I Want My MTV :: Part One of Two

(MTV turned 30 last month. Wow. Any music lover who came of age in the 80s, and most of the 90s, certainly has a positive or negative (or both) opinion of the network and its affect on popular music. In the first of two pieces, AD's J. Neas looks back at the network, its place in pop culture, whether anything like it exists now and whether or not we should care. Part two, coming next week, will be an interview with former MTV News anchor and reporter John Norris.)

It's easy to scoff at what I'm about to say, so I won't blame you if you do. I miss my MTV.

Technically, yes, the station still exists, but with its own self-awareness reaching a peak with its decision to drop the "Music Television" wording from its logo last year, the MTV that I miss is truly a thing of the past. It's not something I'd spent a lot of time thinking about until August 1st, 2011 rolled around and there was a bunch of hullabaloo around the 30th anniversary of the channel's launch, back in the dark ages of cable television. VH1 Classic devoted an entire weekend to playing clips and videos and whole programs from classic MTV, sometimes in thematic segments. (A section of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance segued into the MTV News report announcing Kurt Cobain's suicide.) But of course, the fact that all of this celebrational look-back played on VH1 Classic while the regular MTV was just, well, its normal self, says everything about who might still care about the once domineering arbiter of musical cool that was MTV.

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