Sunday, October 11, 2009

Is Paris burning?

So, how about those awards then? What a week it was: not only did President Obama get the Nobel Peace Prize but Ladyhawke won six Tuis at the New Zealand Music Awards. And the Nobel Prize for Literature was won by somebody we have never heard of, let alone read; so, nothing remarkable there.

Mr President getting the award is truly remarkable. I think it safe to say that this is the biggest prize for trying in the history of award-making. President Obama, who has been Mr President for less than a year (during which time he has failed to stop the two wars in which his forces are involved), has made it known that he wishes the world to have no nukes. Towards this end he has

  • made a speech in Prague
  • overseen the passage of a resolution at the UN
  • made another speech, to the Security Council
  • negotiated with the Russians
  • called for a summit.

Commendable though these efforts surely are, they have not resulted in the reduction of a single nuclear weapon. They may yet, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, two hopeless wars, which the United States of America are losing, have come no closer to an end. It is not much to write home about, is it? Yet the Nobel committee (perhaps tiring of making the award to the UNHCR for the want of anybody else) has gone all dewy-eyed about Mr President. Of course, when one considers that the roll for this particular award includes the likes of Begin, Arafat and Kissinger, we can at least take comfort in the fact of this year's winner not being a mass-murderer.

Then there is Ladyhawke. Who she, you might ask? Well, she had a hit single Overseas, and that counts for a lot round these parts. So they gave her awards for album and single of the year, international achievement, best female solo artist, breakthrough artist of the year and best dance/electronica album. She will now never be heard from again.

I suppose this is what happens when voting is done by a bunch of industry insiders who call themselves the Academy. They vote for mainstream middle of the road acts with just a touch of cultural cringe. Your correspondent, who is a few years older than the target demographic for this sort of music, had difficulty keeping awake while reading the nominations. It is music like this that keeps me out of shopping malls.

And finally, the Nobel Prize for Literature went to Herta Müller. No, me neither.

The Dead C


Will de Cleene said...

The Chemistry and Physics Nobels were something else entirely. Rewards for ribosome work and CCDs respectively.

I just hope Timothy Geithner doesn't get the Economics prize.

Paul said...

Yes, thank you for mentioning Chem and Phys.

I might have been a little unfair. Many of the writers awarded have been pretty good; but quite a few just make me shrug.

fifi said...

Stumbled across your post. Sitting at my desk here in the US and wanted to share with you the brilliant Rachel Maddow's response to some people's responses to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize: I think she puts it into perspective perfectly...

Paul said...

Thank you for sharing, and for stumbling.