A Second Dose of Reality Bites by James A. Norton Only If You Can Take It!


Sometimes fact is weirder than fiction…


If you try to follow my writings over the years (good luck with that, by the way), you probably are aware that I have been writing reviews of events, movies, television and the art of making film for years. I have written for local, as well as regional publications and always enjoy the back and forth of feedback on how I see things as a “critic” of sorts. I have never classified myself as an official critic of any kind or even as a journalist (even when I was one) – I like to pigeon-hole my writings as just pure opinion columns. It gives me the freedom to say what I want and make sure I am considered separate from any role I have with the publication professionally.


Now I want to point out that I enjoy movies more than any other entertainment medium. Doesn’t have to be in full three-story high cinematic, smell-o-matic, Panavision – my home TV is just fine. Past movies, I am a huge fan of British Television over the last 40 to 50 years and specifically what shows from that side of the pond made it to America in some watered down form (Shameless being the rare exception of being almost as bombastic here as it was originally in the UK). Next up to the plate would be award shows – I enjoy them all – from the CMAs to the VMAs to the Emmy’s and most especially the Academy Awards. I like observing the people who create the medium interacting with others in the same industry, as it doesn’t always work. For example, the behind the scenes and often times on the stage drama that typically unfolds at the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction as a perfect example of an awards show that more often than not goes off-script and off the rails with no warning. This is why they tape it and then show it two weeks later now, in case you were wondering why it’s not live anymore.


So last night was the MTV VMAs – the moonman was in full effect in NYC (the Garden more specifically). Over the years, this has also been chock full of surprises and off script shenanigans. This year was no exception – and while I could type for probably more hours that the show actually was – ripping apart really awful performances, insane commentary by presenters and announcers alike and even the people who won the awards themselves, one particular segment left me wondering what the Hell happened to sensibility. Yes, I am talking about when Kanye West came out to “World Premiere” his new video Fade. Now, I have to say, the video/song itself was not bad and Teyana Taylor probably stole the show last night as the dancer in said video.


It was the rant that Kanye did leading up to the presentation that really made me wonder what is wrong with the people who were chanting for him, laughing at his manic behavior and laughing and clapping at the insanity of his tossing bombs by insulting his wife, her former lover, his former lover, Taylor Swift…and likening himself to Truman, Disney and Steve Jobs. Come on.


I would have normally turned it off, but, this was a rant that was truly epic because even for him, it was over the top. That is the kind of stuff that makes you wonder how long the establishment will placate boorish and over the top egocentric behavior in an industry that typically thrives on it. Seriously, all Twitter fights aside, how many rants can Kanye do before people start to turn away from him. Then again, Beyonce keeps milking the whole cheating husband thing and has a world tour (Formation) expected to gross just shy of $300M – and it’s really not that good. Jay Z should cheat on her again – their combined net worth will reach $1B (yeah, that’s Billion) by year end.


In an age where we as people should be more informed and educated, it almost seems like we are dumbing-down now, especially with entertainment options. God help us. #GMK

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