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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Who's A Godlike Genius?

I was listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4 the other day (get me and I'm not even a woman, honest) Wednesday 26 February 2014 to be precise, and there was talk of the evenings NME Godlike Genius Award and the recipients, good old Blondie (listen to it here if you want, all four minutes worth). And as it's Woman's Hour the strapline is 'Why is the award going to Blondie the band rather than Debbie Harry the performer?'

With me so far? Good. Are you also with me on never having heard of the NME Godlike Genius Awards before? Well fear not here's a bit more info......
The NME Godlike Genius Award is an accolade that is only handed out to the true greats of the music world.  The culmination of the evening, it recognizes the very best of the best.  Previous winners include The Clash, Paul Weller, The Cure, Manic Street Preachers, New Order & Joy Division, Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher and last year Johnny Marr.....
...that's from Contactmusic.com. 
Other reports run along the same vein. The word prestigious is used a lot. An awful lot. There's a lot of gushing about how prestigious the award is and how honored we are to accept this prestigious award. I suspect that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word prestigious has now been altered to mean the NME Godlike Genius Awards.  But I digress.

Notice anything from the above list? Here's a clue. It's Woman's Hour discussing it. Yep you got it. It's all men. Blondie are a group with a female singer. Everyone associates Blondie with Debbie Harry, she is the driving talent behind the group etc etc. She is the first woman to win the award. So why not give it to her directly. Cue discussion and explanation. The music industry is sexist. 

Hopefully this is at least a step in the right direction. Hopefully next year the award, the prestigious NME Godlike Genius Award will go directly to a woman and more women will be recognized for their godlike genius and their contribution alongside the men in years to come and...


I can't keep this up any longer (as the bishop said to the actress). I hate to break this to Women's Hour (and to you dear reader)  but they have got this one wrong. I agree that the music industry is sexist. Name an industry that isn't. And yes it's great to see Debbie Harry be recognized, even if indirectly. But come on. COME ON. HELLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO. 

There is an award called the NME Godlike Genius Award and we're discussing sexism in the music industry. We all know about sexism in the music industry. Old news. 

Let me say this again. There is an award called the NME Godlike Genius Award. And we're discussing sexism in the music industry.

What we 'need'  to be discussing (I highlighted the word need there because we all know WE don't need to at all, the truth is I want to) is the fact that there is an award, in the music industry, called the NME Godlike Genius Award. And people take it seriously. They even accept it. 
To illustrate my point a bit more, when U2 won the award in 2001 (All men. Disgraceful) their guitarist The Edge (capital T on 'the')  'joked'  (I highlighted joked there because we all know there was probably more truth in it than he wanted to acknowledge) 'I suppose it helps having God in your band'...... Ah Dear Bono, we love you really, even though you wear those silly glasses indoors and think you're God.

Do you know what? I wish, I really wish, with my eyes scrunched up really tight, that rather than discussing sexism in the music industry in connection with the NME Godlike Genius Award they had said 'there is this award in the music industry thought up by men and awarded to, and accepted by, men. They have called it the NME Godlike Genius Award, and sadly they are awarding it to women now and they are accepting it too. Just get a grip and stop being so silly (or words to that effect that I'm far too polite to put on my blog).
I love Blondie and Paul Weller. Talented musicians/writers/performers they may well be. I'm not disputing that. I've seen that Mr Weller perform and he's good. Godlike genius though? Nope. No way. No no no no no no no no no no no .
The real problem here, alluded to in The Edge's 'joke', is that once you start calling people godlike geniuses they start to believe it. And their fans do too. And we all know where that leads.

There is an award. It's called the NME Godlike Genius Award. People take it seriously. They even accept it. 

Nuff said......

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