I’VE BEEN NOTICING INCOMPETENCE LATELY. But before you start to celebrate something you had despaired of ever witnessing, I have to tell you: no, not my own.

It’s a particular strain of incompetence that’s really annoying and pretty much inexcusable in my book. It’s rookie mistakes made by seasoned pros. Like, if I made me some simple grammatic mistakes right here in this here column.

Two weeks ago, at the condos where I live, we were not too surprised — but still taken aback — that the 50-year-old plumbing collapsed in one building, flooding two units with sewage and necessitating mid-five-figures worth of repairs, split 10 ways. Really engrossed in this drama are the hapless residents of four units who have had deep ditches jackhammered through their living room and kitchen floors.

But poor Bolivar, I’ll call him, newly moved in, was rather dismayed that these plumbers, chosen for their long and proven experience at this kind of large undertaking, did not give him a heads -up — “You know, you might want to move that painting before we start the jackhammer” — before their work inevitably splattered icky smelly stuff on his $10,000 painting. Didn’t occur to you, fellas? Not part of your standard procedure?

And wouldn’t you think the L.A. Times, the paper of record for Los Angeles since before there even was a motion picture industry, would have heard of the concept of “spoiler alert”? And recording a show, to be watched later?

Put those two exotic concepts together with these newfangled things called emails, and it seems pretty obvious that you do not send out a stream of “breaking news,” in real time, that announces — in the subject line … in the dad gummed subject line — who won.

I get an email subscription called “The Wrap,” about the film biz. At 5:42 p.m. Sunday they sent me an email announcing “Oscar Winner: Best Supporting Actor.” But even when I opened it up later, no names; I have to click through to the story for that.

At 5:44 the L.A. Times proudly blabbed in its email, right where I couldn’t miss seeing it: “Oscar Updates: J.K. Simmons wins for supporting actor.” They weren’t even first with their news flash, but they sure were dead-last with their common sense. But then, I guess this new awards show called the Oscars is hard to figure out at first, especially when you’re a small town newspaper that usually has nothing to do with entertainment reporting.

I had watched an hour or so of the broadcast, later in the evening, then took a break to check my emails. Boom! In one quick glance they ruined most of the rest of the show for me. Unbelievable.

SINCE I HAVE BROUGHT UP THE OSCARS, it seems most agree it was pretty tame, bordering on lame. A more lively host would have helped (though in fairness, host Neil Patrick Harris was not given good material — that’s why you need a brilliant ad libber). Colbert, what’s on your calendar next year?

All the worse because there were some really good movies considered this year. I was blown away by “Birdman” (unlike anything I’ve ever seen), and “Boyhood” and “The Theory of Everything” were remarkable and moving. I didn’t see “Whiplash” or “American Sniper.” I anticipate revisiting “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with regularity; what a visual and verbal treat. And “Virunga” and “Citizenfour” are just outstanding full-length docs. But it’s been announced that Nicolas Cage and Oliver Stone are teaming up again, for a new film on Edward Snowden. Oh, crap. Cage has become a caricature of himself, and Stone is the king of playing fast and loose with history. Hasn’t Snowden suffered enough?

“Selma” is excellent, but I gritted my teeth throughout because of the terribly inaccurate way LBJ was portrayed. I know filmmakers are “allowed” to play with historic facts for the sake of a good story, but such flagrant distortion does the world a great disservice. Johnson was as much a hero of the Civil Rights movement and responsible for the Voting Rights Act as Rev. King. History backs that up. Courageous Dr. King had plenty of fearsome dragons to slay; it wasn’t necessary to wrongly portray the POTUS as one of them.

I loved Common’s “Selma” acceptance speech, and Patricia Arquette’s awkward, sincere outburst for equal pay, and was very moved by writer Graham Moore’s personal story urging kids who feel they don’t fit in anywhere to “stay weird, stay different,” because some day it will be your turn.

I’ve always stuck up for Lady Gaga among my elitist music friends because I could see from the beginning how smart, deep and multi-talented she is. “Sound of Music”? No kidding? No one has stolen from others so well and continually redefined themselves since David Bowie. Jennifer Hudson was great, and the performance of “Glory” by Common and John Legend (another guy I loved from day one) was a knockout.

ON ANOTHER FILM NOTE, the recent school board meeting seemed to go well enough for the future of film at Samohi, as a couple dozen people spoke passionately about the value of the program and the irreplaceable Bill Wishart. I believe they’ll find a way to keep this valuable resource.

What most don’t see — I went to the first of three public input meetings for the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan,at SMASH/John Muir on Monday night, and there was Wishart with his A/V equipment, making sure everyone could see and hear the presentations. How much does the district save by calling on him instead of hiring outside vendors? I wonder if that guy ever gets home at a reasonable hour.

IT’S MORE LIKE 111 COLUMNS I’ve written for the Daily Press, but the first 10 or so were my “foreign correspondence” from traveling in Europe for a year (“Three Innocents Abroad”), and the homecoming follow-ups. But I’m a novice compared to Jack Neworth with “450 to 500” and Bill Bauer’s total of “more than 650.” Ask them: It ain’t easy being a resident pain-in-the-neck, week in, week out. Gentlemen, I’ll never catch you, but I salute you.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” —Mark Twain

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for almost 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. You can reach him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com.

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