the kids, they like the mtv

i’m not getting too old, am i?

I watched the MTV Video awards last night. I probably wouldn’t have bothered, since it was Must-See-TV, and I missed all the shows from last season being on stage, but last night they decided to show the last Seinfeld again, and I had already seen it. So I flipped to MTV.

And I came to a terrible conclusion.

I’m getting older.

MTV is no longer for me. I don’t find my escape from the chains of my life. I don’t feel that those people know me and are singing to me and my heart doesn’t race for the Backstreet Boys.

Even last year I had a better time, watching Marilyn Manson and Chris Rock… this year, I felt that the whole thing was sloppy and silly. All the performers from my youth are getting older. The Beastie Boys are doing protests (although their set kicked ass), and for some reason Madonna now sounds like Madeline Khan. When did she become British? When? I kept waiting for her to go, “I’m really glad I won this award, because if I hadn’t there, well, I’d, there’s, flames. FLAMES. On the side of my face, heaving… breathing breath…”

And then there was a bunch of artists I didn’t give a crap about. I would find something else to watch. There were presenters I didn’t even know. That’s never happened before. I was always such a big fan of MTV growing up… I was watching “Video Killed the Radio Star” with all the others, but sometime after the invention of The Real World Seattle, I stopped bothering to turn in.

I mean, “Make ‘Em Say, UUUGHH?” What the hell is that? The guy sounds like he’s still learning to speak.

And I felt that someone in the MTV judging booth was trying to hold onto the same past that I was, otherwise Madonna and Will Smith would not have won as much as they did. We wouldn’t have seen Aerosmith, Metallica, Chuck D…The Beastie Boys’ Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Video Montage left much to be desired. They put much more soul into L.L. Cool J’s and Mark Romanek’s last year. Puff Daddy was not the big winner he was last year. And Fiona Apple? To quote my boyfriend, “Star power: dim, dimmer, dimming.”

I’m glad Hole played, but where was Radiohead? The Foo Fighters? How can “Smack My Bitch Up” win three awards (nominated for more) and be a video that was banned on MTV?
Why was Eric Clapton nominated for best male video? Who saw that video? What’s going on?

It was the worst presentation of the nominees ever. Just bits of clips slammed together with static and noise and YOU KIDS TURN DOWN THAT MUSIC, YA HEAR! PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO THINK AROUND HERE! Jesus, I’m complaining about the feedback on the award presentation and that makes me incredibly VH-1, I know, but I mean, COME ON! I want to see who was nominated, and not try and figure out what video was next. All the skipping and the scratching. I felt old. Who was Tatiana Ali?

Speaking of VH-1, don’t think that for a moment I’m not nervous that I watch much more VH-1 than MTV. I get my Pop-Up Video fix and even watch My Generation once in a while, but I’ll tell you, I don’t understand why Daria is funny. Is it supposed to be funny in a Janeane Garofalo sort of way? Or is it like the opposite of Beavis and Butthead (in which Daria was a funny character)… I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the pull of Daria. And once Daria was such a hit on MTV, I knew that I was no longer the target audience for MTV. They were already trying to push M2 on me, which I’ve never seen available anywhere, and I’m considered “retro” or something stupid like that… some half-ass label that basically means “older than college age kid but not, like, my mom or anything.”

I have no music station. Therefore, I have no identity. Or at least that’s what the television tells me. I gave up on the radio long ago, but giving up on MTV has really hurt a part of me that still wants to be wild and young. Pop Culture is one of my favorite things… but some of the people in today’s Pop Culture bore the hell out of me.

I want rock starts with guts. I don’t care if you “Don’t Get Down on the First Night.” Make me feel something when you sing. Make me cry and scream and jump around. At least keep me interested, for Pete’s sake. I mean, Matchbox 20? Like, gag me with a spoon.

I’m almost willing to say I’ve outgrown MTV because I don’t really want to be associated with today’s “MTV Generation.” But, I’m upset that they already gave it away without my willingness to give it up. It was a big part of my youth, and now it’s not for me anymore. I hope that today’s MTV Generation realizes that they are getting hand-me-downs, and not the original, powerful, style-making channel that MTV once was. They don’t even know what the Basement Tapes was. They have no idea who Dave Kendall was, and they could never shout at the top of their lungs in a ridiculous accent, “This is Dave Kendall on 120 Minutes here on MTV.” They never saw Adam Sandler as Stickpin. They didn’t watch Will Smith complain about his parents when we knew him as the Fresh Prince (and he didn’t have a t.v. show).

So, MTV is leaving me behind, and leaving me VH-1. I remember when I was a kid I hated VH-1. I thought it was total crap music, and I was concerned that I was becoming a crap music listener when I started watching it last year… but I think that VH-1 has lowered it’s age demographic for us… because if I remember correctly… yes… that’s right…I’ve never liked Michael Bolton… and I never will. VH-1 wants to be my new MTV, and like a neglected lonely child, I’m willing to be comforted in its mediocre arms. I can take a little Shania Twain with my Crowded House. Just don’t take away my Behind the Music.

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