It’s the part where I called you stupid that got your attention to click on this isn’t it?
Ah, the reliability of people to be outraged.
And nothing makes people more reliably outraged than Award Shows.
It’s particularly odd to me, that come time for “Award Season” people get so particularly incensed that the film, t.v. show, or music they liked the most, or have the most in common with didn’t get nominated or won. What’s striking is that so many of these people are upset that their choice is often an artist who always talks about the shallow and arbitrary nature of Hollywood, or a work of art that tries to talk about the power of non-conformity.
“Hey, you know what, we should all recognize by popular consensus this work of art that talks about the importance of not worrying about popularity or conformity!”
Here’s another thing about these award shows. So many folks complain about the “cattle call” round up of the Red Carpet Walk, where the people they consider cultural parasites stand behind crowd barriers and shout at celebrities and evaluate their worth as human beings based on the clothes they wear, but are shocked and offended when their personal taste in art is “snubbed”.
Quite often people seem to complain about how their particular demographic of human being wasn’t nominated or won. “Why aren’t there any gay black handicaped albino transmen nominated this year!? ITS BIAS!!!” Why does it always have to be bias, or snubbing, or cliquish that someone wasn’t nominated? Maybe, and I might just be taking a wild stab in the dark here, but maybe that minority performer wasn’t as good as the others? Maybe there were two or three minority performers who really stood out, but because of the way voting tends to work, the vote split and ended up not getting either nominated. Maybe a good idea would be to have the final votes for nominations and final winners posted publicly. Since we’re electing pretty much a pop culture prom queen when we have these things, we should have them publicly list the vote totals? That would be fucking stupid wouldn’t it, getting to see actual factual numbers that fuck with the way you feel about things?
Another thing that’s interesting is that all these awards are given out by voting, and as people know, voting is all about popularity, manipulation, dirty tricks, and realizing that most of the time voters are idiots no matter the subject. Unless you follow EDM, you probably never heard of the incident I have termed “The Al Wasser Proves the Grammys Are Bullshit Fiasco”. So here’s the story. Al Wasser, a guy practically no one has heard of gets nominated for a Best Dance Recording for this. Now, since so many of you don’t know much about EDM, let me explain who also gets nominated in this category: Lady Gaga, Chemical Brothers, Justice, Fatboy Slim, Justin Timberlake, Skrillex, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia. Now, I’m not the type to say that an art form is empirically good or bad, but I do accept popular opinion on taste as valid decision (I won’t dispute that the Mona Lisa is better than a Bob Ross painting), and there is no way that song is in any way an equal of another winner in this category The Chemical Brothers. Though honestly, my favorite song ever nominated would have to be, this Basement Jaxx work of art. And that’s saying something, because I’m a bigger Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada fan, and they both appear on the list numerous times.
In fact, I would argue that on that list of songs in that category, about 80% have “legs” meaning that they’ll still be good songs about 20 years from now, have a longer lasting impact, and be remembered years down the road as quality. Last Grammy season, I made a post about music that argued that awards are meaningless because of cultural impact. Like I point out that the most popular best selling single of 1966 was Ballad of the Green Berets, a song that today is more appropriate to parody than lasting legacy like other songs of that year such as “California Dreaming”, “Paint it Black”, “Sound of Silence”, or “You Can’t Hurry Love”, just to name a few. Also, I note that the one year that Public Enemy was nominated for a Grammy they lost to Rob Base’s “It Takes Two”. Now honestly artist had a bigger impact on hip hop and r&b?
But since this post was inspired by the Oscars, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard of the film, “How Green Was My Valley”? Not unless your a film student probably. Have you ever heard of “Citizen Kane?” Yeah, of course you have. It’s considered the greatest American movie of all time. Guess which one was the Oscar winner for Best Picture? “Greatest Show On Earth” beat out “High Noon”. “Kramer vs. Kramer” beat “Apocalypse Now”. Now of course we’re talking about who beat who. What about who just plain won. Have you ever watched “The Apartment”? “Oliver”? “Tom Jones”? Have you even heard of them? No probably not. They won their respective years, but they’re pretty forgettable. You want to know an “award” that’s notable? Try the National Film Registry. The NFR is a list of films that have a copy locked in a vault by the Library of Congress because they have helped define American culture. Oliver isn’t on it, but you know what is? Animal House. Seriously, Animal House, Aliens, Airplane!, and Night of the Living Dead are just a few examples of the films they found helped define our collective culture. Not ever Oscar Winner production is on that list and a lot of these films would have been run out of the Academy with torches, but who really wants to chill out and watch Ordinary People? Fuck that. I wanna watch a film recognized as impactful on American culture in a way like “Willy Wonka”, “Ghostbusters”, or “The Exorcist.”
Additionally, if music, film, and television are supposed to be art forms. Why are they they only ones that have these stupid things? Maybe because its about the money. Because you can’t make a shit ton of cash for a painting. I don’t recall anyone ever feeling that Ai WeiWei was snubbed this year for that hack Banksy. No one demands more representation of bananas in still lifes. No one really thinks “Nighhawks” by Hopper was overlooked that year for nomination.
Fuck handing out gold plated trophy’s to a bunch of people in a popularity contest for a subjective artform. Award shows are just an extension of Hollywood business. It’s not a valid and realistic way to recognize anything, it’s marketing and advertising. Never, ever trust a work of art or a performance that has to be recognized by lobbying, and “buzz”.