Gen-Xers complaining about the loss of “their MTV” (the one that showed videos)
is now itself, a joke. Gen X-enters-midlife inaugural series “Portlandia” went
so far as to feature an episode where Portland-based Xers united with our
Cronkite (Kurt Loder), and our Barbara Walters (Tabitha Soren), and
our ready-made music-guru buddy (Matt Pinfield) to stage a coup against
the channel’s current Gen-Z-oriented, “Teen Mom”-pushing programming director.
She doesn’t care about your nostalgia, Harms
It’s hard to sell someone else on their loss. No one, reasonably, wants to
hear about how great the party (or New York City, or San Francisco) was just
before they got there. So, perhaps against type to my generation, I’d like to
not say what the later-born lost because they were born after MTV was
paved over with boy-band-friendly, gonad-vaporizing “TRL” and insipid reality
shows gone horribly wrong (What hath “The Real World” wrought?).
Instead, I’d like to recall what humanity gained in that early era of videos.
In this post, I’d like to recall and celebrate a director who laid down a
gauntlet to say “We could do this ‘video’ thing with artistry and daring, like
this.” The director was Englishman David Mallet who, in his
visionary collaborations with David Bowie made profoundly memorable,
challenging, and daring videos. Bowie and Mallett’s videos hinted that the
medium could be more than musical ads to sell records. It could be an art form