Emmy Awards, Bread and Games for the TV World

Emmy Awards, Bread and Games for the TV World
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There are several award shows that are deemed essential in the world of entertainment, in the United States there are the Academy Awards awarded for excellence in film industry achievements, the Grammy Awards for music, the Tony Awards for the Theatre and the Emmy Awards for the television industry. Since that these are American awards, the rest of the world is largely ignored, although in some degree UK productions seem to be accepted, because they are in English. Anyway, the Emmy Awards were first awarded in 1949, when the TV broadcasting was still just starting up, colour TV was far away and the world was still rebuilding and recovering from the WWII.

Emmy Awards are most known for the Primetime Emmys, but there are also the Daytime Emmys, awards honoring national news and documentary shows, national sports programming, business and financial reporting, as well as technological and engineering achievements in television. The international Emmys do seem to feature a dozen of countries other than the UK, but it remains to be seen how many people actually know such a thing exists, like the international Emmys. In Europe, including the UK, awards shows do exist, like the BAFTA awards and the Berlinale, yet the immense popularity and production extent of American shows are never achieved.

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Thinking about the sense behind the entertainment industry giving their own people awards for making entertainment requires a lot of musing about, particularly when you come to the conclusion that movies and actors the broad public like the most never seem to get any awards. For instance, Meryl Streep, the actress, was nominated for an Oscar, or Academy Award, 19 times and won 3 times. Can you name at least five of her movies? How about Daniel Day-Lewis, who won 3 Oscars, he has over twenty movies in his listing, can you name five? What about James Stewart, the legendary actor from “It’s a wonderful life”, can you name ten out of his almost 100 movies and short films? He did only get one Oscar and chances are that you have no idea for which movie.

Most of the Emmy winners you most certainly do not know by name, and many you would not know even if someone would show you a headshot. What purpose do these awards have, other than self-congratulation and people honouring themselves for taking the game of pretend and turning it into an art form? Already in 100 A.D. the poet Juvenal in his Satire X coined the phrase panem et circenses, which describe the need of the masses for superficial means of appeasement. Distraction that was invented to divert the attention of the masses from the happenings in the real world, becoming the real world by itself – hiding the truth in plain sight, only blurred by mock-ups and diversions, daily means of brain-washing the public, inserting agendas and pushing the sales pitch for the latest gadgets.

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