Here's further proof that every single that happened at this year's MTV Video Music Awards was a culturally significant moment worth pondering (or that every culturally significant moment worth pondering happened at the VMAs).
A favorite of music fans, critics, and audience-reaction cams alike, Taylor Swift is the belle of any awards-show ball. She shows up, she responds to what's happening onstage with the finesse, subtlety, and attention-hunger of a mime. Even if she isn't performing on any given night, she's still performing. Case in point happened during last night's VMAs when Swift danced like everybody was watching, loved the awards-show medium like she'll never be hurt (again...by Kanye), sang like everyone could hear her even though she wasn't miked, and lived like Brooklyn is heaven on earth.
I'm sure you did the responsible, adult thing and watched the DNC all night, but while you were doing that the MTV Video Music Awards were on and I watched them because that is my life. They were so stupid. MTV literally let Taylor Swift finish and she did some weird musical theater number to accompany "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Rihanna and Katy Perry sat next to each other and muttered shit-talk in each other's ears all night. Chris Brown won an award. Nicki Minaj asked someone, "Want gum?" and dressed like La Toya Jackson dressed like a clown.
Today, Prince turns 54 and his air-lick of a single "Gett Off," turns 21. It was on his 33rd birthday that he delivered this song to clubs, launching his Diamonds & Pearls album, which either marked the end of the second act of his career (megastardom) or the beginning of the third (tapering off). I can't really decide which. I do know that this is the song that converted me into a disciple, and I still adore "Gett Off" as much as I did in sixth grade. I admire its impossible sleaze (23 positions is so many to fit into a one-night stand) and ability to be utterly sexual and uptempo. Prince has portrayed a lot of different kinds of sex atop a lot of different kinds of music, but his best sex is rigorous. "Gett Off" is the best of the best.
The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards just kicked off with an angry anti-Lady Gaga monologue by... Lady Gaga, dressed as male alter ego Jo Calderone. Gaga/Calderone followed up the monologue with a performance of "You and I," excerpts of which—including reaction shots from Britney Spears and Justin Bieber—you'll find above.
I can't even begin to explain how odd—and, yes, pathetic—this was. I can't! Here's Taylor Swift performing at the VMAs with a ridiculous song she wrote about Kanye West's interruption of her during last year's show. Video inside.
Though it's been a long while since Courtney Love caused controversy at the VMAs, the singer wasn't about to let last night's purity ring flap pass by without giving that virginal young upstart Jordin Sparks the what-for. Yes, even though Love claims not to have watched last night's ceremony (though she adores host Russell Brand), she took to her blog to denounce the latest crop of chaste young performers, giving them the sort of X-rated advice that would make a Jonas Brother blush (not that Miley, though — she's heard it all). We've excerpted the best bits below, though we warn you that they're hard to read — not because of their shock value, but because their author is the garrulous misspeller Courtney Love: