Video Music Award Nominees

The MTV Video Music Awards are on tonight, and while browsing through the nominees, I realized that I have only seen one out of dozens of videos. Am I getting that old? To convince myself that I'm still hip to pop culture, I watched through all of the nominated videos and... wow. If these are the best videos of the year, perhaps they should just call the whole ceremony off.

I'll be rooting for two videos, each of which only received one nomination: "Howlin' for You" by The Black Keys, a captivating spoof of a Kill Bill-ish movie trailer and "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green for having a video that's as fun-spirited as the song. I also have a soft spot for dimwitted Britney Spear's "Till the World Ends" because she seems to think a post-apocalyptic world will consist of writhing gay men. Mostly, I'm partial to the closing shot where her head is coming out of the sewer. It's a metaphor for her career, y'all!

As for the rest, whatever. We'll never see any of the New Artist nominees again (what the heck are you, Kreayshawn?) and the most controversial video might be Kanye West's "All the Lights" for the epilepsy warning that prefaces it. Way to keep it menacing, hip-hop.

I have some problems with other nominees. Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" is pretty revisionist as to how much power women have. And far be it from me to tell you how to do feminism, but having women dancing provocatively in skimpy clothing doesn't really signify empowerment as much as it demonstrates oppression. Lady Gaga, maybe you shouldn't have linked homosexuals with space aliens when your hokey song is trying to promote acceptance. And what right does Eminem have to turn his collaboration with Rihanna into a message about her own domestic abuse?

I figured the nominees for best video would be the cream of the crop, but they're all pretty lame, actually.:

Bruno Mars's "Grenade" is dull, though I did laugh when gang members screamed at him for a pushing a piano through their turf. I mean, what?

If Adele can't even be bothered to stand up during "Rolling in the Deep", why should I like it? She just sits in profile like she's Whistler's Mother or something. There's also enough broken glass to summon Annie Lennox. Maybe that was her dancing in the cocaine?

Katy Perry has four different videos nominated in various categories, but the one getting the top distinction is "Firework". I'm a little confused by the narrative. Are they doing a Care Bear stare? Is the sparkling a cautionary tale of gonorrhea? I know the song is supposed to be inspirational, but if all those people are lighting off hundreds fireworks in that enclose space, it will surely end in fatalities.

The Beastie Boys have an appropriately named song, "Make Some Noise", as they've been making the same noise for decades now. This gimmicky video's cast is a who's who of comedy (AKA the Beastie Boys call in every favor ever), though, and this is probably my favorite Elijah Wood performance ever.

By default, I guess I'm cheering for "Yonkers" by Tyler, The Creator, even though it only contains three main plot points: eating a cockroach, vomiting, hanging himself. MTV seems to have decided that suicide is "in" this year, because they've also nominated similarly themed videos from Pink and Rise Against.

Now that I know I'm apathetic to the nominees, I've decided to go see a production of Hamlet tonight rather than watch the awards show. If I'm going to be bored, I'd rather do it in the name of culture than pop culture.

1 comment:

Don Blankenship said...

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