Hard to believe it--or, for some, hard to believe it matters--but MTV launched 25 years ago today. With programming, personalities, production values, primitive promotional tie-ins, and pacing that no 14-year-old today would tolerate for more than thirty seconds, The Little Network That Could kicked disposable commercial youth culture up to the next level.
Along the way it helped make the careers of Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the News, and the Cars. There are those who think that, in at least a couple of those cases, they will have to answer for that one day.
In the adapt-or-die media culture MTV helped create, in which actual music videos haven't been available on basic cable for more than a few minutes a week for about a decade, some once-familiar figures grew opposable thumbs and moved on, while others dropped into the tar pits of media invisibility. Martha Quinn, for example, later appeared as a spouse of one of the Brady boys on one of the interminable recyclings of that war-horse, but the Buggles vanished without a trace, taking their asterisk in the history books with them.