MTV & June Gloom
Tuesday, May 30 2000
Throughout Southern California this summer, June Gloom has been a persistent natural condition. It's not as tangible here in West LA as it was when I lived on the coast in San Diego. Most mornings it hangs like a cold grey opaque curtain at the end of Santa Monica Blvd, not exactly beckoning me to the beaches. I don't watch MTV much any more, but as I was flipping through the channels the other day I saw that the VJs (along with a fully-Noxemafied crew) were on location with Britney Spears in Southern California. Despite the bubbly laughter and upbeat empty-headed banter, it was hard to ignore the June Gloom casting its diffuse clammy grey shade over the festive beachside scene. Today I was thinking about how much MTV has deteriorated since its early days. Even over the last ten years its decline has been precipitous. There used to be late night shows featuring obscure bands, there used to be brief but wacked-out animations, and once there was this thing called Beavis and Butthead. But now every time I go to MTV, it's all about teenage puppy love and zit cream. All of its former zeal has been excised out of it, replaced with a sadly Schtevish prosthesis. VH1 is not only more mentally challenging, it's also more cutting edge. At least the musicians it retroactively chronicles had legitimate lives of vitriol, treachery, destruction and that good old American institution called drug abuse.
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