Keller @ Large: Let’s End Our Addiction To Awards

BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s face it, we are an award-obsessed society.

On the national level, there are awards for everything, close to 50 award shows for the TV and movie industries alone, along with countless sports awards. Add in a regional award culture that runs the gamut from non-profit groups honoring their person of the year to the “trophies for everyone” culture of schools and youth sports, and you have a situation where you really have to work hard not to win an award.

No doubt, most if not all of these award recipients are deserving. But somehow it was really refreshing to learn that repeated attempts by the fine folks who give out perhaps the world’s best-known awards, the Nobel Prizes, have so far failed to reach the recipient of their award for literature, Bob Dylan.

He performed live in Las Vegas the night he won the Nobel, but he didn’t mention the honor. And the Nobel committee is bracing for the possibility that Dylan won’t even show up to accept his award when they have their big event in December.

That would be consistent with Dylan’s lifelong anti-hero attitude. And maybe it will prompt some of us to rethink our addiction to this type of recognition.

Think of the extraordinary things you do in your life, the extra effort you make to help a friend or neighbor, the voluntary support you give to your community, the things you help make or build that benefit others.

Most likely, the only award you expect is a thank you, and the good feelings that come with doing the right thing.

That’s more like it.

And I hope it turns out that Bob Dylan would just as soon let his music stand on its own merit, as it should, Nobel or no Nobel.

More from Jon Keller

One Comment

  1. paul dowd says:

    Praise be to Nero’s Neptune, the Titanic sails at dawn
    Everybody’s shouting, “Which side are you on?!”
    And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot fighting in the captains tower
    While calypso singers laugh at them and fishermen hold flowers
    Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow
    And nobody has to think to much about Desolation row

  2. Tom says:

    Are you retarded? There’s “participation awards” and then there’s acknowledging meritorious achievement. Should we give up on Congressional Medals of Honor? After all, those soldiers should be happy with what they’ve done. Likely they died secure in the knowledge that they achieved something heroic. Idiot. Things like Nobel Prizes and Kennedy Awards mean something. They are handed out to (mostly) deserving individuals who’ve spent a lifetime influencing generations of others. Whining about Dylan doesn’t seem like a basis for an opinion.

  3. The Owl says:

    Are you just now coming to the conclusion that our world is awash with meaningless awards?

    And while we’re at dissing awards, how about the increasingly meaningless “halls of fame” where every year there has to be a new addition, whether or not the nominees actually hold a candle to the “honorees” that are really worthy of the fame?

    Enough already.

  4. Denmom says:

    I think it would be churlish of him not to show up and accept the award. He could give all that money to charity in lieu of being “offended”.

    1. The Owl says:

      By all accounts that I have read, Dylan tends to be quite churlish.

      But I bet he’ll cash the million dollar check when it arrives.

  5. anon says:

    A long time ago I worked for a small company, and at the annual employee party the owner would award half a toilet seat to the employee he thought was deserving of it. You guessed it – the coveted ‘Half-Ass Award.’ What an…

  6. BH says:

    If they give out an lack of Ethics Award , Jon you will be the winner .

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