Happy birthday, MTV: Life goes on, long after music television is gone
August 1 marks the birthday of MTV, an institution that transformed the '80s from a decade into a cultural milestone. And yet, each anniversary of its launch, it feels more and more like a wake than a celebration. The MTV we knew as kids is long gone.
It disappeared with the departure of Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and J.J. Jackson.
It disappeared with the launch of Remote Control, a game show with a mean streak that felt oddly out of step with everything else the network then stood for.
It was definitely gone before the first episode of The Real World, a reality series with little heart at all.
Future generations, it turns out, wouldn't use MTV as a gather 'round the campfire institution. AOL. Chatrooms. The Internet. All daggers to the heart of what we loved so much.
Last year, for MTV's 35th birthday, my co-host B-Rad and I sat down and recorded a short podcast tribute to the network we once loved so dearly. Today feels like a good day to listen - and remember - again.