A few days back I found myself in a melancholy mood. Somehow these moods are often accompanied by me listening to Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking” over and over. I’m not sure if the mood sent me in search of the song or the song puts me in the mood. Probably a little of both.
I was chomping on an apple watching the video on youtube (I guess you could say it was melancholy light, same great “melan” with only half the “choly.”) Suddenly my self indulgent state of slight glum was shifted to curiosity. My self-indulgence was broke by an observation…
Guys with receding hairlines used to be allowed on MTV. And not just as the parent of a spoiled 16 year old. They were allowed to be the stars, the front men even. Here was Go West’s front man donning a hair recession in a video that was a big hit and surely got VH1 love but probably some MTV “strong like.”
Then I thought about all the early MTV acts that were full fledged adults: Dire straits, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen, and so on. Of course many of these acts predated MTV and were already stars. So when MTV started they needed to incorporate acts with strong name recognition. Somewhere along the way MTV realized they could manufacture stars in house. Especially since they owned the channels of distribution. We’re talking vertical integration here folks.
Also, I think the MTV of yester year predates, but not by much, our absolute worship of youth and the young. We all desire youth and the further away you get from it the closer you get to the grim reaper. (Probably why I’m doing the P90X workout routine ;-)) But when I was a teen I had something to look forward to … and I still do, thank you very much. Now all the youth have to celebrate is youth but even an immortal teen or twenty something knows deep inside that youth is fleeting. I worry about having 22 year olds who think their best days are behind them. At the same time 50 year olds are trying to wear skinny jeans. Funny it seems we’re extending youth and condensing it all at the same time.
MTV: please let guys with receding hairlines back on your network. Maybe they won’t feel the need to tuck their jeans into their high top Nikes if you do.