Every time a new music award show rolls around a performer does something so strange, “sexy”, or over the top that the American public throws up their arms and cries out “What is the world coming to?” and “What kind of role models are these people being to our children?” I’m not sure why. Like I said, it happens every time there’s a music award show…perhaps we should start anticipating these things people! If you don’t want to see something that is intended to be, or at least attempting to be, shocking or inappropriate for children then it might not be the best choice in television viewing for you and your family.
Depeche Mode @ Echo Music Awards 2009 (Photo credit: U2005.com)
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t usually watch the MTV Music Awards, or the Grammys or the VH1 Awards, or the CMTs, or the Billboard Awards or most of the other 500 other award show. Not because of the potential for shocking content, just because it usually doesn’t interest me. I watch the Oscars. I watch the Golden Globes. I watch the Emmys. And I try to watch the Tony‘s. But I’ve been a video/movie/theater and music you’re probably not going to hear on the radio kind of person since childhood. That’s just me. I have watched the music awards show, I’ve tuned in to see specific performances and I’ve gone online to checkout performances I just don’t usually tune in the whole night.
That being said, I don’t know what people expect to see. You’re watching a show giving awards to musicians, singers, performers and producers and to watch them do what they do best, perform their latest and greatest hits. And since most musicians, singers, performers and producers are historically known for being….eccentric…there’s good odds someone will make a spectacle of themselves. It’s actually the reason some people tune in!
Good for them. Get crazy with your bad self. If that’s who you are and the image you want to represent to the world, have at it. You want to dress in meat, good for you and I hope it doesn’t spoil before the night is over. You want to smash stuff up on stage, knock yourself out. You want to interrupt someone’s acceptance speech, (in my opinion, to quote a small blonde on Full House, “How rude!”) I guess you’ve got to be true to yourself. But at some point it’s not all the shocking any more. Yeah, yeah, yeah…we know…you’re drying humping someone or something on stage….you’re setting something on fire…your simulating sex acts…just like people have done at every other awards show
I would LOVE to see someone try something truly radical. Something shocking. Something no one has done in a long time. Sing.
No turntable and a microphone (Photo credit: TOM81115)
How crazy would it be to see and hear someone just sing. An empty stage, a simple microphone, a single spotlight, and a voice. No huge backing bands or vocals. No fancy tuning or computer help. No crazy costumes or dancing clowns.
Just pure sound. I want to see a band come out and have the courage to do their performance stripped down, not without clothes (I’m pretty sure that’s been done too), but acoustically so you can appreciate the quality of the sound and the playing and the writing when nothing can be hidden by added production value. Now that would be a performance that would have people talking!
Like I said, the people you’re watching on TV are performers. They’re doing what they’re doing because they’re into music, because they (at least in theory) have talent and because they dreamed of singing or playing since they were a kid. Not because they grew up dreaming of being a role model to kids everywhere. The same thing goes for actors and athletes – they’re focusing of living their dream and not being role models.
We make them role models, they didn’t ask to become them. We shouldn’t really be shocked when they display un-role model like behavior. That’s not their job, it’s not what got them where they are, and it’s not their focus. The position of role model is thrust upon them, and it would be awesome if they all took it seriously but they don’t. I think very few of us would. Can you say in all honesty that you would hold yourself to the standards we expect of them if we were in their positions? I’m not just talking about the crazy performances, it’s not drinking too much or swearing or getting angry at anyone in public or give an opinion because if you do any of those things you’ll be told you’re letting people down. It’s a lot of responsibility for someone who just wants to write songs and sing isn’t it?
You know, maybe we shouldn’t turn people who get famous into role models because they got famous (unless you’re trying to break into the same industry). Maybe our role models should be people who are a little more prepared for the responsibility.
I don’t know. It’s something I’ve thought about and I’m having trouble putting into words right now. So check back for another post on role models in the future. In the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts. Should performers behave the way the outspoken public believes they should or should they be true to themselves? If we praise someone for their creativity or originality do we have a right to complain when they go over the top for our entertainment?