College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967

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STAFF EDITORIAL: Award Shows praise sell-outs

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Award shows are the most pretentious, circle-jerking aspect of the art community in the United States. From the Golden Globes to the Grammys, we’re barraged with the meaningless stroking of millionaires’ egos as they go head-to-head for a metal statue that was supposed to stand for excellence but now has deteriorated into a way for celebrities to stay relevant.

This meaningless and constant barrage turns brains into the consistency of mashed potatoes. We are sick of people sucking on the teat of Hollywood while it takes the money out of our pockets to give Drake or Matt Damon another award for achieving nothing more than the bare minimum at their level of performance.

Drake, OK that’s fair. He’s just another fake rapper from Canada. But Matt Damon? He’s a great actor, why are you hating on “Good Will Hunting”? Didn’t you see “The Martian” last year? That was fantastic! It won so many awards!

“The Martian” did win many awards, one of which being an Academy Award for Best Comedy. Matt Damon also won the award for Best Actor in a Comedy. Keep in mind, “The Martian” is not a comedy. It’s an action movie. The Golden Globes gave an action movie an award for best comedy. The Academy thought the movie deserved an award, but it couldn’t beat “The Revenant” for best action movie, so they decided to make their best comedy section into a throw away award for 2016.

By doing that, did the Academy make that award worth nothing less than dirt? “La La Land” won the same category this year, yet everyone seemingly forgot about how the same award last year was treated as a participation trophy. Does “La La Land” winning the award make the trophy worth something again? If so, that’s a deplorable way of selecting what a trophy is truly worth, and makes winning a Golden Globe worth the same as the participation trophy given to the scrawny kid on your local little league team.

How can anyone trust an award show who doesn’t critique the content of the art? Shows like the Golden Globes at least try to put up the façade of doing such, however shows like The Grammys tend to lean towards artists who sell instead of who was pushing the medium forward.

For instance, how did Adele win Best Album of the Year this past Grammys? Beyoncé obviously had the more focused, artistic and genre defining album of the year in that category with “Lemonade,” yet Adele took home multiple Grammys which felt almost dishonest.

Once one compares sale numbers, it’s obvious why Adele won. She was able to push more sales across the board, and her major hit “Hello” had everyone from toddlers to grandmas singing in the car as the radio overplayed her dramatic voice. The song was major radio bait, but it was enough to capture the hard-earned dollars of millions of people who wanted to listen to the rest of her album.

This also happened last year in the same category when Taylor Swift beat Kendrick Lamar for Album of the Year. Lamar created the album of the decade with “To Pimp A Butterfly,” and changed the entire face of the rap with that singular release. It is on the same level as Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” and Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” in terms of artistic intent and influence.

However, when looking at the album sales of that year, it’s obvious why Swift won. Due to her album “1989” being released in 2014, which is weird for an award show supposedly celebrating the music of 2015, she had a head start in popularity. The entire album is radio bait, so it had a long shelf life. On top of that, she didn’t allow the album to be released on Spotify, which forced people to either switch to her platform, Apple Music, or buy the album.

The Grammys treats its lower level awards with integrity, such as Best New Artist or Best Country Album, but when it comes to Best Pop Album or Record of the Year, it’s all about who sold out. It is not about the artistic integrity.

Award shows such as these deserve to be dismantled. They don’t critique the arts; they decide who should continue a career in Hollywood. These awards are now only resume builders which prove how much money they can make instead of the quality of their work. We would rather watch C-Span for two and a half hours than sit through another one of these dishonest award shows.

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
STAFF EDITORIAL: Award Shows praise sell-outs