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DOVE IMPROVEMENT: our advice to the GMA
[ the irrelevance of it all ]

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THE IRRELEVANCE OF IT ALL
There was a time when I hated the GMA and the Dove Awards with a passion. The thorn in my side was simply that my favorite artists were rarely nominated and almost never awarded for their efforts. Like most die-hard fans, I found this insulting and infuriating and began to look for opportunities to bash the GMA, the Doves, and anyone remotely connected with that dark side of contemporary Christian music.

With every passing year, however, I find myself caring less and less about what happens during GMA Week. I still root for my favorite artists and take the time to read the winners list on Friday morning, but I find myself growing bored with everything else. Industry hype fails to excite me, and many of my favorite artists don't attend or belong at GMA Week, relegating it to the "minor interest" column of my life.

The primary reason that I'm bored with the Doves, however, is that I fail to see any lasting importance in them. Many of history's greatest artists died without widespread recognition or public acclaim, and though I wish it were otherwise, I doubt that this trend will change anytime soon. A little pop quiz will prove my point. Can you name the New Artist of the Year winner in 1994 off the top of your head? How about Producer of the Year in 1996? Artist of the Year in 1989? Rock Album of the Year from 2003?

The GMA's directors may think they are important. They may consider themselves to be trendsetters. They may even believe that their efforts have a significant impact on the future of Christian music. But the truth is, their efforts don't really count in the big picture. Music that matters isn't always the music that gives us the warm fuzzies or appeals to the voters in the GMA. I'll go so far as to suggest that good music rarely does either of those things.

That said, if you like to watch the Doves, please do enjoy the time you spend. I may heartily dislike the Dove Awards, but I'm not going to call them evil, because they're not. So, cheer when your favorite artists win an award and groan when they lose. Just make sure to remember that the birdies rarely grace the music that will touch hearts and lives for years to come.
- Jason Ewert
April 2004

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