2011 MTV Video Music Awards adds “Best Video With A Message” category

All six nominees for the 2011 Best Video With A Message MTV Video Music Award

MTV has announced the 2011 Video Music Awards will feature a brand new category called “Best Video With A Message.” From MTV:

The special category, in conjunction with MTV Act, celebrates the union between music and social activism, and highlights artists who created music videos that made us think about the world around us. These artists could have just made party songs, but instead they also took a stand against bullying, fought for LGBT rights and reminded us why we’re all special. You’ve watched the videos on repeat, sang the songs in the shower, and turned them into rally cries.

Uh oh. MTV is poo-pooing artists that “just make party songs” now? What if partying is your message? “You gotta fight, for your right, to paaaaaaaaaaarty!!!”

Here are the distinguished nominees in the brand new category with their accompanying description from MTV:

P!nk – “F****** Perfect”
P!nk lets out a rally cry of reassurance for anyone who’s ever felt less than perfect.

Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
Mother Monster gives birth to a world free from prejudice, judgment and self-doubt.

Katy Perry – “Firework”
The California Gurl celebrates the spark and originality in all of us.

Eminem feat. Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie”
Em and Rih Rih illuminate the pain and peril of domestic violence.

Rise Against – “Make it Stop (September’s Children)”
Rise Against reminds LGBT teens pushed to the edge that “It Gets Better.”

Taylor Swift – “Mean”
Taylor Swift cautions negative naysayers that being mean gets you nowhere.

What I like about the new category isn’t that it distinguishes which videos have a message, but it inadvertently will single out those that don’t! You have to figure any video nominated for Best Video Of The Year not nominated for Best Video With A Message doesn’t have a message, right?

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the videos from this year that apparently do not have a message, which is every single Best Video nominee except for Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

Adele “Rolling in the Deep”
No message here. Just a party song.

Beastie Boys “Make Some Noise”
No message here. Just a party song.

Bruno Mars “Grenade”
No message here. Just a party song.

Tyler, The Creator “Yonkers”
No message here. Just a party song.

Oh what I wouldn’t give to hear 1960s-era Bob Dylan answer whether or not his songs have a “message.” Three chords and the Truth right?

I’m not nearly as curmudgeonly as I sound – I really could care less about the new category. It just seems silly to use a word like “message” to single out certain videos and songs because they are about social and political issues. For example, I will wrap this up with a video that most certainly wouldn’t have been eligible for the Best Video With A Message category, and yet no one could ever claim it doesn’t have a message…

And don’t throw that “social activism” stuff at me either. If you are seriously dealing with ^ that video then you are on your way to making the world a better place – much more so than if you are pumping your fist to “Firework.” (Which I have been known to do on numerous occasions.)