Once a year, the music business meets to dole out awards to whatever radio-friendly unit-shifter has captured the public’s attention over the past 12 months. It’s called the Grammys, and it’s the one awards show that makes the MTV VMAs remotely watchable.
Sometimes, an artist with talent will win. This is rare. Mostly, awards go to either a) whatever pop star is tearing up Spotify at the moment or b) whatever washed-up musician who used to have cred but was never acknowledged by the Grammys put out a new, terrible album last year. This is how Steely Dan once walked away with the “Album of the Year” award for a putrid collection of songs in 2001, a year where both Radiohead and Eminem were nominated for the best albums of their respective careers.
Well, if old and washed up is one way to win an award, Bernie Sanders is a lock. And, thanks to his new audiobook, he has himself a Grammy nomination.
According to The Hill, Sanders was nominated along with narrator Mark Ruffalo for the audiobook version of his latest tome, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”
Sanders will be facing off with Bruce Springsteen, the late actress Carrie Fisher, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and songwriter Shelly Peiken. It’s worth noting that of the five nominees, at least three (and likely four) are or were outspoken liberals. The entertainment industry’s sellout is officially complete, just in case you thought it wasn’t already.
If you’re the kind of person who bets on the Grammys… well, please get help. That’s gambling addiction in its final stages. However, should you want to play the odds with your bookie, I would put Sanders’ chances at maybe second at best.
DeGrasse Tyson has been caught up on the fringes of the sexual harassment/abuse scandals that have been sweeping the nation this autumn, so I think we can safely count him out. I have no idea who Shelly Peiken is, but a quick Google search indicates she wrote Christina Aguilera’s “What A Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You).” The less said about those songs two decades on, the better, so unless the book is a profuse mea culpa with frequent annotations about just how very sorry she is, I think we can safely discount that entry, too.
This puts Carrie Fisher and Bruce Springsteen as Sanders’ main competition. Springsteen is one of the few people whose insights outside of the musical sphere I actually value less than Sanders’ — but this being the music industry, who knows? Then there’s Carrie Fisher, who I think will probably win the category. In addition to the sympathy vote, I’m pressed to think of any individual who would rather listen to the ramblings of a senator who seems to be the type of individual Woody Allen was talking about in his famous quote about “one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism” than Carrie Fisher.
There’s a certain degree of irony in the nomination; 30 years ago — during his stint as mayor of the Vermont city of Burlington — Sanders actually did record an album of folk protest cover songs.
For whatever reason, it didn’t grab the attention of the suzerains at the Grammys:
Really giving ol’ Will Shatner a run for his money, eh Bernie?
However, the I fear the debaucherous tradition of Grammy after-parties is going to have to be amended somewhat by Sanders’ presence. In years past, the menu of extracurricular activities would usually include copious amounts of alcohol and Schedule I narcotics. Now that Bernie’s attending, they’re going to have to include some Geritol and Cream of Wheat.
Just kidding, Bern. We can’t wait to see how this turns out for you. Mostly because we’d love to see how you handle the gigaton of cognitive dissonance created by winning an award from one of the most cutthroat, capitalist elements of the entertainment industry.
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