The Video Music Awards or VMAs, were aired Sunday night on MTV. Everyone knows MTV really doesn’t play videos anymore, but it needs to be said again that them hosting this kind of award show is like the Detroit Lions honoring football excellence, Ashton Kutcher rewarding good movies, or MSNBC awarding objective journalism. It should also be noted that an award show honoring music videos (the original purpose of MTV) is in its own right, pretty narcissistic. It would be like the Kardashians getting together and giving awards to themselves for best Kardashian in a number of different categories. Biggest Mooch off a Kardashian, and the winner is – Brody Jenner…come on up and get your golden sex tape.
The 2010 version was hosted by Chelsea Handler, who I wrote about my admiration of here. Chelsea is one of the better comedians going these days and her late night show is excellent. At first I wasn’t sure why she’d attach her name to something as vapid and useless as the MTV Video Awards. Then I thought about it a bit. Why wouldn’t she do it? I’m sure she got paid to host the event. Money is always nice, regardless of how many movies Michael Moore makes trying to convince us of the opposite. Plus she’s very good at making fun of people; just watch her show for a few minutes. I say that as a compliment and not a detriment. What better opportunity is there to rip on the likes of Lady Gaga and Kanye West than hosting a show they will be at? It’s a blank check on insults. Only the judge presiding over Lindsay Lohan’s criminal issues has a better opportunity to put oblivious celebrities in their place.
Full disclosure should be revealed here. I used to like the VMAs. This was back when videos were shot with nothing more than what seemed like a hand held camcorder. The set looked like a room in someone’s house or rented office space. There weren’t a lot of props and sometimes the video was just a clip from a concert. Hot For The Teacher, Walk This Way, We’re Not Gonna Take It and of course one of the all-time most ridiculous videos, Separate Ways, are just a few examples.
I watched the VMAs to see if my favorite bands would win, but I’d also watch to see some of my favorite comics and entertainers as well. People don’t remember who won Best Video in 1992, but they do remember this. Nor do they recall who won anything in 1989, but this got a comic banned from MTV. In hindsight it’s pretty funny MTV banned Dice for saying a few curse words, but now their shows have more sex on them than Cinemax.
Perhaps it’s part of me getting older and longing for the days of better music and more talent. But back when the VMAs started the show wasn’t an extravagant affair and the musicians who won actually were good at doing something other than lip-synching. I listen to a lot of classic rock on the radio. This is for a few reasons. Obviously one reason is because the music on there is from my younger days and before and I grew up listening to it. However, another reason is because most of the new artists today are terrible. Does anyone really think in 20 years we’ll be listening to The Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry or Justin Bieber on classic rock stations? I don’t.
Then again, in 20 years I’ll probably be happy just tuning in to the oldies channel.