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May The Force Be With You

President Obama Awards Joan Didion, George Lucas, and More With Medal Of Arts And Humanities


At a ceremony on Wednesday, President Obama awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities not only to Star Wars creator George Lucas, but also to a slew of incredible women such as Joan Didion, Anna Deavere Smith, and Elaine May.

The other women who got the award were Lin Arison (founder of the National Young Arts Association), author Jill Kerr Conway, novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, Natalie Zemon Davis (pioneer in women’s studies, author, historian), and Joan Meyers Brown (founder, choreographer, dancer, and artistic director for the Philadelphia Dance Company). Twenty-four people won the award in total.

President Obama himself said:

This is just fun for me because I feel like I know you all, because I’ve enjoyed your performances; your writings have fundamentally changed me.

The plethora of women winning the award and the range of fields they come from are exciting to see honored with an award of this caliber. Strong intelligent creative ladies doing awesome things is always something we like to see!

Though I’m not sure Lucas should be getting any awards after the terrible Star Wars prequels, there’s something to be said for the President honoring a pioneer of the sci-fi genre — a genre which often goes unacknowledged as an art form among snobs of all kids. The fact that Lucas got this award sustains the trend of the sci-fi/fantasy genre becoming increasingly recognized for its importance and its creative value.

(via Jezebel and the New York Daily News)

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  • Shannon

    I agree that the prequels were, ahem, misguided in their execution, but Star Wars is such a universally accessible cultural touchstone, and did so much for sf/f as a genre, I can’t imagine not recognizing that.

    Also, can I say JOAN DIDION. Oh, gosh, she deserves all the awards.

  • Robert Vary

    Yeah, you can argue over the merits of the prequels and even of the original movies, but you can’t argue that George Lucas hasn’t had an immeasurable influence on movies in general and science fiction in particular.

  • Anonymous

    as Joan explained I am
    surprised that a stay at home mom able to get paid $7202 in 4 weeks on
    the internet. did you see this web link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Anonymous

    The risks Lucas took to make the first Star Wars makes me forgive any artistic mistake he made in his career since.

  • Anonymous

    And when you see the state of scifi at the time, and of the female characters in the genre, also, it’s hard to deny the influence later on.

  • Anonymous

    I’m incredibly happy for Joan Didion and Anna Deavere Smith!

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t exactly call 8 women out of 24 award winners a ‘plethora’ but I guess it’s a start!