Some time ago I stopped watching awards programs on network television because of the shift in the narratives that have been permitted. Back at the inception of such programs as the Oscars, the CMAs and the others, the intention of the platform was to celebrate the achievements of the movies and music makers. Not so anymore.
While I don’t go as far back as some think I do, I remember the days when you could watch these awards shows and actually get lost in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, find some educational value in back stories of the making of the films that were award-winning for that year and, at least for a while, leave all the trials and tribulations of everyday life and news behind. Today, if you’re brave enough to watch, you witness a continuation of political news and views, temper tantrums from a select few who don’t agree with who just won an award and many who have an over inflated false sense of self-importance who are not even talented enough to portray someone who can hide such childish behavior. If all that isn’t bad enough, for the next week or so, we endure the rehashing of the painful details of it all.
While pondering such events over the weekend, I became aware of the more important things in life. Those things that shape our everyday lives. Those things that impact how we interact with one another. Those events that dictate and display how we co-exist with one another.
My wife brought to me something she found on local social media that made me realize that those things of national and international political significance are miniscule in our everyday lives, and that our focus is much better spent on events in our own backyard. For example, a person advertised a set of dentures for sale. If just that idea was tantalizing enough, the back story stated that they were for sale only because they belonged to a relative who owed them money! I don’t wear dentures, and I almost called to learn more. I would have been interested to know how did they managed to pry them from the relative’s mouth to offer them for sale, or how that relationship deteriorated to that point? At last, something truly important in this world, and we opt to watch the Oscars?
Tragically, last week there came news from the Mason area that a fourth grade girl was diagnosed with the flu and strep throat and passed away later that same day. That is important. Later in the week, a friend of my 8-year old granddaughter was reported to be ill with the flu, and my granddaughter would not rest until her mother called to be certain her little friend was alright. That kind of caring is important.
A man in Louisiana was arrested after being discovered hiding under a bed wearing a gorilla costume. Now that is important! So many questions. Is it illegal to wear a gorilla costume? Is it illegal to wear a gorilla costume and hide under a bed? Is it illegal to wear a gorilla costume and hide under someone else’s bed? I’m interested.
A court recently decided that a man was not fit to be granted a firearms permit after his dog shot him with a rifle (for real)! Again, I’m interested. So much to learn.
One of the alluring factors of the entertainment industry, at least for me, has been the ability to “get lost” and “escape reality” if even for a brief moment in its product. However, when I tune in hoping to find that brief escape and I find more of what I am trying to escape, the sizzle fizzles out.
During an interview back in the early ’70s, Elvis Presley was asked his views on war protesters and his response was, “I’d prefer to keep my personal views to myself, I’m just an entertainer, and I would rather not say.” Perhaps today’s entertainers and the entertainment industry could learn what’s really important from one of the truly great performers. But then again, the writers on the awards shows would have to really write, and the performers and actors being celebrated would really have to perform or act. What a novel idea.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at www.HerbDayVoices.com.