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Monday, June 06, 2011

Reading The 2011 MTV Awards Through Baudrillard

Rob, Kristen and Taylor at MTV Awards 2011

popcorn: corn filled with hot air

Belladonna left a comment

Sorry fellow-fans, just sayin' it like I feel it.

I saw this last night but didn't save it as I thought it would be there this am. Basically it said that the perception of Rob was that he was cruel in the things he said (to Reese) and the things he did (kissing Taylor). Highly criticized it was erased. But I agree. Rob is no longer the adorable, grateful boy getting a prize for Twilight and thanking Catherine Hardwicke for everything, including Kristen. He's grown up folks!

Belladonna replied to Lydia

Hi Lydia:
I just checked back and saw the responses and rebuttal to my comments after viewing the clips last night (I couldn't see the whole show, so everything I viewed was out of context), and I realize I can't respond to al the comments to me.   It's easier and saner for me to just delete mine... unfortunately, it seems I can only edit them as I have. 
Rob did look great, Kristen looked beautiful and a good time seemed to be had by all.   With the dawn comes understanding, so I can't help wondering what he might think of himself and the show when he sees it replayed in the clear and sober light of day.
'nuff said,

A shame belladonna feels compelled to erase her written thoughts when they were so accurate.

First of all the MTV Awards are a simulacrum. They are a copy of a copy with no original. The Academy Awards have been simulacrum for many years now. Initially they were small insider gatherings to honor excellence. Now they are lobbied and campaigned for events.

The televised event is the event, not recognition for excellence in an artistic film or excellence in acting. The event is the event. Because it is a simulation! Yes, the Oscars are now a simulacrum. The MTV Awards are a copy of a copy with no original, that is, another simulacrum.

More popcorn please.  More hot air, please. More empty 'sign' please. Or is this 'sign' a mask for their being nothing there. Is it simulation or dissimulation. Yeah, Im confused and don't care to figure it out right now. When I do I'll tweak this post.

The MTV Awards are events "honoring best pic, best actor, best kiss", etc and an honorary award for Reese Witherspoon, a generational award. Now there was a kiss and slap award. You've been around a long time, Reese. You're getting old, aren't you? What shit. I did enjoy seeing clips of all her work, which has been excellent, so this award to Reese was the only bright light for me. (Actually I didn't watch any of it, just looked at some stills and a bit on youtube.)

The Award, and all awards, are holding the celebrities hostage. Baudrillard's analysis of the hostage situation applies here. The celebrities are complicit. They can't not go. They can't go and act sulky, can they? They are expected to put on their professional smiles for the screen, aren't they? And frantic fans vote so they can see them there. I bet this makes them so so happy you voted for them. They are expected to be nice and thank the promoters for the honor - the honor? Honor? What honor? I'm looking and I don't see any honor. Maybe I dropped it on the floor. Let me look a minute, will you?

Wait a minute, I want some more popcorn!

It goes so nice with everything else, doesn't it? 

In fact these awards are cruel. They force an artist to fly from Toronto to California, leaving the concentration required to get into a very difficult part (Eric Packer in Cosmopolis) to attend a simulacrum that has nothing to do with what it says it has to do with. Best this or that. 

It is only a popularity contest whose only purpose is to promote itself as a popularity contest! The promoters buy the TV time, sell ads for the time, collect fat fees for this promotion. The ads are expensive because celebrities are pimped to be there ensuring lots of viewers. Get it! The medium is the message.

We know from reading Freud,Wit and the Unconscious that wit is uttered on two levels as jokes are also.  All sharp, intelligent, funny wit involves a certain amount of hostility, aggression, cruelty, whatever. Of courses you can always go for bland, which is usually what you get at these things, so you watch only to see faces, images, and whose dress was she wearing? Who wears it best? Actually Kristen's choice of dress was very witty. Best kiss in a dress with pricky safety pins all over it! Careful Rob. I'd kiss Taylor too.

More Corn coming, wait a minute. Ahhhhhh. So now we get to Rob''s performance. No enthusiastic 
thanks for Catherine Hardwicke or anyone else. Finally acknowledging Reese for what she did: cutting him from Vanity Fair. She did, you know. And at the time it hurt. It set his career back a lot. He took emasculating roles afterwards. That hurt him personally. See here for my longer take on this.

And by saying "fuck" in a fucking pretense of an award show to make money for promoters was priceless. And kissing Taylor was so perfect. Now all those ad people are going to ponder if they want to spend pricey money on this show. What if he wins next year? What might he do then? Do we want our product on a show where someone says, "Fuck? And kisses a guy for best kiss?"

The suits are gonna have to think about this. Carefully. Very carefully.

Listen fans, this is Eric Packer territory. 

People have criticized these awards for their stupidity. For not having anything to do with excellence. Others are screaming and creaming to see Rob and Kristen, even if it really interrupts their life to be there so they vote and vote and vote and vote and vote so as to see them. Is this love? Is it even affection? But anyway to criticize these awards is to attack them on their turf. You can't win that way. You cannot fight any war on someone else's turf. 

Vija: The market culture is total. It breeds these men and women. They are necessary to the system they despise. They give it energy and definition. They are market-driven. They are traded on the markets of the world. This is why they exist, to invigorate and perpetuate the system. (C p. 90)

I'm talking to all you readers.

More corn. So Rob implodes the MTV Awards in true Eric Packer fashion. Yaaaaaay! They are pretending to give an award for "best" and being cruel about it. Rob is following Baudrillard - consciously? unconsciously? -  and pretending to accept the pretend award and being even more cruel about it. This is the way you implode their game.

All the refusals to vote had no effect. All the sulking had no effect. All the criticism had no effect. Because you were playing on their turf. Get off it. We are in simulation now. It's gametime.