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Durbin M. Keeney: How about an awards show for real stars?

Is it me, or are we into a time of the year when a single industry of extremely overpaid, self-serving, self-absorbed, pompous elites invade our homes with their parade of never ending platitudes of artificial humility under the premise of TV awa...

Is it me, or are we into a time of the year when a single industry of extremely overpaid, self-serving, self-absorbed, pompous elites invade our homes with their parade of never ending platitudes of artificial humility under the premise of TV award shows?
Personally, I find the entertainment industry serves an important and given function in society for which they are paid very well. Then to have an elitist attitude toward the very public from which they make there living, and revealing it by performing this annual ritual on prime time TV is repugnant.
There has been a great deal made of our unsung heroes since 9/11 and rightfully so. Can you remember seeing these great and wonderful people so publicly honored before 9/11? They, like the new founded patriotism and respect for our military, will again become a part of our daily lives and forgotten until they are needed again.
Wouldn't it be really inspiring to hear of those police, fire, emergency and other very important people that really make a difference in our lives to be so honored? Can you picture an event where seeing blue uniforms replacing the overpriced clothing, and instead of limos the family van or SUV filling the parking lot, family members would replace adoring fans, and the post activity parties would be a gathering of real family and real friends who really care about the public that they serve.
Just imagine what kind of categories that such an event could foster:
* The man or woman who made a difference in the life of a child.
* The individual who assisted a family in time of crisis when no one else even tried and who made a difference.
* The organization that reached out to assist others in a special way.
* The professional (police, fire or emergency worker) who went above and beyond the call of duty.
* The person who has changed his or her life the greatest in a positive way.
* The best person serving in government (national, state, county, township and city).
* The person that made a difference.
Nominees would come from local people and judges by people who care. There could be many other categories in such an event.
Today, to a certain degree, we have some organizations like the Duluth Employee of the Year and the annual Hall of Fame award that results in a picture that hangs in City Hall. These events while carried have limited fanfare, limited media coverage. It would be good to see real people with real humility.
That is a show that I would be happy to watch, or a dinner that I would be proud to attend with a civic pride for our community. But for now, hand me the remote, after all there is an off button, and I'll read the Budgeteer instead.
Durbin M. Keeney is the executive director of Veterans Outreach North in Duluth.

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