Renaissance Online Magazine Column

MARCH 2000 | VOL. 4, NO. 3



CRIS COHEN

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CRIS COHEN is a staff humor columnist for Renaissance Magazine. His work is also published weekly in three California newspapers and four online humor magazines.


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Maybe They're Not All Winners

CRIS COHEN

  Jennifer Lopez and David Duchovny at the Grammy Awards
SHOW GIRL Jennifer Lopez could have at least printed a weather map on "dress" to make her absurd outfit useful.

Recently I've seen a few awards shows, mainly because that's all they seem to be showing on television. That and the weather. Basically your two viewing options are watching people weeping over small statuettes, or looking at a large map of the United States with big, blue arrows shooting into Montana.

Eventually I'm guessing there will just be an awards show network, some cable channel where they will show awards being given out 24-hours per day. Even at 2 a.m. you'll be able to flip on the TV and see some lady clutching what looks like a deformed plumbing tool and thanking everyone she has ever met in her life -- even the man who performed extensive rectal surgery on her poodle. Because that's what award winners seem to do. They thank everyone or give their philosophies on life, which are usually very serious statements that are immediately followed by a commercial featuring a singing piece of breakfast food.

And they do this for a long time. It used to be that on an awards show when the music started playing, the award winner stopped talking. Now when the winners hear the music, they seem to think that this is a sign that they can keep going until the next presidential election. Just the other week Michele (my wife), our friend Christine (not my wife) and I were watching the Golden Globe Awards. We noticed that some people on that show had a tendency to talk for a slightly longer amount of time than it takes most women to give birth. We even flipped around to other channels, but it didn't matter. When we flipped back to the awards, it would still be the same person talking. Even if we switched over to the History Channel to watch a six hour documentary on the evolution of pie, we would return to find the same person talking.

What's really amazing is that a lot of the award winners seem to think that they're presenting new ideas. World peace for instance. Many actors and actresses tend to throw out that concept like it just occurred to them while they were wading through the back stage deli platter. Somewhere between the oven-roasted turkey and the sliced provolone they came up with the original idea that maybe people on the whole should stop killing each other. Then they moved on to the condiment selection.

This thinking -- although noble -- has some minor flaws though. For one thing, it's not a new idea. In fact, much of the planet has been working on world peace for quite a while now (at least since before Tuesday). World peace is something people think about all the time, especially if they happen to be getting on an international flight. At that moment world peace is at the forefront of their minds or is at least a close second to their curiosity about what the in-flight movie will be.

The other thing you tend to wonder about when watching an awards show is whether some of the winners and presenters know how people dress in the real world. Because it's difficult to tell. On the one hand they could be wearing outrageous outfits because they really want the attention. On the other hand they could have gotten dressed after being exposed to toxic fumes, possibly while painting in a poorly ventilated area. I'm sure any of us would put on a mangled Halloween costume too if we were trapped in a basement with large quantities of paint thinner.

However -- and I've said this before -- I think it's proof that these people don't have real friends. Real friends wouldn't let you show up to a televised event wearing a gown that was apparently made by running handfuls of fabric through a garbage disposal. If you tried to walk out the door wearing something like that, real friends might even slap you around a little bit, get you enrolled in a support group. Or if you decided to wear an outfit that was so ornate and decorated that you couldn't sit down without the help of a team of mechanical engineers, a real friend would know how to delicately tell you that you looked like something normally pulled down the street during the Rose Bowl parade.

And if some of the awards show people are going to dress that strange, their outfits should really serve a function, like letting people know what the weather is going to be. If you are really in need of attention that badly, then why not dress up as the extended three-day forecast, with big blue arrows piercing Montana?

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PHOTO: copyright © 2000 IBM and The Recording Academy.