I feel uniquely qualified to comment on the upcoming everybody-should-get-a-ribbon sulkfest at Commodore Lanes.
You see, I’ve been going to the Lotus Awards since it proudly held the record for the single biggest alcohol consumption night of the year at the Hyatt Ballroom. Back then Wasserman and Cousins were the Staples and Grais of what was a pun and budget showcase of 80вЂ™s advertising brilliance. They were my heroes.
Before long international judges were invited to deliberate on the cityвЂ™s talent pool and we were amazed by the work of our local girls and boys. During both eras I never won so much as a door prize. Why?
This is why. It was the big agencies and their category blanketing. It was the cozy relationships with the snob elite judging community. It was fake clients and fake ads. It was pornographic spots run at midnight in WilliamвЂ™s Lake. It was pro-bono that smaller competitors couldnвЂ™t afford to get in the game with. It was calling in favours from well-paid suppliers. It was teams assigned to win awards while cash cow clients footed the bill.
Then (finally!) one year I won something. And my theories went down the crapper. This is what I learned. Like rock and roll, oil painting, filmmaking and all corners of art both commercial and non, you win when you get good. And you only get good when you work your guts out and fail repeatedly. The people who win at Lotus bloody well deserve it because they work very hard and have total commitment to their craft. Yes they have training, mentoring, education and support вЂ“ so do ballet dancers. But like them, they have the hours of dedication and the long lists of failures and disappointments to show for it.
But as for you Lotus occupiers, youвЂ™re not just hurting yourselves, you are undermining what those dedicated talents are working hard for. ItвЂ™s like organizing a second Olympics for those who didnвЂ™t train hard enough or IвЂ™m sorry, didnвЂ™t have the talent to make
the big show. But whatвЂ™s worse, youвЂ™re creating a false truth; that earned recognition is worthless.
For a little shop, Spring has had some good Lotus years. I havenвЂ™t the foggiest how we did this year but I do know one thing. If we didnвЂ™t win, itвЂ™s my fault.
For those of you вЂњoccupying LotusвЂќ I suggest you give yourselves a very frank self-examination of the disciplines catalogued a few paragraphs above. Once youвЂ™ve done so, if you feel youвЂ™ve truly laboured at all of those things, then hold your head high while you occupy. If not, when winners win, losers should learn.
PS: No Spring is NOT represented on the Lotus committee.