The pied pipers at MTV were certainly delighted that they attracted their largest audience ever measured for their Video Music Awards show, more than 12 million viewers. It began with Lady Gaga as a male impersonator and ended with rapper Lil Wayne dancing around wearing women's leggings affixed literally below his rear end.
Lil Wayne's 'song' was called 'John (If I Die Today).' It was so studded with F-bombs and N-words that more of this number may have been bleeped than aired. There are five F-bombs in the first eight lines. It starts: 'Four-four Bulldog, my m-f-ing pet / I point it at you and tell that m-f-er 'Fetch.'' The thought is almost humorous that someone at MTV might review the lyrics in advance to insure they were appropriate.
But this spectacle only comes around once a year. What really should concern parents and culture-watchers was the 'sneak peek' of yet another scripted sex-and-youth show right after the awards. Even the title of the forthcoming show is meant to provoke: 'I Just Want My Pants Back.'
MTV boasted the New York Daily News already proclaimed the show a 'triumph,' and teased viewers with this 'peek,' saying it would not air again until 2012. But the debut was profoundly graphic, even by MTV's lack of standards. The sexual content was about as pervasive and explicit as anything you can find on basic cable. Naturally, it was rated only TV-14.
Here's what MTV thinks is appropriate for your 14-year-old. As the show begins, the lead character Jason and his friend Tina are looking to 'hook up' with other people at a bar in New York City. Jason, who's supposed to be twentysomething but looks 16, is lamenting his long sexless streak of six whole weeks. He's drinking shots, and complaining they taste like 'paint thinner and ass.' Tina asks "Got any weed?'
The two friends retire to a bathroom and smoke marijuana. Jason laments how he could be entering the sexual 'drought of the decade,' but then boasts he's now so high on pot, he's ''I could eat a wheel of cheese' high.' Tina shoots back, 'As long as you're not 'I need you to check my testicles for lumps' high.'
Is anyone smelling an Emmy award for Best Screenplay?
Then Jason meets the nameless girl he's taking home. Soon they're undressing frantically and Jason is worrying that it's too perfect. 'What if you're really a sexy transsexual and later I discover, oops, you have a penis?' She responds she's 'all girl' and insists 'Let's do it in your fridge!' He is wowed. 'What a fantastic e-mail this is going to make tomorrow!'
When it's over, the girl leaves a phone number that's a wrong number, and borrows Jason's pants, which takes you back to the title 'I Just Want My Pants Back.'
This is what MTV wants children - yes, 14-year-olds are impressionable children - to learn about sex: it's an event, even a circus act, not a relationship. Love is irrelevant. Marriage isn't even in the picture. It's quick, virtually anonymous, and kinky sex that counts.
There's another example of the casual-sex ethos when one of the men says to Tina, 'I thought you only slept with that guy because he's got air conditioning.' She shoots back, 'Yeah, now I kinda like him. Plus, it's been muggy lately.'
But that pales in comparison to other material. Jason also gets intimate with a woman who asks him to put his finger in her rectum. When that doesn't please her, she asks, 'Could you try your thumb?' Later, Jason tells his friends 'Her sphincter had the grip of a merchant marine.'
Surprisingly, Preparation H was not on the list of sponsors. But this sleaze was subsidized by Unilever, the makers of Axe Body Spray, because you would want to smell pleasant if you want to have your chance at meaningless casual sex.
It was also brought to the youth of America by Candie's, which sells 'juniors jewelry and apparel.' Their current poster girl is Vanessa Hudgens of the Disney 'High School Musical' movies. They also have a Candie's Foundation to fight teen pregnancy, while sponsoring an MTV show that could be called 'Let's Do It In Your Fridge.'