Since this blog is supposed to be a bit about fun and opinion, I thought I’d ask the question many of us rock music fans have been asking ourselves and scratching our heads about for years. Why the hell did MTV kill rock and roll?
I have read a few posts on the web that are nothing more than apologies for MTV, claiming MTV did nothing of the sort. In fact, they claim MTV promoted every kind of music and helped a lot of bands and musicians, etc… Well, that’s true. MTV was my favorite channel when our little town finally got it added to the list of cable networks available. And MTV promoted ALL kinds of music. They were fresh and innovative and had a lot of programming that was right up the alley of our youthful generation. But then something happened, and those that defend MTV now are just full of crap. Seriously.
I actually read a defense of MTV not showing videos on Answers.com. I’m not picking on the person that wrote it, but they said MTV doesn’t show videos because the majority of music these days is so full of vulgarity that they try to protect kids from hearing the foul language. That argument is about as stupid as the Jersey Shore. First of all, watch MTV for a day and see how many times the F-bomb gets bleeped out. Also, kids hear this kind of language at school all day. And third, MTV is not a protector of morality. If they were then they would avoid all things controversial that deals with morality such as the heated moral debates about homosexuality and abortion/teen pregnancy. They don’t shy away from those issues, so I’m pretty damn sure that MTV could care less about kids hearing some foul language.
MTV stands for “music television.” When was the last time you saw a music video on there? Maybe at 3 or 4 in the morning…I don’t know, I’m never watching television at that time. Other than some obscure hour in which they perhaps show a video (I have no proof they do), then I’m guessing the last time MTV showed a video might have been in the 1990’s or something. Who knows. And at this point, who cares! What MTV originally was compared to what they are now is about the same difference as night and day.
MTV used to have great shows, including the daily call in request show called Dial MTV. They would show the top 10 most requested videos of the day. That was cool. Then they changed the name of the show until it eventually became called “Total Request Live,” later shortened to TRL hosted by lame ass Carson Daly. MTV decided that it would be better to only show brief clips of the videos that were requested and replace it with Carson Daly trying to act like the cool heart throb he was not and packing the small studio with kids off the street so that all we heard before we got twenty seconds of a top video was, “Hi, my name is Amanda and the number four video today is Backstreet Boys. Whoooo, whoooo, whooooo, arrrgghhhh, ahhhhhh, whooooo, ahhhhhh!” Continue the useless psychotic screaming and the rest of the small crowd joining in so that you actually couldn’t hear the first five seconds of the twenty seconds they gave you of the song. The show sucked and eventually if was in existence no more.
MTV brought out a show called “The Real World” way back in the early 1990’s or thereabouts that was their first stab at reality TV. It took complete strangers with nothing in common and put them in an apartment to see how long it would take them before all hell broke loose and it was a dramatic argumentative soap opera for kids. Well, the first season was entertaining so they made season two with all new people. It was a popular show but after a while they were all just the same, just like every other reality TV show. However, I guess the powers that be at what used to be the coolest channel on the dial decided it was cheaper to produce shows like that than to actually work with artists and show videos.
So, from the perspective of the viewer, MTV killed rock and roll in order to become a reality TV network for high school kids. Also, they appear to be a political partisan network during years of presidential elections with their “Rock the Vote” garbage. Of course they claim to be non-partisan as they parade celebrities back and forth that encourage young first time voters to vote for the democrat. It was the same when I was 18 and they obviously favored Bill Clinton. And they have favored one party ever since. Personally I don’t care what party they favor. I just wish that they would admit it and file “Rock the Vote” as a political action committee. However, that is just my opinion. I don’t do politics on this blog, but I don’t mind pointing out the obvious.
So why would MTV sell out the same music fans and cool-ass artists that made them what they are? Well, if you could produce a much cheaper programming model (reality TV) and get mind numbed 15 year olds to watch and think that you’re still the cool channel you used to be and pack each hour with way too many commercials----yep, MONEY. MTV is no different than all the other “greedy” corporations out there. They just don’t want the angry 15-25 year old crowd to know it.
MTV killed rock and roll for a new programming model to make more money. That’s fine, and who doesn’t like to make a buck. I’m all about capitalism. But it flies in the face of their fake façade and makes them a complete sell out to what made them all successful in the first place. That’s not what the rebellious spirit of rock and roll is all about. You guys can rock and still make tons of money. Instead, you’re just a bunch of sell outs with about fifteen different music channels. Even VH1 is just as bad. VH1 Classic…I’ll still watch that channel until it sells out, too. At least you can see some videos on that channel.
So my suggestion to MTV. Change your name. You don’t show videos. You have little to do with music, so it just seems like false advertising. And why bother having the MTV Music Video Awards. What videos? Drop the show.
Could someone out there please borrow MTV’s early business model and bring back rock and roll? Kids everywhere would appreciate seeing some new music videos. It’s sad that so many music fans have to go to YouTube to find the latest videos of our favorite artists.
MTV, you suck. And there are millions of rock fans, rap fans, grunge fans, R&B fans, and alt rock fans that would like to tell you exactly what they think you do suck. Of course, this is all just my humble opinion.