Sunday, August 28, 2011

VMA Post-Mortem

I had no intention of writing anything about tonight's Video Music Awards (aside from the squibs over at TVLatest), but the show has been over for twenty minutes and I find myself jittery, on edge, and feeling kind of angry and I have no idea why.

I think part of the problem is that my intent for watching was not coming from a positive place. Being in Detroit for the majority of the last year has left me fairly unexposed to popular music. When the radio stations play only that one Eminem song, that one Usher song, "Rolling in the Deep" and "E.T.", you're left in the boonies in terms of what other people are listening to. You used to be able to find out what those songs could be by tuning into MTV, but as the students who are arriving on-campus Tuesday will tell you, that has not been the case in their lifetimes.

I'll let that sink in before moving on.

Also, as is the case with any major event of this sort, Twitter scrolls along in the background. What I love about Twitter is getting to share in cultural moments with people who are on the same wavelength as me. Unfortunately, that wavelength includes competitive bitchery, which is in full force for the VMAs. The only moments that I think were universally enjoyed ("universally" being defined as 65% approval or better) was Adele's performance and Beyoncé's baby bump. Even the Amy Winehouse tribute (which I thought was classy given that Russell Brand was the main spokesperson) received a heavy dose of heckling from my follow list.

I guess what bothers me is that tonight's show was like watching a dream unfulfilled. When I was born my six siblings ranged in age from 5-17 and just about all of them wanted their MTV. Throughout my toddlerdom I received Chernobyl-like exposure to music presented in the video format. Now you know why I am the way I am. Anyway, I wanted to make music videos when I grew up, but when the programming model of MTV and VH1 shifted in the mid-90's there was a supply/demand issue arising. MTV2 came along and I would watch that for hours on end during my high school years. Then that programming model changed and now that dream felt all but dead.

Maybe this is a long-winded way of saying "I'm old! They don't play music on MTV anymore! GET OFF MY LAWN!" Maybe that's what's bumming me out.

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