Last night’s MTV’s Video Music Awards proved that it is totally irrelevant to music lovers. Perhaps that’s not a news flash, perhaps I’ve been too easily entertained in the past, but the VMA’s have finally degraded into complete worthlessness, a gratuitous celebrity hand job to the billboard pop stars. It’s a culmination of the kind of self-serving, self-fulfilling, programming akin to Fox news. Hype tea baggers, focus coverage on tea baggers, break “news” that tea baggers are the new big shit.
Replace tea baggers with Lady Gaga. Or this Justin Bieber child. Or the other incredibly lame VMA winners, like Lady Gaga, or Justin Bieber. Yes, Eminem won a couple awards, doubling up on Best Hip Hop and Best Male video. That seems excessive. Jay-Z & Alicia Keys got a cinematography nod for “Empire State of Mind,” an instant classic. But The Black Keys, a truly dope group, were the only act of any real musical interest that won an award, though I can’t comprehend how their “Tighten Up” is a “Breakthrough Video.” Dan Black’s “Symphonies” was far more deserving (along with dozens of others that went completely unrecognized).
Today’s news is filled with wild praise and excitement for last night’s award ceremony, which is to be expected given the entrenched coverage that people like Kanye West, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Gaga/Bieber get every day. The strangest of this was the LA Times take that the VMA’s were a sign that “Pop is getting serious again.”
Let’s not conflate Lady Gaga speaking out for gay rights with getting serious, as admirable as it is, it is irrelevant to the quality/maturity of her product. Maybe pop is getting serious again because Kanye West and Taylor Swift sang songs about each other and international debacle they created last year? Swift took to the stage, after an introduction that made it perfectly clear her performance of “Innocent” was about Kanye West interrupting her award speech last year and proceeded to belt out a melodramatic sob-along barefoot and pouting.
It was ridiculous and only topped by West’s own response, a performance called “Runaway,” that went like this:
Let’s have a toast for the douchebags / Let’s have a toast for the assholes / Let’s have a toast for the scumbags / every one of them that I know / Let’s have a toast for the jerk-offs that’ll never take work off / Baby I gotta plan, run away fast as you can.
Sounds like a plan, I couldn’t have summed up the whole show any better.