The Politics of awards



A completely rational life is a mundane affair. Such an existence would entail reasonable thoughts and actions at every turn.  The questions that are birthed by culture would go unanswered and people would be left to the vice of common sense. In fact, it is difficult to fathom how far our species would go without our curious nature.  However, because things are not as Socrates envisioned in Plato’s republic we are left to deal with this beautiful chaos we call life. Notably, one of the most interesting constructs of our own doing is the establishment of awards.

Considering the monotonous nature of most human activity, one of our ancestors decided it was not enough to be the court jester; we would also have to evolve to gathering in large groups and honour the best one amongst them. At present, man honours the most beautiful woman, the best dressed man, the best cook and many other categories of human endeavour. Clearly, awards are now a complicated affair exacerbated by the current increase of human connectivity. Awards have made known the limits of human endeavour, but more often than not, we hear pleas by numerous players in society aimed at the facilitators of these recognition rituals. The people want award show organisers to further democratise the processes and in essence make the giving of awards less subjective.

With the populous leaning toward the belief that anything democratic is good, what’s happening instead is the allure and beauty of awards is being diluted by bickering. The ordinary human being is distracted by everything but the intrinsic benefits of recognising another person’s excellence. Awards are good because they help us raise our standards, ask more questions and respond in a way that further improves our culture and indeed our way of living.  So, why aren’t we focusing on re-igniting that old illusion? Maybe the challenge seems arduous. Macky 2 wants to be paid for his performances and in this plea puts the corporation in a bad light with his thousands of social media followers. The whole situation is messy.  Consumers of popular culture are being let in on too much information about how the sausage is being made that we can’t really relate to the achievement when it has been recognised. We are being drawn in to pick sides in a situation that is not necessary to our existence per se.

What we need, are people to recognise the essence of awards to human culture. Big organisations sponsoring awards and people being honoured are responsible for how we feel about the whole situation. They are creators of a narrative in collaboration and not against each other. It is the duty of both parties to make this a success and the moment either feels the need to sway from the idea of creating a show, everybody loses.


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