DeadAir 2012: Oh. The humanity.

"Now boarding..." This Week's DeadAir 2012 Nominees

This Week - Monday, September 5, 2005
MTV Week

This is the true story of four strangers, picked to die in a fiery airline explosion over suburban Florida, and have their afterlives taped, and find out what happens when they don't just have to deal with each other at the VMAs or a gay TRL picnic every now and then or in their wired Barbie Doll house, but they actually have to spend forever with these other jagoffs, and it's no good clawing each other's eyes out, because they're dead, and they're going to have to put up with one another for eternity. Ha! Every now and then I have those moments where I have enormous faith in today's youth and believe in the core of my soul that tomorrow is going to be a beautiful place, and these kids are going to grow up to be good, compassionate stewards of our society and its citizens. In these wildly polyannish moments, I always catch myself and make sure I turn on MTV for a reality check: In any two hours of their programming day, I see enough vapid little Nazis potentially taking the reins of society from my generation's old and feeble hands one day that I want to get a small arsenal and canned food and move to North Dakota and shoot at anything that moves outside my shelter door, or just crack the capsule sewn into the hem of my shorts and end it now.

Somewhere along the line MTV lost most of the "M" from their regular programming schedule. They exist primarily for the VMAs--a tedious and self-important but at least somewhat relevant alternative to the wheezing, flaccid Grammys; their "Real World" and "Road Rules" franchises; celeb reality like "The Osbournes" and "Newlyweds", which caused the unfortunate breakout of Ashlee Simpson; and a ham-fisted, hyperbolic effort to get young people to vote. Unfortunately for the latter they're using celebrities who are too busy Rocking the Vote and getting kids to Vote or Die to actually vote themselves. Maybe it's because they can't bring their posse into the voting booth with them, or they can't understand the ballot because the offices aren't listed "Hizzzouse of Representatives" or "Governizzle".

Lately, they've taken another bite of the reality apple with the unwatchable "Laguna Beach" ("The Real O.C.!"---yeahhhhhh! Take that, beyotch, Ben-fucking-Mackenzie!). If you're having trouble sleeping some night, just flip on The L.B. and start counting the sheep as Trey, LC, Talan, and Morgan surf, shop, hook up, fight and share their innermost...................................................................................sorry, I just nodded off. See? It really works. Anyway, tune in sometime and see the frightening Aryan children of privilege who are going to be running our country in 25 years, and then start looking into New Zealand citizenship.

For the benefit of all those who were unexpelled semen or were still on the to-do list of yet-to-mature loins, MTV has offered "70's House". Don't try and romanticize the 70s, kids. Take it from me; I was there. The pot had seeds in it, the clothes itched, and the girls didn't trim their pubic hair--no smoothie, no bacon strip, just an overgrown copse of wilderness, with just as many small furry creatures lurking through it.

Welcome to MTV 2005. It's just as bad a neighborhood as it was when we last visited there in 2001, as in 1992 when "The Real World" premiered, as in 1987 when they started to acknowledge that there were other black singers than Michael Jackson, when he was still a black singer. It's not easy to bring the suck year after year as MTV has, but it's nice to know there's a constant in an ever-changing world.



Name: R. Kelly

Transgression(s): "Roses are red, and vivid like neon/Girls are 14, for R. Kelly to....."

Evaluation: One of the most cherished privileges of being an American is the right to get our freak on. Far be it for me to criticize a brother's chosen means of booty duty. That's why our forefathers fought the Sexual Revolution--to ensure our rights to fornicate in plushie costumes, to sneak into churches to anally copulate in the confessionals, to take turns with our partner with one defecating on a glass coffee table while the other masturbates underneath. But--and I guess this is my Puritan side coming out--something about videotaping yourself urinating on teenage girls just has an overwhelming essence of "wrong" about it.

Say what you will, but at least he made an honest woman (ummm...) of 15 year-old Aaliyah --that is until her parents demanded an annulment and, you would hope, lobbied for a court-ordered horse tranquilizer-sized depo provera injection for the pedophilic R & B star.

His penis should be a registered weapon. It hasn't happened yet, but give it a year or two: He'll come out with a greatest hits CD entitled "I Love My Dick". Most of his songs involve where he's put his penis, where he'd like to put his penis, the consequences of putting his penis somewhere he shouldn't have, his outrage at someone putting their penis in his lady even though he's been putting his penis in someone else's lady, and the man sticking his penis in his lady is actually sticking his penis into another man, who's sticking his penis into him, too, of course, and then he goes home and sticks his penis in his wife but finds out that the policeman who pulled him over on the way home just stuck his penis in his wife, too. The message: "This is my world and it's all about my penis, and I'll stick it where I want, but don't you think about sticking your penis anywhere my penis has been or wherever my penis might want to go in the future. This world isn't big enough for the three of us--you, me, and my penis, I mean."

Oh but the lyrics, though. You can practically hear the penis sliding in. "Sex in kitchen over by the stove/Put you on the counter by the buttered rolls." And that's the phattest rhyme anyone's copped since Steve Miller rhymed "El Paso" with "great big hassle".

I don't particularly care where he puts his penis, except that he should keep it away from teenagers. Apparently, though, statutory rape with a golden shower twist is the new black in hooking up, because his record sales have been trucking along steadily in spite of the accusations, and MTV gave him seven minutes on the VMAs to sing his gripping stream-of-consciousness household intercourse serial, "Trapped In The Closet, Chapters 1-5" (which comes after the kitchen and the buttered rolls). I suppose one way you could look at it is this is just carrying on in the grand tradition of rock and roll: Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley deflowered their share of teen babes. But fair is fair--Chuck Berry served a year and a half in jail. Jerry Lee Lewis' career was virtually derailed for quite some time and he was practically lynched. And Elvis' relations with Priscilla resulted in a woman who joined Scientology and married Michael Jackson (okay, Elvis was already dead, but you know it made him apoplectic in the afterworld, and sent a powerful message here on Earth about the tragic consequences of fornicating with women you start dating when they're 14 and you're 25). The prosecution in R. Kelly's case is in the process of completely destroying their own case, so no such justice seems in Kelly's future. I hope he at least bought all their Girl Scout cookies..

Nominated by B. Kelter, 8.31.05

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Bill O'Reilly


Name: Andy Milonakis

Transgression(s): A fat white hip-hop Urkel for the 21st century.

Evaluation: America's fascination with the ursine cub manchild--from Mason Reese to Gary Coleman--takes a disturbing turn with the emergence of Andy Milonakis. MTV has apparently commissioned a business efficiency consultant who has concluded that they can streamline their production budget and increase their profit margin by jetissoning some of the fat from their programming department, starting with production values and coherent writing, and replacing them with pancakes, elderly jokes, and a cheap seizure-inducing graphic to open each skit. My first thought was that Kurt Loder's grandson wandered off while he was busy interviewing Bow Wow and started horsing around in an empty production studio. Stacking pancakes on one's head and pretending apples talk are the kinds of escapist distractions a 12-year-old of a certain stripe will indulge in when they're alone and the grownups aren't paying attention to them--well, before they're a year or two older and discover Dungeons & Dragons anyway.

Which would be fine if he were 12. But he's not 12, or 13, or 15. He's 29. Apparently some sort of Progeria syndrome in reverse. (Actually, I just found an interview with him: He refers to it as a "growth hormone issue". Anyway.) He plies his trade with a mostly middle-aged supporting cast who probably don't have SAG credentials. In fact, it's more likely than not that someone from MTV took a pickup truck down to the parking lot outside of the day labor agency the first morning of shooting and yelled, "I need six!" His favorite player is a sixty-something cuddly version of John Wayne Gacy who probably hasn't systematically filled his crawlspace with teen bodies but has likely in his zeal accidentally killed several of his "little buddies" through the years. With his bare hands. He looks like he might snap if he's the recipient of one too many of Andy's degradations.

MTV concedes that some of its viewers are "not going to get it, and that's fine". That's the same cop-out and dumbing-down rationale that justifies movies like "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo". Jimmy Kimmel hails him as a "brilliant freestyle rapper" and MTV flacks compare him to Pee Wee Herman. He may or may not take his johnson out in adult movie theaters, but if he did the comparison would end there. HIs schtick feels completely phoned in and has none of the wit, imagination and the rich production of "Pee Wee's Playhouse", which actually had writers, I believe. Yet they claim the production days are 16-hours long. Spouting gibberish at senior citizens on the street and pouring nacho cheese on hammers can only take so long. One can only guess that most of that time is spent sobering up the actors or keeping them from looting the craft services table.

Nominated by Trevor S., 8.8.05

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Nominator comments: "so this andy milinakis guy, you might have seen him on the man show a few years back, hes a fat fuck toddler basically, and he has a show on MTV in which this sick fuck runs around and makes fun of old people. i almost drop kicked my cat out of the window when i saw it."


Night Vision Paris


Name: Wes and Johanna

Transgression(s): Sexual tension should have either sex or tension, and shouldn't induce sleep.

Evaluation: One of the simple but inevitable pleasures of spring is tuning in to "The Real World" to see who we're going to detest this year. Call it "The Puck Anointment". It's always a challenge, because usually a majority of them have so much to offer: Vanity, hubris, petulance, sloth, selfishness, sexual delusions of grandeur, intellectual midgetry, anger management issues, and the alcohol tolerance of a third-grade girl.

This year, we have a pair who've made the preliminary cut (along with the whorish Tara Reid understudy, Melinda, whom we'll discuss on another day), Wes and Johanna.

Recently, the Real World / Austin castmembers gave a talk at California State University at Northridge on how to be good citizens and avoid some of the minefields of growing up--because, of course, they know what it's like in the Real World. Johanna gave a speech on the perils of alcohol abuse, which would be like Elizabeth Taylor expounding on the secret to a successful marriage. In the first episode, Johanna pulled an alcoholic Chernobyl that would have had Courtney Love taking notes. I had to rewind the TiVo eleven times to figure out what set her off, but all I could surmise was she was drinking turpentine with her Jaeger, or that she had untreated late-stage syphillis.

Wes' speech was on safe sex (he could have added a few notes on "beer goggles") which had the reviewer from commenting that he "seemed like less of a douche bag than he is on TV." That had to have been no mean feat, because he is a bionic douche bag on TV. It's past the point of amusing and is now just tedious when Wes jags like a seismograph between his marshmallow Bad Boy disclaimers ("I've been arrested. I'm not a nice guy, but I feel like I want to be a nice guy around her!" Awwww, you big lug!) his banal 98 Degrees/O-Town mangina bromides ("You're the kind of girl that I swear to God I could make changes for...It's fate that I met you so early!" Early in the evening, he means, lest he wind up with one of the skeezas from the cosmetology school), and his predatory, Neandrethal inflict-concussion/drag-back-to-cave hookup M.O. (which is at least usually good for a laugh if nothing else--a massive overcompensation for either Japanese-sized genitals, a drunken teenage liasion with a barnyard animal that still haunts him, or a closeted predilection for frilly lingerie that decades down the road may manifest itself in mid-life sexual reassignment surgery).

Their drunken exchanges are like a post-teenage version of "Days of Wine & Roses", with all of the drool and slurred speech and none of the dramatic eloquence. After two or three episodes, we don't really care if they hook up, unless it results in Johanna ridiculing the size of his genitals or her vomiting in flagrante delicto.

This little tease has played itself out already. The only thing to look forward to is the reunion show, when Wes continues to crow about his sexual prowess (which will be represented in his description as dozens of FHM models, but will probably add up to a tavern waitress, three apprentice manicurists, two 45-year-old Internet hookups, and an OTB teller--all with the collective weight of a Ford F150) and Johanna is unavailable while awaiting trial for fraudulently obtaining an Oxycontin prescription and smashing a vase over her boyfriend's mistress' head.

Nominated by Lori S., 9.1.05

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Nominator comments: "I want to see Wes and Johanna from the Real World on there - he is just such a dip shit and thinks he is such a playah and she so thinks she is all that - guess what? He looks like Opie and she needs to consult an Orthodontist...get over yourselves...Jesus Christ..."

Virtually condemn your most-loathed celebrity, relative, or backstabbing weasel ex-friend!

Try it--it's a scream, and very cathartic!


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