MTV VMAs 2013
By Jeffrey Kieviet
Chemical Warfare in Syria
What did you do Sunday? It is meant to be a day of rest, so did you sleep in, go to the pool, have a BBQ? Maybe instead of resting you went out into the world, hiking in the mountains, biked next to the ocean, or just went for a drive. Or were you one of the thousands of people who tuned in to MTV for their 2013 awards show, celebrating something that MTV no longer associates with: Music Videos? I know, right? The last music video I remember was something about Eminem dressing up as Elvis Presley and eating a sandwich out of the toilet. So I can only imagine that music videos have turned into majestic works of art, rivaling the Mona Lisa & Carrot Top’s most recent stand-up special.
I used to watch MTV. Turn it on in the morning to listen to music as I got ready for school, sit on the couch with my nimwitted buddies (the anxious blond crack-head & the violent one with braces) mocking the videos we hated and cheering for metal & rock, sharing my feelings with Carson Daily as Tom Green’s Bum became the most requested video in the country. I was never much of a fan of the reality shows, but I remember that one guy who ended up in Van Wilder back when he was on the Real World. And then the Real World challenged Road Rules and there were cross-overs aplenty, like Batman vs Superman if all the heroes were 20 year old alcoholics who liked to skinny dip & puke. Flash forward however many years it’s been (long enough for the children conceived during the Real World Reunion to be having kids of their own on 16 & Pregnant) and it appears that every show on MTV is reality based, with very little having to do with music. Sure, during Catfish the TV Show they’ll put a little plug along the bottom of the screen for the song that’s currently playing for 6 seconds, and I guess that gets out new artists and music better than the latest episode of Duck Dynasty, but for a channel called “Music TeleVision,” there’s very little music.
But once a year the rock gods and pop queens get together to celebrate the little movies they make and hand out awards. I don’t say “little” in a condescending tone, most of these videos cost more to make than all the coins lost in all the couches of all the world since the beginning of time, but they’re 3-4 minutes long, 10 minutes tops if Lady Gaga feels the need to show her Lady Parts in an 8 minute prologue to try to drive plot into the song. Now let’s be honest, you probably didn’t spend your Sunday night watching the Video Music Awards. If you did, hopefully it was at a party full of people and the show was just a catalyst for social, human interaction, and hopefully you had fun throwing popcorn at the TV and shouting rude things when your favorite performer didn’t win. And good for Justin Timberlake, I hear he did well, and I thought Southland Tales was very underrated. Point being, I didn’t see the show. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was happening, I didn’t realize music videos were still made other than fan mash-ups of Weird Al & Breaking Bad. But I did watch the 6 & 1/2 minutes that everyone and their offended grandmother were talking about Monday morning. You can watch it too:
Weird, right? And I don’t mean the video, I mean weird that EVERYONE is talking about it. It’s a pop star dancing half naked on stage with teddy bears & Alan Thick’s son. I mean, what’s the BFD? They have been doing this since MTV came about. Remember that chick that danced on the hood of White Snake’s car? Yeah, Tawny Kitaen! Who played Hercules’s wife in the Legendary Journeys (at least ’til Hera killed her). This happens all the time: Justin Timberlake showing Janet Jackson’s boobie, Britney Spears shaving her head, Amanda Bynes going on a Twitter rampage. Was it just last year that Kanye gave the best Taylor Swift acceptance speech ever?
Hell, Lady Gaga was dressed more scandalously. And while everyone is bitching and complaining about popculture meaninglessness, we’re all forgetting something very important. Miley Cyrus had more fun in those 6 & 1/2 minutes than you had in all of college. Look at her face! Sure, she can’t keep her tongue in her mouth (I think it’s something to do with the teddy bear, he wags his tongue too, maybe it’s like logo/product association, but I digress) but she is happy, smiling, laughing. She’s dancing around on stage in front of thousands of fans, and couch-loads of people watching on their televisions at home. She gets to bump and grind against a beautiful man who has the number one song in America. Most girls her age are lucky if the guy that gropes and dances with her at the club has all his teeth, this guy is the real-life version of Mike Seaver (before Kirk Cameron got all Mr. Christ-y). Imagine walking out onto a stage in a giant auditorium and (regardless of how the internet is going to compare her plastic-butt shorts to a chicken’s ass) the whole room is just full of people who want to touch your body? Men, women, screaming tweens, all reaching out in desperation to grab a handful of infamous essence and famous buttocks. To be modest, I’ve had, at most, a room full of maybe 99 people look at me and say, “Damn, I want a piece of that.” And it feels good to be wanted. Imagine that times a hundred thousand million. It’s got to feel pretty darn amazing. Cut the girl a little slack, if anyone was being a creeper, it was the guy twice her age banging her in a Beetlejuice costume.
There are people who are genuinely disappointed. “Miley, you started so nice, you were a Disney princess, Hannah Montana, Billy Rae Esq. etc.” And sure, she’s been caught smoking a little pot and there has been a drug reference or two in her songs, but she’s a kid and that’s what kids do. Sure, she’s famous, in the spot light, a roll model, but Paris Hilton and Kardashian rose to fame because of sex tapes. She’s not making porn, she playing with teddy bears and dancing and experimenting like any other kid growing up, her’s is just in the public limelight.
Here’s what I understand about it: this world has a lot of bad things happening and people don’t want to think about them. There is chemical warfare in Syria, people are getting killed on the regular frickin’ everywhere, Big Brother is listening to all our cell phone conversations and reading all our sexts, pastor’s sons are committing suicide: there is a problem with the world and it’s nice to have something utterly meaningless to distract yourself. So do that, have a little distraction, photoshop some funnies to post on facebook, and then move the !@#$ on! Take care of business, get back to the real world (not the TV show) and focus on things that matter. There is no need for all the attention, all the complaints, all the news articles and 3 page blog posts. Oops. & If you’ve got that kind of time to waste on Miley Cyrus, the problem isn’t with her, it’s with you… and me.
And now, because imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, here is a parody of the music video for Miley’s song, We Can’t Stop: