A Collection of Miscellaneous Thoughts on the 2017 Video Music Awards

The 2017 VMA’s happened last night, and just like every year, I passed by the TV and watch a couple minutes of it and ended up watching the entire show, full invested from my corner seat on the sofa. So, just like any other year, I’ve got some thoughts on the whole production, and they probably won’t fit neatly in tweet form so blogging I go!

  • I’m not a fan of Katy Perry, but she was a decent host last night! I will always appreciate the fact that Katy Perry has always used her voice and platform to be politically active (unlike some people with whom she’s had a little Bad Blood, am I right) and to speak out against Trump, Nazi’s, and racism. So for the time being, let’s not talk about her album which seems to be her own version of Miley’s Bangerz era delve into black and hip-hop culture for no reason besides the aesthetic. Or how most things she said after her entrance was pretty cringeworthy. Anyway, she came out strong, alluded to the state of our union, and was able to successfully set an anti-Trump, anti-fascist, and anti-racist tone that others were able to amplify for the rest of the night.
  • Question, how did Ed Sheeran win artist of the year when Ariana Grande did so much this year after the Manchester attack, I’m…. …. .. . I forgot Ed Sheeran even had an album out, smh…..
  • I’ve been a fan of Fifth Harmony since before they were a band, like since Lauren, Ally, Normani and Dinah all individually auditioned before they were even combined into what the band is today. And because of that, I will literally never stop supporting them!!! No matter what drama they go through and shady antics they pull and different styles of music they try to experiment with, I’m a ride or die stan! So imagine my reaction when Fifth Harmony not only wins the Best Pop VMA for their first song after the breakup with Camila but they start off their performance with a fifth ‘girl’ jumping off the stage as they start Angel??? That’s hilarious, I’m dying at how shady that was! But they’re entitled to do that, Camila literally bouncing out from the group was what happened, and I hope that soon the dust of this feud will finally settle and they can coexist peacefully in pop music.
  • My thoughts on Taylor Swifts new song can be pretty much summed up by this article, but my thoughts on her new music video? Basically I’m amused, but my feelings have not changed. Taylor’s music video manages to go through all the different distinct eras of her career as well as all the criticisms people have of her (ex: her obsession with cats, squads, the ‘I love TS’ shirts we saw Tom Hiddleston wearing, etc.) (I think Rolling Stone made a good list of all the references in case you were curious). Basically, at the end of the video, ‘new’ Taylor is standing at the top of a tower while the ‘old’ Taylor’s are clawing up to the top for survival, but then I guess they all die or fall of or something and the most comedic part of the video happens– literally every ‘version’ of Taylor Swift is standing in a line bitching at each other, saying either the critiques that Taylor most often gets in the media or poking fun at the ‘annoying’ things Taylor does herself. And it was a pretty self-aware and humorous moment and everything but it still falls hella short of anything I would truly respect or admire. She points out all the little criticisms people pick at her for, some perhaps truly unwarranted, but never addresses the bigger problems surrounding her and her brand– most importantly how she is the definition of a white feminist (only talking about politics or power when it works in her favor) and in this absolutely tumultuous Trump era, she has never taken a stand for anything that isn’t herself. She’s been fighting Kanye West for her entire career, to the point where the conflict finally reached it’s absolute peak last year and she should be getting over it and moving on. But instead, this song– and probably her whole album– will be filled revenge songs about people who wronged her, whether they be ex-boyfriends, old friends, or constant nemeses. Also, can we talk about the fact that factions of the Alt-Right worship her as the perfect ‘Aryan Goddess’, but she’s never taken the time to condemn hate and bigotry or even say who she voted for so why wouldn’t they? Taylor Swift just consistently disappoints me because, for someone with quite possibly the largest platform in the world to make a difference, I feel the only person she’s helped is herself.
  • Kendrick Lamar’s performance!!!! It was fire!!! LITERALLY! 
  • Paris Jackson’s mini speech was also great! She called those racists out with no hesitation, and her public speaking skill/the way she presents herself is very admirable. I’m sure her father would be proud of her right now, and I hope she continues to speak out and be proactive– a couple second before having to present Best Pop Video wasn’t enough!
  • Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid’s performance of 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline) was so moving. Best performance of the night, by far.
  • When they brought out Robert E Lee’s descendent to denounce racism and call it what it is– hate not heritage– and then have him bring out Heather Heyer’s mother– a woman who lost her daughter because of white supremacists who were catalyzed by a suggestion to remove a Robert E Lee statue…  I mean that was super interesting to me because in that moment, MTV made a stronger and more unifying statement about current events than our own White House, than our President of the United States. And at this point, I’m not even imploring Trump to try to do better anymore because it’s obvious that he is incapable, that he is a Nazi, and he needs to be removed from his position of power– but it’s wild that this is what this country has come to. (Bonus: here’s an NPR interview with Robert W. Lee about the legacy of the confederacy and the statues etc.)
  • And on that note, the VMAs left me with a sense of hope in our future. There are so many young people– artists and fans alike– who are on the right side of history today and are ready to actively fight for it. This was an incredibly politicized show, and the majority of those who were there watching or at home tweeting were all in support of the direction it was taking– not calling it fake news, not saying artists to stick to what they know best, not shutting it down. Our generation has the right idea, and we simply need to learn to mobilize ourselves– to elect those with our interests into local and state level politics, to threaten representatives who don’t listen and make them, to show the nation our strength– and I’m sure we will overcome.

In conclusion, go Milennials! Go Fifth Harmony! Fuck Trump!

Thanks for stopping by,

Shiggy (2)


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