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Thursday, August 28, 2003



Like a man in his late fifties wearing a Member's Only jacket and sitting in the bleachers eating popcorn at a girl's high school soccer game, I tuned into this year's celebration of all things MTV, the Video Music Awards. The VMA's are MTV's time to wake from a year of napping through its youth culture-making machinery, stretch its arms, and in a move incredibly limber for someone its age, lean just far enough forward to take a mouthful of its own cock. And just like someone gifted enough to perform the golden feat of autofellatio, MTV never feels the need to step out of its own living room and taste the outside world.

Don't get me wrong; I've spent many an afternoon on the delicious brink between giving myself a blowjob for the ages and a lifetime of spine-snapping paralysis staring at the carrot-on-a-stick that put me there. The VMA's are just my cup of tea.

And even though the show's a predictably loud awards show spectacle, there were some genuinely surprising moments among the shout-outs, the thank-you-Jesus's, and the artfully executed lip-syncs:

--The much-ballyhooed three-way kiss between Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Like a Virgin" is overshadowed mere minutes later by a surprise onstage golden shower party thrown by the reunited members of Menudo.

--Justin Timberlake accepts a surprising Lifetime Achievement Award solely for describing the sexual experience that claimed Britney Spears' coveted maidenhead. His somewhat clinical description of "rupturing her hymen" is believed to be the first use of that phrase on "Total Request Live" since Jerry Lee Lewis demonstrated the devirginizing of his 13-yr-old cousin-bride on the top of a baby grand to the shock of original TRL host Ed Sullivan.

--"Newlyweds" stars Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey labor through a tired comedy bit in which they read from their prenuptial agreement. After some forced laughter at the skit's conclusion, Lachey whispers heavily into the microphone, "If you ever leave me, I will kill you and then myself, I don't care about the cameras."

--Hip-hop sensation 50 Cent puts to bed one of gangsta rap's greatest rivalries when he serves high tea to Ja-Rule. Ja solidifies the end of bad blood by sucking on 50's toes.

--Chaos briefly erupts as Video Vanguard crackpot Michael Jackson highjacks the microphone from host Chris Rock to unleash a plague of enraged llamas on the unsuspecting crowd. Disaster is averted and casualties kept to a minimum when pop-punk stalwarts Good Charlotte stop their rampage, but the entire band later expires from wounds suffered in the melee. They are replaced on the bill by an all-star tribute to Good Charlotte fronted by Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osborne, who choke back tears dueting on "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous."

--A divatastic tribute to Bob Hope's brain, suspended above the stage in a giant vat of formaldehyde (tastefully decorated by MTV style homo Todd Oldham) includes solos by Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, and the ghost of Ethel Merman. Unfortunately, the Merman apparition suffers a bout of laryngitis and her soaring rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" is cut short. [Congratulations to this item for scoring two Bunsen clichés (though we prefer to call them tropes) for its use of Bob Hope's brain and a "ghost of" joke.]

--No MTV coverage would be complete without a mention of Carson Daly, who is bloated, vanilla, and the only person to have seen as much talentless, drapes-don't-match-the-curtains, hot alocholic actress action as yours truly. Shout out to my man Carson, woooooo!

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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