music, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 1: The MTV generation

Episode description: We wanted our MTV. We got our MTV. We got Nirvana. Then we got pushed aside by the Millennials while the Boomers kept an iron grip on things. We’re Generation X, and this podcast is going to amplify our voices.

Links from this episode:

tv

Cable-channel ID creep and pandering to the masses

MTV doesn’t show videos. (Not often, anyway.) Neither does VH1. A&E doesn’t show a lot of arts and entertainment. Even The Weather Channel has a lot of shows that aren’t really about the weather.

So maybe it’s a little heartening to read this Washington Post story about Discovery getting back to its roots.

Now, as cord-cutters and online video plunge the cable business into chaos, Discovery is fighting aggressively to return to its roots, spending millions on glossy documentaries, science shows and ­“environmental advocacy campaigns” in a bet that smarter, more-distinctive programming will help it survive the new age of TV.

Two ways to look at this in the cold light of finances:

  1. Netflix and others have shown there’s an audience for intelligent programming.
  2. That audience might be hard to get back from Netflix and the web.

The sad part: Cable television is going to go to its grave pandering to the lowest common denominator. Sure, Mencken said no one went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people (or something to that effect), and Barnum may or may not have said there’s a sucker born every minute. But with a couple of generations taking a college education as a given, it’s disheartening to read this defense of reality-TV crap on the network formerly known as The Learning Channel:

“TLC is a very powerful and heartfelt Middle America brand. When we look at TLC, we basically say, ‘F— New York and L.A.,’ ” Zaslav said. “Most of the media is not speaking to Middle America. So what are the shows we can put on [for a] 42-year-old mom who gives her husband and two kids dinner, and then puts the TV set on? What is she going to watch that she can relate to, that’s going to be entertaining and fun for her?”

I can’t wait for Middle America to say “F— you” right back and prove that they want to watch quality programming, too. Preferably before climate change makes everyone move to Middle America.

movies

Losing one’s virginity in films — male punchline, female ordeal?

Slate columnist makes a persuasive case for MTV’s show on virginity loss, saying it’s about time someone tackled the subject honestly and even-handedly. Because we ain’t getting that in the movies:

If it’s the girl who’s having sex for the first time, forget gross-out humor. The act is now freighted with consequence. In Juno, a girl has sex and gets pregnant. In Saved!, same. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a girl has sex and then more sex and gets pregnant. In Cruel Intentions, a girl has sex and gets betrayed. As a Yahoo! Shine writer pointed out, when boys have sex it’s typically the culmination of a movie’s plot, whereas for girls, sex is where the movie’s storyline begins, unspooling into lies, tough choices, and shattered relationships.

via MTV never should have pulled the plug on its show about losing virginity, My First … – Slate Magazine.