Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meanwhile in circle jerk circles -OR- We're #1!

In the end, it's all petty stuff. Awards! I have a smattering; dust-coated, mostly subjective testaments to whimsy that remind me that some people get off on giving awards. Honorable mention? Stop the presses!

I suppose the good news is that there are more than enough to go around. Kinda like chairmanships in Congresscritter Land? "I'd like to thank my esteemed fellow chairs for bestowing upon me the chair of the subcommittee..."

Who reports? Who decides? What does any of it mean? Recognition is nice and all, sometimes recognition is accompanied by a monetary reward for a given award. Still,
in the annals of anals, where do the gala luncheons, brunches and award dinners rank?
Have you ever watched the local Emmy awards? That's where local tv really shines.
"The award for best coverage of blood-soaked senseless local tragedy goes to..."
Complete with acceptance speechifying. "I'd like to thank the victims of this heinous accident and their loved ones for providing such compelling answers to my "How are you feeling?" question. I was but one of many intrepid field reporters who encircled the scene, but I got the money quotes!"

I don't seek to diminish actual accomplishment or validation of tireless efforts to do a job well. Only to remind that the degree to which awarding of award drives one's efforts should never rise to a prime motivation.

Yeah, fine, so what prompted this little revelation? Was it the Preznit's Nobel?
Please, nothing so trite. No, I was set off by the Illinois Press Awards in general, and our little weekly's triumphs in the best Small Town News categories. In particular the award for school coverage and one judge's comment that " "Articles are well-written and the issue is thoroughly covered." concerning the paper's reporting on goings-on at our toxic wasteland high school. Thorough coverage? Really?
Illuminating the dark recesses of the pay to play, patronage laden, sham of a school that dwells at the bottom of the bottom tier schools? With dismal graduation rates and test scores, neglected, forgotten and abandoned but still sitting atop a $80 million a year vend-o-matic? The issue that was so thoroughly covered was the school board's vote to pay the board president's legal costs incurred for his activities as an anonymous blogger for which he is being sued for slander and libel. Through the discovery process he was unmasked as the author who used the blog to praise himself and marginalize anyone who spoke out against his reign. But that part of the issue wasn't covered. Only the board's decision to foot his bills. 1st Prize!

I've lost my lunch and don't see myself eating again; near term.

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