Quite why this ceremony is given such blanket coverage - two and a half hours on primetime TV, national newspaper headlines, the BBC news - is baffling, given that it's an industry-voted exercise in keeping its biggest stars sweet.
There's no actual meaning to The Brits. Y'know, Adele won the "Global Success Award", for - presumably - most global success.
Surely, global success is a reward in itself, along with the millions of monies she'll be getting? Why would you need a shiny ornament too, least of all weep when receiving it?
Unless the people giving it to her want to keep her happy and compliant, of course. It's like giving a kid positive affirmation, so that they're more likely to clean their room.
We all like a bit of encouragement, right?
But when you get these big stars, who have millions of people voting with their wallets and applause, why should an award chosen by a committee of industry chiefs be considered more valuable than the opinions of all the people buying their records?
Presumably, because of the above example: the people giving the award are the parent in that situation. It's positive affirmation. A sweetener.
"You're a good girl. You always help mummy."
See, we've all got a thing called a locus of evaluation. An internal locus of evaluation is the best sort: it basically means that you are confident in who you are, you don't seek outside approval, etc. etc.
When things go wrong, and people are needy or insecure, or have low self-esteem, it is said they have an external locus of evaluation - that they look outside of themselves for worth, for affirmation, etc.
It's not a fixed point - it can float back and forth between the two states, and nobody's locus is definitively one thing and not another. We all like a bit of praise, and to know we're doing a good job. There's no getting around that: we're human.
Yet it's the difference between, say, me writing this article and thinking it's good, and simply enjoying the writing of it... and me writing this article and asking my mum if it's good, or going into spasms of depression if it fails to get shared online.
But anyway. I'm not really here to rant about The Brits. It just got me thinking about this need to label something the best something or another. Like... what's the best game ever? Not "What's your favourite game ever?" - but really... what's the best game ever? Or the best game in any particular year?
Anyone who thinks they can give a decisive answer to that is a stumpy cretin.
I've got a mate who I've probably had more arguments with than any other person on earth. We've just got one of those relationships where buttons get pushed, in a mostly good-natured fashion.
One of our favourite recurring rows is to do with this very subject: how do you define the "bestness" of a thing, specifically when that thing is an artistic or creative endeavour? When it's something that you can't quantify with statistics, or by being the fastest sprinter, or the tallest goat?
His theory is that it can only be defined by sales: the bigger selling a song or an album, the more people like it, the better it must be. And that if he doesn't like a million-selling song... then there must be something wrong with him.
He has a point, albeit a stupid one, but I counter this by stating that most of those big albums are backed by huge marketing budgets and media coverage. That there are other songs and albums that individuals might consider better, but which they'll never get to hear.
That's the debate at its most basic. There are other nuances, but we can go back and forth on this for hours, before eventually trying to strangle one another.
And yet there's a third thing, which I have been known to introduce into the discussion: "bestness" is in the eye, ear, or thumb of the beholder.
I actually don't know what I'd consider to be the best game ever. I wouldn't know where to begin.
How do you quantify it? Should it be something like Space War or Pong, because they were among the first?
The one I've got the greatest emotional attachment to (Skool Daze, or Super Mario World, or Dark Forces)... Or a game that I deem - from an entirely logical, detached perspective - to be objectively the best in all areas. Like a Zelda or a Half-Life 2.
Of course, it shouldn't be any of those things: the only way to actually say what the best game is, is to say it from the gut. What feels like the best game to you? When it comes down to that, we'll all have a different answer. Or a different reason for giving that answer.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter. The only people who really should care about the best game, film, song... are the people who want it to sell. Who want it to reach the biggest audience. "Best Thing" is too often mistaken for the quality of the thing, when all it really is is an exercise in marketing, and a way for the people who made the thing to feel a bit nice about themselves. Oh, and for certain celebs to get their photo taken on the red carpet, because they need the affirmation that they matter.
And there's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't really matter. All that matters is what you like. I actually quite liked the song Justin Bieber sung at The Brits, but I'm under no illusion that it hasn't been precision manufactured like a product, right even down to its public relations message ("Sorry" indeed). See also Far Cry Primal.
At its best, an award might motivate people to do their best. At its worst, it might contribute to a society where we only do things to get something in return. I know I'd rather people create the sorts of things they want to make, that they want to listen to, watch or play - not something that they think will sell more, or win the most awards.