In the early to mid 90s I was an avid filmgoer. Whether I watched them in the theatre or as a rental from Blockbuster I wanted to see as many movies as I could; and reading about them added to the wish-list of movies to see. As such, I watched the Oscars every year for a number of years, and, like others like me, I had my opinions about which winners were wrong and right. C’mon, Crash winning Best Picture in 2005, hello, Academy, what are you smoking? I won’t even get into Emmys, Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards (how the heck was Jeremy better than Livin’ On the Edge?) or, why does it even exist, MTV Movie Awards. I pretty much disagreed with a fair amount of the winners over the years.
But awards being given to the wrong “winner” aren’t limited to the performing arts community. Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is often way off base. I’m a pretty politically conservative guy, but selecting President Bush over Alexandra Scott in 2004 was a total bomb by that magazine. If you don’t already know, “Alex” Scott was the little girl who started Alex’s Lemonade Stand. She was truly a shining beacon whose light was extinguished far too soon. I consider myself lucky to have my health, and especially healthy children. I have no idea what a family must go through knowing that the end may be right around the corner. In her short eight years on Earth, Alex managed to build a movement and raise so much money for childhood cancer. She accomplished so much, and handled her sickness with a grace far beyond her young years. When she passed away in 2004, Time should’ve given the nod to her and not GW, but their track record was never good to begin with.
One award that usually doesn’t completely miss the mark is the Nobel Peace Prize – even though there are often better candidates to pick winners from. They pretty much hit the nail on the head awarding half of the prize to Malala Yousafzai. Not to take away anything from the vast lifetime of accomplishments and efforts of her co-winner, Kailash Satyarthi, this young woman is an amazing person to continue fighting like she is. To continue to fight for the rights of girls to get an education, among other things, after being shot by the Taliban (she’s still a target to many in that region) shows a tremendous amount of chutzpah. I don’t think I could show such bravery in a similar situation; not many can. I hope and pray for her safety and continued resilience in her battle for justice. She’s an amazing young woman and certainly a deserving recipient of the Nobel.
Thank you to the Nobel selection committee for getting it right!