• Apparently, according to the gospel-truth machine at MTV, two non-entities called Bow Wow and Ciara are “the hottest couple in music”.
• In Ciara’s “instant fashion profile” we learned she was wearing “bling” of a value of $500,000. We also heard the cry: “I love it when a man can wear colour!” Fashion is the least important and least relevant culture on the planet.
• Still, fashion is a weighty fascination when compared with the other twin obsession in the warm-up show – cars. Ludacris and his like drove up and then talked tediously about the vehicle. What’s even worse was that token hip-hop presenter Sway would exclaim “wooowwwwww” each time a car approached as though he’d just been privy to the eighth wonder of the world.
• Nelly offered advice for youngsters: “bring it” – the clarion call of the local pub thug looking for a fight with which to define his sorry life.
• The most inane exchange (and believe us, there was much competition) was between Ricky Martin and that really old presenter, about 46, suspicious hairline, sleeveless top exposing his jaundiced, sagging biceps. Really Old Presenter: “You could be mayor of this town!” Ricky: “Really?” ROP: “Well, I don’t know.”
• Note to organisers: dressing up the dancers you hired last week from a Miami talent school in pseudo-Caribbean clothes does not award the amorphous, vacuous R&B crap accompanying it any more authenticity. Especially when singer Rhianna, in a thick American accent, spent her short interview screaming: “Music of the Sun is in the stores on 30th August.”
• The rather jubilant and smug references to how Hurricane Katrina had just missed them, (“dodged the bullet” was perhaps the most tasteless) and instead devastated states west of Florida. We’re sure that those people killed in Biloxi will be proud they
sacrificed their lives so MTV’s party wasn’t interrupted.
• Jessica Alba, a TV/film star, who looks increasingly like she fell out of a conformist film producer’s Christmas cracker – crafted hair, teeth by Rodin, serial number on the back of her neck.
• Paris Hilton looking like strawberry milkshake vomit cascading back up the throat.
• Fall Out Boy, a band cut from pure plastic.
• Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams was one of the sparse musical highlights but the crowd greeted it with the bland uniformity instilled into them through a diet of pure MTV; arms were raised aloft, fists clenched save for forefinger and little finger which asininely mimicked the devil’s horns.
• P Diddy’s appalling efforts to expunge the corporate stench which has infected every molecule of his essence. Chuck out a few profanities? Swearing is now so mainstream those who don’t swear are now the rebels (the audience actually applauded, Christ help us). Wear sunglasses indoors? Emblematic of scum the world over. Give money to charity? An excuse to indulge in dissolute TV/music under the guise that because money is going to charity those who have their sensibilities offended are selfish.
• Shakira singing in Spanish, an “MTV VMAs first”, was proclaimed with all the idolatry of a returning victorious army. But what does it really say? Simply that MTV, for whatever reason in their 25 year history, have never promoted ethnic music on their main channels. And even Shakira seemed little more than a transient fashion industry-style gimmick to suggest there is more depth and diversity to MTV than stone-dead R&B and mindless “rock”.
• Even the MC “street battle”, a recreation of how inventive young rappers verbally joust on LA streets corners, was reduced to a sterile choreographed vignette tattooed with corporate hip-hop and further tainted by synchronised dancing. More evidence of
MTV’s diligence to exterminate innovation.
• The most surreal moment was when Hilary Duff, one of those simpering teen idols who appear to have been manufactured only last week from raw sunlight, said she was listening to Morrissey.
• The “celebrities” in the crowd terrorised into incessant, over-enthusiastic applause by the fear that a camera could be focussed on them.
• R Kelly, a singer with such dead eyes you can almost envision the undertakers measuring the coffin, the mourners searching through their wardrobe for something suitably black, and the vicar nervously eyeing the grey skies hoping he doesn’t have to deliver the graveside eulogy in the pouring rain.
• In a such a bland atmosphere, among the inert gases of P Diddy, Usher and Fall Out Boy, even Coldplay sounded as combustible as hydrogen.
• Much of the music has thankfully yet to reach our shores, but like bird flu, it will inevitably arrive.
• Mariah Carey? Good god, has no one had her put down yet?
• 50 Cent performed his latest single. Something about “asses” he mumbled. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter as it was awful, and even surrounding himself with a circle of fire to impress the dolts in the crowd couldn’t mask how bad it was. In Da Club is now so distant, it seems like a memory from a previous life.