Saturday, January 16, 2010

30 Years of Prestige & my 2010 Golden Globe Best Drama Pick

Hi cats and kittens.

Examining this year’s Golden Globe Awards nominations, I was given the rare gift of a personal journey in evaluating why awards are so important to me.

When I was in first grade, I won a costume contest at my town’s Halloween festival, “The Scare Fare,” hosted by Lorain, Ohio’s own Billy the Magical Clown (A drinking problem is probably redundant to mention). It was 1986, and my mother had inexplicably forgot about Halloween until that morning, so I was costume-less, (A drinking problem is probably redundant to mention). Realizing her motherly snafu, she decided to make up for it by cutting holes for my limbs in a laundry basket, and stuffing clothes all around me. With a box of detergent in hand, lipstick circles on my cheeks, and a pair of briefs on my head, I was a basket of dirty laundry. That day I was honored to get my picture in the local paper with my stepdad's tighty whities dangling over one eye (Thank god I had a stepdad). It was a victory for mom, and my first award, (I beat out trash bag cape Dracula, and a 15 year old girl with a hockey mask, and an actual cleaver.)

In the 4th grade, I received the “Presidential Academic Fitness Award.”*
*Thank you Jasenka Piljac‘s parents, for keeping his certificate. Note, then President George H.W. Bush’s signature looks like it says Gay Bush.

I hung up the framed award in my Grandfather’s basement where I had an “office,” to keep my calculator collection, my uncles old Playboys, and some CB radio equipment I worked on with my friend and fellow geek, Dougie Schneider*.

*Now it’s just Doug.

Two neighborhood boys came over one day to buy one of my CB radios. I told them that I was a “genius“, and I had a certificate signed by the President of the United States to prove it. They beat me up for bragging. My mother came running downstairs only to get pissed off when she found holes in the wall where Dougie and I hung up Playmate posters, and stabbed at their lady parts with antique ski poles, (“Genius”).

High school showered me with accolades. I was voted best Male speaker by a jury of my peers for an assigned 5 minute informative speech about Buddhism that ran for 19 minutes and 52 seconds.*

*I expounded all the plot I could remember from the Keanu Reaves’ movie “Little Buddha“.

I think I won that award by the vote of the kid scheduled to go after me.

Each day at lunch during my sophomore year, my friend Eben and I would sculpt all of our scraps and wrappers into a tall, vaguely trophy shaped cup of garbage, (“The Trashies”). We would then present this as an award to a student we really respected, (Claude Canterbury), for a reason we really, really respected, (Bitchinest Mullet). If no one accepted their “statuette”, we awarded ourselves “The Trashy” for lifetime achievement in awards.

I served on my senior class council. To hold an office on senior council, you were either nominated or wrote a letter of intent. The council had no vice president. I still hate my graduating class for not nominating me, (I am not much of a letter writer).

My senior class did however, vote me best hair.*

*Taste the vindication.

At college, the Theater School Underground Awards presented me with the prestigious award for “Most Likely To Be Late For Rehearsal Due To Masturbation.” After transferring three times, I finally graduated with "high" honors from Cincinnati State’s Nurse Aide Training Program. They did not vote me best hair.*

* Still good!

I learned something very important throughout my years of boundless success, (You did too). Sometimes you give awards, not to signify excellence, but simply to raise the esteem of the recipient, (Claude Canterbury, Bitchinest Mullet). Hollywood, is no different, often giving recognition to projects for important reasons beyond artistic merit, (Reasons to important to name). This year’s Golden Globes are no exception, and my years as an award winning laundry basket, 4th grader, award giver, masturbator, and head of hair have informed me.

My prediction for best picture drama is Precious. Every one in the privileged class of award nominator loves to laude talent they perceive as na├»ve or neophyte. It makes them feel good about themselves. This film is an inspirational portrayal about the type of person we’d like society to help, but don’t want to actually dirty our hands with. Played by an unknown minority actor who is too fat for other roles, we can revel in our goodness for giving her and her character a chance to exist in our cinematic world. Unlike Precious, I may not have been “intruded upon” (Euphemism) by my stepfather, but I did have to wear his underwear on my head, so I know what marginalization is like, and that deserves a Golden Globe. Plus, Precious is based on a book, and that makes me feel smart without even having to read (“Genius“).

Jesse Alison is a touring comedian based in Los Angeles. This year he turns 30 in poverty, performing at the HA HA House and Chuckle Hut Side Stage in Skokie.  

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