Thursday, August 31, 2006

Emo kids on treadmills are about the best you can hope for, Lou

Almost every year I subject myself to at least some portion of MTV's Awards of Music Video, perhaps in order to gauge just how low America's high school tastemakers have sunk that year. I've pretty much given up hope of witnessing any sort of notable spontaneity or epic stupidity - beyond stray expletives - that the show was formerly famous for. And no, I'm not talking about that boring, desperate Britney-Madonna kiss, which the media inevitably runs a photo of alongside any preview coverage of this EVENT. The show and network were firmly in the pits by that point as well. This year's highlights can be summarized thusly:

1) There was a brief, two-or-three second shot of Al Gore talking to Steve-O from Jackass backstage, presumably about whether or not polar bears staple their own ass cheeks together for amusement. Maybe Gore's handlers can line up a photo op with Gary Glitter next just to really torpedo the former VP's credibility for good.
2) There was a gag about Justin Timberlake installing shelves in Jack Black's dressing room that was kind of amusing (to ME anyway. I'm normally more a fan of shoe rack humour).
3) Uhhhh... geez. That's it!

A recurring yearly pattern for this show is to bring on a bonafide legend or, failing that, at least a famous person over 50, for the faintest possible stab at credibility. This year it was Lou Reed, who ran through a barely-minute-long version of "White Light/White Heat" w/ The Raconteurs (a.k.a. Jack White's Half-Hearted Power Pop Explosion). Later, they had him introduce Best Rock Video with Pink, whose schtick these days appears to be goofing on vapid, manufactured pop stars; despite the fact that, last I checked (which was tonight), she's a vapid, manufactured pop star herself, except drunker. Anyway, Lou made an offhand comment about hoping MTV plays more rock videos, which was immediately rendered hilarious by the parade of eyeliner-loving emo kids in the nominee clips that followed. Much like someone who only knew rap music from the bling-heavy, Diddy Puff/P. Diddle/Puffy Longstocking era might possibly be forgiven for having a skewed perspective of the genre, anyone whose knowledge of contemporary rock stops at MTV2 might plausibly believe the music is now exclusively comprised of whiny, cotton candy-bottomed drama club kids -- along with the occasional, generically tattooed-and-beefy nu-metal band. Indeed, every white performer on this show except Timberlake and the increasingly sordid Jackass crew seemed to be auditioning for a pilot called Tim Burton Babies. There was even a preponderance of actual themed costumes among the emo kids (who I learned tonight suddenly include an embarassing Jared Leto among their ranks), as if to erase any doubt that they had finally inherited the mantle of ultimate ridiculousness from hair metal. The closest thing to a victory over these dweebs on this night was when Fall Out Boy wandered up in their Victorian-era Sherlock Holmes get-ups to collect an award and Wee Man from Jackass plunged the statuette straight into one of the guys' nuts. I'll take what I can get at this point, people.

Speaking of Jackass, I loved it as much as anyone and will be there to see the upcoming movie sequel (if nothing else, to see how completely they erase alleged kiddie-fiddler Don Vito from the Margera landscape). Yet I find it hard to believe after so many years that their laughing fits are still genuine when one of them gets hit in the balls. Could it be they're just coasting until the inevitable crippling injuries and testicular cancer sets in? If today's kids can't look to the likes of Steve-O and Ryan Dunn for sincerity and inspiration, where else can they turn? Candidates for local office? I think not.

Really, I don't see what the point is of having a music video awards show in 2006 anyway. Everyone was reminded that the form reached it's peak in the early 80's when the following clip was rediscovered online a few months ago (I think it only won Most Implausible Attempt at Heterosexuality):


litelysalted said...

A recurring yearly pattern for this show is to bring on a bonafide legend or, failing that, at least a famous person over 50, for the faintest possible stab at credibility.

You mean besides John Norris and Kurt Loder?


Chris said...

Yeah, really. I'd love to know what they do at MTV the other 364 days of the year. I picture a bored Loder jotting down questions for Dirty South rappers months in advance and writing unpublished reviews of Neil Young's 1980's albums to stay sane. Meanwhile Norris is off contemplating how he can make himself age as badly as possible ("Strawberry blonde hair dye? Let's do it!").

loveyouintheface said...

Pink pees in parking lots. Not only is that great alliteration but it lends her the integrity and grit that other vapid, pop princesses don't have..except Britney Spears..and Jessica Simpson...and...oh.