Gothamist can only suspect that the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards were so stultifyingly boring is because somehow, Miami and the huge US Air Arena sucked the energy out of everyone. We think the overly manufactured entertainment industry is digging its own grave (A&R guy: "Hey, we need another 'rock' group...it's be a bunch of guys with spiky hair and punkish clothing...let's give 'em a wacky one-word name, too!"), because watching commentary-less CSPAN coverage of the anti-war protest was a billion times more interesting that the off-key singing and horrible pre-fab banter. Gothamst is not opposed to manufactured entertainment - that's what last year's Madonna-Britney-Christina stunt was all about - but this year just smacked of a lack of imagination. The promos for the new Real World were better! There was ONE awesome thing about the show: Glass artist Dale Chihuly's sculpture, the clear and blue glass tentacles that rose 20 feet. More about Dale here.

Hey Ya! won four awards; there was a day when Gothamist didn't think we could get tired of Hey Ya! by Outkast, but it seems that day came like two or three months ago. We're sad that Jay-Z's incredibly beautiful and brutal video 99 Problems won most of its awards in the pre-show; directed by Mark Romanek, it shows Jay-Z in Brooklyn with a motley cast of supporting character, in a last hurrah of sorts. See the video on Romanek's site here. And our other Larry-King-in-USA-Today type thoughts:
2004_08_olsens.jpg- Thankfully, Shaq did not rap.
- The Olsens made an appearance, and it seemed like the kids in the crowd were crying, they were so overcome with emotion seeing them.
- That kid from Hoobastank TOTALLY missed a note.
- Simpson sisters rant: What gives with people waving their cellphones like lighters during Jessica Simpson's song? It's not that good - Gothamist wants to know how much the cellphone company was paying those kids in the pit. And Ashlee can't sing and isn't interesting.
- Bruce Willis dancing to Fat Joe - didn't need to see that!
- People are jerks awards: The booing of Kerry and Bush daughters; it's not their fault their dads are politicians. And the Red Cross is a great cause. But maybe it's as Adam of Slice says: "They were booing because they weren't wearing see through dresses."
- Many men were wearing white (luckily there's still a week before Labor Day!), but there was Farnsworth Bentley to wear that splash of color and leave it to the Beastie Boys to eschew fads and wear jumpsuits like they usually do.
- Hulk Hogan's 16 year-old daughter looks like a 45 year-old beauty queen turned hooker.

We expect Whatevs and Stereogum to weigh in later.