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vol 7 - issue 02 (oct 2004) :: stories
By Joey Goebel

Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2004 16:00:32

Subject: Progress report for Video Music Awards

From: producer@mtvproductions.com

To: president@mtvexecutive.com

Dear Sir,

As you requested, I'm writing you this email to inform you of how this year's VMAs are shaping up. I'm sorry to say that our task of toning down the sexual content of the program is proving to be more difficult than we originally thought. The performers we have slated are at a loss, since we've told them they'll have to restrain the provocative things they do with their bodies. In fact, when I told Madonna and Britney they'd have to rely on something besides sexuality to entertain the country this year, they suddenly seemed panicky. Both have altogether backed out.

Damn that Timberlake and Janet Jackson. They've ruined everything. I've made sure neither will appear at this year's VMAs. We've decided to compensate for Timberlake's absence by increasing his rival Usher's screen time. Close enough, I figure. Usher is scheduled to be the opening act, and we're thinking we'll have a simulated rainfall dampen his shirt so he'll have an excuse to take off his clothes. With this concept in mind, may I be so bold as to suggest a location with a hotter temperature than New York for this year's awards? That way, the performers will have a legitimate excuse to wear less clothing. Perhaps Miami or Death Valley?

So a wet and topless Usher will be our opener, but as for our closing act, we are stumped. I know you had your heart set on that simulated orgy with J. Lo, Good Charlotte, and the Olsen Twins, but as you might have guessed, this just isn't feasible, what with the FCC on our backs. I'll keep thinking, but for right now, our standby will be Outkast performing "Hey Ya". Everybody seems to love that song, and I think I can arrange for the singer to be topless.

I know, I know-- having topless males really isn't pushing the envelope as much as we're accustomed to, but we can't break new ground like we did last year with that shocking lesbian kiss. By the way, Christina is still mad at us for cutting to the shot of Timberlake when she had her big moment kissing Madonna. So, I promised to allow her some leeway this year. She says she really wants to dryhump something. I suggested something tasteful, like a sculpture or piano. She suggested Nelly.

As for the middle three hours of the show, I've had my entire production team and the stars themselves brainstorming. Unfortunately, the censors have already shot down most of our ideas. For example, I can tell you for a fact that:

- Beyoncé will not be allowed to wear a bikini made of fabric softener sheets, even if it is designed by Stella McCartney.

- R. Kelly and Paris Hilton can't have witty stage banter involving the topic of oral sex, no matter how tongue-in-cheek our writers make it.

- our crotch/butt/cleavage close-ups will be reduced to three shots an hour, a limitation that has sent our director back to film school.

On a more positive note, I can confirm that we've booked both the Bush and Kerry daughters, and I'm fairly certain I can persuade at least the Bush girls to show some skin.

Plus, we'll have special appearances by Chaka Khan, John Mellencamp, and some skateboarding tricks.

Okay, I'll admit it: the show isn't exactly shaping up the way I want. The best suggestion I have is for us to nominate our most controversial video as many times as possible. That would be Jay-Z's "99 Problems", which doesn't have much T&A, but it does have violent death. I'll also make sure we have plenty of unpredictable rappers-- our favorite! We plan to limit rock to a little medley with three mediocre bands that the kids seem to like.

So, we'll try to make the best with what we've got this year. It's times like these that I kind of wish we had been fostering the careers of entertainers with actual talent and creativity. But hopefully this whole Janet Jackson/Super Bowl thing will blow over by next year's VMAs, and we can have the breasts flying and talent humping again. It sure would make things easier on all of us, and besides, it's what America wants, isn't it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Goebel's new book, Torture The Artist, concerning the idiocy and depravity of the entertainment industry, will be released October 27th.

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