As expected, The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil suffered slings and arrows yesterday for his Sweeney Todd-will-sweep- the-Oscars prediction. New York Post critic/blogger Lou Lumineck had a good chortle, and some Hollywood Stock Exchange reader who can’t spell to save his life called O’Neil “the new Poland.” (Funny, except there’s no established legend of the “O’Neil Curse.”)

O’Neil wrote today that I suggested he was half-crazy by comparing his “voice”-hearing abilities to Howard Beale‘s (i.e., the “mad prophet of the airwaves” from Network). I didn’t mean that at all. Beale would shudder and collapse after his speeches, but he wasn’t crazy. Beale was imbued with what the Hindus call “prana” — the state of knowing and being that is spaceless, timeless and imbued with “oh, such loveliness.” Beale was merely a conduit for that which flows and surges through every living particle in the universe, lifted up as he was by cosmic energy within and without…as we all could and should be. The difference was that Beale, unlike 99.9% of humanity, was on to it.

This doesn’t mean O’Neil is right about Sweeney Todd. It just means that cosmic forces have “told” him what they’ve told him in the middle of the night. I don’t think that the cosmic forces, however, have fully considered the impact of arterial blood flowing like water out of a fire hydrant upon your typical Academy member.