Search the Site

Why We Love to Hate Awards

Obama expressed his disappointment recently when rapper Kanye West stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to protest singer Taylor Swift‘s win of the “Best Female Video” trophy. Soon after, Obama himself was Swifted by critics who felt he was undeserving of his Nobel Prize win. This process is “not wildly out of character with how awards generally work,” writes Jonathan Chait at The New Republic. He references a study published in the Journal of Wine Economics which found that “a wine that wins one competition is no more likely to win another competition than any other wine. Which is to say, wine awards are handed out completely at random. … Yet awards [in general] provide emotional responses — gratification, victimization, schadenfreude — that make the ritual perversely compelling. Understanding that the process is fatally flawed, or even corrupt, seems to do nothing to diminish its appeal.” [%comments]