Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Still Want My MTV

My cable system added MTV when it was a month old, so I didn't get to see the first video ("Video Killed the Radio Star").  Back then, MTV was a radio station with videos.  It mostly played the kind of music I liked, and it was my "radio station" of choice.  I liked their VJs, for the most part, and it often was my background music when I was home.

I stopped watching long before it became what it is today.  I was going to try to describe that, but I realised that I don't really know, except for the fact that if you ever see a music video on MTV it's kind of a fluke.

But I taped "It Gets Better," and watched it a few days ago.

It Gets Better was hosted by Dan Savage (isn't he the guy who defined "Santorum?"), and its goal is to help LGBT teens understand that as hard as life in high school might be, it does get better.  I don't know a lot of the background for this, but I think it was started as a response to the high number of teen suicides among LGBT and is something of a YouTube thing now.  The link above makes it seem like this is a series, not a one-of, but I won't be looking for more episodes.

It followed a gay teen coming out to his classmates, a lesbian teen trying to reconcile with her family, and a FTM young adult looking to get married.

It does look promising, and if it saves a young life, I'm all for it, but I'm concerned that it gives a rosier picture than real life might offer.  I understand that showing a teen come out and get ostracised (or worse) by his peers wouldn't fit in with the "It Gets Better" theme.  I worry about the teen who watches a series of success stories and then has a not-so-happy ending himself...  It may make matters worse.  As impractical as it might be, each teen should have someone to help him through coming out, or coming to terms, or whatever is next in his personal path.  The average high schooler just isn't really ready to go through a life-changing event by himself.  I'm worried about the law of unintended consequences.

I said I won't be searching for further episodes.  I'd like to see a success story that parallels my life, but I expect the odds are low.  And I don't think I'm the target audience here.

1 comment:

  1. With all due respect I doubt that you have been the target audience for MTV since the Reagan administration. Being a bit older than you I doubt that I was ever a part of the MTV demographic...just give me that 'Old Time Rock & Roll'.
    You do make a good point about the law of unintended consequences. I also do not care how many 'reality shows' are out there I think that the presence of a TV crew with camaras and microphones and interviews will always tend to skew reality. People know when they are playing to a camera.
    What I hope for is that the slow progression of acceptance of all people continues moving along. I think that people tend to fear and react adversely to rapid change or to having things that make them uncomfortable shoved in their faces but if you let things evolve gradually I think that acceptance will come.


My day is brighter when I hear from my friends!