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July 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, MTV

MTV Turns 25 August 1, 2006

MTV turns 25 tomorrow, celebrating their anniversary of 25 years on the air. According to this article from the Associated Press (and viewed at Yahoo! news), MTV is not celebrating because MTV wants to be "the perpetual adolescent."
With all the aplomb of an aging soap star, MTV staunchly refuses to grow older, preferring, like Peter Pan, to stay young forever.

But I can't forget where I was when I first saw MTV. I was 17 years old. Yes, 17. My boyfriend at the time had parents that liked a LOT of tv and had every cable channel known to man (I think there were three then). We raced home after high school to watch Total Request Video. The "I Want My MTV" campaign seemed totally cutting edge. We really wanted our MTV! I can remember thinking that David Bowie's "Blue Jean" was a cool video, and yes, I do remember in 1983 when the "Thriller" (Dec. 2, 1983) video came out.

MTV debuted on August 1, 1981 in New Jersey. By the time we got MTV on the West Coast and in my little neck of the woods, it was two years old, a toddler, and had mastered most of the basic skills that would serve it well for the rest of its adolescent life - fast editing, loud music, hip images, lots of advertising. According to the article, only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see the first video, the Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star."

That was "back in the day" when MTV actually played music videos. When it was "thrilling" to see a black musical artist with a video on mainstream tv. Back when "Spring Break" (1985) was the most shocking thing on tv. By the time they invented reality television with "The Real World" and hit a new low with "Beavis and Butthead" (1994 for both), I had moved on from the boyfriend and the MTV.

Since then, I rarely see MTV. I hear that it is still on the air, although my sister says they don't play vdieos. I have never seen an episode of "Jackass" all the way through, never seen the Osbournes, and really don't know whatever happened to Puck. I realize that MTV is revolutionary, and that they made smart marketing decisions along the way (videos are boring, Spring Break and reality tv are not). Sex and violence sell, especially to young white men who want to be black in the midwest. And Martha Quinn was not as horrible as we all thought. Although, she was really, really bad.

In all, I do not celebrate MTV, I do not miss MTV, I do not want my MTV. Happy Birthday, MTV.

Posted by DJWanda at July 31, 2006 10:14 PM | Technorati Cosmos: other blogs commenting on xx- Barflies.net News & Tidbits - xx: Happy Birthday, MTV Technorati