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Awards Shows

And Other Modern Disasters

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True story: my sister and I used to wad up newspaper into balls and put them in a laundry basket every year in preparation for the Grammy Awards. As we saw ludicrous winners in the wrong categories, "thwack" would go the wads hitting the TV screen, and sometimes, a hail of crumpled classifieds would sail that way.

What is it about us and awards shows? We still watch them in large numbers, take newspaper quizzes to guess the winners in advance, and buy In Style for the recap of who wore what.

In particular, the Grammys have become more of a joke than a real deal. The pluses are getting to see some hot acts performing live, but the disconnect between the tuxes and gowns in the seats, the fake "kids" pit, and the "artists" make for a weird evening.

Highlights this year were a Ray Charles album winning more than it should have, Green Day not winning enough, and the over-singing Alicia Keys taking off that stupid hat. Newspaper wad worthy.

The broadcast of the Academy Awards, which looked like a black and white dinner party back in its humble TV beginnings, is now a mini-boom to print and entertainment media. Who's wearing what? What's in the swag bags? And who will the freakish-looking Joan Rivers and her talentless daughter insult on the TV Guide Channel this year?

The old idea was to honor some great films and actors. The new idea is to juice up the ratings by instituting a five-second delay so Chris Rock can try to control himself. Not exactly a movie star, you have to wonder if Rock's selection as host is an attempt to draw the younger demos or to goose the baby boomers who typically are already watching the Oscars.

Despite it all, the Oscars are still national appointment television, but as the quality sinks a little more each year, you have to wonder, why? Try those paper wads.

A unique opportunity is coming the Charlotte Museum of History's way thanks to cable television's History Channel. The museum is receiving a $10,000 "Save Our History" grant, which is intended to help local communities better preserve their pasts. Twenty-nine such grants were awarded nationwide.

The museum will use the money to collaborate with Garinger High School teachers and students in order to study and sort artifacts and materials from 1909. That's when Garinger, which was originally called Charlotte High School, had its inaugural graduation class.

They hope to document the history of the school and some of its grads, like Charles Kuralt.

Stay tuned.

E-mail at Shannon.Reichley@cln.com

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