Another year gone and still no Pulitzer Prize
I've been snubbed again.
I'm sure you didn't notice, what with your main concern these days being whether or not there'll be any center-cut pork chops left in the meat case the next time you get to the grocery store, but the 2020 Pulitzer Prize award winners were revealed Monday afternoon, and like a revered actor (say, maybe George Clooney, 'cuz he and I look sorta the same) not getting nominated for an Academy Award despite the performance of his life, I was not even listed as an honorable mention in the international reporting category despite my repeated plagiarism of jokes about Kim Jong-un from the internet.
I mean, see, right there, who else could write a 102-word sentence that switches gears four times and doesn't present any real information? I rest my case.
Announcement of the annual Pulitzer Prize winners is a big thing in the journalistic world, because, well, those of us who make our living by reporting news events are generally dweebs who have no social lives other than an occasional visit to the pet shop to watch the minimumwage employee feed live mice to the monitor lizard. The Pulitzer awards are like our Lombardi Trophy or Stanley Cup, or maybe even that paper certificate I would have won in the junior high trivia contest if some unnamed screwball teammate of mine hadn't blurted out 'Shakespeare' to the question of 'Who wrote the Gettysburgh address?' I mean, cripes, c'mon, everybody knows it was Thomas Jefferson.
The Pulitzer Prizes are named after one Joseph Pulitzer, a scion of the early 20th Century newspaper industry who once said, 'Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.'
I only know that because I have a plaque in my office with that inscription, given to me years ago as a gift, and like, what the heck else am I supposed to do with it? Well, sure, I could take down the 1976 Farrah Fawcett bikini poster from my bedroom wall, but then the Raquel Welch one would look pretty darn lonely, now wouldn't it?
C'mon people. Think things through.
The Pulitzer awards committee obviously didn't put much thought into this year's prizes. I mean, really, a New York Times 'exposé of New York City’s taxi industry that showed how lenders profited from predatory loans that shattered the lives of vulnerable drivers, reporting that ultimately led to state and federal investigations and sweeping reforms'? How can they even put that in the same basket as my exhaustive piece on fraud in the Girl Scout cookie sale program? I mean, I turned over that stone so hard that my nieces were too embarrassed to even stop by my house this year to sell me Tag-Alongs. Well, that and they think I'm kinda creepy.
In this year's explanatory reporting category, the staff of The Washington Post took home a Pulitzer -- well, I can't be sure, maybe they're keeping it at the office -- for a series of reports demonstrating 'with scientific clarity the dire effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.' I mean, sure,
that's important stuff and all, but my entry regarding my self-study of the effects of an ice cream and potato chip diet on a chubby middle-aged Caucasian man's ambition to do anything work-related was not only ground-breaking, but chair-breaking (anybody selling a decent used recliner, preferably brown?).
Of course, those of us who don't win prestigious awards understand that the likely reason is one of two things: 1.) We do not have the skill, talent nor the industry connections to win, or 2.) Our entries were not post-marked in time. I mean, who makes an entry deadline on a Tuesday? I'm watching 'The Voice' on Monday nights, what do they expect?
I think many times, too, these honors routinely go to the reporters and staffs who simply lucked into the best story. Like the staff of The Baltimore Sun this year, they have the good fortune to have a mayor with an undisclosed financial relationship with the city's public hospital system, they expose her, and they win. Big Whoop. I could have written that on my laptop in my living room (before my chair broke) while watching 'Mike and Molly' reruns. By the way, did you see the one where Molly falls face-first into the bathtub with her naked step-dad? Hi-freakin'-larious. Given that I work in small town environs, I am rarely blessed with subject matter worthy of Pulitzer considerations. Let me see you try to win international acclaim doing an in-depth story about a local farmer who has a Holstein with a black splotch on its side that looks like Nancy Pelosi, or an investigative piece on why the local school lunch program has better turn-out on days when it serves green beans rather than broccoli.
'Cuz broccoli's gross, that's why.
Anyway, congratulations to The Seattle Times. I'm sure their series on design flaws with the Boeing 737 MAX that led to fatal crashes was well done. And The New York Times, well, I can't imagine it was easy nor safe to send its reporters out to dig up dirt on Vladimir Putin's ruthless regime, so I suppose it probably deserves that International Reporting award. Again this year, I will not be a sore loser, other than to say the entire process is rigged and the whole Pulitzer awards process is a sham designed to block guys like me who don't send enough bribe cash in with their entries.
Well, that's it, I'm sure I'm blacklisted now. No Pulitzer in 2021 for me either, I'm guessing.