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OMD's Pop-culture corner: Caring about the Oscars in spite of their irrelevance

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Whiplash wasn't nominated for every award? How dare you.

All of the accolades are true
All of the accolades are true
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

With the Oscar nominations fresh in our collective consciousness, initial feelings of indignation stirred before the fact that the Academy Awards are at least two full decades into being widely regarded (at the very least within critical circles, but it seems as though this goes much further) as not actually recognizing the best that the medium of film has to offer. This year's glaring snubs--The Lego Movie not getting a Best Animated Feature nomination, the glaring lack of nominations for Whiplash and Selma, which both found themselves at or near the top of most critics' year-end lists--echo what has happened in years past. The films that end up winning hardware *cough* Crash *cough* are either laughed at or soon forgotten while the ones viewed as having been slighted often ended up living on as modern classics.

The weird thing is that people, myself included, still pay attention to the Academy Awards while the awards given out in other mediums--the Emmys and Grammys specifically--are largely ignored. Objectively, we know that simply winning an Oscar doesn't validate our opinions, just like we know that whatever film we elect to champion getting ignored doesn't invalidate them, but somehow the ire still bubbles to the top when a perfectly fine if uninspired choice like The Artist or The King's Speech wins in a crowded field.

Perhaps the allure of the upper echelon of celebrity is what makes us care more about the Oscars than its sister awards. We are in the midst of a golden age in television, but it was not until very recently that big-time actors and actresses would deign to work in television after breaking into films and proving to be successful. The glitz and glamour at the Oscars simply isn't present at the Emmys. And while there are surely celebrities at the Grammys, it's not the same as the defacto Hollywood royalty that attends the Oscars. Well, that and no one really knows the difference between Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Maybe if you were in the theatre, you would care about the Tonys, but its reach is limited to such a small cross-section of the populace as to render its relevance nil.

Still, we continue caring about an award that we know doesn't matter and, worse, generally fails to recognize the best in its field, perhaps owing to some insane, unilateral allegiance to an American Royal who neither knows nor cares about us in spite of the possession of the knowledge that none of this matters.

Or maybe I'm crazy.

What are your feelings about the Oscars and awards in general? What thing do you care about despite the fact that you know you needn't give a damn about it?