We watch... so you don't have to.

A Couple Steps Closer to Death

Oh God, it's happening already. I want to fight it, to resist the urge, to battle the inevitable, but the gravity of getting old is too strong.

I now watch as much VH1 as I do MTV.

I am, at the ripe old age of 27, a fossil. For like ear hair, pot bellies and aching joints after just a few innings of slosh ball (drinking lite beer, no less), VH1 is a turning point. One of the last road signs on the Great Highway of Cool, pointing you toward the exit to the twin cities of Geezerdom and Irrelevancy.

It wasn't always like this. I used to be able to watch MTV for more than ten minutes at a time. Back in the days when videos weren't comprised of four or five slickly groomed 20-year old boys who make millions of dollars pretending to be some sort of musicians.

Remember those days? Beavis and Butt-head could still say "fire," Aerosmith made videos without Alicia Silverstone and Adam Sandler was known only as that freaky guy on Remote Control. Ahhh, memories.

That's not to say I spend all my time on VH1. I'm not enough of a fogey to fully understand the appeal of Jewel or James Taylor and won't be ancient enough to appreciate Cher for another century or so. But dammit, it actually bothers me that The Rock Show is only half-an-hour long. Then I get pissed off at myself for watching anything on VH1 for 30 minutes and force myself to watch 45 minutes of MTV, just to make up for it. Sort of like a long workout on the Treadmill of Hip to counter the Pie of Middle Agedom I just wolfed down.

But I just can't stomach 45 minutes of MTV anymore. I'm out of shape and fading fast.

Of course, there's a whole other psychological issue at work here. Watching nothing but Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync has set me upon a long, bleak journey of self-discovery. I don't like what I've found.

It turns out, I'm a closet Motley Crüe fan. Not only Motley Crüe, but Scorpions, Quiet Riot and Def Leppard as well.

Damn you, 98 Degrees. Damn you to hell for making me realize this.

Not too long ago, VH1 featured a complete Ozzy Osbourne concert. Has it really come to this? Is biting the heads off live chickens so socially acceptable, so de rigueur, so boring to the youth of America that Ozzy, a living, breathing heavy metal god, has been foisted off on to the same network that brought us non-stop Sarah McLachlan?

The other night, on the increasingly-desperate-for-subjects Behind the Music series, viewers were treated to the story of Grand Funk Railroad. This turned out to be a happy surprise for me, but not because I'm a big fan of their music.

As naive as it may seem, I used to think Grand Funk was George Clinton's band. Imagine my delight when I found out they were actually three white blue-collar guys who were obviously huge fans of irony to take a name like Grand Funk. My misconception actually made me feel better about myself. Perhaps I was still one of the cool kids, one of those youngsters who knew the difference between Fred Durst and Jonathan Davis but not The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch.

So I flipped over to MTV to wallow in cool. Instead of Limp Bizkit or Korn, music television was in the middle of Road Rules: Semester of Sea Sickness or some such crap. I flipped right back and began to get Funkified. Within minutes I was humming along to "We're an American Band." It was one of those life-changing moments where suddenly everything becomes crystal clear.

No more suddenly switching channels from VH1 to MTV when somebody walks into the room and pretending to care about whether or not Puff Daddy's newest effort is indeed Da Bomb. Bring on Artist of the Month Lenny Kravitz, "Where are They Now?" segments about Winger, Warrant and Savage and VJs like Madison and Roshumba who rarely, if ever, have to take phone calls from 13-year old Melissa from Syracuse who is absolutely Justin's biggest fan because he is so cute even though her friend thinks Joey is cuter. No more MTV for this senior citizen. Except for the Britney Spears videos.

I'm old, dammit, and proud of it.

Hey, at least I'm not watching CBS.... Not yet, anyway.


TeeVee - About Us - Archive - Where We Are Now

Got a comment? Mail us at teevee@teevee.org.

* * *