"Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked." - Ralph Ellison
Who Gives a Shit?
by Brandon Halsey
For the record, I watched zero percent of the 2019 Grammy's. Why you ask? Well, partly, because I listened to exactly none of the music featured in the telecast. But mostly, because, who really gives a shit about what Drake has to say?
After looking at the list of winners, I know just two songs, Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. And I only knew that song because I watched the movie from where the song originated, A Star is Born. And the other song I regrettably know is Drake's God's Plan, of which, I do not know any of the lyrics, can't recall the actual beat and mostly detest anything that Drake guy does. But my understanding of Drake is that I understand his popularity is beyond enormous and I don't fucking get it. Which is how I feel about 94% of the people featured at the Grammy's.
With Lady Gaga however, I am a fan of the movie and the song in which she was nominated for (in multiple different award shows across both platforms of entertainment). But I could care less how either one finishes in their respective award "winner" category. Lady Gaga is probably responsible for putting together my favorite halftime performance at the Super Bowl. But still, I can't say with certainty, that I understand Lady Gaga, because I don't understand what makes popular culture popular.
For me, the real Lady Gaga is the lead female character Ally from A Star is Born. Yet, that can't be true because the movie is fiction, in its fifth installment, of a story multiple generations have enjoyed. But it's a real and raw version of the Lady Gaga I sort of assumed was her actual journey to success. Then she shows up at the 2019 Grammy's and throws together a questionable performance that felt like every previous performance that inherently elevated her career - using a song so deeply genuine and human from a scripted career - which was most likely planned that way from the very start of A Star is Born production. The point is, it's impossible to ever know a celebrity, which makes it absurd to care about what awards they win.
I used to care, by the way. There was a time when I would throw an award "watch party" with a few close friends. I would get beer and wine and hors d'oeuvres and there would always be that one friend decidedly upset when his or her favorite movie didn't win 'Best Picture.' At the top of my head, I can even think of a few times when I was aggravated with a winner because I thought my favorite movie for that year was the BEST movie, and that's not necessarily how it works. The perils of such a loss pales in comparison to the feeling of a typical football Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys lose. But it still sucked, nonetheless.
And now there's this me, a guy who doesn't see the value of award shows and celebrities and the endless pandering to empty American audiences obsessed with paid pretenders. I respect the craft and creativity of acting, writing and directing. I have many favorite TV shows and movies but when it comes to who they're wearing, what they think about politics and the world and who they're dating, I just don't give a shit.