I was three years old on August 1, 1981. That’s the day MTV launched with the first ever music video played on a channel devoted solely to music. There were VJs — the television equivalent of disc jockeys — and catch phrases like “I WANT MY MTV” and then the Video Music Awards in 1984. There was Billy Joel and Michael Jackson and Fleetwood Mac and Pat Benatar and The Pointer Sisters and The Bangles walking like Egyptians.
But isn’t that a whole lot of MUSIC, one might ask? How does that even begin to make sense for a channel called Music TV?
Oh right…never mind.
I’m not going to lie. I’m a bit pissed off that I was born a decade too late, even if the only reason is that I outgrew She-Ra and The Chipmunks just in time for the M in MTV to decide it no longer stood for music and The Real World kicked off what has since turned out to be the biggest brain-suck of all time known as reality television. Now? We have 16 and Pregnant and Jersey Shore and The Pauly D Project and Punk’d and HOLY HELL I THINK I JUST LOST IQ POINTS WRITING THAT.
Does anyone else realize that if the Mayans are wrong and future civilizations are looking for clues as to what our society was like and all they can find are Snooki’s Bump-it and a copy of US Weekly with MEET THE CAST OF TEEN MOM 2 as the headline they are going to think we were ALL slutty teenagers with bad hair? Is that how we want to be remembered?
It would be so lovely — yes, lovely — to wake up tomorrow morning to find that this whole scripted reality TV trend has ended. That the word “celebrity” no longer includes the little brats on My Super Psycho Sweet 16. And it would be fucking phenomenal if these stupid shows stopped getting together and making more babies like The Real Housewives of Plastic Surgery County.
Do I think this is going to happen? Of course not.
Am I aware that I am friends with a lot of people who not only watch this shit but actually enjoy it and can’t wait for the next season? Sadly, yes.
And is the money pouring in from the advertisers clamoring for a bit of the air-time devoted to trashy TV the driving force behind even more trashy TV being produced? Of course it is.
It’s like a self-perpetuating circle of Mind-Numbness and declining moral values, and ya know what? That’s fine…if that’ what you’re into. All I ask is that we stop pretending MTV is now what it was when scrunchies were cool and Michael Jackson was still black because music is no longer in the equation.
SRTV (Scripted Reality TV) has a nice ring to it, no? Or maybe GPTV (Guilty Pleasure TV)? Or perhaps FTTV for Fake and Trashy?
All I know is that I miss the 80′s. And Aquanet.
Pauline M. Campos is wife to The Husband, mother to “Buttercup,” and has decided that it’s time to make peace with her cellulite.
She got started in newspapers and served as city editor for a few local papers before hitting the big time at The Detroit News and freelancing for the Metro-Detroit based Metro Parent Magazine before taking a break after baby. She’s a featured blogger at www.owningpink.com and contributes to the hilarious www.anarmyofermas.com. Oh right, and her own blog? That’s www.aspiringmama.com. You’re welcome.
She’s also pretty sure God made her lactose intolerant because she refused to stop chewing her ice cream.