chandler pavilion collapsed, killing nearly every famous person and seat-filler in Hollywood.
"This is a shocking, shocking time," announced some guy who was later interviewed. "America has lost its heart, and its soul. The sheer scale of the disaster is bad enough, but what makes it exponentially worse is that all the deceased are famous people whose lives we actually cared about."
The death count currently stands at 21,387 and rising. Flags are flying at half-mast in front of trendy eateries and glamourous nightspots all over Los Angeles, and home movie footage and interviews with relatives are running around the clock on all major networks.
The President, who was called back from peace talks in North Korea to respond to the state of emergency, has already issued several reassuring speeches. "I know that each of you, in your hearts, feels at this date a gaping hole of astonishment and anguish at this turn of events," said the President, wincing. "Truly this is a day of horror, a day of regret that will never be forgotten. But this attack on the American way of life will not go unavenged."
An aide then whispered frantically to the President and the speech ended.
The initial shock is already giving way to a new concern: who to interview about the tragedy.
"It's a serious concern," someone said at some point into a camera. "There can be only so much expert opinion and dissection before the audience wants someone famous to appear, someone whom they care about, with whom they feel comfortable."
"It's something we in the media feel seriously about," added another guy.
As the networks scramble to fill the gaping holes in their schedule for the coming year with an estimated 13,240 TV movies about the lives of the victims, movies currently in production are being frantically recast with whatever charismatic faces are available.
"It's a horrible tragedy," said that girl who was on Dawson's Creek a few weeks ago. You know, the one who played the waitress. "But in a way it's like a sign or something. Like in with the old, out with the new, right?"
While rappers, sports figures, and Hong Kong martial artists are being flown in as a stopgap measure, experts fear it won't be enough.
"It won't be enough," said one expert. "America needs its' celebrities. Our economy is based on them, and what's wrong with that? How would you lousy brit fags like it if we went over there and killed the royal family? What would you print in those rags of yours? You people make me want to puke."
Next years' ceremonies are to be hosted by Marlon Brando, who was unavailable for comment.