MTV has been on the air since 1981, beaming music to the masses, and giving rise to such immortal phrases as “I want my MTV!” and “Carson Daly is, like, so hot!” Teenagers across the country watch the channel religiously, from Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, the show that proves being stupid can make you millions of dollars, to Real World, the original reality show. These teenagers get all of their news from MTV, meaning that they know what Britney wore to her latest movie premiere, but have no idea what Fallujah is, or who John Kerry is. MTV is viewed by these teenagers as the pinnacle of civilization, when in fact it is simply producing vegemite from the barrels of pop culture.
MTV officially stands for “Music Television”, but that doesn’t seem to faze the program directors there from finding new ways to program television that have little or nothing to do with music. “Pimp My Ride”, MTV’s latest hit show that will be run into the ground in the coming year after they make 50,000 new episodes of it, is hosted by a rapper. And that’s about as close as it gets to having music in it. There are no videos, or performances, or any of the things that 1980’s MTV took pride in showing. They do show music in the early hours of the morning... but the average 14-year-old isn’t allowed to stay up that late.
Much of the “music” shown on MTV is rap. Personally, I find the term “rap music” to be an oxymoron. It seems to take very little talent to become an MTV rapper. Simply dress in blurry clothes and lots of gold chains, open 10 bottles of $100 wine, stick your groin area in the general direction of a woman who happens to be wearing about 5 square inches of clothing, moan a few times in an attempt to sing, and talk about your “Bitches”, “Hos”, and “Homies”, adding “Izzle” at the end of a few random words; you now have the latest rap smash sensation until MTV finds someone uglier than you, in which case your fans move on, and you’re forced to be a “Featured” artist on some other popular person’s album.
The lack of originality on MTV is appalling. They come out with 3 new shows a year, if America gets lucky, and those shows never last more than 2 years apiece. Instead, they fill out the holes in their schedule with... music, you say? No! That would be too easy! Instead they fill it out with reruns of the Real World and Road Rules, their two reality shows that will never ever die, even though the characters in both have become stereotype roles to fill. In Road Rules, there’s always one gay guy, one guy who hates gay guys, one bitch, one bisexual, and two people that are just kind of there, generic people who MTV hopes will create another stereotype, and in the process make their casting all the more easier.
Recently, MTV added a new channel, MTV2, to their lineup, with the miraculously revolutionary idea of playing music videos 24 hours a day. MTV quickly realized that this format is not profitable, because people who watch MTV don’t like watching music videos. So they started making MTV2 show even more Road Rules and Real World than its sister channel. They also put all the music that isn’t either rap or completely generic pop onto MTV2, which makes for an interesting listen sometimes, but most of the time it’s their dumping grounds for bands that didn’t make the cut for MTV.
MTV does not stand for Music Television anymore... it’s more akin to either “Mindless Television”, or “Mindless Teeny-Bopper Viewership”, or “Men, Tits, and”... I think you know how to finish that one. It’s painful to watch people treat MTV as if it were giving them a message from God. Then again, much of the viewership thinks Carson Daly is their god, so that might not be too far off from the truth. If MTV were a human, it would have the brains of Jessica Simpson, the attractiveness of Liza Minelli, and a foul mouth befitting any of South Park’s residents. It also would never wear clothing that didn’t show off its butt or breast size. In other words, MTV would be a prostitute, befitting its current status as a corporate whore of Viacom and the RIAA.