2/6/09

Do awards matter?

It's not a new question, but I think it's still relevant now, with the Golden Globes just behind us and the Oscars fast approaching. Also, on a smaller scale, various awards are being passed around in the blogging world (blogosphere if you must, although I don't like the sound of it). Caitlin over at Fire and Music was even kind enough to send a Superior Scribbler award along my way. So, do all these awards really matter?

Raquelle at Out of the Past made some very interesting points in a post about why she would not be passing along the awards. Mostly it boils down to her not wanting to exclude anyone by her choices. Some of these things do begin to feel more like a popularity contest than a gauge of real merit. If picked, you are in with the cool kids, if not, you are left thinking nobody wants you on their team.

I have to wonder how much even bigger awards, like the Oscars, involve favoritism and factors outside of merit alone. When Julie Andrews won for best actress in Mary Poppins, didn't it have something to do with her being shut out of the film version of My Fair Lady? When Paul Newman finally won for The Color of Money, wasn't it (at least in part) compensation for him never winning in the earlier years of his career? What about this year, will the controversy over Slumdog Millionaire hurt its chances at the Oscars? I don't know, but it does seem impossible to bestow honors completely impartially.

It also seems inevitable that someone will be missed. Even though Citizen Kane is now almost universally regarded as the best movie ever, it lost out on the Academy Award for best picture. So will some great blog get skipped over in the blog appreciation awards? Very possibly.

Don't start that get-off-the-stage music yet, I'm not finished!

These blog awards can also start to feel like chain letters, although fortunately there is no crazy threat (like your blog exploding) if you fail to pass on to the required number of people. As the list of recipients grows, however, doesn't the value of the award begin to fade? It makes me think of The Incredibles, and its point about how saying everyone is special is the same as saying no one is.

I'm also reminded of With Honors, where Brendan Fraser's character is trying so hard to graduate summa cum laude. At the graduation ceremony, his name is called and followed only by silence, but by then the importance of that brief moment has been put in perspective. He has been told he will graduate life with honor and without regret, and that is what really matters. Sure, an award is nice, but it's only a blip in a life. It's not (or anyway I don't think it should be) the end-all be-all of who we are and what we do.

On the other hand, winning an award feels great! The attention and recognition provides a nice feeling of validation. Perhaps because we are social creatures, and being lauded in your community gives one a nice boost.

So while the argument can be made that awards don't matter (that bigger awards are little more than an excuse to get dressed up and party, or worse still a big money-making scheme to draw in viewers to award shows and the system they hype, while smaller awards are given too indiscriminately and without clear enough standards) I think awards do matter. At least, winning this award matters to me. I am flattered.

And so I will accept and display the award bestowed upon me, with thanks to Princess Fire and Music. I will also follow along with its rules:

1. Name five other Superior Scribblers to receive this award.
2. Link to the author and name of the blog that gave you the award.
3. Display the award on your blog with this LINK which explains the award.
4. Click on the award at the bottom of the link and add your name to the bottom of the list.
5. Post the rules.

While there are many blogs I read and enjoy, I'm choosing to pass along this award to the following: The Flick Chick, The Film Doctor, David, Cesia, and The Movie Ness. I hope they will receive it in the spirit I send it, which is to say that I like you(r blog), and I hope you keep writing.

They can choose to play by the rules in accepting and passing it on, call in a guest blogger dressed in Native American gear to refuse, or do anything in between. I imagine it will all depend on whether or not they think awards matter.

9 comments:

David Bishop said...

I sometimes reference awards when I'm trying to sell a movie to somebody, but other than that, I don't take them too seriously. After all, I don't think they ever gave Hitchcock an Oscar for his films, and he might have been one of the best directors of all time. Of course, Eminem's got himself a statue.

I'm elated to see my name amongst those chosen. I don't know if I'll keep it going though since I haven't been keeping up with the blog-o-sphere enough to nominate five people. Thanks for including me.

FilmDr said...

Thanks for the award! I agree with David about the Oscars. Nice new blog design, by the way. I enjoy reading your work.

Stacia said...

The awards where you have to pick people to pass them on to are new to me, honestly, and I do worry about excluding people with them. I'm pretty sure the people I "gave" a Premios Dardo to all ignored it or already had been named by others, so I'll probably take a pass on further chain-letter-like awards.

On the other side of the issue, I think publicly grousing, in length and with great fervor, about a pass-it-on award someone gave to you kind of sends a weird message.

By the way, I absolutely LOVE the look of your blog. I usually see it through an RSS feed, so I apologize if I'm really late noticing it, but it is SERIOUSLY nice.

TheMovieNess said...

Thanks for the award! I have to say Im with Stacia, I have never come across any blog awards before...
I do love watching the Oscars but I dont take them too seriously. There are so many fantastic films that havnt even been nominated. And there are quite a few Academy Awards that I dont agree with.
But it must be a great joy to receive an Oscar! I am already really happy about the Scribbler award;)

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

"Call in a guest blogger dressed in Native American gear to refuse..."

(Much chuckling here.)

Raquelle said...

I'll be taking down my post in a few days. FYI.

Wendymoon said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

I didn't mean to come across as a big complainer; I hope no one thought I was unappreciative for the nod. I really feel honored that someone would think of my blog in this way.

I guess I was just trying to work out my mixed emotions about awards in general, but the post ended up being longer (and stronger) than I meant it to be. I did feel a bit of blogger's remorse after posting it, so it was nice to hear that others don't take the Oscars too seriously, either.

I guess my conclusion for the blog awards is the same -- nice thought behind them, some value in giving attention to good stuff, but not the most important thing in the world. So now I'll stop talking about it all. :-)

About the blog design, once again I just want to thank my old pal Cece. She's a great designer and was brilliant to work with; I'd recommend her to anyone looking for an blog image update.

Cesia said...

Wow ... thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Er, uh. Yeah.

I feel like the person who was nominated as a fluke and then won even though everyone (including myself) knew someone else deserved it more!

But I do appreciate it. :)

- Cesia.

P.S. I also enjoyed the Native American rejection line.

Norma Desmond said...

I'm a bit late to the party, but I wanted to say thanks for the award. Next time work obligations keep me away from the computer maybe I'll appoint someone to keep an eye on things for me.

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