December 24, 1989 |
MTV is the cable network that so many grown-ups love to hate, yet its long-lasting effects since its 1981 premiere are multitudinous and not necessarily all signs of cancerous moral decay. MTV has almost single-handedly made the short-form film viable again, even if its main function now is to advertise singles. The proof of this "success" is in the record sales that some of the hotter videos generated. These days, the typical rock video may have as many edits as an entire feature film and, combined with obtuse symbolism that may or may not mean anything, the editing is often bafflingly elliptical.