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The VMAs: A Quarter Century Of Uselessness

As part of my ongoing quest to bring you, dear readers, the best in hater reportage, last night I packed my cerebellum with cotton to guard against seizures (very effective) and watched MTV's annual Verizon VCast awareness parade—now with the Jonas Brothers!—The Video Music Awards. Apparently, the VMAs have been around for twenty-five years, and it's obvious from last night's broadcast that the show has been on a steady decline since its premiere.

You would think that in the span of a quarter century someone at MTV would have figured out a way to make the VMAs look like something other than flashing chaos in a brightly-lit high school gymnasium filled with folding chairs and Michael Phelps. But you would be wrong. Short of maybe a how-to video about skin graft procedures, the VMAs is the most visually unpleasant televised spectacle to sit down and watch: it's full of staircases that lead to nowhere, camera angles that reveal nothing but stifling awkwardness, nonsensical lighting arrangements, and multiple shots of TI looking bored. But while a how-to video about skin graft procedures can teach you how to properly perform a skin graft procedure, the VMAs has no defined purpose. Its main objective seems to be to agitate viewers to the point of either a.) intense exasperation or b.) text-voting for Tokio Hotel with your Verizon V-Cast phone.

The problem with the VMAs is really the problem with MTV in general: the show and the network are constantly striving for both relevancy and freshness. From that shallow well come ideas like, "Let's put GPS devices in all of the limos so kids can track their fave stars' arrivals online!" No one, save terrorists, would find that even remotely interesting, MTV. Good job. Or: "Let's recap the show the instant that it ends with a "memorable moments" montage!" Remember when Kid Rock was Kid Rockin all over the stage? Or when Michael Phelps walked? Classic VMAs. Ugh.

The winners, in case you're wondering, are here. But below are some superlatives that truly capture what it was like to stab yourself repeatedly in the frontal lobe, praying for the sweet relief that only a lobotomy could bring (metaphorically speaking).

Best Use Of A Helicopter And MTV News Reporter Sway: Sway in a helicopter

Why interview people on the red carpet from the red carpet when you could interview them from a helicopter circling above the red carpet? Go stupid, or go home: that's MTV's motto. Next year, I hope Sway broadcasts from a submarine at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for no reason.

Best Sense Of Humor: Jordin Sparks

VMAs host, Russell Brand, made a number of harmless jokes about the Jonas Brothers' promise rings–which is to be expected. Certainly, anyone who proudly wears a promise ring and extraordinarily tight pants is very accustomed to ridicule. But apparently American Idolator Jordin Sparks had a problem with something as sacred as a silver chastity symbol/boy band gimmick/easy news peg purchased at Claire's Boutique being ridiculed, so she said, "It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everyone, guy or girl, wants to be a slut."

So sexuality is either promise-ring-wearing virgin or terrible dirty slut. Life is going to be so fun for Jordin Sparks and anyone who comes into contact with her.

Best Veiled Reference To Venereal Disease By A Band Of Virgins: The Jonas Brothers' performance of "Lovebug."


"I never thought that I'd catch this lovebug again?" If they're virgins, how can the Jonas Brothers sing so movingly about what it's like to be so swept up in the moment that you accidentally catch an STD again?

Also, I know that the Jonas Brothers' only aim is to kickstart ovulation in prepubescent girls (and they do that very effectively, the lead singer's nasally falsetto is just the right pitch to make preteen fallopian tubes all tingly), but this song couldn't rock less–which makes its rock n' roll ending all the more hilarious. You know you're screaming, "Lovebug!" right, brothers Jonas?

Most Hilariously German: Tokio Hotel


Because I'm not 14, I didn't know until last night that the members of Tokio Hotel are German. Their whole "mall of rock-n-roll archetypes" look makes so much more sense now.

Best Young Person Costume: John Norris and Katy Perry (tie)


100 years and still going strong, John Norris. The frosted hair definitely helps distract from the scent of formaldehyde.


Surprisingly, dressing up like beige Wonder Woman and draping yourself in Miley Cyrus doesn't make you look younger, just dumber.

Most Seamless Product Placement: Rock Band


Good work, everyone. I particularly enjoyed how Russell Brand was dripping with sarcasm and contempt for the whole VMAs enterprise, but yet Miley refused to be thrown, and continued to hit all of her tired, unfunny marks.


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