"And The Winner Is...." Oh No Not Another One!

Had your fill of award shows yet…? Wait, there’s more…!

When members of the animal kingdom succeed at something, they award themselves by cackling, strutting, beating their chests, spreading their wings. Homo sapiens like to give one another trophies. Behold the awesome arrogance of the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes, Obies, Country Westerns, the list runs on into televised perpetuity.

Nothing’s wrong with celebrating achievement, for achieving is what living is supposed to include. But really, I ask you, when do we stop….! Along with 23 ego-extravaganzas a year where entertainers entertain themselves with entertainment baubles for their entertainment resumes, come countless retirement dinners, school reunions, and doctor/lawyer/teacher/cafeteria-of-the-year celebrations. Where sometimes there are awards just for showing up.

A new zeitgeist is afoot in our fair land, starting in our school PE classes: “Everyone’s A Winner!” Good for our self-image, self-confidence, self, self and self. In fact, so much self, the concept selfless has been excised from most dictionaries. Teddy Roosevelt, Ayn Rand, George Patton, and Steve Jobs would not understand.

I don’t understand. Not because honoring our betters is wrong. Rather, because lately we have decided no one is really “better.” Not in a democracy. Not where the most uneducated, incoherent, dis-informed, bought-by-TV-ads voter can cast their ballot with as much authority as the Harvard professor, Silcon Valley entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal editor, and my highly educated and passionately informed children. Sorry.

Democracy was born in ancient Greece where the greatest Greek of them all, Aristotle, wrote: “Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.”

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  • Ayn Rand and Teddy Roosevelt in the same sentence?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You have a point! And yet who better exemplify the rugged individualist? They would surely reject today's everyone-is-a-winner thinking, wouldn't they...?

  • "Behold the awesome arrogance of the" .... Yes Jack ... the most apropos lead in .... and I feel that the delusions of grandeur of the likes of "Teddy Roosevelt, Ayn Rand, George Patton, and Steve Jobs would not understand." are truly well highlighted/grouped ... and could well be expanded upon generously from current Americans who see themselves as heroically exceptional ... even the smallest "Newt" would fit the list ...

  • Teddy was the epitome of 'rugged individualism'. Rand was the epitome of 'selfish individualism'.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Geezer ~ Sadly your Canadian POV is oh so valid. We Yanks got into this ego-habit from the get-go by beating George III, every Indian we could find, every frontier we met, right down to becoming a superpower. Power always does it thing!

    Aquinas ~ Who can argue with your assessment? Not me.

  • Actually, Teddy R. was pretty much the self-promoter and would probably feel right at home with somebody handing him the old golden "Bull Moose" award for charging up hills that didn't need charging. Teddy, a "rugged individualist", I think not. An ardent progressive with collectivist bent and a cheesy smile, yes.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Richard ~ You're holding me to a hard line here on TR, which I guess is more correct than not. Still, TR & Rand would not likely approve the everyone-is-a-winner mantra today....

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    Jack.... you're right about Teddy not wanting everybody in the winner's circle.

    Teddy would be considered right of Attila-the-Hun in today's world, not mention insensitive, a homo-phoebe, sexist and anti-critter.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    That's our Teddy...!

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