I watch Lebanese award shows occasionally when they air on some television channel. I laugh at the amount of plastic in them, the people kissing up to each other only because social class dictates as such, the winners who are so shocked it’s obviously fake, etc…. The thing about those Lebanese award shows is that no one is taken aback and starstruck by some megastar, effectively making the entire show about that person. I never thought I’d attend a Lebanese award show, let alone be nominated in one. But the Social Media Awards were a Lebanese award show by excellence.
The worst part about the SMAs wasn’t performers such as Poly singing to empty chairs or as a friend said having a “Paris Hilton winning best neurosurgeon award” with Lebanese Memes beating out Donner Sang Compter in a category for NGOs, something I had predicted 11 days ago (link) or how Anis Tabet’s blog somehow lost. The worst part wasn’t the fact that trying to get food at the food court could have resulted in some form of asphyxia because of how many people were there. It wasn’t the dress code that was resoundingly disassociated with social media.
Haifa Wehbe came around 10:30. No pun. She was obviously three hours late because someone as busy as her cannot mingle with the commoners who had been sitting there for three hours prior listening to one category after the other and who are not used to flashy award shows. She came to accept the award she hadn’t won yet for best celebrity on social media.
So in case it wasn’t obvious she was going to win, you should have taken a hint. Elissa was definitely rolling in her bed at that point. It wasn’t as if Haifa Wehbe winning wasn’t expected. But she sure knows how to make an entrance. The entire award ceremony was stopped so she can have her photoshoot and her poses and people scrambling to take pictures with her. Even the category being announced at that moment was put on hold for her. How respectful is that to the winner? Well, what do I know I guess.
Many minutes later, someone came back to their senses. And because Haifa is a very busy woman who doesn’t have time to wait for the rest of the categories in the evening’s planned proceedings, her category was brought forward. And surprise surprise! She won. She went on stage and accepted her prize. Was it deserved? I don’t follow her but “Twitter is my bodyguard,” she said in a speech that she wanted to say in “Arabic.”
And the same mania repeated itself, this time ten times over. The cameras, the flashing lights, the poses, the air kisses. Again, who cares about the other categories of the people who were waiting almost four hours for their turn to come up? Those people – like yours truly – are obviously irrelevant.
I wasn’t sure at that point if I was attending the Social Media Awards or the Haifa Wehbe Show. The award show that was supposed to be about 200 nominees, most of which had worked really hard for a year to get nominated, became about this woman’s ability to make men drool and preteens go gaga. And they love it.
Note to self: must visit Nader Saab to improve my assets in preparation for next year. The Elie Fares show sure has a nice ring to it.
Haifa Wehbe showing up put things into perspective. The SMAs weren’t about really honoring the year’s best blog with those 50 people in the room at the time of the announcement. It wasn’t about the irrelevant categories sprinkled here and there to which we campaigned and had fun doing so even if we knew we weren’t going win. It was about getting the flashiest result possible. A few days from now, few will remember who won what. But they’ll only remember that Haifa Wehbe attended. Everyone & everything else is simply besides the main point.
Thank you to every single one of you people who took the time to vote for A Separate State of Mind. You people are beyond brilliantly awesome.