How'd everyone miss this? On Saturday night, the Crystal Awards were handed out at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts (better known as the Dallas Children's Theater). So just what are the Crystal Awards? Only the closest thing Dallas has to the Emmys. OK, the TV Guide awards. See, the Crystals are presented by Dallas Community Television (DCTV) to honor outstanding achievement in cable-access programming. So...ummm...yeah.
The evening began with a VIP reception, and in attendance was special guest and honorary chair Robert M. Johnson, the executive producer of the well-received documentary Paper Clips, about an 8th-grade class discovering the Holocaust; Johnson even showed a short clip from his year-old movie, which is available on DVD. In keeping with the self-congratulatory tone of his remarks, Johnson also gave the inaugural Free Speech award to the absent SMU professor and death-penalty activist Rick Halperin, who praised Paper Clips during his videotaped thank-yous. Johnson assured the audience he was "touched" by Halperin's kind words for his movie.
Bob Thomas, chairman of DCTV, was also the emcee and a pretty good one with jokey banter, high energy and even some sweet dance moves. Despite the 14 awards being given out, the show moved fast--no acceptance speeches'll do that, thank God. Three Crystals were given to Music of Hope, which highlights music from the Cathedral of Hope, and Cooking With Class, a questionable title for a bland show produced by John Roberts. Is the shrimp really supposed to look like that? Even as such, he walked away with the Best in Show award. An award was also gven to the Carter Blood Care for, seriously, its PSA about donating blood. But Matthew Liddell's Dallas Video Lounge, an edgy and well-produced show highlighting local music talent, was unjustly snubbed. This guy's got vision.
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But personally speaking, the most interesting part of the evening came during the dinner. Turns out I'm the Antichrist, according to Pastor Bob Latson of Liberation Ministries, which was up for an interfaith programming award (though, oddly, not one for most closed-minded). Upon finding out that I attend Cathedral of Hope, he proceeded to lecture about the evil of my ways and the destructive life I lead. After Bob Thomas found out what happened, he offered copious apologies without prompting; big ups, Bob. By the way, Antichrist is capitalized, right? You know, for my resume. --Rich Lopez