Award Season

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There was no way I was going to watch the Academy Awards Sunday night short of a threat of physical violence to my children. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not just that I hate the Academy Awards, I also hate the Golden Globes, the American Music Awards, the Emmys and most steamed vegetables.

In short, what I hate are awards programs. For instance, I enjoy going to the movies and I have an extensive collection of movies on DVD (and Blu-Ray and even a few tapes). I also listen to music and watch TV.

I also drive a car.

“What does that have to do with it?” you may ask and I, for one, am very glad you did.

The car I drive required some welding when it was put together. (Note to self: do some research and make sure this is true before submitting this column.) Many of the products I use required welding at some point in their creation. And this fact I do know: there are many welders employed by the refinery here in town, which would imply that my continued use of my car (since it burns gas [lots and lots of gas]) is dependant on there being a ready supply of welders in the world.

I’m pretty sure there’s a ready supply of them and that they are actively at work keeping America safe through welding because there is a welder’s union hall next door. They are nice people (the ones I have met, anyway) and one thing they do periodically is hand out awards. I don’t know what for. Perhaps it’s for “Best Spot-Weld” or “Best Friend to the Community” but the thing is: they have an awards night. The members of the local welders union attend the awards show, as do their familes. I would imagine that, especially if a man or woman expects to be getting an award, they’ll even invite friends.

In fact, the awards night ceremony is, from what I gather talking to them over the fence, open to the public. The public, however, doesn’t show up for this event. And you know what? The welders don’t care! They’d be happy if the public showed up, but they don’t expect you to because they are mature enough and intelligent enough to know that welding isn’t your thing and they are OK with that.

Not so with Hollywood (or Nashville, or whatever horrible place modern television comedies come from). It’s not enough for them to hold an awards show, and I don’t begrudge them the holding of it. I am a member of Hospice and we’ll soon have our annual banquet and we’ll hand out some awards but I don’t really expect you to be there.

Hollywood, Nashville and the other purveyors of entertainment, though, are so stuck on themselves that when they hold an awards ceremony for themselves, they expect all of us to care as much about it as they do. This is what I begrudge.

And then there’s a second begrudging for me: what they award is not what I would reward. That’s OK. One of the great things about art (should be but rarely is) is that we are free to form our own opinions. But if I don’t like the chosen movie (or TV show or song or casserole), I am somehow an ignorant Luddite who shouldn’t be allowed in public.

I don’t know which award show is coming up next, but whenever it broadcasts you can expect to find me watching another channel or (gasp!) reading a book.