Our first Real-End-of-A-Millennium Awards 

Brought to you by the usual panel of experts, cranks and ne'er-do-wells at Creative Loafing

Centuries ago, civilization offered few rewards. Life was brutish, disease was rampant, and there was no Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.Now, as we officially enter the 21st century (any nerd will tell you 2000 was actually the last year of the second millennium), life still is brutish, diseases continue to run rampant and traffic has gotten terrible.

But people are happy because they get recognition. There are the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys and the People's Choice Awards. There are Time's Person of the Year, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Delta SkyMile. There are employees of the month and lottery jackpots.

Heck, we give out something like 300 "Best Of Atlanta" certificates each year, and on the facing page CL is bestowing its annual CL Award, which honors the person or persons deemed to have had the most positive influence over the last 12 months on Atlanta's arts and culture.

So, this year, to offer recognition to folks who normally might not be applauded, we're proud to unveil the our first Real-End-of-A-Millennium Awards (If this proves popular, we'll do it again at the very next turn of the millennium). In some cases, the winners are folks whose quiet achievements were overshadowed by others' headlines. In most cases, they're folks whose achievements embarrassed the rest of us.

But all our REAM Award winners are being given these awards with one thought in common: Everyone -- no matter how venal, no matter how generous, no matter how petty, paranoid or ripe for indictment -- everyone deserves to go out a winner.

FERDINAND & IMELDA MARCOS AWARD FOR FUTILE ATTEMPTS AT TYRANNY: To Sidney & Sherry Dorsey, for their long list of scandals. Sidney, the DeKalb County sheriff, lost his race to the late Derwin Brown, after becoming the subject of numerous investigations, including one involving a program in which his wife, Sherry, an Atlanta councilwoman, used DeKalb County jail inmates to fix the homes of political supporters.

WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN AWARD FOR TIRELESS ORATORY: To Mayor Bill Campbell, for traveling the nation to give $142,788 in speeches to groups and corporations, some of which turned out to be city contractors. We'll overlook that little error about not reporting income from those speeches on public-disclosure documents; Now, if only the State Ethics Commission would also ignore the mayor's boo-boo.

BIGGEST BELLY FLOP AWARD: To Bert Ellis of iXL, who made hundreds of millions for TV station investors in the 1980s but lost hundreds of jobs for techies in 2000. Just as the Web-strategies company was moving into spiffy, high-profile offices off the Downtown Connector, iXL's stock-market value dropped from nearly $4.5 billion to less than $100 million, and the company announced 350 layoffs.

PLANET RADIO MEMORIAL AWARD FOR BONE-HEADED MARKETING MOVE: To the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center for changing its name from the distinctive and renowned Nexus Contemporary Arts Center to something bland enough to be the name of a furniture store.

BEST EVIDENCE OF ATLANTA'S CONTINUED PROVINCIALISM AWARD: To the High Museum of Art for its Ted Turner and Elton John exhibits. Two of the High's biggest shows this year amounted to voyeuristic expeditions into the private collections of two of the city's biggest celebrities.

KING OF CRAPS AWARD: To Bill Campbell, for his gambling trips. After questions were raised about whom he might be associating with and how the trips were funded, hizzoner explained that the answers were nobody's business.

PATIENCE OF JOB AWARD: To Cathy Woolard, Vincent Fort, Johnny Isakson -- three smart, hard-working people who find themselves islands of reason in seas of insanity: Woolard in Atlanta City Council, Fort in the Georgia Senate and Isakson in Georgia's extremist U.S. House Republican Caucus.

MOTHER TERESA HELP FOR THE HOMELESS AWARD: To Campbell, for housing an "aide" named Dewey Clark in his basement, who turned out to be a better friend of strip-club owner Michael David Childs.

BUFFALO GAL WON'T YOU COME OUT TONIGHT AWARD: To Ted Turner, who not only separated from wife Jane Fonda but also is falling further and further from the circles of power at CNN/Turner Broadcasting/ Time Warner/AOL/Masters of the Universe Inc. Not that he minds. Turner is dating up a storm and seems more interested in becoming a Wild West, buffalo-herding land baron than in controlling what you see and hear.

PRAVDA AWARD: Shared by Hot 97 and the Morning X, for providing an obsequious forum for Campbell in the midst of his many controversies.

HARMONIOUS LIVING AWARD: To state School Superintendent Linda Schrenko and state Education Board Chairman Otis Brumby. She's a cranky maverick who has alienated half her party. He's an overbearing newspaper publisher, known to be one of the most difficult bosses in Georgia. Together, they're in charge of your children's education. And, by the way, they hate each other.

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