I don’t think this post is going to be predictable at all. I’m not solely posting the Smokey Robinson speech from Sunday’s BET Awards as a message to the meddling kids. In fact between Sunday night and all of yesterday I purposely didn’t write about or comment on the show at all. Not because I’m above a little jokey joke or that I’m so far above the fray that I cannot be bothered by such things, no I just needed some time. Time to think, time to process.

Yes, true confession: I was doing the whole analysis thingy and I just needed to get my thoughts together. Why? Well to be quite honest I’m tired, but I’m not tired of what you think I’m tired of… I’m tired of people not understanding that there really is truth in advertising. What do I mean? Well The BET Awards have been around for fifteen years pretty much as long as BET has been a Viacom property. There’s not much legacy left from when BET was privately held save for Bobby Jones Gospel. I point this out to say that for the most part when you tune into this network, this show you should know the what and the who of what you’re dealing with. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the who and what is being presented, but I know going in for the most part the whom as in the “whom” the producers of this show are trying to appeal. Now granted as in life, this show wasn’t 100% terrible, in fact I would say it wasn’t 60% terrible so you get gems like Smokey(above) which in and of itself is worth the price of admission, or some of the great moments from The Bad Boy segment, or Janet Jackson just being in the space, or Patti Labelle just being Miss Patti, you get my point.

So… then why oh why is there so much effort and energy placed on the what’s wrong with this show, what’s wrong with this network, who they shoulda, coulda, woulda had to make the world a better place for you and me was type talk. I’m not saying that this show/network should be free from criticism, to the contrary, but I find the whole exercise an utter waste of time and here’s why: If I state that I want potato chips, depending upon my willingness to head to the grocery store or nearest snack machine will determine the choices that are available to me. But(long) before I begin my journey to satiate my desire for chips I should have spent some time getting to know my taste, my preference for chips. Knowing who I am as it relates to the chip life saves me from wasting time because there are brands that are not an option for me so they are immediately eliminated. I’m not going to name, names here but I don’t like the chips to be too salty or burnt so a brand that represents that for me is not an option. However…

There are times when a brand of chip will not be my first or perfect choice and it may be a little salty and a little burnt but and I don’t eat it all the time but you know what let me go ahead and try them out and you know what??? It wasn’t that bad. It really wasn’t that bad. I think the not bad at all experience would be severely hampered if I spent the entire time while eating the chips declaring that the experience would be so much better if the taste could be this way or that way invariably trying to make one brand into another. This is a true reversal from my thoughts of a few short years ago and perhaps there’s some growth occurring. But honestly to sit around during an experience and use all of your mental effort to complain about what ingredients aren’t present when you should’ve halfway known what ingredients were present before you opened the bag(tuned into the channel)is truly a waste of time.

I’m no defender or even ardent supporter of BET, I’m just a guy who is so sick and tired of the tired predictable “Well if __________ (insert artist name) was featured/or awarded/or recognized then all would be right in the world, because the world is wrong because: talent.” To those who exert a great deal of effort in those pursuits I say two things: There’s nothing stopping you in the year 2015 from not only having your own network and by extension your own network awards show to celebrate all the fabulous of the fabulous who don’t get the recognition for being fabulous. I’m not being flippant, I’m being quite serious. There’s nothing stopping anyone from doing that. Now what we can’t do is guarantee how many people will tune into said network, but just because there’s not millions of eyes watching doesn’t make your pursuit any less valid. The second thing I have to say is don’t be so salty, it doesn’t make for a good chip.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.