What can we glean from the Oscar nominations about this group of people?
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8. They REALLY want rid of that Best Original Song.
First, they changed the rules to potentially limit the number of nominees. Two years ago, they scrapped performances of the nominated songs from the telecast. And in recent years, they've apparently delighted in snubbing major artists in favor of the most throwaway ditties from barely-seen films they can find. But if we still needed a sign that the Academy's music branch regards the Best Original Song category as an albatross around its neck, we got the clearest one yet today: for the first time in history, a paltry two songs have been nominated. And one of them is a Latin-flavored number from "Rio" that even I, as a fan of the film, can't remember. Did they really dislike all the other 37 eligible tunes that much -- even the ones from "The Muppets?" Is their scoring system botched? Or are they hoping that if they reduce the number of nominees by one a year, the category will quietly disappear without anyone noticing? --Guy Lodge