A star was born on August 1, 1981. And it was a day that I missed. A Leo baby came into the First World as a semi-ingenious combination of two of our favorite things: music and television. If you guessed this musical phenomenon to be Ashley Parker Angel, former singer from the hit boy band O-Town who also went on to have his own reality TV show in 2006, you get half credit, but if you guessed Music Television, otherwise known as MTV, then you hit that note pitch-perfect.
Yes, my friends, I’m talking MTV. The big one. The bane of jokes since its invention. A New York-based television program that my brother once dubbed as being “nothing but a bunch of D-cups and six-packs.” And I am addicted to it.
It all started when I was twelve and got a television for Christmas. It was placed on top of my dresser in my room and every morning, while trying to fight the Earth-shattering pain of finding the will to face another day in junior high, I would watch music videos, because, let’s be honest, it’s either watching those or infomercials during the early morning hours.
I remember watching them and thinking “oh, Snoop looks good in this one,” and “who the hell is this Kanye West guy and why does he think he has the right to be in almost every video?” I also got to see Eminem in his “Lose Yourself” heyday, along with JT when he was having fun with his first solo album (he’s come a long way — I’m proud of him,) and even Britney when she was still a relatively put-together 22-year-old. Yep, she was put-together once. And 22!
Then came the fun part of discovering artists before they were cool, such as witnessing the advent of Rihanna, The Killers, Amy Winehouse, and the peak of Lil Wayne’s fame and success. Along with this came the discoveries of pre-Top-40 hits before they became popular, but this was not as much fun, because as soon as the song became popular I couldn’t stand listening to it anymore. Let’s just say that I wanted to go all Dane Cook when the particular song came on, if you know what I mean. Still, I love those vids.
Yes, this journey has lasted me about a decade of mindless morning-watching fun. Yet still this program has given us one of the greatest questions ever been asked of men: Why doesn’t Mtv play music anymore?
Let’s be honest, the channel’s quite hypocritical. I mean, it’s pretty low to give the ONLY thing that differentiates them from ANY OTHER PROGRAM ON CABLE the total shaft. Music videos have taken the graveyard shift at best, while other shows like “Teen Mom” and “Ridiculousness” take the front seat during primetime. What did music videos ever do to you, MTV? Did they wear the same dress as you did to the VMA’s one year? Are you still all ticked off that they made a mockery out of your gimmicky hair bands by throwing Nirvana on the airwaves? What’s the deal?
I am willing to make a proposition: that MTV play every music video ever made from beginning to end and, when they are finished airing them, they can go right back to showing teenagers and Snooki giving birth again. I bet them anything that during their musical hiatus from their normal stupidity, their ratings will be better than ever before. I just hope that they will learn to set aside their differences and give those adorable little booty-shaking, half-naked, subliminal message-laden videos a chance.