MTV is beginning to make me feel old.

I spent the weekend writing Perl scripts no one is ever going to use with the TV on MTV most of the time. Five music videos made impressions on me:

"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness -- If I hadn't already read about how big these guys are in England, I'd still think they have a real future.... as a Journey cover band. But look on the bright side: If there's a market for The Darkness, there's still hope for Arizona's misbegotten First Family of Glam, Psycho Gypsy.

"Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- I can't figure out why I like this video. Maybe I just like damaged women too much.

"Fell in Love With a Boy" by Joss Stone -- Um, a pretty blond girl shaking her hips to a cover song? Jeez, MTV might as well just give a the Video Music Award for "One Hit Wonder" now and send her on her way.

"Come Clean" by Hilary Duff -- OK, so I've gathered there's this whole crop of new celebrities and near-celebrities that I've never heard of, because I don't watch the Disney Channel (except for the cartoons, anyway). And Disney makes a lot of them sing for supper in addition to appearing in bad movies, but little Hilary rebelled against the evil step-Eisner, running off to record her own album. (I would know none of this if it weren't for a relative's subscription to Entertainment Weekly, honest -- unemployment is giving me lots of time to read magazines.) Having Ms. Duff's music video inflicted on me several times this weekend, I have ask: Why God, why?.

Sung by a functional adult, it might have been a passable club song. (I repeat for emphasis: Not great, but passable.) Sung by the Disneyfied Blonde, it sounds like a robot imitating a club singer who's used up all her serotonin abusing ectasy. There's something desperately weird and sad about most teenage singers today: It's like they're trying to sing about emotions they've never experienced. That poor girl needs to live more of her life (outside of the child performer bubble she must have grown up in) before she'll even have a chance of conveying an interesting emotion. Putting her out there as a musical performer right now is abusive to her, and anybody who has to little to the robo-singing.

"Toxic" by Britney Spears -- Speaking of performers who grew up in a bubble.... Seriously, though, I've never actually been able to watch a Britney Spears video all the way to the end, because I end up feeling embarassed for her. Somebody needs to teach that girl the difference between a performance and a spectacle.

Posted at 11:36:40 PM EST on 07 March 2004 from Trenton, MI