VMAs focus on the bizarre, not on the music



By Eva McEnrue

The MTV Video Music Awards show has come and gone, and per usual, everything and nothing happened all at once.

Yes, we now know Beyonce is preggers! Lady Gaga was up to her standard jaw-dropping tricks, Odd Future won an award that could potentially alienate them from some of their skinny-jean-wearing fans and Katy Perry accepted the award for “best video” with a block of cheese on her head (an award which should have gone to Rebecca Black).

So okay, things did happen. But, the VMAs played out as poorly scripted as a shelved episode of Jersey Shore. Are these really the things we want to watch and talk about?

It isn’t about music at all — and hasn’t been for while — it’s about pageantry, spectacle and look-at-me, remember-this-ness. The VMAs are the pinnacle of celebrity worshipping in this country. And yes, I realize the show’s whole niche is to be “shocking.”

But people, are we all so infatuated with Beyonce that we blow up the blogosphere and other social media outlets blabbing about the pregnancy announcement? Personally, I’d like to see Megan Fox announce she is pregnant at the next Academy Awards ceremony. Talk about social media chaos.

And Lady Gaga’s, um, Jo Calderone’s performance was impressive and devoted. But this Lady GuyGuy took it a bit far by remaining the entire evening as the Calderone character (you can see her next to Kanye West and Jay-Z during Beyonce’s performance). So, that’s weird, right?  Not shocking, just odd. And you know the she-he had to feel a bit outplayed when Beyonce forever altered human history with the unveiling of her pregnancy.

The VMAs used to mean something, long, long ago. And there was once an underlying seriousness beneath all of the shock. Now, it’s about something different, something predictably unpredictable. We no longer watch to cheer on the music  we love. We watch in hopes of witnessing a controversy.

And what’s most troubling about the VMAs is how more people are talking about Beyonce and Lady GuyGuy than about the music videos themselves. The VMAs is an award show that is hardly about the music, the craft, the art, but rather about shock and “celebritism.” And it’s like this because this is what sells.

Young adults should stop watching the VMAs, stop caring about people’s unborn children so much, stop viewing the fledgling “shock” moments performed to sell more advertisements, and instead seek some form, any form, of real cultural enlightenment.