Video May Have Killed the Radio Star But It's Time For Some Payback

Way back at the dawn of the video era, MTV started their programming off with a quick clip of a Saturn V rocket blasting off the pad accompanied by the song Video Killed the Radio Star. Judging from the sad state of music videos these days, it may just be time for the radio stars to get some payback.

It's been many years since MTV was actually music television. Now it's more often than not an endless wasteland of bad reality shows. I'm tired of living the Real World because it's anything but - a carefully ethnically/sexually-mixed group of 20-somethings in a showcase apartment located in some world class city? Yeah, that's real. I don't want to be Punk'd ever again - Ashton Kutcher should go home to Demi like a good little boy. My tolerance with Cribs, Jackass and any number of other stupid-ass shows is razor thin. Oddly enough, I do find Xzbit an engaging guy and regularly watch Pimp My Ride. True, I'm not the target demographic, but I don't think one middle-aged white guy is going to screw things up too badly. Go figure.

I haven't regularly watched music videos since I worked a night shift and was off all day in the early 80s. Soaps haven't been my cup of tea since I used to watch The Edge of Night with Mom while nodding off for my afternoon nappie. Frankly, I just never understood that Susan Lucci thing and really only watched for the commercials anyway. Mr. Clean, the Scrubbing Bubbles. Now there was time wasting at its best.To plug this egregious gap in my pop culture knowledge I've been tuning in to videos more often lately. What strikes me is how absolutely crappy they've become. Sure, there's been lots of decay in pop culture since the early 80s, but some of the newest videos are taking on a special aura of shitiness that's so visible it shows up as cartoon stink waves on the screen.

Take R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet. Please.

This video is so bad on so many levels that it may become the Plan 9 From Outer Space of the video world. Kelly, who bills this thing an "urban opera", said, "I didn't go in the studio and say, "Hey, I'm finnin' to write a musical opera." I'm guessing he wasn't "finnin" to do much of anything because this thing ja sucks. The video is a sort of extended, wandering R&B rap that is so long-winded and confusing that it takes five separate video chapters just to get started. Kelly recently announced he'll be making chapters 6-10 soon. Yea, I'm sure that will really clear things up.

Despite the fact that this CD opened at Billboard's No. 1, I can't believe anyone is taking this guy seriously. Even my daughter, who actually is in his target demographic (which is a truly scary thought given his proliclivities for young girls), finds it laughable. I knew I must have taught that kid something useful.

I suppose I am just an agitated old coot, but sometimes these things just need to be said - so here goes, "R. please...please...STAY in the closet will you? If I laugh any harder my double bypass will rip open.

"You don't want the blood of an old white guy on your hands now, do you?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, July 16, 2005

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