Tuesday, April 8, 2008

AV Geeks Everywhere

In my neverending quest to improve my knowledge of inane culture, I've found myself watching the MTV Yearbook, starting with 1981. And one of the things that most impressed me is that almost everyone making music videos in 1981 is a huge dork. I mean, wow, these guys aren't cool.

Don't get me wrong: I like The Buggles and Elvis Costello and Talking Heads and Devo--who doesn't like Devo?--but they're not what we, or anyone, would call "cool." It surprised me, though in retrospect it makes sense: who else is making music videos in 1981 except for the geeks? But it came as a shock to realize that these guys are basically Revenge of the Nerds-style AV Dorks (you know the type: tediously lampooned in every TV show's "college" episode, as if society hasn't changed since 1975 or whenever the writers were in school).

Also, since it's the 80s, no one knows that half of these musicians are gay. It boggles the mind; I mean, it's not like they're hiding it. It's like gay people in the 80s are having fun seeing how obvious they can be to a bunch of square homophobes. I wonder what will be screamingly obvious in 2018 that we just don't notice today. "What do you mean you didn't know they were cannibals, Dad? It's so obvious! I mean, just look at him! The way he minces around that guy's thighs!" "I thought he was gay, son! I thought he was a nice, normal gay guy! Not some cannibal freak!"

We end today's essay with an observation: what is it about white guys in the 80s and trying to kick really high? The band members in Van Halen are of course, the worst offenders, as they are the worst offenders in many things, but the phenomenon is...endemic. Every one of these videos has white guys showing off how they can kick kinda high. Was that a thing in the 80s that I don't remember? Were girls all like, "Ooh, you know what I want? I want a guy who can kick kinda high"? And so the guys are showing off how they can all kick kinda high? Because I don't remember that fad.

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