Why Kanye West’s Crusade Against Award Shows is Important.
As the new year begins, we are treated to the onslaught of award shows. Awards are given out for the previous year’s exceptional work across the entertainment spectrum. While I favor the concept of award shows, I couldn’t care any less about the awards this year. And I suspect you don’t care either; who could blame you? With the following essay, I will attempt to persuade you that these award shows do have value and a purpose; it just took Kanye West to remind us.
Author’s note: While writing this essay about award shows, I plan on drinking (heavily) in the attempt to achieve the same mindset as Kanye West as he stormed the stage of the 2009 MTV music awards and snatched the microphone from Taylor Swift (Kanye was noticeably drunk according to the attendees that night). Supposedly, it takes one to be drunk enough in order to achieve a certain level of honesty. And in the name of research and journalistic integrity, I shall drink.
(Currently pounding a few stiff drinks in the anticipation of jumping right into a point.)
If anything, Kanye rescued another award show from obscurity that night (a MTV award show nonetheless). All Kanye did was accentuate the whole discussion-worthy aspect that is intended from every award show; he had people talking. Undoubtedly, the national conversation was mainly concerning Kanye’s narcissism and lack of class (despite the venue being a MTV award show where unruly behavior is encouraged, more than likely the point would’ve been better served had anyone other than Kanye stole that microphone), but there were instances when the national conversation would turn to Taylor Swift’s music video vs. Beyonce’s music video. In other words, the argument turned to Popularity vs. Quality. It’s this contrast that used to separate the People’s Choice Awards (which not a single person can tell me who won a People’s Choice Award last year, or any year for that matter) and the Oscars or the Grammys or the Emmys. The latter award shows are intended to honor quality.
The award circuit should stop trying to please the public by including what’s popular amongst the zeitgeist. By the way, don’t include the Golden Globes with the Oscars or the Emmys as quality isn’t a prerequisite for a Golden Globe nomination. The movie The Tourist was nominated for a best picture at the Golden Globes this year. That’s right, The Tourist. And Johnny Depp was nominated for best actor for his role in The Tourist as the man-whore who was used by producers to figuratively fuck the money out of the audience’s pockets.
While on the topic of The Tourist, I just took a shot for every ticket sold for the movie. Believe me, it isn’t much because no one went to see it; although, it adds up in terms of alcohol consumed. Also, frankly, I’m boring myself as the points I’m making should be obvious to all of you.
I apologize; this is becoming unreadable. It’s like someone took the worse parts of Ernest Hemingway’s rough drafts that he’d throw out in a drunken stupor at a bar in Key West and mixed them with best parts of Buzz Bissinger’s twitter feed and it resulted in another weblog starring a drunk David Hasselhoff.
Good God. I’m literally drowning myself, not just in the booze, but in pop culture references. That was just a reference-within a-reference-within a-reference. I just achieved the Inception of references, so I just won by losing. Drinking more….
The point is this has something to do with the purpose of art (which I’m not getting into because that goes beyond the scope of my half-baked ideas). In a broader context, awards and award shows have to do with our culture as a whole. Exceptionalness needs to be rewarded (whether that be a Kennedy Honor or a Home Depot employee of the month award given to some Joe Schphuck). You can pander to “the people” all you want, but with televised award shows, such as the Oscars, you are awarding a specialized expertise. I want the best to win and Slumdog Millionaire isn’t the best, assbags. And Crash shouldn’t have won in 2006. Munich came out the same year and Steven Spielberg made of the greatest movies of all-time with it, OF ALL-TIME…
And as soon as you know it you’re Drunkkkkkk in your room and you just wasted 800 words on why award shows matter. No one is going to read what you wrote because everyone knows award shows, for the most part, bore the fuck out of them. And the only thing that could possibly be more boring than an award show is a blog post about award shows.