The deluge of press in the aftermath of the MTV Video Music Awards has somehow managed to ignore perhaps the most obvious fault with this show: the videos. We’ve become pretty naive if we find the awards show shocking. Frankly, in this age of publicists and media trainers I’m shocked we can find anything shocking. Putting the spectacle aside and getting to the heart of the matter, how is it possible to dedicate a show to videos that most people are probably only seeing for the first time during the nominee montage?
“MTV doesn’t play videos,” is very old hat and I’m not a grumpy old person yet. But the fact they still dedicate a show to videos is very ironic. Even stranger is how the only way to watch videos on MTV is through this award show. I must add an important footnote: MTV beyond the States is much better. Yes, just like Mexican Coke U.S. versions of most things have become subpar.
Case in point: I have basic cable in Santiago. No movie channels, just the cheapest package for the fastest internet, zoom! But we somehow have like a dozen music video channels. Read: channels that ONLY play music videos. I am living in the best kind of paleofuture, a branch of time that broke off popular culture sometime in the 1990s when reality television shows consumed the creative space of music videos.
Coming from the U.S. I didn’t realize people were still making music videos. But our basic cable music channels actually play curated hour-long sessions of Depeche Mode, Slayer, top-ten Brit Classics from the 90s, etc. Considering we’re watching from Chile I have the suspicion these shows are curated to this metal-post-punk public. I am also grateful to my basic cable since mundane channel-surfing has brought me Iggy Azalea.
Before this video hit me last week, I was in a Regina Spektor funk, courtesy of Rdio.
By now it’s obvious I come to most things late. Spektor is lovely and all but she smothers my angst. Iggy Azalea unleashes it, and I am grateful since “Work” is a more accurate temperature of my current dissertation-writing state.