A guy named Jameison just replied to my “Five Against The Rest” post, saying that I seem to be “still confused as to the fact that these charts reflect predictions as opposed to favorites.” And I said no, no, no to that. No longer!

“The favorites, for now, are the people and movies that Oscar prognosticator types like, believe in and vote for. Got it? The columnists, journalists and bloggers do a lot to set the stage, determine and lay down the perimeter wire, create the conversation, ignite the buzz. So to hell with that “let’s try and predict how those wonderful and fascinating Academy people might vote” mentality. The hell with it!

“I know as much if not more than your average Academy person does about what’s good and what isn’t and what will live on, and what people like myself and Poland and O’Neil and Carr and Stone and Faraci and Thompson and Hammond and Cieply and Tapley and Feinberg and Goldstein say and write counts to some extent (perhaps not a whole lot but certainly to some extent) in the ultimate configuration of nominees and winners. Along with the critics groups and the guilds, of course.

“So screw the tea leaves for now, okay? As far as I’m concerned there is only set of standards that matter right now, and those are my own and those who toil away at this racket and live with the passion of it four or five months out of the year. We are here, we care, we know what we know (and that ain’t hay), we believe, we are the champions.

Until, that is, the game changes shape with the voices of others. I realize, of course, that I try to discern the thinking and the sentiment out there as much as anyone else, but voices like ours count. To what extent is a matter of conjecture. But I hate the idea of being one of a number of sheep in the pasture going “baaah! baaah!”