How do you define MTV? It's a question I sat with for a good while when I joined as editor of mtv.com.au last year, and I've found it a tricky one to answer.
I'm 27, which means I grew up smack-bang in the middle of MTV reality heaven. Punk'd, Jackass, Cribs, Pimp My Ride, Viva La Bam, The Hills, Laguna Beach – these were the film reels of my childhood and early teens. Me and my school friends would sit huddled 'round the TV, cans of coke and hot chips in tow, and watch as Audrina and Justin Bobby's love story unravelled; hetero tweens who didn't quite realise we could aim higher than shaggy dudes spinning off lines like "truth and time tells all".
It was only when I was older – late teens, maybe – that I finally got acquainted with the 'M' in MTV: Kurt Cobain's Unplugged, Yo! MTV Raps, TRL and the video that started it all. MTV's activist legacy also passed teenage-me by. I was well into my early twenties by the time I finally watched Staying Alive, the groundbreaking '98 MTV documentary helmed by George Michael.
And then there are the awards shows: Miley twerking, Britney and Madonna, Kanye and Taylor, those like 50 Eminems that one time...
All of this isn't to brag about the place where I work (though I never miss an opportunity). No, what I'm actually ever-so-slowly getting at, is this: MTV means different things to different people. But there is an obvious through line. Yes, from Alice In Chains' '96 Unplugged set all the way to Geordie Shore, there's a connection between everything that we do here. Reinvention, revival and (at the risk of sounding a little Marxist) revolution – saying fuck you to the standard way of doing things. MTV is never boring and never obvious.
That attitude, in a nutshell, is what our new website – contributed to by many of Australia's best young voices and curated by yours truly – is all about.
We go on dumb excursions; find hills to die on (Paul Rudd has aged, I'm sorry); go deep with the artists you love; think deeply about the issues that affect Australians, especially young Australians; answer questions you never even thought to ask; recommend stuff you should be listening to and watching; and, maybe most importantly, we give you some respite from the hell that was this year.
Our creative lead, the legendary Rob Rosenberg, has a particular phrase he invokes on tired afternoons when we're bogged down in emails, or flailing with a particularly tricky anecdote like the ones laid out above. It brings us back to why we're all here.
"This is MT-FUCKING-V."
Thanks for stopping by, we're stoked to have you.
Alice Griffin, editor of mtv.com.au.
You can find more words from us in our MTV's Weekly Wrap newsletter, which launches tomorrow. Sign up for your chance to win a Rolla's outfit and have yourself a merry old Christmas.
More stuff Alice likes: