Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Snobbery is a wicked trait.

Invented, some have claimed, in England, it can give the perpetrator an excessive sense of their own superiority.

Sometimes, it takes an authority figure to put the snob in their place.

I ramble in this direction because of an extraordinary letter that has just emerged from the Department of Justice.

It seems the department is much vexed about Steven Spielberg allegedly believing that Netflix movies -- and those of other streaming services -- shouldn't qualify for the Oscars, as they're really made for streaming not big-screening.

Variety has obtained the letter written by the Justice Department to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the delicate body behind the Oscars.

Makan Delrahim, who heads DOJ's Antitrust Division, offered stern, portentous words: 

In the event that the Academy -- an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership --  establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns. 

Goodness. Who would have thought of that? Antitrust laws? I thought those were reserved for menacing miscreants like Microsoft.

Hollywood luvvies surely don't slide into such a category. Or do they? Delrahim fears they might: 

Agreements among competitors to exclude new competitors can violate the antitrust laws when their purpose or effect is to impede competition by goods or services that consumers purchase and enjoy but which threaten the profits of incumbent firms.

Well, yes. One can see that. But don't many Oscar-winning movies make relatively little money?

I can't often observe a tight correlation between Best Picture Oscars and vast box-office returns.

Or, indeed, between Best Picture Oscars and actual best pictures. (Which, in my tiny mind, were represented last year by Blindspotting, The Favorite and very little else.)

Then again, the Oscars represent fame and glory. Everyone in every creative field is desperate for some of that, preferably a lot.

For his part, Spielberg seems to believe that once your movie is made to be shown on a TV screen, it simply doesn't deserve to be considered alongside the pure spectacle of movie-theater movies.

"Once you commit to a television format, you're a TV movie," Spielberg recently told ITV.

He believes, therefore, that you TV types deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.

It's a romantic notion.

It's also pulsating that the Trump Administration has weighed in so muscularly on the side of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu movies being able to win Oscars.

The DOJ seems clearly exercised to defend younger and, some might argue, more enterprising companies that have managed to capture viewers' imaginations and feelings far more than have many legacy movie studios.

Of course, there are many highly nuanced business aspects involving those who not only own movie studios, but also want to stream their wares.

Still, a lot of things on TV seem -- in my life-addled mental bubble -- to offer a higher form of entertainment than many of the movies emitted these days.

Why, I've seen nothing that beats the sheer glory and subtlety of Dix Pour Cent, for example.

That's a Netflix Original, whatever that means.

Dix Pour Cent also features some of the most famous French movie stars playing themselves in a twistedly soul-baring way.

And honestly, have you ever seen a more riveting series than Episodes? Which, strangely, was all about the blind insanity and sheer tastelessness of, oh, Hollywood.

These things are all subjective, of course. Perhaps I enjoy entertainment that mocks the entertainment industry.

But Green Book? Really?

As for the DOJ's letter, the Academy says it has responded "accordingly."

At the heart, I suspect, of the Hollywood resistance is that movie theaters are increasingly dying. 

The one in my California town closed three years ago. People simply didn't go in sufficient numbers.

Streaming companies don't support the theater experience. They often run their movies in theaters for just a week or less to qualify for the Oscars. That, to the Hollywood diehards, isn't right.

Instead, I fear they'd prefer it if Netflix showed its movies in theaters for a few weeks instead of, well, on Netflix.

Perhaps some sort of compromise will be reached. The movie theater experience is, indeed, something different and very rewarding.

But time and money can alter and even destroy many experiences that were once revered.

Just as vinyl is still around, so movie theaters will be too. The Oscars will also hang around for a while.

Until, one day,  people realize they don't miss them all that much.

We should, though, leave the last words to highly acclaimed actor Helen Mirren. 

On Tuesday, she was in Las Vegas promoting her new movie The Good Liar.

She declared

I love Netflix.

So do we have a convert, a renegade from the Hollywood mob? Not quite, for she added: 

But f*** Netflix. There's nothing like sitting in a cinema.

Ah, the creative mind is so tortured.