4x3: The Replacements "Bastards Of Young" (1986)

Imagine coming home from school, turning on MTV and seeing this:

A perfect Replacements video, even if I wish it were for their all-time great anti-video screed, "Seen Your Video" —

All day, all night, all music video
Seen your video, the phony rock 'n' roll
We don't want to know, seen your video
Your phony rock 'n' roll
We don't want to know

But maybe the greatest thing about the "Bastards Of Young" video is that MTV played it. They got the joke. They welcomed the 'fuck you" message. They let this middle finger of a video co-exist with the likes of "Money For Nothing," "Take On Me" and even stuff like this.

Mats_bastardsNowadays you watch what you want, when you want, everyone in the safe cocoon of their chosen genre. The old complaint is MTV doesn't play videos anymore — which is true, but only if you disregard the fact they have multiple 24/7 video channels, like MTV Jams, MTVU and MTV Hits — but the sad truth is that they're programming what the audience wants.

Viewers don't want anything to surprise or shock them. How long do you think a Bieber fan would stay tuned-in if Titus Andronicus came on right after it? Or vice versa? And that sucks. Because punk, or anything purposefully confrontational, needs to graze the mainstream, otherwise it's just a circle jerk (pardon the pun). 

So, when kids complain about the diminished status of music videos on TV, remind them that it's partially their fault. And play them "Bastards Of Young" and this very funny, yet very true parody video that answers the dumb question, "Why doesn't MTV play videos anymore?"



Phil Mucci's picture
So hilarious, so true! Now that the dust is settling, I actually think we're all better off. The new paradigm is self-programming: watch whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. And I, for one, am glad to see broadcast restrictions taking a swan dive into oblivion.
Tags: 4x3