Features | Awards

The Soy Bomb Award for Reassuring Institutional Irrelevance

By Lindsay Zoladz | 7 December 2010

The Grammys’ Album of the Year Nominees

‘Twas the morning the CMG year-end list was to be revealed to the staff (an intimate celebration over brunch, and as per usual Sting flew in to perform a stripped-down solo set; combined rating: 73%) and I briefly wandered away from the Mansion to get a cup of coffee. While I was in line, I noticed at the newsstand a teaser on the front page of USA Today with a picture of Eminem seemingly from nine years ago and the caption “Who will be named Album of the Year?” I gasped. Finally, I thought, Scott’s promise to us has come true: here is that rumored sixteen page, full-color USA Today insert pre-covering CMG’s year-end coverage. I was about to leaf through to see if they had indeed decided to go ahead with the controversial infographic “CMG & Sufjan: A History of the 21st Century’s Bloodiest Conflict” and the staff caricatures, each drawn by Cathy creator Cathy Guisewite and sized to a scale based on the exact dimensions of his or her shriveled up heart. But then I squinted to read the fine print: “Grammy Nominees, page B7.” Oh. Oh.

I’m not here to whine about how the actual awards the Grammys dole out are irrelevant, because since age eleven I’ve known that the only worthwhile reason to watch the ceremony is that there might be a funny guy dancing behind Bob Dylan. And though I’ll throw out the spoiler that Lady Antebellum did not make our top 5, I’m not actually trying to bring up relevance at all, really, because to quote a Grammy voter I polled at random, “Cokemachinewhatinthefuck?” Instead, I’m just sayin’, in an independent media landscape that is crowded enough to breed all sorts of year-end meta-debate and healthy, productive in-bickering, let’s all find a strange, unifying comfort in the fact that in some room right now, there is a shiny statue being buffed with a shammy by a person who thinks that Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream was maybe the best album of 2010.