By Jared

" MTV is to music, like KFC is to chicken." - Louis Black

Those words sum up my hatred for what MTV has become in the twenty plus years since its conception in 1984. 1984...the year conjures up images of a new video technology that allowed people at home to tune into a single channel, and watch their favorite artists perform their repertoire of songs on an hourly basis. Wow, that's amazing! I wish we had one of those. Oh wait we do and it's not MTV, it's called FUSE. In 1984 Reagan was President, AIDS was rampant, and I'm pretty sure people were still puzzled over who shot J.D. on TV's Dallas . Probably the only thing that kept disillusioned teens from slitting their wrists was the fact that they were finally getting some representation for their generation, in the form of MTV. That year Madonna made her first major appearance on the VMA's on MTV, Duran Duran and the Police were the shit, and even old guys like Queen were still popular and had videos on the channel. Music was everywhere.

And then, something happened. That something folks, was The Real World. Some jackass decided to put a show on MTV totally devoid of any music, musical themes, or worst of all MUSICIANS! HELLO? IS ANYBODY AWAKE? This should've been our first sign of trouble. MTV, a channel in which the "M" stood for Music was putting something non-musical on its lineup? That's like the Lifetime network (Television for Women) airing a movie in which the women aren't beaten to a pulp before they get revenge and kill their husbands. When this happened, MTV was not even TEN YEARS OLD! Shitty third-world military regimes had outlasted MTV in terms of their original purpose! Just look at North Korea for example, or even Burkina Faso.

The entire 1990's consisted of season after season of crackheads and nymphomaniacs stuck in a house together in different areas of the world! About the only thing on MTV that was still musical were the artists who performed during the fashion shows on "MTV: Spring Break"! A sad excuse for musical programming, we had to wait for the once a year event in which MTV would bestow upon us MUSIC!!! Little starving children in Somalia created more music in the 1990's as a result of their stomachs grumbling than MTV. But then there came a beacon of hope. MTV2 was released on the public. It was a double-edged sword. Here was a bone that the MTV execs were throwing us, and yet it showed that MTV had become so shitty, that they needed a second channel to actually air music. Now mind you I'm using the term "music" quite generously because sampling other artists' albums and speaking to them a.k.a. "Rap" is not music.

Just as we thought that MTV had gone into rehab and come out clean, it pulled a Robert Downey Jr. on us! Shortly after MTV2 aired, The Osbournes premiered, a show that made a complete mockery out of hard rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. And the people wept. As if all this weren't bad enough, MTV announced plans to buy out its old competitor VH1. Ah the sound of that channel brings back memories of old music videos, and witty shows such as Pop-Up Video, and Before They Were Famous . I thought gee, maybe that's not so bad, perhaps VH1 could help MTV to get back on track. Alas, I was wrong. One of the first things MTV brasses did, was to kill off all the old VH1 programs and put in show after shitty show that had nothing to do with music. Sonofabitch! Cases of Stigmata went rampant. People began seeing images of the Armageddon, and parents as if fleeing from Sodom and Gomorra told their children not to look, as if in fear of them turning into salt. However, perhaps to calm the swells of people enraged over what was once Music Television, MTV decided to nice with VH1, and allowed musical entertainment to air, with bits of crap thrown in between.

And so here we are in 2005. MTV is but one year older than I am, and yet I am able to tell that the people who run the channel and its affiliates are self-serving assholes who care nothing for the music that they so ruined, or the minds of the youth which they so thoroughly trashed throughout the course of my life. Perhaps our grandparents were right when they told our parents "TV rots your brain!"...they simply forgot to add the M.