Awards are for recognition by ones peers that you’ve done an outstanding job in your chosen field. It says to everyone whose paying attention that you are worthy of the encomiums being afforded your effort. It says you have risen above all the half-assed effort and misguided energy that bore less than perfect fruit. Or does it? You know why they don’t give awards to politicians? There are no awards for politicians because politics is a self serving lie. It’s Hollywood for ugly people someone once opined. It’s a game played by people who have to bullshit the many to get swag for the few. Politics has no place in an awards ceremony. Awards are supposed to honor it’s candidates on their meritorious achievements alone. If that’s true then, how come people campaign for awards?

Why is the Academy Award given to the person who campaigns the most and more vigorously and successfully? The person who gave their all and made a better contribution to the humanities can lose to the better campaigner. What does this mean for the arts and sciences if politics enters into the decision process? Can the guy who cures cancer be beaten for a Nobel by the guy who invents the self cleaning toilet seat because he failed to campaign effectively? I’ve heard it said that Bill Gates, being the intensely goal oriented man that he is, has embarked on a campaign to win a Nobel for his philanthropy, and is willing to spend whatever it takes to get one.  What? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Is nothing sacred? Then again the whole idea of a “peace prize” named for a guy who invented dynamite and blew up half of his family’s mansion and killed his brother in the process sounds ludicrous doesn’t it? The world is full of it’s little ironies.

The Oscars are coming up in a couple of days as I write this, and I can’t help but wonder if the Awards are rendered meaningless by the politics that will determine the ultimate outcome? It’s not unlike bidding for an Oscar on ebay.  In fact it may come to that one day. The pomp and the speeches and the cheekiness. The red carpet and the vainglorious trivia about gowns and pageantry.  They don’t disguise the fundamental hypocrisy that is Awards Ceremonies. I could get into the current fall of sports heroes from pot smoking swimmers (what lungs!) to steroid shooting sluggers, but that’s fodder for another blog.

A lot of the movies that win Oscars are forgettable as time goes on. I for one can’t remember what won best picture last year. What does “best picture” mean anyway? Is it “best” because it made more money? Well the Awards people aren’t stupid, the artful dodgers that they are, they would never openly consider money as an arbiter of worthiness. This is about image! The money spent on campaigning for the Oscar notwithstanding, the Award is given for the intangible things that a picture brings to the screen. Intangible things that can’t be put in a swag bag and carried home or stacked up in a corner and polished or admired are the things that Awards are given for…things that governments get young people to fight and die for, like integrity, honor, moral fiber, all that jazz that bullshitters spew to talk you out of a pint of blood or your hard earned money.

The Oscars are about bragging rights and increased bargaining power at the table when money is stacked up for the next big budget box office construction.

If you win a prestigious award it means that you have something that money can’t buy. Since you’ve already got plenty of money and found it wanting, (I hear it can’t buy happiness and since I don’t know how much happiness costs I’ll have to take that on faith) the only thing left is self aggrandizement and bragging rights. Will the winners of the pissing contest please extend their Awards so we can all drool at them? After the Oscars, and I’m sure this goes for anyone who gets that call from the Nobel people at 5 in the morning, you have the right to strut your stuff like the cock of the walk, if you’ve won of course. You can even strut if you were nominated.

The point is that in the Hollywood jungle, winning an Oscar means your dick is bigger than the other guys dick, and who doesn’t want to have the biggest swinging dick in the jungle? You gotta watch out though, the bigger the dick the bigger the entanglements. Look at past winners whose heads got as big as their dicks and they refused one too many script offers and wound up playing opposite dogs, puppets and children in asinine drek. You know who I’m talking about. Straight to the DVD remainder bins they went where past swinging dicks shrivel.  I saw the mummified remains of some poor stiff at the British Museum once. He had died in the desert, but he still had his “package”. Sure it was shriveled and thousands of years old, but it was still there, representin’! There’s hope for those who keep their powder dry.

Some have been saved from this fate of the shriveled dick and given the career equivalent of a dose of Viagra. You know who I’m talking about. Some grab a gun and sell narcotics and rob liquor stores or O.D. on meth. Hollywood if nothing else is an image town, which has the substance of plastic. I think the Oscar is really gold, isn’t it? Maybe I can find one cheap on eBay?

Ira Harmon