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MTV, still clueless after all these years
The New York Daily News ^ | August 7, 2006 | Stanley Crouch

Posted on 08/07/2006 9:45:48 AM PDT by .cnI redruM

Last week, MTV celebrated its 25th anniversary, marking a quarter of a century after having conceived of the first actually new thing in popular television entertainment since "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train."

The music video became a big deal through MTV and not only updated the old "soundies" once shown in movie theaters to feature singers and instrumentalists. It also revolutionized the making of films by acclimating its audience to the extremely fast crosscutting that had been pioneered in television commercials, where the faster the message arrived, the better. In the process, the MTV audience learned to see much more quickly and recognize what sometimes quite surreal montages were saying or what they were alluding to - no small accomplishment.

Of course, that is not the whole story of MTV, which also came to project the most dehumanizing images of black people since the dawn of minstrelsy in the 19th century. Pimps, whores, potheads, dope dealers, gangbangers, the crudest materialism and anarchic gang violence were broadcast around the world as "real" black culture.

At first, far too many black people were taken in by the cult of celebrity and the wealth that came to these gold- toothed knuckleheads and mindless hussies to realize what was happening. The lowest possible common denominator was seen as the norm. The illiteracy and rule-of-thumb stupidity was interpreted as a "cultural" rejection of white middle-class norms.

It was as if these dregs had the same heroic position in our time as the largely uneducated Southern black poor of the civil rights movement. Those Southern black people, like the marvelous Fannie Lou Hamer, proved to this nation and to the world that they not only deserved their constitutional rights, but had something both noble and soulful to add to our American understanding of the richness of the human spirit. We are a much greater nation because of the success of the civil rights movement. As they emerged from beneath the bloody rock of segregation, those Southern black people brought to our national identity a compassion and a bravery of immeasurable value.

Unfortunately, the crabbed thug culture that was popularized through MTV brought nothing big with it other than some paychecks.

Twenty-five years later, Christina Norman is the president of the network - and a black woman with a new problem on her hands. Part of that problem is Lisa Fager, a black woman who is president and co-founder of Industry Ears (industryears.com). Fager is disturbed by an MTV "satire" called "Where My Dogs At?" which has a cartoon figure strongly resembling Snoop Dogg who enters a pet store with two black women walking on all fours with leashes around their necks. At the end of the "parody," they defecate on the floor.

Fager's problem is that the spot was shown at 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon and will, no doubt, perpetuate among younger viewers the misogynist and dehumanizing images we have become accustomed to in too many rap videos.

That's the way big money goes. We can be sure that Christina Norman will have a simplemindedly liberal justification for the material, but I doubt that Lisa Fager will want to hear it. Nor will the millions of black women who oppose this kind of material and are beginning to rise into the sorts of positions that will make them an influential special-interest group. I don't know how long it will take, but change is on the way.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: culturewars; degradation; hollywoodisdead; knuckleheads; liberalmedia; mtv; popculture; thuglife
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Video killed the radio star...

In all seriousness, Crouch makes an excellent point.

1 posted on 08/07/2006 9:45:51 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
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To: .cnI redruM
It's too late...


2 posted on 08/07/2006 9:49:14 AM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: .cnI redruM

I quit watching MTV after they became a tool for the Moonbat crowd (i.e. during the first Gulf War and the 1992 elections). Haven't looked at it since.


3 posted on 08/07/2006 9:49:28 AM PDT by DemforBush
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To: frogjerk
What type of inhumane person would put a cat inside of a bag to begin with?
4 posted on 08/07/2006 9:50:13 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (Those who don't fight evil condemn those who do.)
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To: .cnI redruM
I've never been able to see music videos as anything but childish indulgences by vain posers who like to see themselves on camera. In most cases, the actions in the vid don't have a thing to do with the music. And in the cases where they do, it's generally little more than soft-core porn. Or some hack filmmaker's idea of "art cinema:" meaningless montages of affected claptrap jump-edited into a visual jumble. When it doesn't make any sense, the filmmaker can then say that you don't appreciate visual subtlety. Personally, I say the emperor has no clothes.

I think it's time we update the lyrics to "Idiots killed the video star."

5 posted on 08/07/2006 9:51:38 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: DemforBush

The first ten years of MTV were classic though.

Real music videos. Real VJ's who didn't talk like they had just stepped out of the 'hood.

Great music. Great videos.

I wish they'd start re-running MTV (and even VH-1) from that period.


6 posted on 08/07/2006 9:52:26 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: .cnI redruM
The Tube
7 posted on 08/07/2006 9:53:15 AM PDT by danneskjold
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To: DemforBush

I quit watching MTV when they quit showing music (around 1986).


8 posted on 08/07/2006 9:54:00 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: .cnI redruM

MTV is blocked on my set at home. It's been a long time since it was about music, music that any self-respecting person would want their children to listen to.

That goes the same with any channel that promotes the ghetto lifestyle as "normal" or "acceptable". Block it right on outta there !!!


9 posted on 08/07/2006 9:54:18 AM PDT by AbeKrieger (Liberals are the Mongol herds destroying America from within.)
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To: .cnI redruM
You can blame MTV. You can blame money.

I blame the community leaders who said, "Yo! We be victims! Don't let the Man dis you! You got street cred, yo! Keep it real, bro!"

Without support and encouragement from the community, these MTV images which Crouch decries would have had a very short shelf-life.

10 posted on 08/07/2006 9:54:25 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ( “I'm the Emperor, and I want dumplings!” (German: Ich bin der Kaiser und will Knödel.))
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: .cnI redruM

MTV (almost) killed Rock n' Roll. Look at what happened to what started out as a perfectly good hard rock & blues band like ZZ Top - ruined by MTV. The video made them forget about the music.


12 posted on 08/07/2006 9:55:31 AM PDT by Trampled by Lambs (A storm is coming...)
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To: .cnI redruM

I don't even have to do active putting. I just drop the bag on the ground after the groceries are out of it, and one of the three will be inside it in about half a second.


13 posted on 08/07/2006 9:56:20 AM PDT by Xenalyte (who is having the best day ever!)
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To: DemforBush
I quit watching MTV after they became a tool for the Moonbat crowd (i.e. during the first Gulf War and the 1992 elections).

You mean like when Tabitha Soren ambushed President George H.W. Bush with stupid questions about Iran-Contra?

14 posted on 08/07/2006 9:56:28 AM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: .cnI redruM


MTV....didn't the "M" used to stand for "Music"?


15 posted on 08/07/2006 9:56:42 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: MplsSteve
I wish they'd start re-running MTV (and even VH-1) from that period.

If you have digital cable, check out VH1 classic. It will take you back (at times). The other problem is, we're getting so old (hee hee) that some of the ghetto slop is starting to get the title of "classic". I must have missed the moment when Pearl Jam become "classic" ??? :)

16 posted on 08/07/2006 9:57:18 AM PDT by AbeKrieger (Liberals are the Mongol herds destroying America from within.)
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To: .cnI redruM

Whens the last time they actually showed a music video? I just watch them on YouTube.


17 posted on 08/07/2006 9:57:39 AM PDT by youthgonewild
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To: DemforBush

>I quit watching MTV after they became a tool for the Moonbat crowd (i.e. during the first Gulf War and the 1992 elections). Haven't looked at it since.<

I remember that - it was 24 hours of "All we are saying is give peace a chance" - literally...


18 posted on 08/07/2006 9:57:47 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: AbeKrieger

Soon there will be the "first ever" Hip-Hop hall of fame. And apparently those in NY and LA are arguing over which music genre from the community is "authentic".


19 posted on 08/07/2006 10:04:52 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny. "--Aeschylus)
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To: AbeKrieger

You should see the way it promotes the homosexual lifestyle.


20 posted on 08/07/2006 10:08:07 AM PDT by cdga5for4
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To: frogjerk
You mean like when Tabitha Soren ambushed President George H.W. Bush with stupid questions about Iran-Contra?

While the toughest question posed to Bill Clinton was, "Boxers or Briefs?"

21 posted on 08/07/2006 10:12:13 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: .cnI redruM

PBS in Houston was showing trashy rap videos on Saturday nights for awhile.

The trick is to claim it represents the culture.


22 posted on 08/07/2006 10:13:59 AM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: .cnI redruM
I stopped watching when they stopped showing actual music. The channel has little or nothing to do with music now. Hell, they should change the name of it. Most of the stuff they show now borders on soft porn with young people, sometimes even teens involved.
23 posted on 08/07/2006 10:14:18 AM PDT by KoRn
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To: .cnI redruM

MTV is simply the whoriest of all the whore networks. Everything you see on that network is a placement ad for some company. The clothes, the sets...everything.


24 posted on 08/07/2006 10:18:53 AM PDT by subterfuge (Call me a Jingoist, I don't care...)
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To: All

It still irks me that part of my cable bill goes toward MTV. Wish we could choose the stations we wanted and only pay for those we chose.


25 posted on 08/07/2006 10:20:16 AM PDT by excalibur1701
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To: KoRn

What is the M for? Cant be music. All I see are trashy reality shows on that channel.


26 posted on 08/07/2006 10:20:38 AM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: .cnI redruM

I miss videos.


27 posted on 08/07/2006 10:20:43 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: .cnI redruM

I'm not sure what Couch's point was. Other than that he doesn't like what's on MTV. So what? I don't either, and I don't watch it.

Crouch concludes, "...Christina Norman will have a simplemindedly liberal justification for the material." Maybe. But in the meantime, allow me a simplemidedly conservative justification. Because it sells.


28 posted on 08/07/2006 10:22:58 AM PDT by swain_forkbeard (Rationality may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.)
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To: MplsSteve

The X and I spent a lot of time watching it in the early 80's while sitting up with my youngest when he was a baby. They had great music and videos. Now, MTV is crap.


29 posted on 08/07/2006 10:23:25 AM PDT by wjcsux (I would prefer to have the German army in front of me than the French army behind me- Gen. G. Patton)
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To: MplsSteve
The first ten years of MTV were classic though. Real music videos. Real VJ's who didn't talk like they had just stepped out of the 'hood. Great music. Great videos. I wish they'd start re-running MTV (and even VH-1) from that period.

Absolutely. I used to watch MTV constantly until cRap and political activism took it over.

Today, it's nothing but mindless garbage.
30 posted on 08/07/2006 10:23:34 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Get off my lawn!)
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To: .cnI redruM

MTV = Moronic Television


31 posted on 08/07/2006 10:24:26 AM PDT by stbdside
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To: TNCMAXQ
"What is the M for?"

Metrosexual may work, or perhaps Masturbation(can I say that?lol).

32 posted on 08/07/2006 10:25:23 AM PDT by KoRn
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To: .cnI redruM
Of course, that is not the whole story of MTV, which also came to project the most dehumanizing images of black people since the dawn of minstrelsy in the 19th century. Pimps, whores, potheads, dope dealers, gangbangers, the crudest materialism and anarchic gang violence were broadcast around the world as "real" black culture.

For all its faults, MTV is not to blame here. The "performers" are, and their audiences who eat it up.

33 posted on 08/07/2006 10:29:37 AM PDT by Buck W. (If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.)
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To: .cnI redruM

Stanley Crouch's main point is what this has done to black culture and image. He may have been doing some research. I have heard inklings here and there that, due to the last fifteen or so years worth of Thug videos and Hood movies, the worldwide image of the African American is that of a subhuman troll.

I would bet that if one of those international polls were taken the results would be shocking.


34 posted on 08/07/2006 10:34:05 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: TonyRo76
MTV sucks. It is a cancer on our culture.

Yup. Blame Sumner Redstone, among others.

35 posted on 08/07/2006 10:35:12 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: .cnI redruM

I worked at MTV from 1987-1988 and I can testify that even then it was he most racist and sexist environment I'd ever worked in. (THe only job I can honestly say I was sexually harrassed in the old-fashioned way).


36 posted on 08/07/2006 10:37:34 AM PDT by Hildy (To save us both time, assume I know everything...)
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To: Izzy Dunne
I quit watching MTV when they quit showing music (around 1986).

Same here. I was out-of-country starting in 1985. Before then MTV was young and fun. When I returned after 1986 MTV had changed too much to enjoy.

37 posted on 08/07/2006 10:50:44 AM PDT by DakotaGator
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To: excalibur1701
"It still irks me that part of my cable bill goes toward MTV. Wish we could choose the stations we wanted and only pay for those we chose."

That is why I don't have cable. I won't pay for that crud, and I won't even have it piped into my house for free.
38 posted on 08/07/2006 10:51:05 AM PDT by Old Student (WRM, MSgt, USAF(Ret.))
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: MplsSteve

If you can get the Digipix (digital) upgrade they have multiple video channels including MTV and VH1 classics. May not be the correct names but you get the idea.


40 posted on 08/07/2006 11:02:55 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Hildy
I worked at MTV from 1987-1988 and I can testify that even then it was he most racist and sexist environment I'd ever worked in. (THe only job I can honestly say I was sexually harrassed in the old-fashioned way).

Yes, but standing against sexual harrassment didn't become in vogue until the whole Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill saga, which I believe was after your work there. Of course, "ministering" to underlings in the workplace became fashionable again in the mid-90's, or so I'm told...

42 posted on 08/07/2006 11:22:45 AM PDT by Lou L
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To: .cnI redruM

A couple of years ago, an uncle of mine gave me 50 VHS tapes of MTV music videos from 1982-1987. Pure GOLD, and better than anything that's currently on that network.


43 posted on 08/07/2006 11:31:09 AM PDT by richmwill
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To: .cnI redruM

I'm proud to say that on the 20th ann'y of MTV, I was able to say I have never seen MTV, save once while at someone else's house.

I feel just as good about saying it on their 25th ann'y, too. Bleecch.


44 posted on 08/07/2006 11:39:42 AM PDT by Rte66
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To: .cnI redruM
Let's see:

  1. Liberal mouthpiece.
  2. Lack of music talent
  3. Lack of music videos on a music video station
  4. Manufactured "pop" music
  5. Manufactured "rap" music
  6. Cancelling Headbangers Ball
Absolutely no reason whatsoever for me to watch MTV. A lot of the "mainstream" and "Top 40's" music these days just sucks. It doesn't offend me, it just isn't very good. It all comes across as mass marketed crap.

I get my music from indy bands now and I'm a lot happier for it.

45 posted on 08/07/2006 11:48:03 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.- Aeschylus)
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To: .cnI redruM

Spot on. Thanks to MTV culture, most white kids have the impression that blacks go around wearing heavy gold chains, loose fitting clothing, untied sneakers and speaking like they live in the jailhouse. All that yapping about yo's, ho's and bitches and all this glorification of violence and living in ghettos. It amazes me that the black community tolerates this.


46 posted on 08/07/2006 11:50:41 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (I am a big fan of urban sprawl but I wish there were more sidewalks)
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To: Lou L

As someone who was sexually harrassed...I can tell you for a fact that I couldn't stand being in the same room with the guy, let alone following him around the Country as Anita Hill did. Any woman who has been legitimately harrassed knows this for a fact.


47 posted on 08/07/2006 12:25:52 PM PDT by Hildy (To save us both time, assume I know everything...)
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To: Hildy
I can tell you for a fact that I couldn't stand being in the same room with the guy, let alone following him around the Country as Anita Hill did.

At the risk of wasting time, should I assume you know all the circumstances behind the allegations that Anita Hill made? Was she in fact, legitimately harrassed; i.e., she had nothing to do with their interactions?

48 posted on 08/07/2006 12:33:44 PM PDT by Lou L
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To: .cnI redruM

My cats love it when I leave a paper bag on the floor...


49 posted on 08/07/2006 12:34:52 PM PDT by Doohickey (I am not unappeasable. YOU are just too easily appeased.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

"I quit watching MTV when they quit showing music (around 1986)."

Same here. I have it blocked now. VH1-Classic aired the first day of MTV's broadcast over the weekend. That was pretty cool. Brought back memories.


50 posted on 08/07/2006 12:45:09 PM PDT by JZelle
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