Post VMA Regrets?

Posted on: 09/11/08 9:08 AM | by Jonathan McKee

There’s a lot of hype this week following the “purity bashing” and “slut bashing” that went on at the MTV Video Music Awards this past Sunday night.

If you missed the craziness, David and I summed it all up in our Post VMA Thoughts article Monday.

Basically, the host of the show, British comic Russell Brand, bashed purity all night, using the Jonas Bros as the main target of his jests. Then Jordin Sparks snapped back with a few thoughts of her own, defending purity pledges and ending with, “Not every guy and girl wants to be a slut.”

Now we’ve seen a myriad of articles and blogs chiming in on the aftermath. OMG! Yahoo reports:

The Jonas Brothers have no beef with Russell Brand after he mocked their virginity on Sunday’s 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

“For us it’s cool to see that he recognizes we are gentlemen,” Nick Jonas told BBC’s Radio 1.

Sparks says that she wishes she would have worded things differently, but doesn’t regret that she said something. Hollywood Insider gives the scoop:

Attending the show for the first time, the American Idol winner went off-script after being agitated by host Russell Brand’s repeated mocking of the Jonas Brothers’ promise rings. “It’s something I feel strongly about,” she tells “I wish I would’ve worded it differently — that somebody who doesn’t wear a promise ring isn’t necessarily a slut — but I can’t take it back now. It was a split-second thing, and it came out kind of wrong. Still, I don’t regret it.”

I don’t regret that she said it either. Her comments can’t be torn out of context. She stood up after 90 minutes of crude jokes, sexual references and racy songs… her comments were the lone voice siding with purity (because no one else spoke up). Her message had to be that polarized to even break through the smoke. It didn’t insinuate that people who aren’t virgins are sluts at all. It communicated that those who were making it light that night probably were sluts.

It was a risky move for Sparks. It wasn’t a popular opinion to verbalize. It was the highlight of the show.

Scientists Spend 10 Billion to Discover Origins

Posted on: 09/10/08 1:17 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Wow… that’s a lot of cash for something that I could tell them by just reading Genesis 1:1.

But I guess some people aren’t convinced. Hence this historic “big bang” experiment. Scientists plan to smash particle beams together at close to the speed of light inside CERN Research Center’s tightly-sealed Large Hadron Collider to create multiple mini-versions of the primeval Big Bang.

Reuters has an article about it here, and thanks to blog subscriber Tom who sent me the CNN article here. A blurb from the CNN article:

Experts say the collider has the potential to confirm theories about questions that physicists have been working on for decades including the possible existence of extra dimensions. They also hope to find a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson, which has never been detected, but would help explain why matter has mass.

The collider will recreate the conditions of less than a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, when there was a hot “soup” of tiny particles called quarks and gluons, to look at how the universe evolved, said John Harris, U.S. coordinator for ALICE, a detector specialized to analyze that question.


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MTV VMA’s Poke at Purity All Night

Posted on: 09/8/08 8:10 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week we prepped you for the MTV Video Music Awards show that aired last night, one of the most reflective and predictive youth culture barometers of the year. This year, British comic Russell Brand was the host… and I guess he was intimidated by the purity pledge of the Jonas Bros.

The Jonas Bros are not only the hottest thing to arrive to the tween world since Miley, they actually have a pretty clean slate. Last night Brand ridiculed the Jonas Brothers’ public stance on sexual purity. All three of these pastor’s kids wear a promise ring and have vowed to remain celibate until marriage.

In his opening remarks, the British funnyman pointed out to the audience,

“In case you are unaware, each of the Jonas Brothers does wear a tiny ring as a mark of their commitment to God. I’d take it a little bit more seriously if they wore it on their genitals. And also, it is a little bit ungrateful, cause they could literally have sex with any woman that they want…they’re just not gonna do it. That’s like Superman just deciding not to fly and to go everywhere on a bus. Bless em, though, them lads.” 

The jesting went on throughout the evening, until American Idol icon Jordin Sparks hit the stage and had a chance to retort. All these details and more in this week’s Youth Culture Window article on our website.

Britney Opening the VMAs

Posted on: 09/5/08 1:52 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’ve been blogging about the VMAs all week. (you can catch most the hype here, and here). David’s Youth Culture Window article is preparing us with what to expect. And now we know something new… Britney will be opening the VMAs.

No, she won’t be performing. Who knows what MTV has up their sleeves. But Britney will be kicking off the show.

ET says…

The pop princess herself told us Wednesday afternoon, “How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs? I’m excited to open the entire show, to say ‘Hi’ to my fans and to be nominated,” also noting, “MTV has long played an important role in my career.”  (ET online, 9/3/08)


Predicting the Content of This Year’s VMAs

Posted on: 09/3/08 1:07 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Last year’s MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) were one of the most sexually charged award shows I’ve seen (I talked about it here). This year, it will be interesting to see if they continue down that route. We’ll find out this Sunday night.

Why do I wonder if it will be different? Several reasons:

1. The emergence of Miley and the Jonas Bros.

The fact is… two of the most popular artists of today are pretty dang clean. Miley has had her scandals, but overall I think she brings a positive element to music. She is up for the best new artist category for her “7 Minutes” video.

The Jonas Bros are not only from a Christian family (more about them in our Youth Culture Window article here), but their music and videos have maintained a pretty clean slate. Their “Burnin Up” video is actually up for the coveted “Video of the Year” spot.

2. The recent Teen Choice Awards were as clean as I’ve seen them.

Every year we review three shows that we feel are the biggest youth culture barometers: The MTV Movie Awards, The Teen Choice Awards, and the MTV VMAs. And every year all three are depressing. But this year’s Teen Choice Awards was actually clean. It still featured shows kids shouldn’t watch and awarded celebs who are not positive role models… but the “show” was actually clean (my Youth Culture Window article on that show here). That’s the first time in a while. So it will be interesting to see where this year’s VMA’s fall.

But I’m probably pre-mature if I predict a clean show this year. After all, just a couple months ago we saw MTV’s Movie Awards and they were far from clean (you can read our Youth Culture Window article on that show here).

So what do you think? Do you think this year will go dirty as usual? Or might they clean up a bit? David provides the list of nominees and gives us his two cents in this week’s Youth Culture Window article.

One interesting note is the five finalists for video of the year. Of the top five videos, only two of them are really sexually charged. Here’s the list:

Chris Brown

Jonas Brothers
“Burnin Up”
Pussycat Dolls
“When I Grow Up”

Britney Spears
“Piece of Me”

The Ting Tings
“Shut Up and Let Me Go”

Can you guess which two are?

Now… one of the remaining three isn’t great. Typical R&B. Lyrics like “ecstasy, pleasure, all night” scattered throughout the song. A pretty clean video, not much more than dancing, kissing, embracing…

But then two of them are pretty fun.

You can take a peek for yourself here on MTV’s page.

When Kids Don’t Listen to Your Talks

Posted on: 09/2/08 1:12 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Okay… okay… I know I promised to dedicate this weeks’ blogging to the music our kids are listening to… and I will.  🙂  I just noticed that YS put up my blog about speaking today. So I wanted to give you guys a snippet of it and the link.

I’m teaching two seminars at the National Youth Workers Convention again this year… and one of them is on speaking. So they asked me to blog about speaking. One of the posts they put up from me is my TOP 10 WAYS TO KNOW YOUR KIDS DO NOT WANT TO LISTEN TO YOU GIVE A TALK:

Here’s a few…

10. Three minutes into your talk, someone stands up and shouts… “Time to break into small groups!”

9. They are listening to Rob Bell’s podcast on their iPods during your talk.

7. When you start speaking, the kids start chanting ‘Bring Back Mable,’ the guest speaker from last week who used flannel graph.

5. As you begin your talk a student stands up and asks, “In the next 30 minutes are you going to be saying anything important?”

3. When you ask everyone to close their eyes for prayer, you notice that the request was unnecessary.

Click here for the whole list on the YS blog.