A Note To MTV

Dear MTV,

After seeing your “coverage” of yesterday’s Live 8 concert, I have come to the conclusion that your network sucks like a turbocharged Electrolux.

This was not exactly a revelation, mind you; the “M” in “MTV” hasn’t stood for “music” since, oh, I’d guess about the time of the original Live Aid broadcast in 1985. Which, of course, was a million times better than the pathetic, drivel-soaked and endlessly-interrupted-with-empty-“host”-blather excuse for coverage this year. Oh, and the picture quality was miserable as well. I’ve seen less pixelization in cheap Malaysian VCDs.

What kind of moron breaks away from the first full Pink Floyd performance in 25 years to have some twit talk about t-shirts he saw on a train? Are you people just stupid, or tasteless, or some sick combination of the two?

Never mind answering–I can guess. With the exception of an occasional episode of Ozzy Osbourne’s show a couple of years back, I haven’t actually watched MTV in over a decade, and yesterday I remembered why.

It’s because you suck.

NOTE: Giving credit where it’s due, XM Radio’s coverage was outstanding.

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69 Responses to “A Note To MTV”

  1. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: It’s Not Just MTV

    Everything, or at last 95% of everything on television, cable as well as over-the-air, is crud.

    I gave up on television around ’98. I’ve been much happier since. I’ve got more time to do constructive things. I don’t get as frustrated at trying to find anything worth watching. I don’t have the outrageous bills for cable. I watch what I want to watch; not just whatever happens to be the least loathsome thing going.

    Kick your television habit.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Television is very educational. Everytime someone turns one on, I go read a good book. — Groucho Marx]

  2. marc Says:

    Dear Chuck,

    We are all very happy that you are far, far better than us. Your tastes should be our tastes; your opinions, ours. When you finally transform into that being of pure, beautiful energy we hope you will spare a moment to think of us mere mortals.

    Regards,
    We Proles

  3. ArtD0dger Says:

    MTV just has no class ever since Beavis and Butthead went off the air.

  4. Bill Peschel Says:

    What a cute li’l insecurity Marc is showing us.

    Chuck may not be necessarily better, but he’s on the right path. Everything I used to get from television I can get elsewhere, especially when you can get seasons of “The Sopranos” and “The Simpsons” on DVD.

  5. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: marc
    RE: Better?

    “We are all very happy that you are far, far better than us.” — marc

    Sounds like you’ve got a self-esteem issue going there marc. Either that or poor reading/comprehension.

    Might have something to do with all that television you’re watching; eats your brain.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Do not strive merely to be better than others. Be better than yourself.]

  6. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Bill Peschel
    RE: On the Nosey

    “Everything I used to get from television I can get elsewhere…” — Bill Peschel

    The straw the broke our camel’s back was when we realized the only thing we found ourselves watching on television, on a regular basis, was the Weather Channel. And we can get that on the web.

    As for CNN…who needs those jerks? The web has all them too. And I only need to see them when I deliberately go to their site.

    I MIGHT get cable again, if, and only if, I can pick and choose the channels and pay for them accordingly.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. All those years of saving money on cable service have gone into a superb DVD collection. The next addition will be Enterprise. I hear from Lileks that it’s pretty good. And he and I share a lot of similar tastes; houses, politics, humor, Macintosh v. Windoz, etc.

  7. Ian Wood Says:

    MTV deliberately farked their coverage up to prevent people from recording a decent version of the event, to avoid interfering with DVD sales.

  8. Lin Phillips Says:

    Sorry guys, I love the History Channel, Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, and Outdoor Life Network. Its worth it alone to watch the Tour de France every year. I’ll be glad when the bastards finally let me pick a la carte. I only want 4 or 5 channels anyhow.

    Other than 24 and Alias, I can’t say I watch much TV at all. But, TV is still like any other item on this planet, good when used properly, bad when misused. I feel the same way about my cell phone, beer, creme brul

  9. Scott P Says:

    I turned on ABC just in time for Money. They went to commercial during David Gilmore’s guitar solo.

    No wonder I don’t watch TV anymore…

  10. Pejmanesque Says:

    THANK YOU WILL COLLIER . . .

    For sticking it to MTV. I’m sure just about every civilized person shares your sentiments….

  11. William Teach Says:

    I can almost remember the days when they actually had *gasp* music.

  12. Jay Says:

    Amen!!!!

  13. Jonathan Says:

    *stands and applauses*

  14. Jdogs Says:

    Will, you took the words right out of my mouth. MTV’s Live 8 coverage without doubt was the worst I’ve ever seen. It was completely unwatchable. I lasted about 20 minutes and that was enough for me. Why the Live 8 sponsors went with MTV is beyond me. Like you said, the M in MTV hasn’t stood for music since the mid-80’s. Just horrible.

  15. PSGInfinity Says:

    Memo to Lame8:

    Cutting for commercial?! Not only didn’t I watch “live”, I will NOT pay for the DVD, either. Dis the live audience, eh? Jerks.

  16. denise Says:

    “MTV just has no class ever since Beavis and Butthead went off the air.”

    Art — My husband and I have started TIVOing B&B. It still makes us laugh.

    I also confess to kind of liking Jackass. Otherwise, I have no use for MTV anymore. Even if they played music, it likely wouldn’t be anything I want to hear. The curse of the late-30s.

    I do still watch some other TV, and really like Lost and House.

  17. triticale Says:

    From the first time I heard it said aloud, I have taken it as Empty Vee.

  18. Foster Says:

    I can think of nine channels that I would actually be willing to pay for. The other 72 on my lame-ass cable package, I’d toss away in less time than you can say ‘Unbundle’.

  19. Crim Says:

    MTV? has a lot of growing up to do. it kindov reminds of the juveline dealing with raging hormones. No, seriously.

  20. nk Says:

    So push the button to change the channel. Sheesh. You don’like it, get your own TV station buddy. What a crybaby. Maybe you want MTV to come and change your diaper for you too. Spoiled twerp.

  21. Aakash Says:

    Well, I didn’t watch MTV’s coverage of this event… In fact, I hardly watched any of the event on ABC yesterday evening; I kind of wish I had… but you don’t have to think about MTV’s coverage of yesterday evening’s event to have been aware of that station’s suckiness.

  22. Patrick Chester Says:

    eh, there’s always Stargate SG-1 Mondays on Sci-Fi. 🙂

    (“Jaffa KREE! You heard me: KREE!”)

  23. voxdilecti Says:

    I’m sort of personally mortified that the only thing this concert raised awarness of is lame-ass music that we keep letting these people profit off of. I’m sure they had on some good bands too…along with a lot of trash.

    How is this supposed to help Africans again? I cant believe I initally thought this event was supposed to raise money. Sorry, blame it on my youth. I was born the year the first one was held and until this time I never had a reason to rue that year.

    Yep, Africans are watching, and saying “WTF?”

  24. Temple Stark.com Says:

    Bjork speaks for all MTV viewers of Live8

    This picture from the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently – says this guy, this guy this guy (with some choice comments to follow) and this guy (with an almost song by almost song account) the MTV (Mind Thought Vacuum) drones,…

  25. Alllan Says:

    Haven’t watched tv voluntariily for years and am much happier for it. Even sports coverage is terrible with all the close ups and reaction shots. The only thing I’d ever consider watching on tv now is if they brought the Lone Ranger back — that and maybe Howdy Doody might be worth a shot.

  26. bolivar Says:

    I made the mistake of recording the “Pink Floyd Reunion” from MTV. What a f-ing waste. The blather was enough to make you puke and when they cut away after only part of Comfortably Numb I wanted to scream. I had waited ever since I heard about it and what a letdown. I was totally pissed and will never watch MTV again. Hope now I can find a bootleg of the whole 3 songs. I really wanted to see it and am really bummed. Floyd was a big part of my childhood and nostalgia is a strong driver if you know what I mean.

    Did anybody see the Greenday butchery of Queen’s We Are the Champions? The whole band was off key and each out of key with each other. It really sucked. Enough bitching for now……

  27. Sandy P Says:

    OH, you old fogeys.

    Pink Floyd?

    They don’t lend themselves to 21st century children who have the attention span of a gnat.
    You’re not their market.

    Now, run off to your rocking chair, gramps.

  28. beloml Says:

    “TV is called a medium because it’s neither rare or well-done.”
    Groucho Marx

  29. MDP Says:

    They broke away from the Pink Floyd performance, so they can’t be utterly tasteless.

  30. phil Says:

    TV: A vibrator for the mind.

    MTV: The same vibrator, when the batteries run out.

  31. Ace Cowboy Says:

    My beef was more with the hosts than anything else…these I-wanna-look-cool-at-all-costs VJs would come back from these packages of starvation and poverty and Africa and start whooping it up like jackasses over the Black Eyed Peas.

    But their gravest error was their choice of language…after one of those sad video packages, they came back to this one Lohan-looking skinny host, who said:

    “Children in Africa are dying all the time from malaria and TB. The CRAPPY thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. The WICKED AWESOME thing is, we can do something about it.”

    Well said, Missy. Well done.

  32. D.L. From Heidelberg Says:

    Steve,
    My comment is not related to MTV’s concert coverage per se but am I the only one who saw this as the most blatant example of self-promotion in television history? No money was raised; none of the wealthy performers donated their own riches for African assistance; and no Africans were allowed any air time other than as props for pop idol monologues. It appears to have been nothing more than the world’s longest comercial. Here in Germany the most relevent observation media pundits could make was that all these stars were “partying for Africa.” I’m sure Africa feels much better now. Dumbest Speech Award goes to Maddona for her quip “Are you ready to change history?” Exactly which part of history would she like to change? Perhaps the part where her family emmigrated to America?

  33. Isaac Schrödinger Says:

    Comfortably Dumb

    Will Collier unloads both barrels on MTV:What kind of moron breaks away from the first full Pink Floyd performance in

  34. Bemac Says:

    While taking a break from Independence Day activities, I was flipping through the channels when I came to CMT (Country Music Television). The Live 8 coverage they’re rerunning has a high music-to-chatter ratio. Obviously, it’s the CW stuff, but they did a feature with clips that showed CMT at least understood that a performance by Floyd is a big event.

    CMT strikes me as being as cool as MTV wants me to think it is. (I’m no country music fan; for me to say this is really something.)

  35. Ed Driscoll.com Says:

    We Are The World, We Are The…Oh, Nevermind

    I’ve been pretty skeptical of Live8, but Peter Burnet really opens up a can of well-deserved whoop-ass on the whole event:Please forgive a self-referential rant, but I have asked a few knowledgeable people in government in the last two weeks…

  36. Lisa Gilliam Says:

    Will,your open letter to MTV was something I’ve complained about for years.They haven’t had music on a regular bases That I recall since 87or 88.Mtv used to be cool.but it hasn’t in a long while that Is why I stopped watching it.They started having too many shows like the “real world”,and all that other junk shows,the VJ’s they got in later years made me yawn big time.They became more and more vulgar and stupid with the addition of “Beavis and Butthead”,”Daria”,and crap like “Jackass”.The groups we have now also stink!I remember that also that at one time MTV was supposed to have a sister channel called MTV2,I hope they still have it,because I want to see more of the old MTV instead of this modern parody of themselves.

  37. JM Says:

    I killed my MTV mid eighties too. Killed my whole Teevee just a few years back @ the millenium. I remember when MTV didnt even have commercials! Now excuse me while I go pluck another grey hair from my head.

  38. CDR Salamander Says:

    HERE, HERE!

    Well said, it needed to be said. MTV is where farce meets parody. Oh, for the early ’80s……..

    When VH1 is where you have to go to get video….

    BTW, your XMSR comment is right on. Usually a CANSLIM type of guy, I went bottom feeding last month and picked up a nice chunck of shares. Buy what you love, especially when it has a good business model. Now, if only its bottom line was better…..but I remember when Amazon was loosing $$ hand over fist as well. SAT radio is a fair bit of the future…..

  39. LNS Says:

    God, I agree with you about MTV. How unbelievably terrible. Did you notice how they cut away before the conclusion of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”–a performance far better than I expected? To be honest, I felt better for Daltrey and Townshend after MTV cut Pink Floyd. I had assumed the producers didn’t even know the song wasn’t over, but after Floyd I realized they were just assholes.

  40. Walt Dubiel Says:

    Beloml

    It’s called a medium because it’s neither rare nor well done.

    I believe it was Fred Allen,not Groucho Marx, who originally said this.

  41. GyorgLyquor Says:

    I didn’t watch it. Didn’t know Floyd was going to be there, but unless Roger Waters joined them I don’t think I missed much.
    As for cutting out, you have to remember MTV’s usual target audience – teenagers with short attention spans who were probably confused and wondering why there wasn’t rap or reality drivel on. You have to keep changing what’s in front of them to keep them entranced, or else the will switch to Playstation, start IM’ing their frinds or go off and cut themselves.

  42. voxdilecti Says:

    Lisa, MTV2 pretty much turned into MTV. In fact, SNL had a pretty accurate skit about that occurence. Now you can barely find videos on there.
    http://www.blastro.com @ the rock section if you want to still have some hope for the medium of video and music.

    To keep honest with its programming, MTV should change its name to STD

  43. triticale Says:

    Phil, she tells me that moving MTV in and out by hand does nothing for her…

  44. JunkHead Says:

    Ummm, Gyorg, Roger Waters DID join them. That was kinda the whole point.

    Anyone know where one could view Floyds performance online?

  45. brak Says:

    MTV’s target audience is 14 years old and has the attention span of a goldfish. They just don’t care

  46. JunkHead Says:

    Here they are:

    http://www.pinkfloydonline.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=3d917bbc2d8c0ff95c5a92e50b38647f;act=ST;f=1;t=5943

  47. pete Says:

    saw Floyd 3 times in my life- once in the third row. Twice with the whole band together. Why would I consider seeing MTV’s version. OF COURSE IT IS GOING TO SUCK-IT’S MTV!!! THEY SUCK, THEY SUCK LOTS, THEY SUCK OFTEN!!!
    If you wanted to see FLOYD all
    together, by god buy a plane ticket. Cause you should have known-MTV SUCKS!!!!

  48. Scott in CA Says:

    I didn’t think anyone watched MTV except for boys watching “Spring Break”. Who cares about the music? Personally, if it’s after 1973, I don’t care what it is. As for TV – it’s a box, folks. It plays what YOU want it to play. You play DVDs, you have On Demand, you have DVR or Tivo, etc. I haven’t watched anything on broadcast TV for years. I record the programs I want to see from Discovery, History, NatGeo, Food, etc, play them, skip the ads, and forget about it. It’s MY tool. But I also really want a la carte cable. Is it ever going to arrive?

  49. Neo Says:

    I think “Pimp My Car” is a hoot, but I have no idea just what this show has to do with music except perhaps the showcasing of various over-priced gadgets in these vehicles.

    The show, recently, about the 15th birthday party with the helicopter entry of the party girl were just so over the top. These folks need to give a huge hunk of their change to the folks in Africa, as penance I presume.

  50. Andrew Says:

    I grew up watching MTV, and haven’t touched it in years. It’s so utterly devoid of content as to be beyond causing ire to anyone: there’s nothing there to get angry at.

    I think Chuck is on the right track. I’ve been TV-free for almost a year now, and can’t say that I’ve missed anything important.

  51. Trupti Patel Says:

    God MTV sure does bite a lot of the time. I don’t even know how MTV can state the things they represent. They have stopped being the voice of independence and gone mainstream. LIVE 8 was hyped up in so many places and I know tons of people that wanted to go but couldn’t and then they had to deal with not even getting to see performances they wanted, but had to listen to psuedo jounralism instead. that bites.

  52. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: All
    RE: In A Motel Tonight on Travel

    There’s a television. In the room. But it won’t allow me to plug in an s-video lead from my laptop.

    There’s nothing to watch on the television, except, perhaps Daredevil on HBO. I’ve been meaning to buy the DVD. So I did’t watch much of it. Looked interested for the five mintues I did see it.

    Guess, I”ll just lay down and watch Lord of the Rings with the laptop on my chest, after dinner. Either that or North by Northwest or Death Becomes Her or M.A.S.H. or Back to School (Rodney Dangerfield) or….

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  53. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. For background noise, I’ve got the iPod and some excellent portable speakers.

  54. baldilocks Says:

    Spanking

    Will Collier did not like MTV’s broadcas

  55. Grr Says:

    Wow, for once I’m glad to have the old BBC here in London.

    Most of the concert was shown without any interuptions or comments, except for the breaks.

    We watched The Floyd in my local pub, then Paul McCartney and there was ne’re a dry eye in the pub. It was just superb.

    I hadn’t seen the Floyd live since 79, and there was much swapping of Floyd gig stories.

    I just couldn’t believe how good they were after all these years, the Who were just superb and Paul wasn’t bad at all.

    Can’t say I agree with much of the Live8 philosophy, but the chance to see these guys again was more than I could pass up.

    I though perhaps the mostly 20yr old audience woudn’t like the Who and Floyd but they seemed to enjoy it.

    BTW I have much respect for those who have rejected their TV, its a time stealing machine. I have one due to the people I live with, but given the choice, the first thing that I’d do would be to throw the thing out. But as its here, I watch it, too much.

    Cheers

  56. Rajan R Says:

    Mind you, Malaysian VCDs have improved by leaps and bounds. You just have to wait a few months..

    Oh, I feel so un-libertarian now..

  57. Ron Says:

    Ain’t the Web wonderful? Here I was, thinking I was the only throwback that gave up TV (a dog’s age ago), and here I find some compadres.

    Good on you folks, my all time favorite Onion article was about TV, Lowest Common Denominator Plummets. Kinda says it all.

  58. Kevin Says:

    Their coverage sucked like a football bat.

  59. Jeremy Says:

    Now if Syd Barrett had been there, that would have been something.

    Anyway, it’s funny how close this thing was to the hippie jam-fest in the “Die Hippie Die” episode of South Park.

  60. Jack Good Says:

    MTV’s coverage of the concert was terrible, I lasted for two VJ interruptions. As much as I liked the Who and Pink Floyd reunions….(I watched them on AOL) The concert seemed to be geared for old folks or people who like pop music… Theres a lot of great rock being made right now, right here in the USA by rockin new bands… and none of them you will ever see on MTV or the like… If you love music stop listening to the shit that you grew up with, stop listening to the shit that the corporations feed you and get your old lame asses down to your local music scene… and remember what it was like to hear new ass kicking music for the first time and embrace something new and vital!!!!!

  61. cassandra Says:

    Ah, 1983…Der Commissar…She Blinded Me with Science…Who Can It Be Now…all that gaping airtime to fill was a huge break for a lot of new groups. But it started to go south for me when Jacko jumped in.

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    actually, an even better Onion article on this topic is “Area Man Who Doesnt Watch Television Is Compelled To Tell Everyone He Doesnt Watch Television” (or something like that).

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