The Highs and Lows of the VMAs


So the channel that doesn’t show videos anymore gave its annual awards to videos, and as usual, there were weirdnesses. (For example, if Beyonce didn’t win Best Female Video, how could she win Video of the Year?)

But there were astounding performances, all reflecting the sense that no longer can someone just stand still and belt a tune to get attention.

You must dance and gyrate, backed by dozens upon dozens of dancers in perfect synch with you (like Beyonce)

Or wear Phantom of the Opera-like masks and getups while dramatically spewing blood all over yourself (a la Lady Gaga)

Or do a Pink and perform aerial stunts high above the crowd, while gamely lipsynching your latest hit

Or dance with your dead brother while lipsynching his old hit (like the unstoppable Janet Jackson)

Amazing stuff, I swear it. Unfortunately, it was all soured for me by–no, not Kanye, who simply said what we were all thinking, though he should shut the fuck up–but Madonna, whose grand opener–an alleged tribute to Michael Jackson–was far too much about herself (“I spent my childhood searching for my mother figures…”)

When she DID talk about Michael, Madge leaned towards sweeping whitewashings about how horribly victimized he was when he was merely trying to start a family, as well as some real duh-isms (“It seemed he was looking for a friend more than a romance.”)

Maybe she needs to get up on an aerialist’s swing and change the view.