"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 6 March 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

You May Already Be A Wiener


[Awards Central]

As Grammy winners suck up "fat

lines" and Oscar nominees pick

up their designer originals from

Rodeo Drive, we thank our lucky

stars for whoever invented the

first award.



Along with a unique chance to

scout for fashion faux pas at

the ceremonies, awards give us

all of the strong opinions we

crave with none of the fuss of

having to form them ourselves.

After all, we're bored - there

are too many movies, too many

CDs, too many websites, too many

presidential candidates, too

many salsas. Consumer choice has

transformed itself from utopian

freedom to the ultimate burden.

We spend so much time deciding

between New Fresh Taste Colgate

and Tartar-Control Aquafresh, we

hardly have time to water the

begonias, let alone smell them.


[High Five]

But now that there are battalions

of experts telling us which

recording artists matter and

which websites are the funkiest,

we've got more than enough time

to suck on the dummy pipe and

tip-toe through the tulips.

Yahoo still gives us a 10-pound

dictionary when all we wanted

was a 4-color brochure; but

we've got enough awards to

warrant an entire section in

Yahoo - the Best of, the

Best of the Best, the Coolest

of the Cool, the Hottest of

the Cool, and the requisite

slew of daily and weekly

awards-generators. If only there

were a Best of the Rest.


[Published Everyday]

Think anyone with a line and time

to kill can whip up an award?

Hey, these people are experts.

Or at least dedicated. The mere

thought of pulling together the

Weekly Hot 100 Websites would

crash our browser, but

somewhere, somehow, someone's

getting paid 10 cents a word for

those reviews. We're sure they're

worth every penny.


[Digital Hollywood]

In a dizzying glimpse of infinity

we've got Awards Central. This

set of interior-facing mirrors

presents itself as a guide to

Web honors, with its weekly

award awards. And there's

Digital Hollywood, which honors

the faces behind the interfaces,

allowing Silicon Valley girls

and boys to experience the

thrill of the spotlight, the

flash of cameras, the taste of

fine hors d'oeuvres. Soon to

come: awards awarded to award

awards, professional

associations like the National

Society for Awarding Awards,

valuable titles like, "Total

Quality Awards Awarding," "The

One-Minute Web Review," and

"Reengineering the Award."



Take away our cute awards icons

and shiny gold figurines and we

have nothing to strive for -

there'd be no one to rub elbows

with over dry martinis at the

local digerati watering holes

(assuming such places existed),

no names to drop over Caesar

salads at Planet Hollywood, no

VIPs to "workshop our concepts"

with over double cappucinos, and

no reason to live in New York

City. If not for the Oscars we

might still think no one likes

Sally Field; if not for David

Lauren's Swing magazine we might

mistake Alicia Silverstone for a

pedophile poster child and not

one of "The Most Powerful

Twentysomethings in America."


[SF 49ers]

Without awards, the years would

blend together like miles of

milkweed on the featureless

landscape of our insignificant

lives. But instead, 1982 was the

year Parker Lutz won "Best

Looking" at Githens Junior High,

the San Francisco 49ers won the

Superbowl, and Survivor won

"Best Rock Vocal Performance"

for "Eye of the Tiger."



Of course, as a foraging rodent

never takes on a sharply-clawed

foe, we know better than to

question the decision makers and

their criterion - they all got

awards at one point, which is

good enough for us. Plus, they

either have intimate knowledge

of The Cool, or they're rich -

who better to show us the light?

People who live in

million-dollar stucco houses can

always get stoned. And choose

the Best Supporting Actress.


[Top 5%]

Besides, we can win, too. We can win

American AAdvantage Miles and

Marlboro Miles and the

California Lottery and the

Presidential Sports Award and

the Top 5% of Websites and the Pepsi

Challenge. Our peers in junior

high told us we were "Most

Likely to Improve," the SATs let

us know that we're well below

average, and Websight Magazine

let us know we're more

influential than Al Gore but

less influential than Glenn




We know where we stand, and we

can always try harder, smoke

more Camels, find that elusive

"R" bottlecap, bind and gag

Glenn Davis... While craving

fame may be as logical as

wearing makeup around the house

all day expecting Ed McMahon to

show up at our doorstep, that

doesn't stop us from doing both.

Deep inside, we know we're

lucky and we're special; some

day we'll have polishable goods

on the mantle to prove it - if

we don't die of lung cancer




Then again, all of us could save

the would-be arbiters of taste a

little time if we simply awarded

ourselves the appropriate award

or booby prize for every effort.

Because, in our hearts, we know

that it's we ourselves who

measure the true success of our

endeavors, not the rankings

garnered through some arbitrary

number of stars. Wow - now

that's some deep sediment. We

give it two thumbs up.

courtesy of Polly Esther