The man on the bus is quick to interrupt light chatter between two ladies when it turns to award season.
"The Oscars? Just a bunch of overpaid jerks patting themselves on the back."
No one reacts - partly because it's not clear whether he's just responding to a thespian-friendly voice in his head, but mostly because we've all heard that same argument.
In recent years, the anti-Hollywood sentiment has grown. In a time when the Regular Joe is underpaid or just jobless, the red carpet is still rolled out and the glamorous gowns adorn the thousands of gossip sites that haunt your newsfeed.
And although I have a certain admiration and even passive agreement to the counter-culture (and hey, man, I recycle, too), I have to put a dramatic foot down when it comes to the Academy Awards. They are - insert audible and beautifully timed gasp here - important.
Why? Well, because you love movies, friend. And if you don't, you've stopped reading this by now and returned to something not fun like yard work. For the rest of you: Hear me out.
Sure, I understand the absurdity of the sheer number of zeros across the checks of mainstream actors and athletes. But Hollywood is a billion-dollar machine, based mostly upon the volunteered exchange of money for escapist fiction and emotional, life-mirroring journeys.
It seems fitting that a ceremony to recognize the greatest of the exaggerated, fairytale world of Hollywood would be chock-full of glitz and sequins. Even if you don't care "who Emma Stone is wearing tonight," consider the relevance of the award itself.