Friday, February 8, 2013
Adult Participation Awards
I was sitting quietly this weekend attempting to come up with a topic suitable for a weekend rant, and decided at some point to do a bit of channel surfing in in attempt to find something to distract myself from the temporary lack of creativity from which I was suffering. Five minutes and some 100 channels later, all I could think to myself was, "You lousy bastards!"
You know who you are. It's you timeout giving, namby-pamby can't keep score for T-ball game, let alone paddle or raise your voice to your ill-behaving rug rats that I'm talking about. If all of that wasn't bad enough however, it was you bunch of bachelor's degrees in underwater basket-weaving cretins who decided that awarding only those who succeed might hurt the itty bitty little feelings of your attentioned-starved crumb crunchers. In order to nuture their already overblown self-esteem therefore, we must instead give everybody who showed up to play a 'participation trophy'. Well I hope your happy now.
Take a hard look at what your plastic handout nurturing has done to the world ... or at least the mid-season line up for television shows on the cable networks, if you want to see the results of your folly. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Bubba, Goober, and Billy Bob now thinks they deserve to be the star their own show if they're willing to act like a self-willed two year-old when the cameras are running (unless you're Honey Boo Boo, in which case you have to be six). Of course if you don't see a gender role or level of immaturity that fits you, have no fear. Maybe instead you'll get yours if you can be a selfish, spoiled, rich bitch; living a life in any major city around the country in such style as would make you the envy of many; or would if you weren't such poorly disguised trailer trash, flaunting your lifestyle and then having round table discussions on your lack of taste, humor and maturity.
But hey, if you can't get your prize by the lifestyle you lead, maybe some obscure form of employment might get you the trinket you're looking for ... just because you're special. Maybe you can make your living buying the crap that somebody left behind in a storage container and sell it to somebody else for a lot of money. Perhaps you can be a star instead if you drive from place to place in rural areas and steal stuff that a from illiterate hoarders with barns full of antiques that you can purchase for as little as possible, so that you can make an obscene profit by reselling them to a bar or restaurant that the rich chicks and their families can have expensive dinners at, while calling them 'quaint'.
Don't want to waste your time traveling the road for fun and profit ... no problem. You can instead bake cakes, be an exterminator, give tatoos, or act like an idiot while trying to catch alligators (or turtles for that matter). Maybe instead you can buy, sell, or repair guns (even evil semi-automatic ones); or catch seafood in the form of tuna or crab, swordfish or lobsters. If you can't catch and kill animals for the table, maybe you can get a gig on a new show that will explore the interesting and exciting lives of the taxidermists (mounting dead animals for display). Don't worry, in today's world we award the trophies of cable shows aplenty no matter what it is you do for a living; especially if you can turn yourself into someone seen as a colorful character when the spotlight is shining on you (you know, psychotic).
I know that instead, Reality shows have been blamed (by me in fact) on the almost complete lack of creativity in what could laughingly be called modern entertainment; but from another perspective, all of this could also be construed as participation awards on the part of writers, directors, and producers. It's certainly an easy enough conclusion to draw from the constant stream of B-movie knock offs and barely updated TV shows turned into movies (and vice-versa). You know the list, from "The Longest Yard" to "The Magnificent Seven" (which is itself a remake of "The Seven Samurai"); from "The Brady Bunch" and "Starsky and Hutch", to "The A-Team" and "Charlie's Angels". I didn't mind it so much when they were giving the starring roles in these tawdry productions as participation trophies to actors like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson (who unfortunately, keep showing up), but now they've managed to convince actors with real skills to participate in these cinematic circle-jerks (shame on you Liam Neeson).
And lest we forget, there's always the shows like "American Idol". Don't get me wrong, some of these people have real talent, but not nearly enough of them apparently to make these shows run a full season. So instead of being regaled with top-notch performances, we're tortured by those who won a Kareoke contest that they were the only ones to participate in. Instead a talent, we're insulted by those who've received so many participation awards that they think they must have talent as a consequence. Worse yet, we're 'nuclear optioned' with contestants so hideous that they're rewarded by a rebroadcast of their train wreck performance (something so horrible you can't turn away) as their particpation trophy.
So I hope you're happy now that instead of stringing together some literary pearls of wisdom, I am instead forced to castigate you bunch of New-Age, "We Are The World" singing, modern math morons. I hope that you're enjoying it now that your once self-absorbed rug rats have come into full bloom as the narcissistic, egocentric snobs you always hoped for ... thanks in large part to all the useless plastic hardware that you've buried them in over the years. I pray that you take great comfort not only in the fact that your participation trophies have proved an unnecessary bolstering of their already bloated self-esteem in most cases, but have created a number of ill-tempered, uncontrollable, and useless mirror watchers masquerading as adults. In fact, I can't help but be curious if you now realize that your counter-productive trinket ceremonies have not only done more harm than good to those involved, but that you tree-huggers also recognize that the useless symbols you insisted upon are now incapable of even being properly recycled.
And as you contemplate the years of particpation award child-rearing you engaged in, I hope that you enjoy your high-priced cable menus and the useless Adult Participation Awards that consitute the only alleged entertainment available on them. Crap! I hope they're showing reruns of "Downton Abbey" tonight.