Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How MTV will help save America

So, I'm old enough to remember when MTV first got started, and young enough to have watched it quite a bit from then right up until now. Who would have thought an entire network devoted to playing music videos (whatever those are) could possibly work? Oh right, it didn't really work, since I can't remember the last time I saw music video on MTV. I guess they still play them late at night or something. And they still seem to be focused on that silly experiment, only they now call it MTV2, except that it now seems to be just a clone of MTV showing the same original programming over and over (and over...). I guess they've moved the music to MTV Hits (or something), where it can fail again. So, anyway, MTV has for sometime relied on orginal shows (some good, some bad, some terrible)to carry the network, and they seem to be doing ok that way.

MTV's shows, as ridiculous as some of them are, don't get enough credit in my mind, for changing the way people think. Everytime I see people debating gay marraige, it always irritates the shit out of me that people still can have some of the stupid bigoted attitudes that they do. Yet, as I get upset, I'm always comforted by the certainty (in my mind anyway) that in the near future, the gay rights debate will be decided by people who grew up watching MTV. For at least 15 years, gay people have been presented positively, and just like anyone else on MTV, particularly on The Real World, and it's many spin-offs. My ideas on the subject were pretty well formed already by that time, and luckily I came up with the right opinion anyway, but for younger people who may otherwise fall into the trap oh homophobia, I think seeing these people on TV will really help. I think it's almost impossible for people to hold on to their bigotry when growing up in a world where they can plainly see that gay people are just like anyone else.

In my entire time in school there were probably a handful of kids who were suspected of being gay, and people were rough on them. Now, I hear a lot more about kids being openly gay, and obviously the more kids who know those kids, the less bigots we're going to have.

I've often thought of this as I watch MTV, but as I saw a few seconds of some (really, really, really, almost painfully bad) dating show on MTV the other day, where teen lesbians were on the show, and the show was exactly like it was with heterosexual contestants, it really hit me how much progress we've made, and how much I think MTV has contributed to that progress.

Now, if they could just bring back Remote Control, because that was a great show. And it's where I first saw Adam Sandler.

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2 comments:

Pica (Francesca) said...

Interesting.

I went to an all girls high school and at that time, the meanest thing you could do to a classmate was spread a rumor that she was a lesbo. There were some actual lesbians (or at least bi-curious girls) getting together for late-night "expermentation" at the time, but they were very well hidden. The school administration never talked about homosexuality, in the same insane policy that made them ignore eating disorders.
I was so happy to learn that about 3 years after I graduated, a student came out as a lesbian and lead an assembly about accepting homosexuality since the damn school officials weren't going to do anything about it.

John Howard said...

Well-hidden? I thought all girls schools were all about lesbian experimentation. I guess you can't trust evrything you learn from Cinemax.