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MTV Pushing out ‘cynical’ Generation X

Posted on February 24, 2010 | By Christian | 5 Comments

Here's to you MTV!

Well, its official.  MTV has announced their focus on Millennials, casting aside Generation X… the generation that made MTV.  Sad news indeed.  I’d like to give a big FU to MTV.  Not just for this recent admission, but for the crap they have been broadcasting for the past 20 years.  There was a time when MTV was about music television.  It was certainly a revolutionary, but simple, concept that changed music forever.  Play popular music but with supporting video.  It changed everything.  No longer were we sitting by the radio listening to music while doing something else.  Now we were completely focused on the music as a total sensory experience.  And when I say focused, I mean sitting like a zombie starring at the TV, one music video after another… completely enthralled.  It was a perfect formula and our generation shaped it.

Then something along the way happened.  Something terrible.  MTV changed focus from what made them great, music television, to a soap opera channel.  I blame the Real World and it was all down hill from there, recently culminating with Jersey Shore.  While this metamorphosis was occurring, MTV did still try to retain the Generation X market via MTV2.  This worked for a while but ultimately failed.  I want my MTV!

As I mentioned, we shaped MTV, but in a way it shaped us as well.  It changed how we absorbed music and how we responded to it on a social level.  Do you remember going into school on Monday after seeing the latest and greatest new MTV Video over the weekend???  MTV Network President Van Toffler said “Millennials are really about authentic reality and family” and that MTV “played up the camaraderie and famliy elements on Jersey Shore to appeal to them”.  What???  Has he seen Jersey Shore???  If this is any reflection on what Millennials are about, or if they are at all being shaped by MTV’s content… God help us all.

Certainly on some level I can understand MTV now focusing on Millennials.   They spend the most time in front of the television and apparently care far less about music than our generation had.  I wonder though, would Gen-Xers spend some of our prime time viewing hours watching MTV if there were still something that appealed to us?  Its hard to say because, despite their recent admission, MTV cast us aside many years ago.  So, again MTV… FU.  How’s that for cynical?



5 Responses to “MTV Pushing out ‘cynical’ Generation X”

  1. MR. Art Godbout
    March 19th, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

    The Gen Xers, about to inherit the position once held by me and MY generation (the Boomers), are beginning to sound more and more like us. It was inevitable. Every generation finds it impossible to understand the previous bunch and criticizes the “following bunch”, in this case the Millennials, for being too weird, or stupid, or whatever. I think it has something to do with growing up.
    When I was young (several millennia ago), I and the rest of MY bunch could not handle the fact that our parents were critical of things like the length of our hair or the music we listened to (via a small AM/FM transistor radio ). Now our children are bitching about how they are being left behind while the upcoming bunch (the Millennials) have caused such monumental change in things like MTV! I’ve got a news flash for you: YOU ARE JUST GETTING OLDER.
    And things are going to be different – Not better, just different. And MTV is only the beginning. Wait until YOUR kids pass puberty! That’s about the time that you will come to realize that getting old SUCKS. And it’s not for sissies either. There’s a boatload of pain and suffering between the here and now and the happily ever after. You will see. Then you can stop bitching about how the younger bunch is screwing up your life and start bitching about EVERYTHING ELSE. Good Luck. The best part of the journey is now, so enjoy it. Isn’t that what Generation Xers are all about?

  2. Brannon
    September 20th, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    I totally agree with you, with everything you said. I to miss MTV, the way it used to be. In my opinion, MTV really made its rapid decent into the toilet after 1992. It was going down before 92, but it was tolerable to me up till then. I really miss the early days, the videos, the commercials, the concerts, the contest, the specials, the original vj’s, all of it. Its sad watching it all go down, but I have to tell myself, that that was then, and this is now. Its a different world now, my generation is getting older, we are not in our teens or 20′s. Kids, teens now, have different priorities, and different interest now. Like MTV now, its not about the music anymore, like it was 25-30 years ago. Im sad, but its just different times now. Classic/vintage MTV(the one that played videos) ran its course, for a time it was menat to be in, now its long gone. Its sad, but thats the way it has to be. Do I miss it, yes, do I miss all those great videos, yes, but its time to move on, and reflect back on the great memories that was MTV Music Television. R.I.P

  3. Christian
    October 20th, 2010 @ 11:11 am

    Thanks for the comment Brannon and I have to agree, it is sad. I have to wonder though, is the concept of a good music video channel dead? It worked in the 80′s, why not today? The other MTV varieties such as MTV 2-? are just as bad as MTV itself, but I think the original formula could be revived, perhaps under a different name, and be a success.
    I say bring back the VJ’s (well, maybe not the original ones) and the music videos, and even the cheesy game shows too!

  4. Brannon
    November 21st, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    Well, we have VH-1 Classics now, and I do enjoy that from time to time. Its just that music and music videos are just not that important to kids and teens and young adults like it was back 25-30 years ago, especially a channel that plays videos 24/7. I think for a time(era) there, MTV ran its course and purpose, and was very appropriate for the era, like alot of stuff was in the 80s, or like disco was in the 70s, good for and helped define its era. I do miss the old MTV, but I have to keep telling myself, that was then, and this is now, 2013, about to be 2014. The world is a different place for all of us, especially the kids coming up today. Like Martha Quinn said, even if MTV played videos 24/7 now(although, I dont know how they would get enough new vids to play these days) that it would not be the MTV we know and love. They would play Pit Bull, Rianna, Lady Ga Ga, New Direction(do they have a video) etc. It would not be the same, becasue this is not the 80s. I often wondered if MTV could make a retro channel, that would be a cool concept. But, Im just glad I was around to enjoy it the first time around. We were there. I would not trade that time for anything. Peace….

  5. Brannon
    November 21st, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    I really dont think music defines eras like it used to do in the past decades. What do you guys think?

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