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Morgan McFinn

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A Ward of Awards
By Morgan McFinn
Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A society obsessed with award shows.

      From the hype I’m forced to wade through in order to get to my e-mail lately, it’s apparent that The Academy Awards are soon scheduled to be televised. The names of movies I’ve never hard of and photos of actors I’ve never seen before are plastered all over the home page of the site that hosts my e-mail account. Oodles of inane information regarding the subjects are on display. Everyday a poll is exhibited soliciting my opinion on matters that I couldn’t possibly care less about. Wasn’t there another film award show celebrated just a couple of weeks ago? Or, was that a music award show? It seems that every manifestation of human endeavor has an award ceremony associated with it these days. In Western civilization, that is. Or, Western ‘snivelization’ as Herman Melville called it. Umpteen beauty contests, sports awards, cooking prizes, hotdog eating competitions, best dressed man and woman, most well-groomed dog, longest frog leap and grasshopper hop, singing and dancing award shows, longest snoring, loudest belching (not to be confused with the singing show) and on and on they go. I mean, a person in the U.S. who hasn’t won an award for something or another by the age of thirty must feel like one worthless son-of-a-bitch. In India, everyday of the year is devoted to honoring one of a plethora of deities. In the U.S., everyday of the year is devoted to honoring some human specimen who is esteemed as a deity.

      It used to be that most people were content to glean satisfaction from doing what they had chosen to do and doing it to the best of their abilities. Public acclaim was of no importance to them. What mattered most was how they appraised their accomplishments. They weren’t looking for medals and statuettes or a guest appearance on some fawning, asinine talk show. Now they’re obsessed with public acclaim and there no depths of self-degradation that they won’t plunge in order to achieve it. To quote from a brilliant essay on the subject entitled ‘Fame’, “Recognition for achievement is not the issue. It’s the achievement of recognition that matters”. (Not to sound overly self-important but, I happen to be on pretty close terms with the author of that piece.)


      As an adolescent, I would occasionally fantasize about being the recipient of some highly respected award. Most Valuable Player when the Cubs won the World Series, for example. The problem there is that even if I were the greatest ballplayer to ever wear a Chicago Cub uniform no MVP award would come my way because the damn Cubs are never going to win a World Series. Receiving an Academy Award for Best Actor was another fantasy. I’ve still got drafts of acceptance speeches collecting rodent droppings stashed away somewhere. They were good, though. Certainly different from the tiresome, disingenuous drivel that most honorees spout. I didn’t waste time thanking anybody which shortened the speech considerably. As I recall, the general tenor was, “Well, for christsake, who deserves this naked statuette more than me? And, what the hell happened to its genitals? Now I’m going back stage to fondle some starlets.”

      I’ve just been informed that next week there will be an award ceremony to honor competitors in the ‘Ducking for Apples World Championship’. And when it comes to ducking for apples, as Dorothy Parker said, “There but for a typographical error, is the story of my life.”  


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Reviewed by Edward Phillips 2/25/2015
Laughed my ass off! I had never heard of Dorothy Parker's typo line.
And I suspect you, Mr. McFinn, are more than a fondler of starlets. My suspicion is that you are a serial bottom fondler (more or less like me). Kudos for a good laugh! Don't stop.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 2/23/2015
To quote from a brilliant essay on the subject entitled ‘Fame’, “Recognition for achievement is not the issue. It’s the achievement of recognition that matters”. (Not to sound overly self-important but, I happen to be on pretty close terms with the author of that piece.)

You make great point in this piece, Morgan; and, with your usual wit and humor, it makes for a most enjoyable read. Thank you. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Ronald Hull 2/23/2015
You forgot the Raspberry Awards, but I'll forgive you. I spent much of yesterday watching the American ideal idol, cars chasing each other around a circle, the Daytona 500. Unfortunately, my homeboy from southern Wisconsin who want the first race of the season, got rear-ended, hit the wall, and finished two laps down--a disgrace. It's hard for me to imagine the idea of driving 200 miles an hour three hours straight, 5 feet from the car ahead of you, hoping like hell that he doesn't let up or hit the brakes… Nerve-racking to say the least.

The Academy Awards as been such a success over the years that it has spawned many imitators, probably because those that were left out of the elite group that comprises the Academy, wanted their chance at the limelight. There is a theory that when times are tough, like the Great Depression, people tend to flock to rich and unattainable hero worship because their lives are so tied up in desperate, mundane, activity.

The highlights of the show were for me the awarding of best actor for the unknown actor who played, very well, Stephen Hawking, Lady Gaga singing a classic medley from the Sound of Music in spite of her ugly arm tattoos, and Glory performed by John Legend and Common, who played a fantastic role in a dramatic television series I've been watching, Hell on Wheels. I find the Academy's tendency to feature films I never heard of before, refreshing, even though it may be a little bit stuffy for them to do that for the ordinary moviegoing public, used to blockbusters, ad nausea.

Loved your article and every time you have something to say to us.


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