March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

There’s something about election season that gives me a little thrill. I’m not at all a pundit or a wonk. I couldn’t tell you who won which states last election, or even last week. It’s not so much the minutiae that gets me as it is the general idea of judgment being passed.

I can’t be alone, though. Much of the reality show industry involves people being judged on their appearance or their skills. We viewers aren’t interested in seeing a bunch of talented people make cupcakes. We want to see a bunch of talented people make cupcakes and then ranked in order. The whole “We’re all winners” idea is for people who came in second.

It sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

Same goes for awards shows. The real honor isn’t the nomination. It’s holding that statue in front of 50 million people while remarking that you really didn’t expect this but here’s a speech you had typed up just in case. It’s cool. We get that the other nominees were just as good as you were. We get that you won the award and you’re pleased as punch. It’s okay.

Is the need to rank things a survival skill remnant from our days of prioritizing natural threats? Are we constantly making lists because our ancestors did the same, except instead of “string cheese, baby spinach, and fudgsicles,” they had “corn mush, buffalo, and grass”? I couldn’t say.

(If that list is at all accurate, I bet our ancestors would be right at home in a Whole Foods.)

Is our polite applause for award winners just a latter day version of the Coliseum’s thumbs-up? I sure hope so. That leaves open the possibility that someday wild animals will be set on the losers.

(If the next time you write your grocery list your mind goes to Kardashians being chased by elephants, that’s all me. Sorry.)

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: