Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sham of Award Shows

We are officially into awards season, which brings out a special kind of ire in my view of the arts. First off, since all art is subjective, how can one thing be better than another? Who says one person's best song is better than another? I personally, have little or no knowledge of ADELE, LADY GAGA, or LEONA LEWIS but apparently they are all very important artists of our time. For the past two weeks all I have seen is the vapid, meaningless "musicians", prance around accepting various forms of statues for their contribution to the music world. Seriously, they may be truly great at what they do, but how can you award art? Isn't the reward to the artist that their music is appreciated by fans who find meaning in what they have created?

Secondly, it seems that these pre-taped shows have merely become long form infomercials for artists latest product (whether its a new record or a new perfume it apparently doesn't matter). No more so is this apparent then in the honoring of a certain artist for "lifetime achievement". The genesis of this particular rant came from a segment of this year's Brit Awards that I stumbled across. It seems that THE PET SHOP BOYS, were honored with a special medley of their hits as an homage to their longevity. Now, I have loved the Pet Shop Boys for a long time. I own several of their records and even sat through the self indulgent film they made years ago. What angered me was the inclusion of the what I found out later was their latest single, "Love, etc." into this mix. Now it is a decent song, but to include it alongside "West End Girls", "Suburbia" and "Domino Dancing" is just wrong. It sounded out of place and turned me against the whole notion of what they were there for. Instead of giving them credit for their place in pop music, it was merely a marketing ploy to promote their new record.

So these shows are shams. Why even bother giving out awards anymore if they are arbitrary and apparently can only be given to those artists with records either just released or about to come out? Why must we have winners and losers in music? Why can't we just like what we like without mainstream media throwing things down out throats? Why does this bother me when it's not a new thing? Maybe, I should just sit back and listen to what I like and ignore the rest...

For your own review

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