So I was watching the recent Grammy awards show, off and on while doing some other things, when I felt an overwhelming urge to double check the listings and make sure this wasn’t a rerun of a Democratic national convention. What, exactly, was going on with this awards show?
First, there’s Ludacris, a talented and extremely crude rap artist who has come under scrutiny from Bill O’Reilly about his lyrics. I’ve heard what these guys say in their music. Inappropriate doesn’t even begin to describe it, especially when you consider that the market for this stuff is black teens. Ludacris isn’t any different than any other gangster rapper, except that he had a major corporate sponsorship in Pepsi. O’Reilly pointed out to the Pepsi people what kind of music this guy makes, and Pepsi pulled their sponsorship. That’s the background. So, after being nominated multiple times in the past, finally Ludacris wins a Grammy – and he affectionately thanks Bill O’Reilly in his acceptance speech.
Then, there are the Dixie Chicks. They released their first album since their comments about the President Bush in 2003 that drew a lot of criticism. The album sales failed to meet expectations, and concert ticket sales were anemic – many dates were cancelled. It seems their country music fan base have exercised their freedom of commerce and decided to no longer support the Dixie Chicks. And so the music industry rewards their anti-Bushism with 5 Grammy awards and shows all those silly hick country music fans just how dumb they are for rejecting the Dixie Chicks. Now, I ask, is this because their album was that much better than the competition, or because of politics? Remember, they can’t win awards at the country music awards show (were they even nominated at the CMAs?), but the Grammy folks think this album is extraordinary(and,yes, I realize the CMAs may be political as well). What’s going on in this country? Can’t we have a simple awards show without politics getting involved? I’ve heard their song "Not Ready to Make Nice" which is basically a jab at their critics and it aint that good. Not to say the Dixie Chicks aren’t talented, they very much are, but 5 Grammy Awards? Come on. The timing is a little suspect. After the first 3 awards, it became obvious that the voters were making a statement – even the Chicks said so themselves. Great. And so our deep political division has now invaded the pinnacle of the music industry, and the credibility of the Grammy’s has now plummeted. I was waiting for a new category "The Greatest Album Ever Recorded or Sung or Played or Heard in all Mankind’s Eternity and History of the Universe Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever Infinity". And the winner is? The Dixie Chicks!
But who got the loudest ovation of the night? Was it Smokey Robinson? Lionel Richie? Don Henley? No. It was Al Gore. That’s right, crazy Al makes an appearance and gets more applause than anyone else even though he has absolutely nothing to do with the music industry and probably sings about as well as a German Sheppard getting neutered. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. This was not an awards show as much as it was a progressive "feel-good" convention. I’m surprised Carrie Underwood’s "Jesus Take the Wheel" wasn’t edited for inappropriate content. If this is any indication of things to come, then I won’t be watching the Oscars. They’ll probably perch Gore atop a golden throne and bow down to him with chants of worship as the god of global warming. No thanks.
Here’s an award for you: The Lamest Music Awards Show. Nominees anyone?