When Narcissists Win Grammys

We watched the Grammys last night.  The Grammys might also be called, “The Music World’s Parade of Narcissists“.  We watched to see the artists we like, but as the spectacle continued, we became annoyed by the display of glitz and the embarrassing acceptance speeches.  The extravaganza took on all the fascination of a train wreck.  We felt compelled to watch to see which Narcissist would attempt to out-do the other Narcissists.

It was painful, hilarious, disgusting, and not in the least entertaining.  Just what do the Grammys have to do with music?

At the risk of sounding like I’m channeling my grandma when she watched the debut of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, I have to wonder, what do baggy pants have to do with entertainment?  The station had to block the sound on half of the lyrics “sung” by Eminem and his bad-ass buddies.  Is this music worthy of any awards?

At one point Jenny said, “Why don’t they wear regular clothes, stop acting so weird, and just sing?”  Will noticed that the audience wasn’t clapping very enthusiastically, and said, “I think they’re only clapping to be polite.”  What part of the Elton John/ Lady Gaga spectacle was entertaining?  Maybe it was a fine display of marketing and packaging in an attempt to sell more CDs, but I’m not rushing out to buy anything based on what I saw, and I like Elton John.

Check out the lyrics for the Black Eyed Peas’, ‘Imma Be’.  The only line missing is, “Imma Be a Narcissist.”

In typical narcissistic fashion, most of those “entertainers” are so convinced of their fabulousness that they figure we will admire anything they do.  They wear whatever, do whatever, say whatever, and zillions are awed by their very existence.  They simply appear and throngs fall to the ground in adoration.

The Grammys are an excellent example of the pervasiveness of narcissism in our culture.

Never mind good taste, good manners, and actual talent – just get out there and impress us with your bling, your boob job, your underwear, and your bad language.  How many notice the fact that these artists only sound good when their CD has been mixed and re-mixed?

I’ll probably tune in again next year.

There is something fascinating about watching narcissists on parade.  I’m always amazed at the lengths they’ll go to in order to stay on top of the sleazy heap.  Their complete lack of pride mystifies me.

I can’t help thinking that the whole Grammy Awards production is a complete waste of money.  How about donating all the money that debacle must have cost?  Apply those dollars to the national debt, or send it to Haiti, or better yet, start another government program.  Let’s start a new program that teaches young people how to pull ear phones out of their ears when in polite company, or how to pull their pants up where they belong.  I’m sure those kids just need a little direction, since their parents are preoccupied with their own narcissistic pursuits.

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  1. Your last paragraph reminds me of a trip Dave and I took through Las Vegas to Los Angeles. I’ve always been stunned by the extravagance in LV; but, it never struck me as it did that particular time. It was summer, and extremely hot. After spending the night, we wanted to leave early in the morning while it was relatively cool. Because of the hour, the streets were as quiet as it probably ever gets in that city. We drove past one of the gargantuan, glitzy hotels with its fountains climbing nearly as high as the building itself. We talked about the obscenity of that much money being spent on show, glamor, entertainment of the masses, all of which could come at a far smaller price tag. Just then, we saw true obscenity: only two or three blocks from that hotel, practically in its shadow, was a bus bench. On it was a sleeping man, ragged, hair stringy and dirty, a couple of coats pulled over him. Parked next to him was his grocery cart piled with all his belongings. An emblem of all the invisible have-nots of the world parked in the shadow of raging, narcissistic selfishness. I still shed a tear now and then over that image.


  3. Have you ever thought of writing a book? Almost everyone does — but yours I would actually read. I would devour every word. In the meantime, I am fascinated with your many astute observations. You have definitely walked the walk. I am in awe of you and your words. They are so true and obviously sincere.

  4. Oh YEEHA! Well said, as usual.

    I’ve never heard of any awards show being labeled as a “Parade Of Narcissists” but that is exactly how it is. [It won’t be the last time either, cuz I’m going to make sure word gets around! :) ]

    I would expand this concept to the entire entertainment industry, be it movies, music or TV.

    It bothers me that we are expected, whether its because of the hypnosis of advertising or the bombardment of a PR machine, to know who these people are. Who CARES??

    When my local news has celebrity pieces, you’ve got to know that things have spiraled out of control.

    And you can recognize the nauseousness of hype when you hear it, if you’re listening and you’re wise enough. How many times has a movie (or TV show) had ‘buzz’, and when you went to see it, it was an absolute and complete POS?

    It’s like water torture….one slow drip at a time, your will power and individuality get sucked out of you.

    I don’t listen to them any more. And my life is much more peaceful.

  5. And I will add politicians to that list.

    Book reviews usually serve the same purpose as movie reviews. Entice us to read, tease us with the good stuff, but the substance isn’t always there.

  6. Yes, that’s really true, but I think one of the huge problems in the recording “industry” is that it seems to be entirely controlled by narcissistic middlemen. These are the people who know nothing whatsoever about music but instead focus on packaging and advertising, and on making as much money as possible from the artists in the smallest amount of time. These are the people who dictate who makes it and who doesn’t.

    They have a stranglehold over recording contracts and PR, and when an artist does “make it”, they are then ruthlessly controlled by the record company if they don’t want to be dropped like yesterday’s dirty socks. So the only artists who make it through are the people willing to put up with this treatment – it’s a kind of automatic narc-filter which only lets the shallowest and most commercial through.

    None of it has anything to do with music any more. Can you imagine what Hendrix would have made of this situation? (heh, he probably would have burned something). As soon as you try to make music an “industry”, this is what you get. Ditto with movies. No creativity or spontaneity at all – that terrifies the narcs because it’s uncontrollable and doesn’t make any money.

    Great post.

  7. Mojo Girl,

    Thanks for writing. It’s the egos of the narcissists that help them rise to the top, putting them in the perfect place for making all those crappy decisions about music, movies, television news, fashion. We could go on and on.

    I was recently talking with someone about Patsy Cline, and the quality and clarity of her voice, and how weird it is to think she sang like that without all the engineering that goes in to producing today’s music. I gotta think she’d have been a bit like Hendrix – she wouldn’t have put up with it either.

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