This past Saturday my little town had a really fun party with lots of pizza and schmoozing, the evening culminating in the presentation of the coveted Azalea Awards. As an award show it was a total hoot. The funky local band accompanied winners on their journey through the auditorium to the stage, and there were even thank-you speeches. It was all tongue in cheek and sincere at the same time. No gift bags, though – I was nominated for the Environmental Leader award, so I’d know if nominees cashed in. And there were plenty more categories, like Educator, Coach, Volunteer of the Year, and Cultural Event.
So the Azaleas aren’t about gardening, but were named in honor of the town’s signature plant. The National Arboretum’s primary hybridizer lived here and even people with a personal distaste for the plant are proud of the town’s collection.
But here’s something I especially liked. None of last year’s winners were eligible in this, the second year of the award program. Instead, they announced the 2007 winners, just like previous years’ winners do at the Oscars, so they were recognized all over again, while helping to recognize and honor someone else.
By contrast, consider the Emmy Awards. Like websites and blogs, TV shows continue from year to year basically unchanged and some good shows win year after year and some tired old shows continue winning, too. And when the likes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Third Rock" win year after year, what good has the damn award done at all? I know I’ll be getting angry comments from Raymond-lovers but even if the wonderful "Ugly Betty" won again next year I’d feel the same way.
Where is this going? To the Mouse&Trowels, of course, and how they might work next year. Colleen has asked readers for ideas and some new categories have been suggested – Best New Blog and Best New Site. Sounds good, and what about having new winners in every category? Discuss among yourselves.
*For the generationally challenged, long ago during another war there was a song called "War, (grunt), what is it good for?"