2020 and the Death of the Awards Show

Considering the Academy has just released their (unsurprisingly) white and male dominated nominations list earlier this week, I thought it was important to add my own solution to this controversial public arena – the death of the award show.

In this evolving technological age where the degree of subliminal consumption of creeds, ideologies, fantasies, and narratives would make Don Draper cum in his trousers, the public’s ownership of this media it consumes calls into question any authoritarian bodies that wish to mandate their opinions take place higher on the entertainment hierarchy than those of the avid home-viewer. However, as institutions continue to try and control audience taste through paywalls, the democratizing force that is the streaming world refuses its attempts to do so.

Despite awards shows often being grandiose and status-driven, historically they’ve served as points of connection between the film industry and the audience that paid to view it. In a period rife with unemployment and economic destitution, the American public had limited opportunities to connect to the people behind their beloved screens. Thus, awards shows not only legitimized a fantastical market by given it status but they also helped engender future sales.

Contemporary America is not so ruled by these machinations. With the democratizing factor that is invasive technology, the secrecy of the entertainment industry is no longer as apparent. Even the most amateur of filmmakers can watch a few Youtube videos and create their own deliciously crafted short-films. This coupled with the ever-increasing accusations against industry magnates for sexual harassment, embezzlement, education scandals etc… awards shows no longer hold the same glamour that they once did.

In fact, we currently bear witness to the slow dissolution of these awards shows as they try to adapt to this unstable terrain which asserts accountability before entertainment. In 2020, The Academy Awards will go without a conventional host for another year in a row and the most recent edition of the Golden Globes mistakenly relied on a previously successful veteran host to crank out jokes which would have been better served at the start of the previous decade.

Perhaps I’m being too critical of a night meant to be lighthearted and beautiful. Or perhaps by attacking the awards system, I’m circumventing having to navigate and comment on the complicated social issues rampant in the entertainment world. Either way, declining viewership and increasing participant ambivalence only helps prove my point that the season of the awards show is almost at an end.

Here’s to having 2020 be the death-date on the tombstone of the awards season.

~Megan

In Medias Res: or How I Learned to Love the Process

Procrastination is one of those ugly traits I’ve adopted into the creases of my personality and interwoven into my laundry of life so tightly that I’ve spent many a night agonizing over projects I should have finished earlier. Ironically, that includes this one as well. In contrast to many of my other childhood faux pas that I was encouraged to curb (tactlessness, the thrill of the fight, being unenthusiastic and cold in the face of opposition) procrastination was never one of them. Conversations with friends became peppered with fights over who had procrastinated the longest on an assignment – in essence, a dick measuring contest of mental concentration and fortitude. In a world where we have sublimated our ancestral desire for violent competition in the name of ‘propriety’ this is the arena we fought our battles in. And the most significant level of destruction was that of the self.

If ever there was a low-scoring power combination of personality traits it would be anxiety and procrastination. This is the professional calling card I’ve come to bear.

I’m learning to love it.

For my entire college career as my anxiety spiraled and my health declined, that one constant in my life became the crutch I needed to push aside my glaringly unresolved issues with validation through success and excuse my own detrimental behavior. I’d wrap my insecurities and guilt in platitudes like “you’ve done your best given the circumstances” even though I knew I had done far from that. Lying to myself became the best con I’d ever pulled. However, it wasn’t something I could sustain and make a life out of. Somehow, I had to pull myself out of the gutter.

So I did.

I would love to be able to tell you that I had a rock-bottom. That I failed a course or was fired from a job or lost a friendship over my unhealthy behavior. Truth is – I never did. It was entirely insignificant. I woke up one morning (having labored over months of knowing I was wallowing in a cesspool of my own insecurities and not knowing how to stay afloat) and decided I needed to do better.

Simply put, instead of fighting against the anxiety and fear fueling my insecurities about self-worth amid my peer’s successes, I took that little anxiety bitch and gave it a kiss and said “we’re gonna do this whether you like it or not, so buckle the fuck up.”

And we did.

I stopped waiting for someone to give me permission to do better, and I stopped beating myself up over having fucked it up this far.

I started exercising every day to help with my anxiety and better my health. I cut out most of the sugary shit I had been eating just to feel satisfied. I applied to graduate school. I took it upon myself to stop saying “tomorrow” to projects I wanted to do, and to say yes to more things.

Basically, I’m living a life entrenched in that awful feeling people who lean on procrastination intimately know – being in the middle of things. I’m slowly coming to terms with the idea that life is a process that you never reach the ending of, and you can either live it entirely hoping for the grand finale or you can embrace living in medias res.

The moral of the story – at some point I said to myself that I deserve it to myself to do better and to be better. You can too.

Becoming Comfortable with Failing

In true millennial fashion, Guilu and I are here to explore the most uncomfortable of tasks – becoming comfortable with failing. Join us as we try out new projects, spill our frustrations with the world around us, and always come back to the same conclusion that any output is good output! Here we are hoping to inspire ourselves in 2019 to create without inhibition and to hold each other accountable when either of us falls prey to inaction. Hopefully you’ll join us along the way.