And the award for gratuitous box ticking goes to…

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Awards season is finally over and whether it was the Oscars, the BAFTAS, the Globes, the Grammys or the Brits, they all came in for the same criticism over a lack of equality, whether it was not enough women, not enough ethnic diversity or not enough LGBTQ+ whatever other letter you want to add this week.

Given the politics involved in the awards mentioned above, I could easily be accused of naivety in suggesting that these trophies are supposed to be judged on quality regardless of the director’s sex, the artists’ gender or anyone’s ethnicity.

Surely, unless that is the only criteria, why bother?

I can maybe see an argument for Greta Gerwig deserving an Oscar nomination for directing Little Women, but apart from that, while celeb presenters queued up to jump on the right-on bandwagon as usual, who else in any field – music, film, TV etc – missed out unfairly?

Parsite is a good film – no doubt about it, and Bong Joon Ho was as deserving of the best director Oscar as any of his fellow nominees – but was it a better film than Joker, 1917 and The Irishman?

These decisions are subjective – supposedly – but for judging panels it has now become some sort of social responsibility to balance things up beyond the simple: is this one of the five best films, best albums, best acting performances of the year?

Even if they think they have all the bases covered there will be an outcry that the climate active, gender-fluid, non binary, pro life, pansexual demographic has been ignored.

And this box ticking goes further than these mutual backslapping get-togethers. It has become a mandatory consideration for all casting directors and screenwriters. Just look at Doctor Who. Three companions to ensure everyone is covered and three quarters of this season’s storylines putting political correctness before story arc.

The only thing they got right is the casting of the Doctor and the new Master. To make it look as if they are only in place because she’s a woman and he’s Asian is an insult to the work both of them are doing.

Jodie Whittaker has the potential to be a fantastic Doctor. She deserves better than some of the utter dross she has been landed with just for the sake of appearing diverse enough.

And this is threatening to affect everything we watch.

A man out of time

I’m fully aware that as I have got older I’ve become an anachronism. I no longer have any idea of what’s in the national singles chart and the only reason I’m a little better informed on the albums is because the top ten gets put on the What’s On page of the digital edition of the YA.

I don’t know the difference between House, Garage, Grime or whatever other sub genres there may be and I don’t care because I’m a musician and my old brain doesn’t recognise randomly talking fast after swallowing a rhyming dictionary, using Autotune to cover for the fact that you’re actually tone deaf or computerised 160BPM drum patterns where the snare drum is mixed to sound like two skeletons fighting in a biscuit tin as having any musical merit whatsover.

I do like some artists who aren’t in their 70s or dead – Billie Eilish, Lana del Rey, Imelda May (not enough men in this list) – but my first choice will always be pre-80s.

Because it was just better.

Stupid TV Quiz answer of the week:

Giving Morons R US, better known as Tipping Point, a rest this week, the best answer comes from The Chase.

Q: What is the most venomous spider in the UK?

A: Daddy long legs.


Edward Case