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Original entry posted: Wed Jun 1 19:09:48 2005

Madmunk @ Wed Jun 1 15:09:48 2005 EST

I don't think "The Hand that Feeds" has any political subtext necessarily, but the performance of it on TV when combined with a picture of GWB could make for fiery political theater. I guess. My question is MTV shies away from this. This is the same awards show that gave us Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, t.A.T.u. and stageful of young women making out; and Marilyn Manson performing in a corset and thong in front of a gigantic American flag. It gets cold feet because Reznor wants to perform in front of a picture of GWB. What's going on?

Thomas @ Wed Jun 1 15:50:21 2005 EST

I actually meant to write something about that--the song may not have meaning, but the juxtaposition does. Reznor himself may not even mean to integrate the song and the visual, he may just want to put Bush up on the screen.

As for MTV, I think the answer is somewhere around the fact that they're Viacom-owned, just like CBS, and that continues to make them nervous. The media has such a love-hate relationship with its Republican masters, never really sure what side it's on. One could plausibly theorize that this leads to the poor state of he-said, she-said journalism today.

Madmunk @ Wed Jun 1 16:01:02 2005 EST

The case could also be made that Viacom isn't really interested in "controversy" but its lesser cousin "sensation." Now that I think about MTV's "have we gone too far this time" moments, they're merely glimpses, hints of hyperstylized sex and violence. Britney Spears kissing Madonna, the beef between Ja Rule and Fiddy. Please. Actual controversy, attempting to truly shake someone's thinking instead of merely entertaining, is a much more difficult and dangerous task. MTV isn't up for it, so they shouldn't attempt it. But really - is our ability to be controversial so limited that all we can muster is NIN in front of GWB's picture and even then it's too much for us?

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