Positive Cynicism – I hate MTV

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

I’m not sure why I keep watching the MTV Movie Awards. They haven’t been funny in a decade, at least. Remember how they used to be? They were supposed to be the fun awards that no one took seriously; they were never as anti-establishment as MTV claimed they were, but the Movie Awards deflated so much of the pretentious self-love of award shows and reveled in its own ridiculousness.

At some point, I guess after the original MTV Generation got old enough to move on to other channels, a decision seems to have been made to take the MTV Movie Awards as seriously as the Oscars. They went from being anti-establishment to considering themselves, for people from ages 12 to 35, the establishment. And the seriousness with which they now approach handing out awards for movies tweens think are good only serves to highlight the incredibly bad taste of tweens.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I was a kid once, too. They didn’t call us “tweens” then, but I was still in a marketable demographic. I know it sucks when some adult comes along and starts talking about how the things you like are stupid. But don’t worry: one day you grow up, rediscover something you absolutely loved when you were young and then you realize how damn stupid it really was.

That’s why the 80s nostalgia of my generation really makes me want to puke sometimes: I can only sit through so many terrible remakes of TV shows and movies from my childhood, so many watered-down versions of things that were generally meant to appeal to an untempered and inexperienced taste, without wanting to scream. Kids, my pop cultural touchstones don’t have to be your pop cultural touchstones, and I’d like Hollywood to realize that taking something as silly and fun as G.I. Joe and trying to make it something more “realistic” that appeals to both of our age groups only serves to highlight the inherent silliness in a way that isn’t fun. You guys should have your own stuff that I’m not supposed to like. Sure, the truly great things will shine forever — much like every generation (including mine) is sure it’s the first to really appreciate the Beatles — but some things are meant to stay behind in your childhood without following you into maturity.

In other words, just because you loved hopscotch as a kid doesn’t mean you should start forming pickup matches as an adult. Move on with your life.

This is the real problem with the MTV Movie Awards. Not that the categories are stupid — they should be — but that MTV wants to have things both ways. They want to create an irreverent, loose, fun, unserious awards show … but they want you to take it as meaningful and important in pop culture. And I’m sorry, but no one is ever going to take an award show seriously as a tastemaker when it’s giving its “real” awards to fucking Twilight.

And this is why I hate MTV. It’s now making demands on me that I take fucking Twilight seriously as cinematic art. It’s not the tween-friendly alternative to the stuffy old Academy Awards. It’s seriously saying that fucking Twilight is a major cinematic achievement.

Really. Fucking Twilight.

I’ve had enough.

I’ve had enough of MTV taking the pituitary cases from Jersey Shore and telling me I’m supposed to accept them as legitimate celebrities simply because it’s airing on MTV and not on Animal Planet where it belongs. (I could at least accept that thing as an anthropological study of how privilege breeds a total lack of worth; I really hope, when our society collapses, the only thing future alien explorers have to judge our society by isn’t Jersey Shore.)

I’ve had enough of MTV throwing some kid whose balls haven’t even dropped yet in my face and telling me he’s the future of music. I was dubious enough when MTV took N’Sync at face value. I refuse to let them convince me that Justin Bieber is important, worthwhile, talented or even a person.

I’ve had enough of MTV worshiping at the altar of Michael “Accused Child Molester” Jackson as if simply being dead erases all of someone’s faults. Musical genius? Sure, once upon a time. Pop culture manipulator? Definitely. Relevant to music? Not since the 1980s ended, guys. Everything after that was a reclusive eccentricity that Howard Hughes would have found weird. Just because he recorded “Thriller” doesn’t mean it’s not weird that a grown man built an amusement park on his lawn and invited little boys to sleep over. I know, I know, Michael Jackson was acquitted. So was OJ.

I’ve had enough of MTV trying to convince me that Mike Tyson is cute just because he was in a popular comedy last year. The guy’s still a rapist and I don’t like seeing him frolic around with kids at an award show.

And I’ve had more than enough of MTV — and the entire news media — shoving the image of Scarlett Johansson and Sandra Bullock kissing in my face. It wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t hot: it was just predictable. It wasn’t even a kiss. They just put their faces together for an awkward second and the audience went crazy and started howling like masturbating monkeys. Stop talking about how they “made out.” You’re just giving MTV — and by extension, Justin Bieber and Mike Tyson and the Situation and fucking Twilight — the legitimacy they crave and don’t deserve.

I hate MTV.

Tweens, instead of enjoying the sensation of advertising dollar-driven programming execs kissing your ass and telling you how much your terrible taste matters for as long as they can make money off of it, why don’t you get off the Internet, go to the Gulf of Mexico and clean the oil off of some pelicans? We’ll all feel better in the long run. Sure, MTV cameras won’t be there, but these days, that’s how you know it’s important.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com.

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