Of all this year’s Academy Award nominations, the weirdest—by far—was for the song “Alone Yet Not Alone,” from the film of the same title (pictured above). Never heard of it? You’re, uh, not alone: neither had anyone else. It quickly came to light that the film—a “faith-based” work made explicitly for Christian audiences—had received a 7-day qualifying run sometime in the month of September in some unnamed American city. So: triumph for the underdog? Not exactly. Yesterday, in a very rare move, the Academy disqualified the song. Why? Because the composer, Bruce Broughton—who is a former Academy governor and current head of the music branch (!)—directly lobbied Academy members to nominate his song via an extensive email campaign. “No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President, in a press release. Having listened to the song, I can confidently say that it is terribly schmaltzy and completely undeserving of an award. But I would say the same thing about all of the supposedly legitimate nominees: Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2? Yawn. U2’s song “Ordinary Love” from Mandela? Utterly bland. The song “Let it Go” from Frozen? Power-ballad cheese. (I still have yet to see Her, so I can’t comment on “The Moon Song” by Karen O.) And ultimately, there isn’t much difference between what Broughton did and what all Oscar contenders do to get nominated. They all lobby. The distinction here is that Broughton, having worked on a film with no budget for an Oscar campaign, did his lobbying directly, via email. The other nominees lobby indirectly, via glad-handing at strategically chosen industry functions and by throwing millions—literally millions—of dollars into “For Your Consideration” ad campaigns. Once again, the poor get punished for their misdeeds, the monied do not. Same old story. The one clear upside from all of this? One less crappy song to sit through during the Oscar telecast! Huzzah!