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After countless hours of indecisive fence sitting, second guessing and delay, I have no other choice than to award this medal to … Sabotage!
Well, the votes are in and you’ve done it one more time. You have obliterated the competition—me—by creeping into my blind spot and, if I may be frank and earnest, I just–well, how do you do that?
Before you take the stage again, I’d like to acknowledge your career is among the longest in any industry and you’ve been the tops in every category, barring none. I am boggled at this victory, humbled, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the teensiest bit jealous!
I’m going to call you up here in just a minute to accept your award for Best Performance, but before I do, I’d like to present a few noteworthy highlights from your career that have directly impacted my life:
SOME ENCHANTED EVENINGS: THE ANTHOLOGY Your prolific work in the romance genre has been copied, shared, distributed and referenced in countless collections for a really long time. It’s astounding, the way you keep telling those same old stories of ones who got away, of misplaced affections and missed connections, of emotional awkwardness and creaky third wheels. It’s legendary stuff that keeps our hearts racing in place—and broken.
TITANIC We’re still scratching our heads on this one. An iceberg. Really? This role might have been your best physical acting yet. You were stoic as a rock, wordless—no lines!—frigid. Hidden in plain sight, you were perfect. What composure! And we thought Costner was cold! What an understatement that was. You really held your own and you even inspired a fleet of plastic recorder music. Awesome.
WTF ‘N’ THE BADASS BOYZ Speaking of your inspiration in music, I absolutely love that you went in and set the industry on its ear so that artists can reach their own fans, sell their own stuff and go around the top-heavy music mill if they feel like it. But I just wish you’d do something about all of the misogyny and hateration. It doesn’t do much good for the people, you know? I guess we shouldn’t expect much; look who I’m talking to.
THE UNWRITTEN Even more than your impressive work in Titanic, the way you insinuated yourself into this one was out-and-out genius. The Unwritten is the tragicomic horror story of a good-intentioned writer who sets weekly deadlines, but can’t get a damn thing done. I don’t know if you planned it like this, but the main character’s name was Kriste. I found that fascinating. Crazy, but she looked like me too. Like, she was me, but only, not.
If I might say a few more words about this last one, ladies and gentlemen? Sabotage, I’m downright baffled as to how you knew so much about me, and how you managed to conduct your research. You infiltrated my place and created a totally warped story of me. So much so that I have to ask: was that your intention, to make a mockery of me? For the record, this production of yours is unauthorized, and I may pursue damages.
Before I wrote this speech—this acceptance of my defeat—I wrestled for a long time with the truth of it. I didn’t want to believe it. You should know; you were there, buttering me up as the hours and deadlines passed. You never let on you were undermining my every hope of a win. You encouraged me to rest on my laurels, and I did. You did a lot last week, Kriste, you said. Take a break, you said. Then you served me a nightcap and that was all she wrote.
How about that scene where your Kriste sat down to work, doing great for about an hour? Then you came and plumped the pillows. You shifted her to the softer chair, dimmed the lights and pointed her attention to the night sky. You told her to take in the spring air because it was good for creativity. I watched, nervous and thought, Oh, no. What will she do? Well, she went to the window, walked out the door, and left her deadline to the dogs.
I guess I’m here to present this medal because I’m so familiar with your work. I’ve seen you in thousands of plays—on and off the screen, you fiend. Devilishly charming, assuming an intimacy we don’t share. No harm done, we say at first. Then you roll out your act, bulldoze us and leave our best intentions shredded. Well, that’s a hollow victory if you ask me. I don’t know how you sleep at night. But congratulations all the same. It’s bittersweet, but I know when I’m beat.
Okay, so you deserve this win. You used crazy talk to explain away the importance of minding my business to the end. You duped me, and I fell for it. Lots of us have lost to you, and speaking for myself, Frank and Earnest, it doesn’t feel good. So, come take your award and add it to the others. You’re sharp, I’ll give you that. I’ll absorb the loss this time. But you should know I’m clever too. I’ve changed the locks. And I will be back. Next week. Count on it.
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* To listen to my presentation in front of a canned audience, click on the player above.
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