MTV Will Rot Your Brain: True Then, Truer Now

This week, MTV quietly celebrated their 25th anniversary. Quietly, I say, probably because they're so embarassed by what's become of them. Instead of being the home to cutting-edge music videos, they're now the home to mind-numbing "reality" drivel.

I decided to take some time out this past weekend to watch some of this era's MTV programming. I honestly haven't voluntarily watched MTV since The Real World: Seattle in 1998, when the cast was forced to work at a radio station (imagine that! An MTV show with a plot about music!) and the first domestic disturbance on a trashy MTV reality show set the bar high for the next dozen seasons, or however long it's been.

I can pretty easily sum up what I think of MTV today. I took the liberty of renaming some MTV programs. The titles may be unruly, but they're definitely more accurate:

Room Raiders should be How Many Cum Stains, Sex Toys, and Skimpy Pieces of Underwear Can We Find In Your Room And Still Find You Dateable?

Tiara Girls would be better known as I Reached My Peak At 16 - It's All Downhill From Here

The Hills, 8th and Ocean, and Laguna Beach should all appear in one program block, titled The Let's Pretend Not to Script the Lives of Snobby Whores and Call It Reality Block!

My Super Sweet 16 should be I'm A Spoiled Rotten Brat Who Gets Everything I Ask For And Get It Put on TV or, alternately, what the show has become: Every Middle-Class Parent's Worst Nightmare

Why Can't I Be You? is actually short for You're a Model, Why Can't I Be You? Because You're Fat and Ugly, Dumbass

Pimp My Ride would be best known for what the program actually does: Make My Ride Undrivable and Uninsurable

Yo Momma? More like Yo Momma So Dumb, She Let You Watch This Show.

I'm sorry. I'm bitter. I used to defend MTV when adults would criticize it. Now, even though I'm still considered a "young adult," I wouldn't mind seeing every tape of the aforementioned programs burned in the middle of Times Square, live on TRL. These programs send horrible messages: you NEED a flashy car. You NEED a $50,000 16th birthday party. You NEED to be someone else, not yourself. You NEED to be beautiful.

Those aren't the messages I got from MTV as a kid. Maybe they told me I NEEDED to get the new Nirvana album, but you can't really blame them for that. At least then, they defined what youth culture was. If these shows define what youth culture is today, the next generation of adults will be egomaniacal, materialistic wannabes, who think their faces, voices, and opinions are the most important things on Earth.

They might even use blogs to do that.

Oh, wait.

7 Moments of Idiocy:

Anonymous ryan said...

I'm right there with you on this one. At 24, I used to enjoy MTV for it's innovation combining audio with video. However today, I breeze right by that channel and head straight for Secrets of WWII on the History Channel. I haven't seen any of these shows that you've listed here.

Jesus I'm getting old.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Dad and I did something right.

8:06 AM  
Blogger WelshSoxFan said...

Amen brother!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Marjorie said...

Good post. Oh, but it's not $50m for a 16th b-day more like $500m.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous brianb215 said...

Think about it though - if MTV was still cool to you, a withered, ancient 25-year-old, then it wouldn't be doing its job.

And come on - were Beavis + Butthead, NKOTB and Singled Out really that much better than Laguna Beach, the Pussycat Dolls and Next, or were they only better because they were ours?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know where you're coming from and actually feel the same way, but Brianb hit the nail on the head.

It may be called MTV, but it always has been & always will be a network aimed at young adults. Back when they created/named it, music videos were the way to do that. For some reason (that none of us will really understand) this shit is what appeals to the young adults now.

Of course, when we were watching Adam Ant and Michael Jackson, the "old people" didn't understand it either. I can only imagine what that generation thinks of current MTV if they hated the original one...


11:04 AM  
Anonymous Merdith said...

I've been missing Downtown Julie Brown for quite some time now.

And remember when MTV news was trying to be respectible? Does Kurt Loder even still work there? Damn, I love Kurt Loder.

I really enjoyed the Real World: Seattle. Every season after that, they all started sleeping with each other and becoming alcoholics. (No, seriously. The season after that was Hawaii.)

7:15 PM  

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