BPAwards are meaningless. Hell, there is an awards show for awards shows, that right there should tell you just how meaningless awards are… and yet you people all continue to apply this arrogant and belabored high standard on what awards mean when in fact that are actually less than hollow praise… they are shameless lies.

Phantom prestige ceremonies such as the Academy Awards are nothing more than a self-filating circle jerk of meaningless posturing meant to elevate an industry that is already known for cannibalization and incest within itself. Awards are masturbatory ego stroking which serve only to propagate even more masturbatory ego stroking in an endless daisy chain. It is a perpetual cycle of uselessness signifying nothing despite all of it’s buster and bravado.

jeffAwards are given not on merit of work nor on quality of product, awards are given merely as an achievement to the best marketed product. Look at the Oscars and just how rigged they are when it comes to “awards”. Do you really think that the “oscar committee” hands out those statues of false pomposity based on the standards we as the public are privy too? How the Oscars work is the same as anything else, they are bought and paid for, maybe not with money upfront, but most definitely with money being spent to impress. The Oscars go the most “campaigned” for films quality irregardless. See, how you get a film nominated for an Oscar is simple, you advertise that you want the “nomination”, you send gifts to the “oscar committee”, you give them special screenings of the films, you let them meet the stars of the film, you basically wage an ad campaign on them to tell them that you are the best in whatever category(s) you want to “win”. It’s all playing a game, you can’t just HAVE the best picture… you need to convince them that you have THE best picture and rest assured, every studio and every filmmaker is making the same pitch, it all just comes down to which one can sell it the most convincingly. Why do you think all of the “art house” films made by studios are held until the last minute to qualify for an award? These films will not make any money but the studios want that “prestige picture” to help give credibility to their mindless schlock. That is why you have “oscar rush” at the end of every year, with films that get a one to two week theatrical (limited) release as a footnote to the year. They want that award and they will do what it takes to get it. The filmmakers go into whore mode and sell, sell, sell like the best door to door salesman*. Make no mistake that this is all about image and not about substance.

Festival awards are even more meaningless than industry awards. It is shockingly easy to simply buy an award from a festival. Film festivals are run by sponsors on the outside and they have a hidden cost of “entry fees” which make up the bulk of how a festival will make it’s money. These “entry fees” are ostensibly there to weed out “unqualified” material but in reality are nothing more than bribes. As with mainstream awards most film festivals are based on what those putting it on can get out of you and not the other way around. You can even buy your festival simply to win your award. Look into some of the “indy” festivals and you will find that the big winners are all affiliates of the sponsors of the event and that they were designed to give that award to the winning film no matter what it was up against in terms of competition. The other films were simply tokens to make everything seem more on the level while raking in extra dollars from “entry fees” by films that never had a chance. Take a close look at some of the “FILM FESTIVAL XXX WINNER” credits added to trailers for genuinely awful films and you will find they are obscure (to the point of being one shot) festivals that were put on for the express purpose of giving an award to a film so it will seem more prestigious than it really is and the film partaking of that credit is the one that paid for it. Calling yourself an escort does not change the fact that what you do is still the work of a whore.

man-of-steel-best-pictureAwards also carry a stigma with them by the act of not having one… something I will never understand. In the same manner that the masses believe sales and dollar intake are equal to quality, award status will carry weight it should not. If you have been nominated many times and not won, well then that hurts you. If you have been nominated and lost to a clearly inferior product that WILL impact you. Hell, just being associated with an award can taint you, even tangentially, just look at the Spidebaby scandal. Spiderbaby “won” many awards for her “writing” despite that in her entire oeuvre she failed to produce a single thing that was not (poorly) plagiarized from others. She “won” these awards and more than that these awards were handed to her with nary a dissenting eye to the OBVIOUS lack of quality her (plagiarized) work carried. How can those awards have any meaning to real writers when a serial plagiarist “won” multiples of them all the while producing work (by others) that was substandard by any definition? What lowers the bar for everyone, some of whom were most likely deserving of the false praise the award bestowed upon them/ What about the stigma that the genre has when it comes to mainstream awards? Lets just look at the Oscars here, how many horror films have won major awards? A handful. How many dull, boring, pretentious period dramas have won major awards? A staggeringly high number. Scifi? Not really and even horror has to usually dilute it’s image to get an award**.
The Grammys, the CMA’s, MTV Music Awards whatever it may be, are just as shallow and meaningless. They hand out awards to what is POPULAR not what is quality. How often does the obscure indy band that is self produced even get nominated? They don’t. The smaller bands on major labels or subsidiary labels might, but true indy bands are ignored… because they can’t market the way the major labels can. Same goes for comics and every other medium, it’s all about mindless self interest and nothing more.

Academy Awards tourism destinationsMusic awards, comic awards, book awards, film awards, podcast awards, magazine awards… it does not matter what it is, they are all the same, they are something given out in an effort to add status and stature to the mundane… to elevate a mediocre work by claiming it is “award winning” mediocre work. Why you all give so much credibility to awards baffles me and will continue to do so. I keep getting asked “what are your oscar picks”… as if quality mattered, it’s all about salesmanship and popularity, nothing more. It has always been like this and no matter how much light is exposed to the dark underside it will not change one bit. The award will always go to the most well marketed and the most shamelessly shilled work and yet the award itself will continue to have meaning to those who desperately wish to posture and preen by way of bragging. Touting your “award winning” status is the same as bragging and I have no use for braggarts in my company. Do the best work you can and the quality of the work will shine through.

And before anyone wants to call me a hypocrite for this column, I will state I was once taken in by this sham of awards, I campaigned to get What The Fuck!!??, RadioDrome and Lost In The Static various podcast awards 2 years ago. I am frankly embarrassed by my behavior and I am disgusted that I let myself get taken in by the ideal of false equivalency and peer cock sucking. I have no interest in winning an award, in being nominated for an award or even knowing about these awards. I am above that.

Oscars
*For the most part. Some filmmakers don’t give a shit about awards. In 1970 for example, John Carpenter won the Oscar forThe Resurrection of Broncho Billy and cared so little about this he not only never showed up to get the award but gave it after the fact to his crew and went back to work on his next film, Darkstar.

**Look at Silence Of The Lambs… it was not marketed to the “oscar committee” as a HORROR film… it was a SUSPENSE THRILLER all of a sudden. In the buildup to the movie they were fine calling it a HORROR film, being showcased in the HORROR magazines and then when Oscar time rolled around, HORROR was a dirty word. This a movie about a cannibal who literally eats a face in the film, that is helping the FBI track down a sexually confused serial killer who is attempting to make a woman suit made of human skin so he can indulge in a fantasy of a gender change. That is a HORROR film by any standard the same as Friday The 13th or a Texas Chainsaw film, but if you call it HORROR, no major awards so dilution is the only option.

Tell me to shut the fuck up a 1201beyond@gmail.com or contact Alex to fire me at alexjowski@gmail.com

About The Author

I am a harsh film critic with no sense of subtlety or tact. I tend to love non-mainstream films, not out of a sense of ‘rebellion’ or non-conformity but out of the sense that most of what is popular is shit and that by definition the mainstream will be MAINSTREAM and therefore useless. I am easily approachable and I love to hear feedback from people, both positive (lies) and negative (truth) so please, call me out on the stupid shit I say and do.

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