Dominic Lawson: Spare me these orgies of self-congratulation

Dominic Lawson
Independent

We are decreasingly able to gain a sense of personal pride simply in knowing we have done a good job.

I realise none of us is compelled to watch the interminable displays of professional log-rolling and improbable frocks otherwise known as movie awards ceremonies; but somehow the obsession of the broadcasting media with these festivals of self-congratulation leaves us with no escape. Thus, at 7am yesterday, I – along with everyone else whose reluctant emergence into daily consciousness is punctuated by Radio 4’s news bulletins – had to endure the sound of a hyper-ventilating Meryl Streep telling an invited audience at the “Orange Baftas” that her performance in The Iron Lady “located something real”.

That’s a news headline? Actor telling other actors that she has “located something real”? There’s nothing real about it: it’s the opposite of real and that’s the whole point. The movie business is make-believe: men and women pretending to be people they aren’t to an audience which wants to forget who and where they are – a monumental exercise in mutual self-delusion.

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