"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Friday, August 04, 2006

MTV Turns 25, World Continues Turning

Cover art for Video Killed the Radio StarMTV turned 25 this week, and your intrepid correspondent has contributed a few thoughts to a National Review Online symposium on the deeper meaning of it all. Most of the comments in the symposium are fairly light, but there are some interesting facts to be gleaned and ideas to be pondered.

It's certainly interesting to see this group of right-wingers' rather amused and unworried reaction to MTV, widely considered to be a powerful force of cultural change. Perhaps American conservatism is not so conservative after all.

For those interested in additional commentary on the state of popular music, I suggest my post, from earlier this week, on the rise of gloom, doom, and general depressingness in popular music.

In addition, the category entries at the right side of the main page of Karnick on Culture offer full lineups of articles in various subject areas, including quite a few on music.

From Karnick on Culture.


Tlaloc said...

MTV started off as pretty revolutionary but soon got caught up in a cycle of going from actually hip to trying too hard to be hip to being outright poseurs to redeeming themselves and being hip for a while... and so on.

For instance the first "Real World" show was actually very cool. But by te time eventhe second series rolled around it had already lost what intelligence the original had in favor of the modern reality TV crudity.

All time greatest MTV moment: having PeeWee Herman host the music video awards after he got caught in some indescretions in a porno theater. The fact that they kept his hosting a secret until the night of was amazing and the pay off was totally worth it: "Heard any good jokes lately?"


Tom Van Dyke said...

The Buggles, Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Trevor Horn (vocals), ended up filling in with Yes for Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson respectively when they skated for awhile.

After the grand Yes re-unification (which kept the estimable "Owner of a Lonely Heart" guitarist/producer Trevor Rabin) Downes ended up with Asia, Trevor Horn as producer for Seal.

Report Card:
1) Seal

S. T. Karnick said...

The Yes album in which Downes and Horn replaced Wakeman and Anderson, temporarily as it turned out, was called Drama, and there are a lot of Yes "purists" who don't like it. I'm not among them; I think it's a very good album and well deserves a place in the group's body of work.