Sunday night MTV had their weird award show celebrating videos they don’t air and music they don’t play. Following that Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon posted his response to the event. It’s sort of vague, not quite angry, but somehow very poignant.
there are great moments in awards shows. bruno mars sounded really good doing ‘valerie’ for amy winehouse. i don’t think anyone is bummed that adele is killing everything. her voice was real and focused when i went thru and watched highlights from tonight. kanye and jay z are always murdering. beyonce is pregnant. yes this is awesome as shit, culturally speaking. but can i just ask, the reader, us, we … as non-rhetorically as possible: don’t we seem dumb? didn’t MTV lose the fight against themselves? Didn’t Rock’n’Roll STOP? Why are the lights so bright? isn’t our talent as artists enough? Why do we try SO hard? Does a moonman mean what it did back then? Should we feel pumped when we get one? Should our mom’s cry? I am not even thinking about it that hard. I will close my eyes in 90 seconds and have total peace… But, seriously. Why are we waving around so much? Why do we NEED this shit so bad? Why don’t we just have MUSIC? DO music? soul? I don’t know. I don’t mean to criticize. Anyone. Actually. Except for MTV. You might have had a very large opportunity to be stabilize your self as a global presence of culture and art about 15 years ago and you fucked the dog. Sorry. Im with my girls on this one. Its becoming increasingly clear as I think about it more and more, that the dollars, if they ARE apart of why you are doing something… they are apart of why you are doing something. that’s fucked to me. that’s the absence of spirit, glue, fabric of what makes us a person. it distracts us from what we could be doing: WORK. on EARTH. Better say this: Forget what I say. If you even read this, you’ll probably say to yourself, who is this ass saying shit? It doesn’t matter what i say. it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. But this one last thought: What would Bill Hicks say?
For more profound VMA reading, see Nick Cave’s open letter to MTV after being nominated for an award.