Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Showbiz Awards

What other business seems to spend all its time inventing awards for itself and then throwing great parties to announce the winners and tell us how good they are? When will, for example, the Institution of Electrical Engineers (or whatever it calls itself these days) start to give awards for the "Electrical Engineer of the Year" with all the surrounding publicity? It could be divided into quite a few categories from Computer engineers (3 categories, software, hardware & peripherals), Systems engineers (probably dozens of categories), Power generation and transmission (even more categories) and of course the best committee chairman.
Does this sound ridiculous, if so why?
The recent self congratulatory Grammy Awards [here] had something around a hundred and twenty winners in different categories, most of whom I'd never heard of. I don't know how long the ceremony took, but allowing a minute for each person to go and collect his/her award it would take two hours for them to parade past. Rather like when my daughter collected her degree at LSE, rather boring except for just one person's appearance!
Then we had the Golden Globes awards, I've no idea what they were all about.
Now we have the Oscars. Here they manage to get double publicity, once by announcing the nominees (which apparently is a great honour!) and then by having a separate awards ceremony. There are many more to come - The Variety Club ShowBiz Awards, BAFTA Awards, the list seems never ending. [See here] And that's without starting on the British list.
All these seem to merit prime time TV coverage and headlines in the media giving great publicity to people who are just doing their chose job and in most cases being paid very well for it. And in the UK, many of them seem also to end up with honours awarded by the government in the name of the Queen.
Perhaps it is that in Britain and America we prefer to live in this make-believe world. In Victorian times they did celebrate great engineering and similar achievements. Huge parties were held to mark the opening of major projects; engineers, scientists etc became major public figures because of their achievements.
Am I the only person to feel that we've gone wrong somewhere?

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