I decided that I was going to write about something light this week. I’ve gotten a little flak from friends and family who have said my last few columns were a little too dark, a little too heady all in a row. Of course, I’m writing about my feelings of being flung towards middle age and beyond, not the happiest of experiences in my book. I wasn’t sure where I was going, started a few ideas (which all seemed to turn dark pretty quickly by the way), thought about a few more, tried to figure out a few other “light” topics and quickly eliminated them (although they may turn up in later columns so I’m not giving anything away right now.) Finally, as so often happens, a topic fell into my lap.
This weekend my wife and I entertained a house guest. Now, as you probably know, we are no longer the most active people. We don’t go out to clubs, my wife rarely allows me to do shots out of her belly button, etc. so while we showed my buddy around we knew Sunday night (the eve of the first day of school for my son) was going to be a stay at home night. Because our friend works in the music field and is a walking encyclopedia of music knowledge we decided to watch the MTV music awards, something we hadn’t done in over a decade.
I know what you’re thinking—stop, you wrote a column on MTV a few weeks ago, the humanity, think about what your writing. This isn’t really about MTV except to say the network plays no videos, doesn’t know music and is possibly the very last thing I would ever use to find out or interact with pop culture. No, it’s more a statement on my place in pop culture.
See, I was never really in the mainstream but occasionally it and I crossed paths. When Marilyn Manson played the MTV music awards we crossed paths for example. I have always been aware of pop culture and understood it for what it was, if nothing more. After watching this award show though, I can honestly say I don’t know what the hell is going on in the world. That is, I think , the ultimate sign that one is getting old. The award show I watched resembled no award show I’ve ever seen. I think three awards at most were given out and there were no real acceptance speeches, hosts, etc. So calling it an award show is a bit of a misnomer from the start.
Beyond my opinion of the awards itself, most of the show made absolute no sense to me at all. It was like watching a movie I had seen parts of before in French. I honestly didn’t understand the actual language used by people, the images seemed distorted, the subjects and the verbs in orders I didn’t understand. I don’t get why people care about the wrecks of humanity I saw on stage or why a network would decide to make stars of these people. The only people I recognized were Britney Spears, Jay Z and Kanye West. Not one of them were icons of any kind to me. The rest, from Lady GaGa dressed as a man, to a whole bunch of rappers and a few California alternative bands might as well have been Martians.
What’s the point of this you ask? Well, let’s get one thing straight from the get go, this column is mine and I’m going to write what about what I want. This is cathartic from me and you’re either coming along for the ride through my subconscious or you aren’t. Beyond that though I realize now that I am completely outside the realm of pop culture. It’s a language I don’t understand, a style I don’t get. Here’s the best part though, after watching the MTV music awards, I want absolutely no part of it.
[My wife feels that I should put something clever here before this column comes off as an Andy Rooney rant. Unfortunately I’ve been pretty tired lately (a sign of my age I’m sure), so feel free to insert your own clever phrase here which ties the column together making me seem smart, observant and not crotchety as all.]