Monday, February 11, 2008

To the winners, whoever they are, the spoils.

Zadie Smith sinks teeth into book awards - it is about the world of literature, but applies pretty much everywhere.

I've won a few. Lost more than I care to think on. But it's certainly hard these days to think of many that are judged purely on merit, without soem agenda creeping in.

Awards are, like most things these days, are merely products of an industry whose prime motivation is its own survival and the interests of those who work within it or feed off it to survive.

Winning is nice (and useful) if you are a winner. Not so great if you don't. But those nominated andhence competing are essentially irrelevant. It is the process, more than anything, that drives the system, rather than the product (though to some remoras, sorry, reporters, controversy can extend the period they can suck the life out of the topic).

So it is refreshing to say the least, if necessary to avoid accusations of sour grapes, to find a winner rather plainly stating it like it is.

Which, with luck, may briefly make for uncomfortabel reading for those who are paid way too much and have much more influence than they deserve, simply for being in the industry rtaher than contributing anything worthwhiel to it.

But though flawed, I see no hope for improvemnt, and hence the real winners will continue to be those nowhere near the podium.

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