Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chris Brown and Rhianna--Don't grow up and act like Adults

Chris Brown and Rhianna please do not grow up and become the adults that you've witnessed in your homes and on television.

Public fighting, arguing and jealousy related to text messaging are great fodder for episodes of The Game, and Cops--but not for accomplished, goodlookn, rich, and famous young adults who care about each other.

Now because your fight has gone public you will both appear to be idiots if you make up--even if thats what you both want. Chris you are making it very difficult for the people who made you to continue to sell you as the "clean cut boy next door." Rhianna, you are making it hard for people to believe you to be an innocent victim. Somewhere you both learned that violence was a way to solve relational issues. You are both wrong. Perhaps this can be fixed. This might be even too big for the most talented publicists to play down.

NAACP 2009 Image Awards—or Why I Hate Award Shows

The NAACP Image Awards were supposedly designed as an annual event celebrating the achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals and groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors. Bravo for an outstanding mission statement.

Can anybody explain to me how that has anything to do with placing 5 or 6 artists in a category—usually friends or folks who have a great deal of regard and respect for each others’ talents in the same industry; and deciding that one of them is the winner over the others? I’m sorry folks—but this awards process sucks which is why I hate award shows.

So I’m sure folks are asking themselves, “then why watch them if you hate them?” Good question. I’m not sure I understand why I do; suffice to say I am a glutton for self-inflicted pain. I believe also that it is a habit that I emotionally find hard to break since I am a closet actress and recording artist. I did manage to break my beauty pageant addiction when after my sixth child I stopped viewing myself as a possible audience winner. Movie stars, stage actors, TV stars and recording artists awards shows still draw me in—sucker that I am, hoping for the best but knowing that at the end I’m going to be disappointed and annoyed at the results in most categories.

Sure enough I tuned in to watch the NAACP Image Awards show and I started to get annoyed right away. Why was Jennifer Hudson given the award for Outstanding New Artist? Am I the only one who’s noticed that she is an Oscar winning actress and Grammy award winning professional singer for at least 2 years? I was under the impression that a new artist was just that—new. Also, why did she have to win three Image Awards in the same show? Why does anyone have to win two?

Three time heavy-weight champion, Muhammad Ali received the President’s Award. His song The Greatest Love of All recorded by Whitney Houston would have been an appropriate choice to dedicate to him instead of the song chosen for J-Hud to sing (which I can’t even remember the title). And to top off the segment, his wife rambled on and on about nothing of significance regarding him while his daughters looked pained in the audience watching this spectacle. I thought putting him in a big over-sized chair in the middle of a huge stage brought attention to the deterioration that is happening to him as a result of his medical affliction; and made him look old and feeble instead of like “the greatest.” The same love could have been accomplished with him sitting in the audience being serenaded or saluted instead of exploited like I feel he was. Everything that appears to be a good idea isn’t--period. I thought that segment was in very poor taste.

As far a the program hosts—Tyler Perry and Halle Berry (their names rhymed and that was cool) I thought they did okay but had no chemistry or magic between each other. That used to be the point of pairing people up, wasn’t it? Or it could be me just thinking there was ever a point in creating a duo to host a TV show or awards program? At any rate, I thought they lent nothing to the program together as hosts. By the way, I did like all five of the dresses Halle modeled. And his black on black ensemble was pretty nice too.

My favorite part of the show was the presentation of the Vanguard Award to music and business mogul, Russell Simmons. He was upstaged by his two precocious daughters. I laughed my head off at how distracting they were—especially the little one. It was sorta like how President Obama is regularly upstaged in formal and informal settings by the adorability of his two daughters, especially the little one. And I also like the poetry presentation. That segment was the highlight of the entire NAACP Image Awards show.

Before I start to appear to be a hater of the highest magnitude I’d like to explain my position and offer a simple solution to the “suckiness” of awards shows as they are currently formatted and segmented.

Since a group of people form a committee to decide who have been the top performers in every category, why can’t every artist, director, or writer who was in the top five receive an award? This would eliminate the award winning performances of the category losers having to clap extra hard and smile extra wide to fake happiness over the winner of the category. Come on people—who can be that happy that someone beat them out for an award?

Another solution would be just to gather together annually at an awards show to acknowledge excellence to specific artists in the same kinds of categories without having to insinuate that they were better than their peers or friends and colleagues who were working on totally different projects. Wouldn’t it be just as awesome a celebration of achievement without the air of competition injected in to it? The implied competition is what makes the whole process suck, in my opinion. I believe as an artist that I would derive just as much pleasure receiving recognition for my unique art or talent in a performance without having to be told that I was better than another artist who couldn’t possibly be a better me than I am, therefore should not be compared to me.

Perhaps by 2010 the NAACP Image Awards and all award shows will abandon this totally antiquated method of talent recognition so that award show fans like me will not feel nauseated and cheated to the max when the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series does not go to one of my two personal favorite comedy writers James Hannah or Ali LeRoi, but to some lesser known comedy writers whose shows aren’t funny and that I don’t even watch!