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Volume 3, Number 7
July, 1998

Clever Skippy Icon
You Got Your MTV

 Hey kids! Hey kids, the Lord of Skipdom walks among the mental peasants of his realm once again. You know folks, every thirty days I come down to your level to give you my wit, my wisdom and yes, even my love. I also point out from time to time certain portents if impending doom. I am afraid dear readers that this is one of those times. In my travels up and down the television dial, I have come to notice a disturbing and terrible trend. I must confess that this trend has been going on for quite some time. Unfortunately for all of us I didn't detect it until recently. I apologize folks, as your pop culture watchman, it is my duty to warn you of these frightening situations. I can only pray that my warning will come in time. I'm sure that you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what this plague among us involves. After all, you know that I am not one to jump the gun on this sort of thing. When I tell that there is a menace that threatens the very fabric of American culture you can be sure that I know whereof I speak.

Kids, MTV is plotting to take over the entire entertainment industry. They are doing it one second-rate talent at a time. This wouldn't be so bad if MTV didn't currently suck like it does these days. When MTV began it was music, nothing but music. The VJ's (remember when they were called VJ's?) did little more than introduce videos and then they went away and let us watch and listen. Then an odd thing happened. VJ's started leaving MTV. When they left MTV, they didn't go away and leave us alone. No, they hung around and became second tier celebrities. They showed up on game shows, commercials and infomercials. At first this wasn't a problem. The nation can always use a few more commercial spokespersons and several of the female VJ's were fairly attractive. Besides, there weren't that many of them, how much damage could they really do to our popular culture?

Then the music network did a very strange thing. They put an original game show on the air. "Remote Control" was a very funny show, but it was also a harbinger of doom for American culture. You see as long as MTV was only giving six or seven VJ's a job they could only release so many of them into the cultural mainstream. When they started having actual programs, they started throwing far more marginally talented performers into the mix. We are now approaching critical mass. You can't go more than two channels up or down the dial without running into an MTV alumnus. They aren't just content with commercials either. Several have spotted on other cable channels with their own shows. At least one is a regular on a highly rated sitcom. Still another parlayed a massive lack of talent into her own comedy series. If that weren't enough, they have even made the jump to the big screen.

Ken Ober, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackmon, Randy of the Redwoods, Pauly Shore, Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra, Duff, Dan Cortese and bunch more that I honestly can't remember right now. I spotted Kennedy covering snowboarding in the Olympics for CBS. That's right, CBS for God's sake. These Music Television refugees of questionable ability are everywhere. They are taking jobs away from former sitcom stars. What do you think happened to Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Tina Yothers and all those other stars of the late seventies and eighties? Without MTV they might still have productive careers on Hollywood Squares and the Psychic Friends Network. Since MTV came storming through our pop culture landscape, former TV stars can't get an acting job to save their lives.

I tell you kids, it is only a matter of time before every commercial pitchman and mystery guest is an MTV graduate. Every single one them with their messy but cool hair, their hipper than thou attitude, their oh so baggy clothes and they will be trying to sell you depends undergarments. Imagine that folks, there you are sitting on the couch, munching on you favorite salty snack foods, when suddenly some goob with a backwards baseball cap is in your face trying to sell you health insurance for your golden years. It will happen you know, that is unless we fight back, unless we join together as one and fight this scourge that intends you ravage our cultural landscape. They've taken over TV commercials, they are assaulting the networks and they are making inroads in Motion Pictures. Can it really be that long before they start to make their fiendishly untalented presence felt in the worlds of print and the internet? I'm telling you folks that we need to stop MTV's assault on pop culture before it cuts any deeper...

***Editor's Note*** We are pleased to announce that we have hired Former MTV VJ Martha Quinn to write Skippy's column in the future. While she has no writing experience to speak of and we're pretty sure she can't even read, she does smell better than Skip and is generally easier to be around. We hope you won't notice a dip in quality when Martha takes over, but then again, what the hell. It's not like you pay to read this anyway.

signed, Skippy
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