the pudgie process, step 1

Here is the first entry on pudgies, ported over from my LiveJournal (Dec. 5, 2002)

I’m a step closer to the pudgies idea. This is a CxC (Culture by commotion) award for producers and critics of popular culture…on the assumption that there are awards for many things, but rarely this. (For more, click here)

You have to have a statuette and I phoned Lisa in Santa Fe, the only sculptor I know. Then you have to have cash prizes. I phoned Lisa again, but she said I would have to sort this one out for myself. You have to have winners and we already have 5. See link above.

Prizes are meant to exercise a small gravitational effect…in this case, to encourage people to engage in a thoughtful, sometimes anthropological, reflection on what is happening in contemporary culture. There is a lot of cant on the web. But if the internet is to be any good at all, one of the things it has to be better at is thinking about itself…and right now there is a dearth of meta-web work.

Why pudgie? I was in LA, sitting in my hotel room. (I try to leave the hotel as little as possible…it’s an anthropological thing.) And there in LA Magazine was a story about the founders of the surfing and body culture of the beach scene after WWII. And there was a picture of Pudgie McCabe bursting with good humor and no hint that she was anything but totally unconflicted about weighlifting and surfing. All goddesses of creativity are ample as a fertility doll. Pudgie was, well, pudgie with promise of new and interesting ideas. That’s why.

For those of you who did not go to the Pudgie account:

Pudgies are awards. They will be given to producers and critics of contemporary culture. They will be given by CxC (Culture by commotion). They will take the form of a small statuette (in the well established tradition thereof) suitable for putting on one’s desk as a provocation of admiration from one’s friend and envy from one’s enemies. There will also be a cash award.

Question one: why bother? There are too many awards in the world. Film makers, advertisers, magazines and newspapers get together each year in a riot of self congratulation and hand them out by the handful.

In certain sectors, however, there are precious few awards. This is especially true in the area of contemporary culture production and criticism. There are many, millions, of players and almost no awards. That’s why bother.

Question two: who do you think you are? Contemporary culture is egalitarian and jealous of those of those who exercise power. Almost no one has the authority to hand out awards. And this means anybody can. So CxC is going to. That’s who we think we are.

Pudgies will go to journalists and academics who create work that is peculiarly illuminating. The judging is not systematic. The contest, like life, is not fair.