Buried a little too deep in The New Yorker's content mines for the site's recent excavation, but available here, is John Seabrook's legendary 1994 embed with MTV. From the office of the president of the network, Judy McGrath: From the windows there is an amazing view of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and northeastern New Jersey, but the dominant view in McGrath's office is of the television set, and when you go there for a meeting you have to remember to sit so that you, McGrath, and the TV are in the proper relationship to each other. At one of our early meetings, I made the mistake [...]
A found poem from the Miley Cyrus FCC complaints.
Being a Christian I’m taking a stand against using a “Fanatic’s finger” as if it were a phallus.
A lady would never conduct herself like that.
She put her face in a fake butt, indicating oral sex, dog sex, acting like a devil, flicking that tongue—
as daemons do.
May God help this nation, that whore acted like a bitch in heat. I would have taken her to Tijuana.
Good Heavens! I’m certainly no prude. But this was much worse than that disaster with one of the Jackson girls. Her gestures have crossed the line into a [...]
Not long ago, MTV made an unusual appeal: It asked for help finding information about one of its own shows. The show was "Buzzkill," a hidden-camera program that ran in 1996. The plea came from MTV's Guy Code blog:If you try to find old clips online, they're nonexistent. Seems impossible, right? The web is where you can find the most obscure remnants of every era, the most disturbing videos the human mind can conjure. And yet it has seemingly been scrubbed clean of all "Buzzkill" details…. Internet, we need your help. We must uncover the truth of "Buzzkill." Send us your tips and clues. Better yet, if you [...]
Remember that time a style show premiered on a TV channel and it featured Jane Pratt, Winona Ryder, Kurt Andersen and three little oddball magazines called Fame, Details and Spy? Of course you don't, you were probably in third grade. THE YEAR: 1989. THE CHANNEL: MTV. And here is a detailed account of all that magic, from "House of Style: Episode One." Oh and after that, there are many, many more. Like, twelve seasons more. (Don't miss episode 5, which had Cindy Crawford and Tracey Ullman in bathrobes gabbing. In The Plaza.)
By way of introduction, RJ Cubarrubia and Jon Blistein are two altbros living in Williamsburg. They’re both trying to be music writers. RJ and Jon consider themselves quite culturally aware, but also recognize that their existence is made up of run-of-the-mill hipster clichés—hipster clichés which are now reaching larger audiences thanks to things like Bon Iver, Wes Anderson flicks, Honda commercials with Vampire Weekend, the term “buzz band,” etc. Some of this has been good; other stuff… well. Now there’s MTV’s "I Just Want My Pants Back," a show about four attractive post-grads living in Williamsburg, rife with pop-culture references and a hipster soundtrack. As solid members of the target [...]
There are many things about this 1995 MTV News clip about "the Internet" that show how much things have changed in a relatively brief period of time, but I think perhaps the most significant is that MTV figured people would sit through at least four minutes of footage about a single topic. God, things were different then. [Via]
"MTV has announced it will put Snooki in a ball and drop her from on high on New Year's Eve in Times Square." Fantastic! I knew, what with the way things are going and all, that we'd try to reinvent public executions soon enough.
The whole day had been hot and sticky, in the high 70s and low 80s, one of the first truly gross New York summer days of the year, and yet Laurel and Devyn, two finalists on this season of The Challenge (formerly Real World/Road Rules Challenge) smelled fantastic. My friend wouldn’t stop talking about it. I couldn’t think of more than two questions to ask them, so eventually we asked Devyn what perfume she’s wearing. “Marc Jacobs Daisy!” she said, briefly looking up from her phone, where she was live-tweeting the finale.
This was the 25th season of The Challenge, which has been pitting former cast members of The [...]
"If 90’s MTV VJ 'Kennedy' had access to the Internet or social media two decades ago when she was the trouble-making voice of alternative culture, oh, the photos she would have Instagrammed and the scoops she could have tweeted. 'Kennedy,' whose full name is Lisa Montgomery Kennedy, was in a unique position at MTV, then a cutting-edge music channel where all of pop culture converged." Also: "Kennedy decided the timing was right to commit her memories to paper because of a general wistfulness for the 90s permeating today’s culture."
Did you miss this on Friday? It's very possible that you did. What with the hurricane and the election and the fact that we're about a week a way from Thansgiving—which means the nonstop onslaught of Christmas "cheer" should be forcing itself up into you any second now—it seems like everything has suddenly accelerated, and there's ever so much more to miss. So in case you didn't catch this one, sit yourself down (if you are currently unseated) and enjoy. As far as these things go it's actually pretty good.
“[That] anti-establishment, sticking-it-to-the-man mentality. They’re the ones saying, ‘I’m going to butcher a whole pig and serve you its face, and if you don’t like it, too bad.’” —Lollapalooza culinary director Graham Elliot, on how celebrity chefs are the new rock stars. You know, for the most part, I am okay with the cultural ascendance of food in America. I like food and I like it to be good, and if silly fetishization and despicable words like "foodie" are the price to pay for an increase in the quality and availability of things for me to eat, fine. But this is all starting to feel like a [...]
1) Who is your favorite Beatle? A) John: +0 points. B) Paul: +1 point. C) Ringo: +0 point. D) George: +5 points.
2) Who is your favorite musical Jackson? A) Michael Jackson: +0 points. B) Janet Jackson: +0 points. C) Wanda Jackson: +0 points. D) Jackson Browne: +5 points.
3) How many members of the Indigo Girls can you name? For each one, +5 points.
4) Do you own any jazz records? A) Yes, many: + 0 points. B) No, none: +3 points. C) I own one jazz album, “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis: +3 points. D) Yes, I own several Kenny G albums: +5 points. [...]
"The payoff of surviving your 20’s has to be that when you make mistakes or fall down the stairs, literally or figuratively, you don’t think of yourself as a person who makes mistakes or falls down the stairs. There’s too much historical evidence that you are not always the one: sometimes I am the one, sometimes he’s the one. Your hyperhidrosis ain’t shit, girl, compared to the cystic acne over there and the IBS way over there and the narcolepsy in the back. But of course it’s all there is, until you become Larry David (the metamorphosis starts early, but the progression is slow and almost imperceptible (only remarked [...]
If only Brad Ferro, a 24-year-old former gym teacher, had, while drunk off shots the color of stop lights, hauled off and smashed in the tanned faces of someone named Ronnie or Vinnie, perhaps then he'd still have his old life. If only he'd taken a step back from that Seaside Heights nightclub bar, dropped his shoulder and thrust his fist violently into the famous abs of Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. Or, you know, if only he'd decided not to hit anyone. Perhaps then he wouldn't have been fired from his job, convicted of assault, forced to attend anger management classes and finger-wagged into begging for forgiveness in [...]
Considering it's humanity's longest-running reality show, "The Real World" has been remarkably stagnant structurally. For 28 seasons over 22 years (!), "The Real World" was thus: several attractive people of varying degrees of interestingness between the ages of 18 and 26 are picked to live in a large house, outfitted by Ikea, in a city. This season, the 29th, which takes place in San Francisco, is different in two major ways. One of those is advertised, constantly: This season's seven cast members are each recently out of long-term relationships, and halfway through the season, all of their ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends move into the house as well (the season [...]
"It's hard to remember now, but at one time, MTV really was watched just like commercial radio was listened to: you would turn it on and see what came around, and if you particularly liked a video, you'd wait a while and hope you heard it. That's what half the slumber parties of my adolescence were about: waiting for Michael Jackson or Duran Duran.
We don't wait very much anymore. It's not just that this model of MTV largely went away, or that getting most of your music listening through the radio faded. It's that the entire idea of ephemeral availability — that you would have to sit and [...]
What with Dan Cortese turning 45 today, this is as good a time as any to recommend Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks' I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, which will be out shortly in a revised paperback edition. I was down with a bad cold over Labor Day weekend and pretty much devoured this sucker; it looks long, but the oral history format makes everything easier to digest, and there were so many things in there that I had forgotten about; although, oddly, the name "John Norris" is never once mentioned. Anyway, you should totally get it. Also, again, Dan Cortese [...]
"I Just Want My Pants Back" premiered last month on MTV. It's about four attractive post-grads living in Williamsburg, dropping pop-culture references to the tunes of its hipster-friendly soundtrack. RJ and Jon, our two in-house young-altbro would-be music writers living in Williamsburg, greeted the show with guarded optimism—even some excitement. But as the show has progressed—tonight is episode 10 of the 12-episode first season—they may have become just the latest generation to discover the heart of sadness in the world of MTV.
JON: So "Pants" was kind of a bummer, right? Five episodes in (approximately, er, three weeks ago) and Jay and Tina’s Brooklyn-based adventures in hip young [...]
The revolution will not be… something something.
The crowds have swelled on Sixth Street. This city is full. I am barely alive. Being slightly buzzed on caffeine and beer have become routine. The so-called utopia has caught up with me.
I am out of my mind standing on a red carpet next to journalists from college outlets. I am really thirsty. I’ve never been on a red carpet and this carpet is black. I am not familiar with any of the artists. Who are these people? A publicist tells me the name of a band she wants me to talk to. I Google them. Wikipedia doesn’t even know who they are. I don’t have any [...]