I saw an article in my newspaper today about Sunday night’s MTV awards show. There was no point in my reading it since the mere fact I still read a newspaper is a sure sign I have no clue about today’s music scene. It only served to remind me that while I am still able to remember when MTV debuted with “Video Killed The Radio Star,” I am too old to care about what passes as music today.
Still, it got me to thinking about when Dire Straits sang, “I Want My MTV” (“Money for Nothing”) There was a time when I was in college and loved music videos. I even considered going to film school and once received the ultimate compliment in a class where I presented a music video, “Wow! That was cooler than anything on MTV.”
Now, at the age of 57, I will admit I still want my MTV even though it has been 20 years since I last saw it and today it stands for Metamucil, Tempur-Pedic, and Viagra. In fact, I want more than just my MTV.
For starters, I want my memory. There was a great U2 video to the song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For.” Today, I still don’t remember what I was looking for. I know I will as soon as I sit back down and go onto something else. However, the distance between my desk and the garage is just too great for me to hold a thought.
REM once sang, “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” which I am pretty sure had to do with sex. Today, it probably has more to do with how many times Michael Stipe has to get up to pee at night. I now sleep in four-hour shifts instead of a solid twelve-hour block like I once could.
The Melissa Etheridge song, “Come To My Window,” which featured Juliette Lewis was another one of my favorites. Today, I have to admit, there are times I feel like screaming, “Come to my window because I feel like Jerry Lewis,” when the mailman pulls up to my box. Yes, I admit, I wouldn’t mind having some of my youth back. I don’t need all of it, just enough to assure myself I am not in danger of tearing my Achilles Tendon or losing my equilibrium and falling over when I bounce out of my recliner.
I also always liked the Genesis video for “Land of Confusion” in which there are some great puppets of famous artists and world leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Today, I am happy when I look in the mirror and resemble The Gipper more than the Iron Lady. It confuses me to no end to look at a person I no longer recognize as me.
To tell you the truth, I was not even aware MTV was still on the air. My wife and I prefer our HGTV to most other things on television. I am also a sucker for my SVU, CNN, and AARP. Now I am at a point in life where I know I do not get my money for nothing and I get really angry when others who do nothing get my money. Still, I enjoy the early bird specials where if I buy a beer I get my chips for free.
Metamucil, Tempur-Pedic, and Viagra is enough to keep me rocking in the free world. “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” may some day replace Tom Petty’s, “Free Fallin’,” but until then, I will walk this way until I can’t take the pain any longer and get my aching knees and hips replaced.
I wonder if Downtown Julie Brown is still on MTV.
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Editor’s note: At the MTV Music Video Awards Kanye West announced he would be running for president in 2020.
James Moore is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching and currently runs his own personal training business, In Home Jim, in Hemet, CA. Jim’s writings are often the end result of his thoughts mulled over while riding his bike for hours on end.