Jun 01

The Pornography of Semiotics

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6/21/2001 03:10:18 PM

Now it’s MTV’s Sink or Swim, another talent/humiliation show-style thing. Ludacris gives the thumbs-up/thumbs-down act the street talent and drunk frat brothers, but I’ve already heard his “What’s Your Fantasy?” so I don’t need to be reminded he has no scruples.

6/21/2001 03:01:41 PM

OK, Danny cheated on his b-friend. That’s the trauma.

6/21/2001 02:59:49 PM

Chris Connelly on MTV News, and it turns out that Destiny’s Child is gonna record a Christmas album! Hope they don’t wuss out and make it all boring ballads: if there’s any pop microgenre that needs a major formal ass-kick, it’d be the slow jam.

6/21/2001 02:54:21 PM

So…am I supposed to assume that Danny got drunk and lost his virginity from a blow-job in the confession room? Don’t worry, Danny. Losing your virginity is supposed to be anticlimactic.

6/21/2001 02:49:08 PM

If the Weather Channel is weather porn, and Target’s line of Michael Graves products is design porn, then the Real World is social interaction porn.

6/21/2001 02:42:34 PM

I just get no feeling, no desire to be involved in these people’s lives. The situations they fall into seem to be lacking some kind of context which would make me care.

6/21/2001 02:35:30 PM

You hear that?

That’s the sound of me slapping my forehead.

I’m slapping my forehead because only now does it occur to me just why MTV would have a Real World in New Orleans.

The reason is Mardi Gras. The threat of skin and debauchery. Oh yeah.

6/21/2001 02:32:23 PM

One thing The Real World shows is the degree to which psychobabble has infiltrated the way every American describes their lives.

6/21/2001 02:28:50 PM

One of the RW cast members just had a hissy-fit freakout over the expectations people have of her, sick of being put in situatuons where she has to offer an opinion about race, she has to offer an opinion about religion or whatever. How can this be a reality TV show when people in real life typically avoid conflict?

6/21/2001 02:21:31 PM

I do remember this, actually. The guy with the spiky hair has a blog, doesn’t he? Actually no, it’s another guy.

6/21/2001 02:17:26 PM

A Coca-Cola commercial. Some kids on Metro-North, tired, returning from a concert, a coke, the realization that this was the best night of one’s life. I’ve lived that before (MBV, 6/19-20/92), and you may very well have, too. But I really wish Coke wouldn’t colonize my memories this way.

6/21/2001 02:14:04 PM

Returning to a point made much earlier…This is not my fault. I swear. It’s Maura’s.

6/21/2001 02:11:01 PM

Why am I expecting formal innovation from MTV anyway?

6/21/2001 02:09:41 PM

Ten years of The Real World down the road, and damn, it’s the same format as ten years before. Obviously coached social interactions, spliced with obviously coaced interviews, linked together with completely pointless montages of the house or the city or whatever.

6/21/2001 02:07:02 PM

I can’t honestly remember a single thing about any Real World cast from the last two or three years. Whenever I’ve tuned in, cast members seem either bland or truly, neurotically shrill. I’m not seeing any true difference here. Maybe this is a fucntion of the cast being younger than in years past…or maybe they just seem younger.

6/21/2001 02:03:59 PM

The Real World! New Orleans! I wonder if Jonno ‘n’ Richard‘s in this…

6/21/2001 02:01:50 PM

A version of Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin'” is the only thing that’s not a car-wreck. Mediocre, to be sure, but at least the karaoke troop looks like they’re partying rather than entertaining.

6/21/2001 01:52:12 PM

What’s the appeal of Say What? Karaoke? Are we being asked to laugh at these poor slobs, or is the show supposed to…ah…”empower” its viewers by giving them the illusion that they can be entertainers, too? Does the appearance of lyrics on the bottom of screen mean that viewers are inivted to join in the fun, or is it just meant to be a kinetic graphical element enlivening up the otherwise clunky performances?

6/21/2001 01:48:23 PM

Xzibit keeps covering his face with a towel. I keep thinking of how Egyptian singer Om Kasoulm was supposed carry a shawl soaked in opium for a high during shows, but most likely he’s trying to hide his laughter, which you could say indicates there’s a bit of a gentlemen in him.

6/21/2001 01:41:26 PM

It might be tolerable if nobody on the show knew the meaning of shame. It’s painful to watch those who do squirm. The guys of Eve 6 can barely bring themselves to say anything at all, but like handing out punitive points, a 1 and a 6. Xzibit is more game, but you know, he wants to look away when some white frat dudes do Naughty By Nature (nearly a decade out of date, how typical) and say “front” and “representin'” without irony.

6/21/2001 01:35:10 PM

A whole Karaoke show this time, and now I’m truly experiencing pain. Embarrassment is everywhere.

6/21/2001 01:31:47 PM

Karaoke already? Fuck.

The audience is supposed to choose who gets to sing a dedication. One of the three is a little too live, probably an actor — and sure enough he’s the winner. And everybody in the audience sings along, making no effort to hide the little crib-sheet lyrics.

6/21/2001 01:27:22 PM

Mandy Moore is a “Christian slut,” right?

OK, that’s rather mean. Another way of putting it is that my understanding is that she’s one of those supastars who can somehow reconcile their heartfelt religious beliefs with her tendency to put out in every one of her public appearances.

6/21/2001 01:22:27 PM

The kids in the audience are asked if certain movies will sizzle or fizzle this summer: American Pie II will sizzle, while Jurassic Park III won’t. Yes, good.

6/21/2001 01:17:56 PM

Seven hours into my day, and MTV’s Mandy seems to be the first “real” show of the day. Everything so far has been “videos-and,” but this is a chat show, albeit one that moves so fast I feel I’m missing I’m missing crucial structural detail in the midst of typing all this out.

Mandy Moore asks the audience the first thing they notice about the opposite sex, and seconds after the question’s posed, somebody comes up with a fully formed answer, and then another person does, and ends it by spasming his pecs up and down. Then, apropos to nothing, the show’s now about “girls who kick ass.” Girls who do extreeeme style sports on motorbikes and whatnot waltz on in, discuss the worst injuries they’ve ever had in cute giggly voices. Interestingly, Mandy finishes up by asking the girls what kinda music they listen to to inspire themselves, “’cause, as you know, MTV’s all about music.” They like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beasties, rather old skool, I think.

6/21/2001 01:01:25 PM

So this is “Bootylicious” viewing number three, and does it get more interesting in the midst of repetition? It does. Their dance moves — and really that’s all this video is, dance moves — seem even surer and sharper this time around, as sure and sharp as the beats. Watching it, I don’t need to think.

6/21/2001 12:53:52 PM

It’s been nine hours, and I think the only guy I’ve seen who seems remotely dateable is the nerdy, overaged looking dude in the 7-Eleven commercial. Oh, how I love a man in uniform.

6/21/2001 12:51:40 PM

Holy shit, ANOTHER video/film/commercial that uses the quasi-Aztec interiors Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Florida Southern College. It’s by Fuel, incidentally, who I thought was fronted by a guy much geekier looking that this.

6/21/2001 12:38:24 PM

I appluad Wyclef Jean’s attempt to rehabilitate Haiti in the public eye, but why does he have to do it in the context of a Pepsi commercial?

6/21/2001 12:36:43 PM

Staind again: “It’s been a while since I could say that I love myself.” You shouldn’t regard that as a problem. Truly happy people don’t say they love themselves; they don’t need to say such things. They’re too busy actually functioning to sink into that kind of narcissicism.

6/21/2001 12:30:06 PM

Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but is this an entirely new version of “Superwoman?” What happened to all the scenes at the diner? Or did I just miss all that?

6/21/2001 12:27:25 PM

So Blink 182 took the money intended for their video and used it to clothe a homeless guy, set birds free, throw dollar bills off a building, smash a cars and a television set. Wouldn’t it have been more punk rock (if less telegenic) to give it all away to Food Not Bombs?

6/21/2001 12:22:53 PM

I have to admit that it’s always disconcerting when people like Bryan McFayden wear sunglasses in live settings — it always makes me think they’re hungover or drunk or the evil dead.

6/21/2001 12:16:39 PM

Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”: what a cynical as fuck na-na chorus. It’s cynical in the sense that in 2001, the na-na chorus is the easy signifier of the dumb grandness of classic pop. It tries to hearken back to all those songs that gave you a lump in your throat even though their words, when taken at face value, were meaningless. Including a na-na chorus in a song isn’t meant to make the song better or more dramatic; it’s meant to remind you better of songs.

6/21/2001 12:10:10 PM

Man, they are pushing that Craig David video something fierce! Now, was this the video tat was originally shown in the UK, or was it re-shot for American audiences? I seriously can’t even tell if it was shot in London or L.A.

No matter what happens, Craig David will never be considered the enemy of rawk the way he is the UK.

6/21/2001 12:03:30 PM

A bunch of kids in the background sitting around listening to a musician being interviewed by a face. Then some videos. I’m tempted to say that the Hot Zone should really take its cue from MTV and include more jumpcuts, tits and ass, screaming kids, idiotic stunts, etc.

I bet this Baha Men song would be fun to listen to on Radio Disney.


  1. 1
    liu xue ping on 27 Jul 2006 #


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