Because N.Y. Times Oscar blogger David Carr (a.k.a. “the Bagger”) managed to get only six people to talk to him about the Oscars during a 90-minute troll around Times Square, he’s taken this to mean that the economically besieged Everyman is almost angrily dis-engaged from it all, in part, obviously, because the nominated films haven’t connected in a big way (i.e., no Best Picture noms or Dark Knight or WALL*E), and therefore…no, he;s not saying the Oscar ratings are going to be totally toileted. But indications are, he reports, that “if people are going to tune into this year’s Oscars, they haven’t made their plans yet.”

What happened to the old adage about people traditionally being keen to escape into fantasy reveries during tough economic times? What about the old example from the 1930s about the movie business being recession- or, more to the point, depression-proof? As Carr reports, the Grammy show ratings “perked up this year” and that “people are still going to the movies” with “admissions…up nearly 8 percent this year.” Nonetheless, he warns, “It’s going to take a lot more than a little song and dance from Hugh Jackman to bring home the Nielsen bacon.

“Those of us who live in the Oscar Ninny kingdom might have missed something. While we were all debating the whole Mickey vs. Sean thing, the rest of America has been out there living life on life’s terms, which has not been a pleasant endeavor of late.” Perhaps because deep down, he suggests, it’s “hard to get past a president shouting we are all about to go over the waterfall if something isn’t done soon.”