Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Case of Award Show Politics

I stopped taking most entertainment awards seriously years ago when I figured out that winners and losers are based more on industry politics than actual talent. Well, now it seems that “industry politics” includes national politics as the phenomenally talented Dixie Chicks did not receive a single nomination for this year’s Academy of Country Music awards.

We know why, right? Because the Dixie Chicks have the audacity to be liberal and even insulted the President when lead-singer Natalie Maines said the band is embarrassed that Bush is from Texas. As insults go, that’s hardly even a poke. But the country music world exploded with the kind of rabid anger best reserved for our enemies, not three women with twangs in their voices.

And yet, The Chicks are still being punished, proving that the ACM awards are illegitimate measures of talent.

Of course, that other Academy (the one of Motion Pictures and Sciences) is not exactly innocent of placing politics before talent. After all, does anyone really believe that a PowerPoint presentation about global warming was the year’s best documentary? However noble one thinks Al Gore’s crusade is, the ex-Vice President’s Oscar win is an insult to the hardworking documentary filmmakers who struggled to create gripping nonfiction features this year.

The liberal agenda of the Academy Awards voters even catapulted Melissa Etheridge’s clunky song from An Inconvenient Truth to an Oscar, thus denying any of the far-superior Dreamgirls’ songs a rightful place at the podium. Even Randy Newman's song from Cars would have been more deserving.

Not that any of this really matters. Entertainment awards are undeniably pointless. But I can’t help but see this as just another sign that we as a nation are losing the ability to rationally separate our politics from our personal opinions of one another. We would do better not to be so shallow.

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