We seem to be in a season of awards. Olympic medals. Oscars. All that stuff. Which always makes me wonder: What if such trophies were awarded based on the judgement of one man?
You spend your whole life on figure skates or skis, you get really, really good, and no matter how your performance is at your event, that one man gets to decide whether or not you get a gold medal, a silver medal, a bronze medal, or no medal at all. Those who get medals are really going to like that system. Those who don't are probably just going to go, "Bah! I care nothing for Olympic medals!" The Olympics would claim to have the best in the world, but there would always be a seed of doubt.
The Oscars handed out in that scenario are a little easier to visualize. Many a movie critic decides his top ten movies of the year every year. Just replace the accountants on the annual Academy Awards show with that single critic going, "Yep, this is what I decided this year," and you have it. But as we all know with movie critics, they tend to have their prejudices, their little peccadillloes, and their tastes rarely align in perfect harmony with the general movie-going public. The one-critic Oscar system, however, would have its contented believers, of course, aaaand a whole lot of folks who'd refuse to accept such a thing.
And why not. This is America. We will accept the rule of one man or woman when they're supplying a paycheck, but otherwise we usually like a little more balanced system with some accountability to it. Baseball, ballot boxes, and apple pie. Fastest times, juries of our peers, and Neilsen ratings.
It's a happy place, and generally we like things that way.
Thanks for your forbearance with this little musing. Like I said at the outset, it has nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes, the exposing of hidden truths, and that eternal hope that justice and a fair shake is just a hope and a knock on 221 Baker Street's door away.
Nothing at all.