The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reggie Wins Bush the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for Being My Favorite College Football Player.

Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of his Heisman Trophy for receiving improper benefits. I think this is bull so in support I'm giving him the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Being My Favorite College Football Player. No one could run like him.

This is a huge issue. College sports is big business. College athletes make millions of dollars for the big schools and the NCAA yet they go unpaid. They're nearly the equivalent of professionals athletes. Being a college football player at a big university is a job. The NCAA and the big universities are very exploitative of these young men. So what if Reggie Bush received some gifts? The NCAA and USC were ripping him off. They were cheating him! The NCAA wanted him to work for free. Reggie essentially said, "blank off" to that idea. It's a legitimate statement for a young person to make. He was the guy that sold tickets and got people to watch on TV. I watch college football because of Reggie Bush and other great players not some shady NCAA official who figured out a way to get free labor from kids. He even got my mother to watch a college football game. What's the monetary value of that?

Reggie Bush was a poor kid and could have been injured at any time. Do remember Da'Sean Butler of West Virginia who blew out his knee in the final four last year? Did the NCAA have workers compensation insurance for him? or insurance to cover injuries that would prevent him from working as a professional athlete or shorten his career? Do they have insurance to cover the emotional trauma of major injuries? Does the NCAA care about him now that the game is over? The NCAA is dubious. You don't need to be Einstein to figure that one out. There's too much money in college sports not to debate athletes receiving compensation. The Universities and TV want all the money for themselves. This whole issue is very complicated because what happens when you start paying the kids? There's a lot of problems with that as well. This is Pandora's box.

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