Many of my esteemed fellow bloggers — including, but not limited to, Lisa at Iron Tongue of Midnight and Brian at Out West Arts, just to name a couple — have taken Spring for Music to task for their little contest. Good for them.
I was going to refrain from any comment whatsoever because I barely have time to write/blog about things I actually care about, let along things that I don’t care about. In addition, a lot of what I was thinking was already mentioned by others.
Well, I broke that intent already by commenting on Brian’s post earlier today, and after some discussion with a non-blogger whose opinion I value, I was gently prodded to offer up my own reactions in a little more detail since they differ slightly from some of the things others have said. So here goes. . . .
My general reaction to the contest was/is: “Whatever.”
- First of all, I didn’t really feel like writing about their first topic, so given my statement above about having limited time to write, I immediately lost what little interest I may have had.
- Second, it’s a silly way to go about their stated goal of finding “(North) America’s Best Arts Blogger.” I’m not nearly as outraged as some others are about this, and I’m a fairly competitive person, so the fact that there is a competition of some kind doesn’t particularly phase me. But a contest for that purpose that requires you to write on a specific topic? It’s laughable. If you want to make some grandiose pronouncement as to who the best arts blogger is, fine — just read and judge the actual blogs.
The music/arts blogs that are most compelling to me are that way because I appreciate the quality of the writing AND the specific topics they choose to blog about. I trust their ability to create and curate posts and topics that will be interesting and worth my time. A writing contest to determine best blogger that limits the topic on which someone can write is, therefore, inherently counter-intuitive and counter-productive.
To put this most pointedly: Making people write four essays about topics they’d likely never blog about on their own isn’t a blogging contest, it’s a college admissions application.
“. . . while we as Americans are inherently a competitive culture, these kind of “best of” lists — whether it is a ranking of orchestras, sopranos, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models — are usually most enjoyable when not taken too seriously. When they are (e.g. college football rankings), the results are typically non-sensical at best and self-defeating at worst.”
Instead of using valuable time and brain cells any more on this topic, may I suggest some other, more light-hearted and amusing contests to follow, and even become a judge/voter, if you so choose:
- Laurie Niles over at Violinist.com has started a fun little tournament pitting one violin concerto against another. First up: Sibelius’s only vs. Prokofiev #1
- Zagat still is accepting votes and comments for their 2013 LA /SoCal restaurant guide. You have until April 8th to weigh in.
- For something a little more irreverent, our friends at Esquire present “The Ladies Tournament 2012” (or #MarchHotness if you are hashtag inclined), this year’s rendition of their annual bracketological attempt to find the hottest woman of the year. (Don’t act shocked. I never promised to be politically correct. Besides, entrants did not have to write an essay to be entered.)
- Like its basketball brethren, the first round of “Ladies Tournament 2012” has already seen its share of upsets: most notably, in the “Movie” bracket, Emma Stone, America’s reigning red-headed sweetheart, lost to 15th seed Taylor Kitsch — a GUY. There are even more upsets in the “Television” and “Royals” brackets, though “Models+Music” largely went according to seeding. You still have time to impact the Second Round, so vote NOW!!!
- If it were up to me, Charlize Theron (#1 seed in Movie bracket) would win this year and every year, forever and ever, amen. But it’s not up to me, and therefore my fearless predictions are:
- The Final Four will consist of Jennifer Lawrence (#3 seed Movies), Sofia Vergara (#1 seed Television, narrowly defeating #14 seed Katharine McPhee in the Cinderella story of this year’s tourney), Katy Perry (#4 seed Models+Music, beating #1 seed Kate Upton because even though she’s hot, wives and girlfriends are pissed at her because she did a Carl’s Jr commercial), and HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge (#1 seed Royals).
- The Final will be Jennifer Lawrence v. the former Kate Middleton
- The winner: Princess Kate. In a year that has been kind to Kates of all kinds (Upton, Perry, McPhee, etc.), it is by far The Duchess’s Year. Who knows — maybe she’ll do an interview and a tasteful photo spread for Esquire if/when she wins . . . . I’m just sayin’ . . .