My friend Ryan, made fun of me for wearing colorful new socks, in junior high. We weren’t friends long after he began that. It was, I think ,the year 1990.
Today is Barack Obama’s Birthday.
I’m sure his socks were impeccable.
It made us or broke us when it came to the ladies. After all, for a boy that age, the playbook was only beginning to be written.
- August 1, 1981, New York, New York, United States
August 1 this year, 2021, observes the fortieth anniversary of the debut of MTV. I think this anniversary deserves more of a mention than it is receiving.
Britpop has a canon. Why not MTV?
It probably does, but not one that I hear of. It fascinates me.
Let me conjecture.
A TV station that is called Music Television, yet never plays any music.
Jane: really wanna check out the latest Iggy video I heard it was tight, turn on MTV and see if it’s on.
Erica: Bitch please, that network hasn’t played music videos since 1999. You will have to settle for that Vevo horse shit instead.
June 26, 2014
- Halloween is the going entry for forty years of horror, I think
In movies, awfulness like the Halloween films, the movies that started with the executive exertion of John Carpenter, additionally forty years in, presently, readies a tremendous measure of conversation. It is hard to, even for me, an imaginative fellow myself might I add, to understand why there are so many timelines for the same story. That town Haddonfield, Illinois, shot in South Pasadena and Hollywood, California, never will be forgotten.
- Star Wars is the clear contender for forty years of the best sci-fi
We haven’t quite got forty years from Star Wars Episode IV and its characteristic representation on YouTube. The representation of Star Wars on Youtube is positively immense; in terms of canon, the official entries for a universe like George Lucas’ Star Wars is truly stellar. The sequel trilogy crashed twice, back at Christmas 2017, and again for Christmas 2019.
Sometimes people hate on it; more often people love it, and it is quite frequently identified as the most significant storytelling to certain people’s childhood that to retcon the story is like a sacrilege.
Vader threw the Emperor down an immense circular shaft in the recesses of deep space and the Rebel Alliance exploded Star Wars Return of the Jedi’s Death Star in 1983. Somehow in 2021, the Emperor returned amid the wreckage of the Death Star to battle both Kylo Ren, performed by Adam Driver, and Rey, acted by Daisy Ridley.
It looked like a climactic explosion that took the Death Star out of existence at the end of Return of the Jedi. Did wreckage persist?
1980’s sequel Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back turned forty last year, and at that time it got a considerable mention on their YouTube channel, and everywhere else on the Internet. One night lately I watched Empire Strikes Back for the first time in twenty-five years, right at home on Disney+. Right at home, I might add.
- Superman is another enduring and innovative franchise
The Superman movies began in 1978 and following revivals like the 90s series Smallville, and the 2006 film Superman Returns, two years after Superman actor Christopher Reeves died, Superman returned in a big way for Batman vs. Superman, and in the Justice League films. Like Zod and his cohorts escaping their near-permanent imprisonment for Superman II in 1980, Superman was lucky to defeat them. RIP to Superman director Richard Donner (finished 1978).
- MTV came to dominate TV
13 FEB 2017 – 2:49PM
How MTV changed the world with its industry of cool
MTV was an interesting journey. The 1970s are recognized as a time when privilege, gay rights and ecological developments contended with the Watergate embarrassment, the energy emergency and the continuous Vietnam War.
The eighties were a novel time for design, music, and film. During the 1980s, MTV was instrumental in advancing entertainers like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, who played in turn.
For fun, I put on about twenty-five songs that were in the MTV catalogue in ’81. I’m unsure Lou Reed was completely prepared for how MTV would change music. Even come 2021, I order the MTV TV channel, a retro channel to round out the mix of programming I get from communications provider Cogeco. Tell me who’s boss, baby…
- Funny fright flick Ghostbusters is making a return
I usually enjoy ties to the past. For instance, come October, Ghostbusters Afterlife is set to shake up crowds. The 80s, some might say, was the best decade ever.
Ghostbusters rocked comedy starting in 1984 when it received its theatrical release. Funny dialogue and plot devices plus the supernatural theme and special effects make it a great movie.
- Back to the Future is a heavy hitter
I couldn’t say whether Back to the Future is a kids’ film, yet the typical rating for films is that C8 demonstrates a film or TV or game that is for children who ought to have effectively arrived at the age of eight. I think that’s what Back to the Future is rated. I again watched the scene when Doc Brown explains, to Marty McFly, that the inventor, Doc Brown, has built a time machine inside a DeLorean sports car.
It is droll. It enjoyed a resurgence in Season 3 of the Netflix series Stranger Things.
- It feels to me like Batman never left
I think Batman in 1989 was rated PG, meaning that the parents of underage kids attending the movie must have their parents’ to put the experience of watching the PG movie into a family context. Pondering that is one explanation I once in a while lament the choice to avoid considering a youngster.
I was captivated by Batman as a twelve-year-old, and I envisioned turning into a reprobate like The Joker. I was able to read some of the more adult Batman comics that were in print and successfully selling at the time.
The Killing Joke is a great story. So is Batman: Year One, which is a series of issues, in Detective Comics, “rebooting” the origin story of Batman, although I don’t know honestly if “reboot” was a coined word in the eighties… I must be too young…
I remained interested in the second and third movies in the Batman franchise. 1995’s Batman Forever is underestimated, I think. The popular opinion of Gotham, now on Netflix, is that it is a great TV series, and I agree that Gotham is superb.
Lou Reed’s song A Perfect Day is in the Gotham series when the Penguin is coming into his own…
- Lou Reed delivered perhaps the worst music of his career
I enjoy it. Albums like Legendary Hearts and Mistrial, the video presence of Lou Reed, now older and more mellow one might say (especially if you have heard Reed’s remarks on the Take No Prisoners double-LP during the introduction to one of his Velvet Underground songs), demonstrates a personality that by now is so recognizable that it is somewhat lackluster in the face of what MTV was doing.
Was Reed a great dancer? He certainly was footloose. He employed longtime Velvets devotee Robert Quine for a new guitar presence on 1982’s The Blue Mask and nominally again for 1983’s Legendary Hearts, scornfully mixing him out of the finished album while retaining his name on the album jacket.
- Andy Warhol remained an active presence
Warhol is of course a legend and known to buy whatever goodie did interest him, appearing often on MTV before his untimely death in 1987.
- NYC began to evince itself, apart from its excellent theatre and theatrical politics, a city well-represented in the media, which some days depicted its Burroughs as havens for fiendish, delirious, magnificent drug addicts and other homeless. The Naked Lunch is a 1959 novel by American essayist William S. Burroughs. I am not sure Lou Reed did enough to identify himself as that “other” Godfather, however, well-reviewed his 1982 LP The Blue Mask was received. “Take the blue mask down from my face and look me in the eye…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHOBZixJOtg
The addict William Lee takes on different assumed names, from the U.S. to Mexico, in the long run to Tangier and the illusory Interzone. His excursion begins in the U.S. where he is escaping the police looking for his next fix.
The novel was remembered for Time’s “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005”.¹
- Images of street life in the Big Apple
Suddenly a definition of music culture was ready and available to all who might pursue an interest in it. It is amazing what happened in the 1980s around the world and I start to feel stunned should I probe into it. I am so sorry about 9/11.
- Music by itself is pretty cheap
MTV was 24/7, and the most I ever made out of possibilities for 24/7 were somewhat hampered by a shortage of comfortable space. I had days that I watched late-night cable TV with an absence of proper audio in favor of music recordings. There could have been possibilities.
While rock music is one of the electric things in the world, we enjoy it in controlled, cool environs, not the great outdoors… with rare exceptions. Someone with a passion for outdoor festivals could speak to you about it.
Remove it to the littlest club, and you have an intimacy that is unmatched, speaking generally, between artist and patrons. The result is like love.
The aftermath. The result imperial
- When the restraint against more adult themes came to an end, films that previously had entertained fierce legends about the sights on camera, as with The Texas Chain-saw Massacre depicting Ed Gein chasing and slaughtering people.
In the interim, grim scary movies caused much displeasure against chaste and, dare I say, sane members of society. Whether to put the seeds of rebellion amid the reels of one-dimensional characterizations and poorly-plotted forgettable mire, there was so much box office to be had with films that sunk little previous investment and returned fortunes at the box office.
The devil won, dare I say.
- The “dome” crowning these indulgences served another purpose, to elevate what remained of quality endeavours high up on the landscape. For entrants unwilling to descend to the depths of hell but not glorious enough to reach the upper echelon, the spread of lowbrow crime films began like spurts of blood from bullet holes to dot the landscape, forming what should amount to a canon of disreputable fun, if there isn’t such a canon in place already the scope of which is unknown to me. Sometimes it is the best-laid plans of men that curtail our best effort…
- A shallow foothold, youth culture was strong as it ever had been, a generation following the sons and daughters of the dawn of love, in a morass to excel at the continuing breakdown of norms and conventions while enjoying the best that the beginning of the triumph of art in the hands of the masses would bring.
Art would soon be disposable, and yet we still have MTV…
- The radio format remains consistent. The composition of the song goes a little unchanged, despite the efforts of gifted upstarts who would challenge it. What dictated tastes to the new unwashed was the resale of the same values as what just came before, coupled with the Renaissance of everything new and cool, everything under the sun.
Before long it was soon not even the twentieth century anymore. Time kept running like a river.
- Despite everything that came and went about the shape of the media that housed music, the venues that assembled and entreated it, MTV remained like a light on the house of TV. If there was a certain kind of hipster in the house, it was a reasonable certainty that MTV would be there as well. There was no comparable TV channel that could effectively replace MTV.
It proved enduring.
- Like a ray of light cast from a pier to the tides under darkness, MTV remains a go-to for information, like who’s who and what it takes to be a part of the culture, and for the hipster that valued the influences of the past recast anew and now again relevant, a weave of customs that never left you, that had never gone away. It remains for you to groove to, to think a little about and to ignore when necessary.
You are the controller; the best of the best is at your command. It is a game of electric crosshairs and you are the sergeant-at-arms.
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¹ Lacayo, Richard. “All-TIME 100 Novels”. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via entertainment.time.com.