Reflections on the 2013 VMAs

I meant to write this yesterday, but for the love of sweet Jesus, I’ve been too shocked to manage to get myself to sit in front of a computer. And can you really blame me? After Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, there’s no telling what’s going to pop up at me when I put any sort of screen in front of my face.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

I’m horrified by what I saw. Horrified. Ever since Sunday night, I’ve been planted in the corner of my bedroom, rocking back and forth catatonically, unable to answer my wife as she stood panicked in the doorway, “Rob! What is it? What were those screams? Are you OK? Rob? Answer me! Somebody call an ambulance!”

I’m such a stupid, naïve, idiotic fool of a moron. Was it really that simpleminded of me to think, OK, MTV’s putting on an award show, maybe I’ll make a bowl of popcorn and see what’s going on? Maybe Beavis and Butthead will present another award this year.

Why didn’t anybody warn me about what my innocent eyes were about to bear witness to? Did I mention that I’m still horrified? I am. And disgusted. Disgusted. I’ve brushed my teeth like twenty times already and I can still taste that throw-up taste in the back of my throat. Because that’s what I’ve been doing for the past twenty-four hours, trying not to think about the indecency that went down, fighting the images popping up in my head, and dry heaving as I transitioned from rocking in the corner to lying fetal position under the bed.

I couldn’t face the light, not after the VMAs, not before I had a chance to call my pastor. Several pastors. How can I look the world in the eye? How can I walk out of my house and pretend like everything’s OK, like what happened on Sunday night didn’t happen?

I didn’t even know twerk was a word. And it’s bad enough as a word, as letters on a page. But the action to which it’s referring to? Hold on, there’s that throw up again. I can’t. I can’t talk about Miley Cyrus anymore. I didn’t know that human bodies were capable of such … I shouldn’t. It’s just … oh man. I’d better call my pastor. Out of everything that I’ve seen in my entire life, that Miley Cyrus dance was definitely the most outrageous. There’s nothing in this life that could have upset me more than watching that woman do what she did on stage. Even in the darkest crevasses of my mind, I’m unable to come up with any scenario, real or imagined, that comes close to equaling even half of the depravity evidenced upon that stage.

And let’s talk about NSYNC. You call that a reunion? That was it? I’ve always been a huge NSYNC fan. It’s probably one of the only reasons why I decided to watch this year’s VMAs in the first place. I kept hearing everybody at work talking about it, “Oh my God! NSYNC is having a reunion at the VMAs!”

But it was just Justin Timberlake singing a bunch of Justin Timberlake songs. And I was like, where’s Lance? Where’s that other guy? I swear when I was thinking about writing this I was able to name three NSYNCers, but it’s slipping my mind right now, jeez, this is kind of embarrassing. Well, I’m just drawing a mental blank, I assure you that I can name three of them. If it comes to me later, I’ll let you know.

And then finally after like fifteen minutes of solo JT, he gets on the stage. He’s like, “You wanted it!” and I was like, “Yes! I want it!” and there they were. NSYNC. But it was just a tease. They sang like one line from two songs, cracked a pose, and that was it, back to the Timberlake one-man show.

I was upset. It was like if I happened to come across two guys in a random bar that I went to high school with. I wouldn’t take out my phone, shoot a picture, post it to Instagram and label it, “High school reunion!” I’m not even entirely convinced that all five of those guys knew exactly what it was they were doing. Didn’t Lance look a little lost? Maybe he just took a wrong turn during the JT performance. Maybe the NSYNC reunion was just a weird coincidence.

And I loved how they cut to One Direction several times throughout the performance, each one of those kids had the same blank expression, the same panicked thought going through their minds: “Jesus Christ. I hope that in twenty years I’m not that guy, the one two to the left of Justin Timberlake. That guy just looks really sad,” before reassuring themselves, “Nah, I’m the real talent of this operation. I am One Direction,” and then they all started smiling that nervous smile again.

But back to the shame. MTV should be ashamed of itself for the “show” it put on Sunday night. But I doubt MTV is capable of such serious self-reflection. No, the US government should shut it down. Congress should pass legislation ensuring that what went down two nights ago never happens again. And everybody involved in the VMAs should be sentenced to life in prison. And Miley Cyrus should be publicly executed. I’m still just so … just so shocked. Shocked.

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