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The Pernicious Influence of MTV

(Fuddy-duddy Alert: The following "post" is highly likely to make us seem about as hip as a broadcast of "Polish Line Dancing with Bill Moyers." If you're a real cool cat, you may just want to skip on down to the next one.)

We, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," despise MTV, a television network that seems dead-set on coarsening our culture and furtively promoting a left-liberal agenda. Allowing your child to take in the noxious palaver on MTV may not turn out to be a disaster, but it certainly won't help your parental efforts. Unless, perhaps, your parental efforts resemble those of, say, Alec Baldwin.

Now, in offering this opinion, we are not casting aspersions at the "music videos" MTV offers its viewers. Truth be told, we're not big rock music fans, and so we consider the videos MTV displays to be beneath contempt. But, as even the most casual viewer of MTV recognizes, the network seldom plays music videos anymore, preferring to offer programs aimed at children and young adults.

And this programming often borders on the noxious. We're sure that we're not the first to lament the popularity of "Jackass," which provides a congeries of dangerous, degrading stunts performed for the twisted viewer's pleasure. The show--for those few of you blissfully unaware of it--routinely displays footage of its "stars" undergoing painful ordeals, which are meant to amuse.

Frankly, dear reader, those devoted to the program must be well nigh pathological. Who else delights in, say, a fellow human being enduring savage paper cuts, brutal hockey checks, and kindred forms of abuse? One of the "stars" on "Jackass" is famous for stapling his scrotum to his leg: Does anyone see good results stemming from displaying this feat to middle-schoolers?

Thanks to the deleterious popularity of "Jackass," moreover, MTV has undertaken to produce a slew of shows based on the display of low-level torture for pleasure. And then this network has the gall to present solemn news reports on American malefactions in the War on Terror? Come on, MTV executives: Decry Gitmo all you want, but your odious programming routinely dulls our sensitivities to human pain.

We should not forget, moreover, the half-hearted lefty sensibilities MTV routinely demonstrates. In between broadcasts of horrid skateboarding accidents, the network sobers up and presents sanctimonious little discussions of current events. These invariably have an anti-conservative edge. Watching MTV shortly after 9/11, for instance, would have given you the impression that a massive pogrom against Muslim Americans was imminent.

And let's not leave out one of MTV's flagship programs, "The Real World." As an example of youthful fatuity, television may not get any better than this. But one should observe the program's dubious notions of growth: Throughout its seasons, cast members are applauded for their increased maturity if their views alter in a liberal direction. The embrace of homosexuality is deemed growth, but becoming a more devout Christian is not.

For all the above reasons, we feel safe in concluding that MTV is a harmful influence. Call us squares, but we'd keep our children away from that garbage.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently accepting submissions for their Fourth Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition.)

Comments (14)

Is MTV really anything diff... (Below threshold)

Is MTV really anything different than other generations?

In the 50's Jerry Lee Lewis shocked the nation by marrying his 13 year old couson. In the 1960's counter culture bands like The Doors had songs with revolutionary themes and played obscenity laced concerts while Jim Morrison was arrested for exposing himself onstage during a drunken performance in Miami. And Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix overdosed on drugs. The advent of late 70's punk rock brought on bands like The Toilet Rockers whose band leader would defecate onstage and then throw it at the audience much like an ape in the zoo would. And The Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious who was involved in the purported murder suicide scandal of his girlfriend with drugs. Iggy Pop would slash himself bloody onstage.

You'll have a hard time making any case for MTV being any worse than previous counter culture generations.

Nah. MTV sucks. At least VH... (Below threshold)

Nah. MTV sucks. At least VH1 still shows music videos. Just block MTV from your channel line up. Forget it exists. All the cool kids are doing it...

Paul,A little glit... (Below threshold)


A little glitch, but, those things didn't have their own channel which was broadcasted expressly to young humans 24 hours a day..


Yes Paul, MTV is different.... (Below threshold)
U.P. Man:

Yes Paul, MTV is different. All those that you mentioned where thought of as counterculture and not the the norm.

What MTV shows is almost mainstream. Oh wow, he was actually able staple his scrotum to his leg. He is one tough guy! Oh look that Xian is a hypocrit he just kissed a guy dressed up as chick, but at least he's learning that Xian's aren't right!

Wow, I remember when people... (Below threshold)

Wow, I remember when people were up in arms about Jackass. I think that was back in 2002 when they produced the last new episode. It's almost like listening to opponents of video game violence complaining about games like DOOM a decade too late.

Besides, if anything on MTV signals the fall of Western civilization, it's My Super Sweet 16.

Wasn't there once a music c... (Below threshold)

Wasn't there once a music channel that played music? Long time ago?

The "embrace" of homosexual... (Below threshold)

The "embrace" of homosexuality (by which I assume you mean the acceptance of it as a legitimate, normal lifestyle) IS growth. Becoming a more devout Christian isn't. It's shirking more of your own intellectual and moral responsibility and taking as the word of "God" a set of rules that have no rational basis.

MTV sucks, but so does your writing.

zarathustra,Then w... (Below threshold)
U.P. Man:


Then what do you base your morality on?

Everytime I have asked this particular question no one who does have a faith, including agnostics, never gives an answer.

As for "shirking more of your own intellectual" finding out how God made the universe or how God makes the universe work is a good thing.

A more narrow-minded, bigot... (Below threshold)

A more narrow-minded, bigoted and intolerant statement cannot be made. And I am not referring to the post, zarathustra.

"No rational basis."


Someone put it best. ... (Below threshold)

Someone put it best.

Spring break in Florida used to be like 5 Saturday Nights in a row. Until MTV started finding the most extreme events and televising them like they were common. Now Spring break in Florida, debauchery is at its finest and common. Can't be much worse without beginning to incorporate violence.

Then the was the ultimate a... (Below threshold)

Then the was the ultimate atrocity that they foisted off on to the American teenager and young adult. What is that? The simple answer is Bevis and Butthead. Yes that is right. That had to be the most asinine show that was ever aired. Fortunately, this show was canceled too, so we would not have to endure anymore of that tripe. I have MTV blocked from my channel lineup and it will stay that way.

Only the criminally insane ... (Below threshold)

Only the criminally insane need a set of rules external from their own highly evolved moral psychologies in order for them to tell right from wrong. Good people who are Christian are not good people because of their faith; they're good people because of the way they interact with other moral agents. You seem to imply that non-belief in a supernatural moral authority leaves one with the notion that everything is permitted; your implication belies a poor understanding of human nature, which is in fact the source of moral goodness (and, yes, also moral wickedness--where is it written upon the fabric of the universe that we were meant to be a perfect species?)

As for "God" making the universe, exactly which scientific theory are you basing that on? Complicated questions, like the origin of the universe, fall into the domain of science, not theology. That's what I meant by "no rational basis", wavemaker--I'm not aware of any religion that can be said to have rational foundations, and I'm not aware of any good reason to believe in something that cannot be rationally justified.

zarathustra ,Is th... (Below threshold)
U.P. Man:

zarathustra ,

Is that your chosen screen name? What scientific theory do you base that upon? Something that is, has no need for a scientific theory.

You can ask what is the scientific theory on how God created. My reply is the same, God is and needs no theory.

I never said man could not be good without God. I asked what do you base your morality in determining what is good. Some cultures good is deceiving your fellow man to get more for your family/tribe.

Good is doing what is best for the human race? What is the good for the human race ?

Define what good is...... give reasons why good is good. What scientific theory do you have to show that good exists?

I actually enjoyed Beavis a... (Below threshold)

I actually enjoyed Beavis and Butthead. The difference between that show and whatever reality bit MTV is coughing up, now, is that B&B were animated. These douchbags that MTV sucks up from the sewers and turns into "stars" are about the poorest example of the human condition that I could imagine.

The show's not a hit until some gay dude gets insulted, some over-strung trixie gets upset and cries like a bitch, or some other equally predictable emotional ailment strikes someone (who usually ends up being a complete pussy about life) and then the drama kicks in.

I'm not sure if their "growth" is left-leaning, a screaming example of worthless pop-psychology, or a screaming example how to continue on being a douchbag by thinking the world owes you something and somehow rationalizing the fact that you ARE a douchbag and can justify remaining a douchbag instead of nutting up to life and dealing with the issue instead of pandering off as someone else's responsibility.

Either way, it does send a bad message to kids: being a douchbag is okay as long as you're only being graded by other douchbags.

Point being: we have WAY too many douchbags, as it is - let's not turn any more into celebrities.






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