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In the beginning it was called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and/or Sciences. While its ostensible purpose was management-approved mediation, its implicit goal was to pre-empt actors, writers and directors from organizing, as carpenters, musicians and electricians had done in 1926. Statuettes were an afterthought. Is it cynical to ask whether the Academy Awards have outlived their relevance?

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A special delegation from Hollywood visited Iran this weekend. Said delegation was there to take part in a "cultural exchange," according to The Wrap, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn't rolling out the red carpet.

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