Who gives a [blank] about honors and awards (and halls of fame, etc.)?

I am at friend’s house, and this family keeps the TV on all day (I basically haven’t watched TV since I went off to college in 1989, a few seasons of Bravo shows excepted…).

Anyhow the “Kennedy Center Honors” are on and… who watches this shit? Seriously, if there is someone here on the Dope to whom this is important or compelling content, I offer my apologies, but I am genuinely curious why you would watch this or think it’s anything but an advertisement for the people involved. As though frickin’ Hamilton and Cher need any more PR, for fuxsake.

And that’s the thing: Awards ceremonies are a bunch of advertisements and a gig for the advertiser. More and more, it seems as though people are waking up to this fact.

But it’s certainly not something I ever heard anyone say or imply when I was a kid in the 1970s and 80s. The Oscars were important, man. The Baseball Hall of fame and shit like that meant something, dammit.

Now, however, I’m completely cynical about it all, and a lot of other people seem to be too. That’s good! So if you feel like piling on about that, great, and if you feel like debating it, great.

I will also include shit like the Nobel prizes, especially the arts stuff. If I don’t give a shit what a bunch of old white dudes in the “Academy” think, then I’m sure not going to give a fuck what a bunch of old Swedish white dudes care about.

And really, it’s not about who is giving the awards. If it were a perfectly assembled board of humans with perfect demographics, we still shouldn’t care. Because it’s going to be a grift no matter what: a limited number of people setting themselves up as an authority, a gatekeeper. And I hate that shit.


Neither, thanks, but good luck in your endeavors.

I only watch two award shows a year - the Oscars and the Kennedy Center Honors. The Oscars because they are the last vestige of Hollywood glamour and magic, and the Kennedy Center Honors because they are a serious, thoughtful attempt to honor individuals who have contributed to American culture through their work in the performing arts.

I have found through the years that no matter how familiar I am with an artist’s work, I learn something new about them at the Kennedy Center Honors. The moments I remember most fondly are the ones that honor people about whom I knew almost nothing prior to the show. My all-time favorite is ballet dancer Jacques D’Amboise, whose two children, also dancers, danced a ballet for him, and whose ceremony also featured a performance by children from the dance school he founded. Another truly memorable honoree was Dave Brubeck, who was also honored with a performance by his musician children. My understanding of cool jazz started with that year’s show.

The Kennedy Center Honors happen to be very important to me, and I look forward to them every year. But that doesn’t mean I think everyone else should feel the same way.

If you don’t like how the gatekeepers do it, you can always create your own awards. I used to do it for T.V. shows, just because it was fun.

I agree with you that awards and awards shows and awards ceremonies are complete and utter BS, and are primarily motivated by behind-the-scenes politics.

Exhibit A is the Academy Awards of 1952. Streetcar Named Desire was the big movie of the year. And it was a fabulous movie! Vivien Leigh won for Best Actress. Kim Hunter won for Best Supporting Actress. Karl Malden won for Best Supporting Actor. They all deserved their awards.

Guess who *didn’t *win? Marlon Brando, in the role of his lifetime, as Stanley Kowalski, was aced out. Who won? Humphrey Bogart, a great actor, to be sure, won for one of the most disposable roles of his career, The African Queen. He only won it on the “soon to croak” rule. Ever since then, I knew that the Academy Awards were pure crap. And have never watched them or given them a moments thought ever since.

(of course, this all happened long before I was born, so it’s not like I made these decisions in real time, but still!..)

Remember the CableACE Awards? Back when the Emmy’s didn’t even want Cable television mentioned in the same sentence as their own award show.

Also everything you suspected about the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards is true, the “kids voting” part was a complete sham. They literally just give awards to people who actually are willing to show up or failing that give it to in-house properties/stars since nobody was willing to even show up to pick up their awards in the early years.

Almost all “Podcast Awards” are also a sham, since there’s so many of them out there now and even the most popular ones only get a few hundred votes for the top property.

“Kiss Our Own Ass Night”

Millionaires give each other awards, and people watch it on TV. It’s all completely ludicrous.

The worst one is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Had a few hits? Existed for X number of years? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, you’re in!


I’m assuming the question in the thread title is rhetorical, because the obvious answer is
“different people enjoy different things”. So, you clearly don’t enjoy these things and you just want to vent a little because . . .you can (?) Go you.

I’m not sure what the criteria for the Kennedy Center honors are but if someone I enjoy is being paid tribute or I like the performers, I’ll watch it. I bet I’m not unique in that respect.

I have virtually no interest in sports other than the simple aspect of watching men and women displaying athletic ability that I’ll never possess, but I couldn’t care less about stats or awards. However it doesn’t puzzle me one bit why someone who’s an avid fan would be excited about it.

Well, going by the OP, awards do actually matter to you, and quite rightly, too. You give yourself two in your post: the ‘does not watch TV’-award, and the ‘dislikes element of popular culture’-award. These are essentially used for social signaling: they exemplify key distinctions valued in your self-selected social peer group, and thus, by displaying them, you can produce proof of your adherence to virtues valued in that group.

So, any prospective addition to your social sphere (or mate, even) does not have to go through the trouble of vetting you themselves, but may use your display of relevant ‘awards’ in order to evaluate you regarding your understanding of and adherence to shared mores. You show yourself to be a critical and discerning evaluator of entertainment, rather than a mindless consumer; those who value this sort of thing now know that you possess a shared basis, and have grounds on which to decide whether to instigate rituals of social bonding.

The same purpose is fulfilled by other kinds of awards: if you value, say, the criteria the Academy selects in distinguishing good cinematography, then a film being issued the relevant Oscar may be of interest to you. Thus, this saves you the trouble of screening every film yourself, to find those fulfilling your particular criteria. In a sense, awards and other signalling then is a kind of outsourcing of the work that needs to be invested in order to appraise basically anything. If, prior to your post, I might have had the suspicion that you hew towards the baser tastes of the hoi polloi, your signalled distaste may help put this at ease, without me incurring the opportunity cost of investigating the matter myself.

I watch TV occasionally. It can be entertaining. But I can take it or leave it.

I’ve certainly never let it get under my skin the way the OP has regardless of how much I may dislike a particular program.

I recognize that different people have different tastes and interests.

Nope. They were never important.

Important is in the eye of the beholder at any given moment. I wept more than once in the baseball Hall of Fame.

This is very true. You don’t even have to play rock & roll music to get in. They may as well just rename it the Cleveland Music Museum.

“There’s no crying in Baseball!”

For some reason I hated the idea of a Rock ‘n’ Roll HOF the first time I even heard of it in the 1980’s.

The AAGPBL exhibit was one of the places I wept, and the irony did not go unnoticed. :wink:

It was mildly entertaining to visit.

Still, it’s hard to comprehend people getting upset because their favorite performer(s) weren’t selected to be in the HoF while undeserving ones were*. It’s not like it diminishes a rock group not to be voted in by whatever dipwads are in charge of the process. It also matters minimally to me when Rolling Stone publishes a list of the “500 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time” and my faves were left out.

*similarly, I don’t fully get the angst when someone “undeserving” like Harold Baines is elected to the baseball HoF. There is a dearth of completely objective criteria for selecting players.

Hear! Hear! But that ain’t the worst of it. You can be totally important to the sound of Rock 'n Roll and never get in. I suspect it’s because he never had any huge hits, but that place is a joke.

I don’t usually follow any awards shows, though I will watch the Kennedy Center Awards shows if they’re for a performer I’m interested in. Though, even then I rarely watch the whole thing.

Industry awards, like the JD Power Awards, are not given out after a long, drawn-out process of data mining and measuring.

No, they are shopped. The Ford Fordova didn’t win the “Best Mid-Sized Sedan in North America” award because it is, in fact, the best Mid-Sized Sedan in North America, it’s that the Ford Fordova won the bid for the award because Ford Motor Company was willing to pay more for that award than GM/Chrysler/Honda/etc were.

The Nobel prize includes an award of 9 million Swedish krona (about a million US bucks). If a bunch of old Swedish white dudes offer it to me, I will probably take it.

Thank you, I appreciated your thoughtful reply.