Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt take the stage. They are there to announce the Oscar for a category. Could be Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Picture, whatever. They open the envelope and instead of saying "And The Oscar Goes To..." they say "the runner up in this category is (INSERT POSSIBLE RUNNER UP HERE)... there was no Oscar awarded in this category. Can you imagine the gasps? Would there be silence or would there be outrage? I don't know, but I bet the category would be better next year.
Or what if no one got nominated for a category? What if on the morning of the nominations they announced that no one was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor Category? See, I work in advertising and it's not uncommon for whole categories to go without an award. One year, not one single TV spot received an award. Sure there were drunk advertising professionals crying fowl and yes, even I was pissed. But damn if I didn't work harder the next year to make the work better.
The truth is, as I've been writing some pieces about Oscar I've had a chance to look back at past winners and nominees and sometimes the pickings have been pretty slim. And when Ruby Dee is up for an Oscar for only three and a half minutes of performance and she might just win? Makes you wonder how much better the work might be if there was one less naked golden guy adorning a mantle somewhere.