Excellence In Juxtaposition

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s one thing you should probably know about my writing process.


When I write, I subject myself to an auditory assault at varying decibels within a narrow genre of music in order to stay focused on delivering to my beloved readership the most precise level of verbal brilliance which has come to be expected here on the most important website you’ll visit all day.


For those times where the precision was not that exact, I blame the streaming radio services who insist on playing the rancid detritus produced by the poor talentless souls who evidently conveyed vast quantities of slapdash fellatio to gain their fame.


Stand by, I’m going mobile.


*Pause for effect*


Ok, I’m back.


In recent weeks, I’ve taken up new digs within the compound here by taking over what was once TharpSter Jr’s bedroom.  It now serves as my StudyTorium where I dispatch nuggets of verbal brilliance to the internet, make repeated calls to Spectrum imploring them to cut it out with the junk mail, manage the day to day operations of the organization, and visit various websites using incognito browsing.


Whereas I’m usually hooked up to a docking station with two monitors and a wireless keyboard and mouse, I’ve opted to pull the laptop out and type directly onto it while sitting at a glider chair which occupies the corner of my StudyTorium.



But that’s neither here nor there.  Let’s get back on topic.


When I write, I listen to music.


When I write, I LISTEN to music.


Got it?


Good.  That statement ties into to what I’m really here to discuss today.


Ok first of all, let’s go ahead and get the mea culpa out of the way so that the upcoming appearance of vitriolic hypocrisy is dispensed in quick fashion.


Ladies and gentlemen, I used to watch MTV.


Do I really have to explain why?


Of course I do.


As a member of Generation X, the arrival of MTV came at a time in the early 80’s when those in my particular crop were most susceptible to what the new network had to offer.  I’ve told the story here before, and I’ll remind you now.  If it weren’t for MTV, I would have never found Def Leppard, Van Halen, Quiet Riot, Scorpions, or any other rock band in which I cut my love for the genre.  Regardless of whether those bands are among my favorites or not is immaterial.  They were in heavy rotation on MTV at the time I began watching, and my being exposed to them got the ball rolling for my taste in music.


There were other videos on MTV at the same time in heavy rotation which helped to build and reinforce my extreme contempt and hatred for various types of music as well.  I won’t even give that particular flotsam and jetsam the smallest of fonts on my beloved website by calling out who they are/were.


Within 10 years, I was already starting to move onto other things.  By that point, I was no longer relying on MTV to tell me what I liked.  MTV was moving along too.  Most notably, the network was starting to veer away from the 24/7 broadcast of music videos, concerts, and video fights, and incorporating non-video related programming.  One of their flagships in this approach was to put a bunch of my fellow Gen Xers from diverse backgrounds into a New York City apartment and see if they could watch the world burn. Thus, reality TV and the need to follow people around with a camera 24/7 was born.


All these years later, I’m done with it altogether.


There was a small span of years just recently in which I would watch VH-1 Classic because its programming paralleled the MTV line-up of old.  But then one day a few years ago, the network was jettisoned from the airwaves either by their parent company or my cable provider.  Nowadays, I couldn’t even tell you where to find one of those channels on my cable box without looking it up.


So I’ve told you all of that to tell you this.


In recent weeks while watching whatever the hell it is I watch on broadcast TV anymore, I’ve seen commercials for the upcoming Video Music Awards on MTV.  The names of scheduled performers and the guest come up, of which I know about 10%.  It makes sense that I don’t know who these people are.  The genre of music featured on MTV these days is out of scope where my reality is concerned.


Consider this though.


ESPN hosts an award show for excellence in sports and transgenderism.


Nickelodeon hosts a Kids Choice Awards show.  At least I think they still do.  I don’t know where that channel is either.


BET hosts an awards show for excellence in blackness.


The DIY Network should be hosting an awards show for banging the shit out of your thumb with a hammer, but that’s probably another rant for another blog.


Even Comedy Central hosts an annual roast of some chosen celebrity in their own right.  I know it’s not an award show per se, but a significant level of comedy is required in order to pull that one off, just like sports and transgenders are needed at ESPN, kids are needed at Nickelodeon and racist machinations are needed at the BET.


Do you see where I’m going with this?


Will someone on God’s Green Earth please tell me why MTV is involved in the practice of awarding trophies for music video excellence anymore?


Do they show music videos on a regular basis? My guess is that they only show them on one of their sister networks.


MTV giving music video awards is like CNN giving awards for excellence in journalism.  They used to be the gold-standard in their fields and at one time, it only made sense to look to them to show us the cream of their crop.  At one point along the way, they jumped the shark and became irrelevant.


So while you’re sitting in front of the tube tonight firmly ensconced in the idea that a video music awards show produced by an irrelevant network is the best use of your time and lethargy when it comes to keeping you up to date on everything that is at the top of heap in the vapid effluvia of popular culture, know this.


Barnwood Builders is on the DIY channel at the same time.  There’s bound to be plenty of sore thumbs and censored profanity not born of any of that crap you’re going to see on MTV.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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