Maybe it’s simply because I have access to the opinions of so many more people now through Twitter and Facebook. It’s not just my circle of friends. So maybe it was always this way. That doesn’t mean I understand it any better.
I think the last time I watched the Grammys was when I was 11. That was the year that Nevermind didn’t win. It was also the year that Van Hagar beat out both AIC and Use Your Illusion I. That was all I need to know that this was utter bullshit, and I haven’t watched any of the… well, let’s not give away how old I am but it’s a lot of Grammys that I haven’t paid on iota of attention to.
I know everything in our society has become a sporting event, and people are either winning or losing (and you thought Charlie Sheen was a loon). That you’re on one side or the other. It’s all tribal.
But to me, anything that is decided on the opinions of others is not a sporting event. That includes figure skating and gymnastics. That doesn’t mean those who partake in those aren’t athletes, because they most certainly are. But when we’re deciding winners and losers on opinions, then I don’t really care.
Especially when it comes to music, because musical tastes are so personal. The best album I got in 2016 was probably Carseat Headrest, and I’m not kicking anything over because he wasn’t anywhere near Los Angeles. I love Chance, but the best rap album I got was RTJ3. Or at least the one I liked most. I don’t give a shit if they get a trophy or not, I just hope they sell a lot of albums and tickets.
Movies don’t quite get to the extent of personal taste as music, but they do. Some prefer comedies or horror or drama or indie films. It’s not as wide of a net. Music is something that a lot of us make a part of our every day experience. They soundtrack important moments in our lives. How on Earth can you quantify that sort of thing?
I have no problem with Adele, other than even with her goddess-like voice she seems to be singing the same damn song over and over. And while I understand the arguments why she won over Beyonce and won’t dismiss them, we’re still talking about opinions.
The last thing Beyonce needs is affirmation from some nebulous group of people. Beyonce is the most influential woman in the entertainment industry. Perhaps beyond that. She’s unbelievably popular and rich. She’s probably the only person who can make the world stop by releasing a new album with no warning, unless Prince or Bowie comes back from the dead (and Bowie’s last album isn’t as good as everyone will have you believe, and I wouldn’t rule out Prince being actually able to accomplish this).
It almost feels demeaning to her, when I hear all this. Yeah, you’ve become perhaps the most accomplished singer/entertainer in history (surpassing my girl Madonna), are the most famous woman in the world arguably, but your career won’t be complete until we bestow this honor upon you? Horseshit. The one thing Beyonce isn’t, I’m fairly confident in saying, is “incomplete.” It has a ring of one of those things that would make us feel better while actually accomplishing jack and shit.
The Grammys doesn’t have its finger one what quality is anymore than my dog does. It has a sense of what’s popular, and how often do we see those things not align? What really should concern us is not whether these performers and musicians get Hollywood’s acclaim, but how many musicians we’re missing out on simply because of how hard it is to be one these days? How many just give the fuck up because you can’t make a living having your song streamed for half a cent every time, if that?
Because I’m fairly sure Beyonce is going to be ok.