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Why award shows mean nothing


Let’s be clear: I am not taking anything away from the people who craft and create the awards. Those are made of some pretty expensive materials.

And it isn’t to take away anything away from the people who worked strenuously for those awards. They “worked” pretty hard.

Really, my problem with award shows is two-fold:

1. They always choose the wrong person/film/anything possible

This isn’t to say the Academy has no idea what they are doing or that the people who choose the Grammys are misguided. No, the bigger reason why they always choose the wrong winner is simple:

They are pressured into it.

For example, think about when “Avatar” was nominated for Best Picture. Public opinion would dictate it was easily the best movie of the year.

“The Hurt Locker” won Best Picture.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Hurt Locker” was leaps and bounds better than “Avatar” could have ever hoped to be. But the reason Kathryn Bigelow seemed to win the award, and how it was touted in the press, was as a big middle finger to James Cameron.

The ability to put two pieces of work next to each other and say that the other is better because of outside reasons (spurned lovers, etc.) disavows the entire process.

But even larger than that is the inability for the Grammys to ever actually choose the most talented artist in general.

Besides Arcade Fire’s win for Album of the Year, in recent years we have seen the most popular artist/band win the award in their category.

Basically, a huge popularity contest to decide who was more successful and over-all better than the competition.

Eminem and Lady Antebellum have been nominated for Album of the Year in recent years.

I mean, come on.

This, once again, makes the entire process a disgrace, where it works more like a suburban high school popularity contest rather than a genuine review of all the music released in the last year.

And while I smuggly say they always pick wrong, I must say the oddest thing about award shows is…

2. To compare two works of art and say one is better is…wrong

Think for a second: have you ever compared the “Mona Lisa,” to the “Creation of Adam?” No. You haven’t. And we, as a society don’t.

We don’t say that Da Vinci knew what he was doing and Michaelangelo was a blow-hard. Or vice versa.

Instead, that specific medium is allowed to have pieces function all on their own.

No comparisons.

No awards.

No problems.

And yet, in the 20th and 21st century, we sit here and make lists about “The Greatest Albums of All Time!” or even something as paltry as saying one movie was significantly better than a movie.

I believe there is a factual basis for what makes a movie or an album good or bad; creativity, originality and overall technical ability.

But to take two disparate albums or movies and say one or the other is better is simply wrong.

It’s to waste a simple opportunity to venerate the cinema or music as a whole, and to focus instead on subjective acheivements of a single piece of work.

It’s to really miss the real point of movies and music or even TV.

None of these entities exist solely to compete with one another artisticly.

And to say one is better than the other is to discredit the other for things that sometimes cannot even be compared.


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Joe Cristo, Author

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