Another Emmy Awards Gala is in the books and there’re many who’re left holding the bag. The ‘Swag Bag’ that is. In each category there’re a few nominees but only one gets to take home the statue prize. Everyone else at least gets to leave with swag merch that might help them savor the evening.
Among the winners is Jharrel Jerome for lead actor in a limited series category as Korey Wise in the Netflix acclaimed When They See Us. The film tells the story of five Harlem boys who served time after being falsely accused for a crime. The film covers the youthful days and adult journeys of the boys’ life.
Jerome was the only actor to have played both the boyhood and adult roles of a character in the film. He told Hollywood media that he spent time with Wise trying to walk in his shoes. His main takeaway was how Wise spent years behind bars trying to be a better person, even if the media story was the opposite.
That’s something many can relate to in trying to live their best life or be a better nation. It’s sometimes a toggle back and forth between growing up as a child and adulting-up as a citizen. So Emmy Awards aside for young and old, there’s a kind of tic toc feeling in the air beyond the red carpet fashions, around civic implosion.
As citizens, the current climate in national public affairs is creating its own tic toc, around what seems like a gradual slide from Democracy to ‘Shamocracy.’ It seems as if the political, ethical and civic standards we’re admired for around the world are now being viewed as a sham!
One of the things from America’s history (younger days) and current state of affair (adult ways) that might be holding us back is Ideology. The Founders described in the Constitution’s Preamble “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union.” That was a statement of Ideals not Ideology.
Another thing from America’s history and the current state of affair that might be holding us back is money. The original fights around money was about the size of government and who’d pay for social services. The fight today is about who gets more of it in terms of give-backs for political/social appeal.
In a recent interview Oprah shared why she’s not running for office. But she explained it less as a knock and more as an ‘aha moment.’ She felt candidates should spend more time telling us what they bring and less time on the other person’s ills. Another way of saying it is they should bring a sense of discovery.
Maybe something people admire most in Oprah isn’t just her business acumen but also her integrity. That starts with being true with self. She’s true with self in not trying to run for office when that’s not her. She’s also true with fans about what she went through as a teenager before becoming a global icon.
People world over admire America for its ‘dream factory’ and biz acumen. But this will get overshadowed if our national integrity seems to be slip-sliding away. That may be something the first U.S. president George Washington had back-of-mind when he made a stirring point in his 1796 farewell address.
He said, “The common and continual mischiefs of [party] are sufficient to make it in the interest of duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.” Well if we replace party with Executive Branch, you get the sense his words have broader meaning today. He might see the current state of affair as a sham.
Tracks: Skip Marley ft Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley – That’s Not True – https://youtu.be/Z1NPpxU_BQQ
Sting and shaggy – Just One Lifetime – https://youtu.be/DNobqcfLb2Y