With the Academy Awards looming this weekend, it’s a good time to ask why the public even cares about awards shows anymore.
Consider the ridiculous “controversy” that erupted at the recent 59th Grammy Awards when Beyoncé didn’t win each and every Grammy at the 59th Grammy Awards on February 12th. How could Dear Leader B, the Mother Gaia of music, the reason for our existence, have only gone away with two Grammys?!
She gave “the performance of a goddess” don’t you know, and she recently got pregnant. And yet, Adele won five Grammys. Writers at Slate were so outraged they claimed the Grammys were racist. Vogue asked, “Is it too early to start a #GrammysSoWhite campaign?”
Even Adele apologized for winning. (Should we start a #TooMuchWinning campaign?)
“I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said, before accepting the award. “My artist of my life is Beyoncé . . . The way you make my black friends feel is empowering.” “I adore you and I want you to be my mommy.” And, “I pray to you every night.” (That last one she didn’t really say.)
This is not the first time an artist has apologized for winning while not being the pick of the cultural elite. In 2015, Macklemore sent a text to Kendrick Lamar apologizing for winning Best Rap Album (and Best Social Awareness Song About Gay Rights).
What is wrong when people are so obsessed with behaving “correctly” at an awards show that they feel the need to disown their own achievements? Fear of being called racist might be part of it. It’s no coincidence that the musicians who claimed to feel bad about themselves for winning were all white folks, and the (presumed) runners—up were black. But all this reverential coverage of Beyoncé does nothing to ingratiate her to those who aren’t already adherents of the “Bey religion”. It just makes her cult seem obnoxious.
What Grammy—obsessives don’t get is that most people don’t care about awards shows. Awards shows are meaningless—collectivist spectacles of industry toadying.
Whether or not Beyoncé’s album was better than Adele’s, I have no clue (some critics simply noted that Adele’s album was considered better by fans because it outsold Beyoncé’s album). In fact, neither of them made the “best” album of the year in my view. It’s a subjective preference. Whatever the results, the vote doesn’t change the underlying artistic value, just like a vote on a referendum can’t change moral values or economic facts. But liberal SJWs on the left (as well as their conservative counterparts on the alt—right) take refuge in feeling and thinking like a member of a group, a collective.
The groupthink that drives Grammy and Oscar voting is also the same thing that drives every pop culture writer to try to one up each other in writing about Beyoncé. Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast described the “otherworldly power of Beyoncé” in what appears to be an attempt at a review of her Grammy performance (it reads more like a mash note). She “slays the patriarchy with Mother Mary—themed Grammys performance,” the headline swooned.
Beyoncé does seem to have an otherworldly power over critics. To have no opinion of Beyoncé—or, god forbid, a negative opinion—is to immediately identify oneself as not part of the group. So instead of describing her work, these “journalists” seek approval and validation from the public for telling them what they want to hear.
The same problem is likely to challenge the Academy Awards this weekend. No matter which film wins Best Picture (odds are on “La La Land,” of course) SJWs will find something oppressive, racist, or otherwise politically incorrect to criticize. And actors will no doubt use the show as yet another platform to air their predictably anti—Trump feelings.
No wonder most of the country tunes out.