It is Awards Season again — or as I like to think of it, that special time of year when Mike once again finds out he is way out of touch.
The World Wide Interweb Thingie is alive with chatter about who is going to win which statuette at what show — Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globes, Grammy, Granny, Silver Sow, Copper Cob, Dean Martin Roast or Hee-Haw Salute. It’s a long list. I might have missed a couple.
During these months when celebritroids start handing awards to one another, I find myself completely baffled by the reactions. Not theirs. I mean regular people’s.
Folks who have absolutely nothing to do with entertainment (other than as consumers) get all worked up about these prizes, and I really don’t know why. It’s not like fans get statuettes if they back the winner. (Although if that were the case, I think I’d want an Oscar. It’s just the right shape and size to crack black walnuts.)
But oh, the drama. And I’m not talking about on the screen. I mean online:
“If ‘Django Unchained’ doesn’t get best picture, there is no justice.”
“The Master was robbed! Robbed!”
“OK, seriously. Did the makers of ‘Rise of the Guardians’ pin someone’s coffee because that movie was great from opening to closing credits.”
Wow. The way people carry on about these things on the message boards and such, you’d think it was politics.
Or sports. Or something that mattered.
Here’s the response I used when I was a music critic and was forever having to hear from people who disagreed with my assessments of their favorite artists by citing album sales figures and awards won: Whoop-ti-do.
There’s no real way to judge artistic merit other than personal opinion. Nobody has invented a Merit-O-Meter that can impartially gauge the worth of a film, play, television show or album.
It all rests with the individual, as it should — what has great merit for you might have very little for me and usually does. And as far as sales are concerned, that usually is the result of marketing more than the product itself.
What you’re left with, then, is a popularity contest, not all that far removed from a student council election. Of course, this argument didn’t work very well on New Kids on the Block fans, but hey, I tried.
Back in my critic days, I knew what was going on, entertainment-wise. I knew all the top musical artists, latest movies and popular TV shows. Of course, I was being paid to pay attention. It was my job. That probably had a lot to do with it.
And I was a lot more interested in keeping up with trends, which is something I abandoned when it dawned on me that trendiness takes way more time and energy than I am willing to expend. It’s a lot of work being trendy, and in the end it doesn’t benefit anyone but the people who started the trend.
In other words, I grew up.
And so, my friends, as we move through awards season, I have decided that my choice for best movie is “Lincoln.” Why? First, because I loved it and, second, because of all the movies that are up for awards, it’s the only one I could be persuaded to see.
I hope it wins a whole bunch of nutcrackers. And a Copper Cob.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.