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13,148,719 Minutes

My family didn’t get basic cable until Summer 1986. What it boiled down to was that I mostly missed out on the first five years of MTV. There was a lot of catching up to do. A ravenous teen interested in visual artistry, I would watch music videos wherever, whenever possible — mostly MTV, but also BET, Friday Night Videos, Night Flight and even programs on the Spanish and religious channels. But MTV remained king. I witnessed Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter give way to Adam Curry and Kevin Seal, 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps and Club MTV. We had a good run together, but nowadays I glance at MTV and see a complete stranger. I find it tacky and repulsive, but then again I’m no longer 18. Happy birthday, MTV. For further reading try CNN’s 25 Memorable MTV Moments or 25 Years Down the Tube, a wistful and perceptive essay by The Washington Post‘s Hank Steuver.

2 Thoughts on “13,148,719 Minutes

  1. Mass Bradley on August 1, 2006 at 10:12 pm said:

    We. Are. Older. Now.
    if we were NOT so shocked and saddened, then MTV wouldn’t have done its job!
    And yes, I don’t like it anymore either.
    And yes, I miss (insert fave band here).
    At least we have YouTube for the memories.
    My Mom used to go on and on about Buddy Holly.
    Now I know how she felt.

  2. Nancy on August 2, 2006 at 5:53 am said:

    Holy crap, I remember Friday Night Videos.

    It was such The Event of the week!

    And the logo of the rotating dude tied to the spindle of the record player- good times.

    Since I didn’t have my own TV in my dorm room, my friends and I would gather around the world’s crappiest TV in the basement of the boy’s dorm and watch this show. The lameness of it all is almost too much to bear.

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