Sincere thanks to the Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell for saying I “may be on to something” in dissing Eddie Murphy‘s energetic-but-far- from-profound Dreamgirls performance and the notion that he’s got the Best Supporting Actor Oscar locked. This is probably true, but it may not be. And all I was trying to do was articulate a widespread but unarticulated disdain for the guy — trust me, the Murphy dissers are out there in force.

It’s such a pleasant thing to be misinterpreted, and to have the words that you’ve carefully assembled in order to make a precise point ignored. I really recommend it because at the very least, it shows you who the real jackals are. Topping the list are those who’ve tried to link the Murphy diss to that “bling” riff I wrote a couple of months ago. (Hint, hint…I’m an unconscious racist.) I’m going to try this again (and remember what your teachers told you about reading carefully and taking notes): dissing the “blings” was a flip-off critique of sartorially gaudy get-down types who are guilty of a kind of nocturnal insecurity and/or pretentiousness.

Men and women who flash the cash and strut around in hotel lounges and hard-to-get-into clubs wearing cheap-ass sequined T-shirts and way too much jewelry on their fingers and around their necks are looking to enhance their cred on some level by putting put on a show for their peers. The “bling” mentality has, of course, been around for centuries. Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald certainly wrote about the 1920s variety, and if they were around today they’d be saying the same things about present-day offenders. And in these present-day writings, they would no doubt observe…naahh, leave it alone.