We appeared on MTV Live in Canada last week to provide some Pot Psychology for its viewers. If only it were all as orderly and concise as that explanation.
We were contacted by "MTV's interactive department." This is the story of that interaction.
About a month ago, a woman named Sheener* sent us a message on Vimeo.
Hey guys this is sheener and I work for MTV's interactive department. I have actually watched your video's in the past and the producers of mtv live are looking for someone to give relationship advice on web cam and I was like "holy shit i know the perfect people!". I would love to get some contact information from you, and i would love to give you a call and give you more details. please dont message me on vimeo
This should have been the first indicator that she didn't know what we were about, that Jezebel exists, or that we're stoned. Anyway, we responded, through email, as per her request, that we'd love to hear more about this and speak to her on the phone.
Twenty-seven days later she called Tracie. She asked her if we were available to film the next afternoon. Tracie asked for more details, like where this would take place, what would we have to prepare, what the hell was this for, etc. Sheener said, "Where are you?"
Tracie said, "Williamsburg. But Rich works at Viacom, so let me know if we're gonna film there and it'll probably be convenient for him."
Confused, Sheener said, "What time zone are you in?"
Confused, Tracie said, "Eastern standard time."
Sheener: "Well, what time is it there now?"
Shenner: "OK, good, so you're in the same time zone as we are."
Tracie: "Where are you?"
Sheener: "OK, so you know how they have TRL in America?"
Sheener: "OK, well they do…"
Tracie: "No, it was canceled. It's not on anymore."
Sheener: "Oh, OK. Well, in Canada we have MTV live, and it has skits and stuff and we want to patch you in through web cam to do a Pot Psychology segment."
After more like this (to put it simply), it was decided that we would be on web cam from Tracie's house, and be broadcast live.
A couple of hours before the live show, Sheener did a test run on Skype with Tracie. They could see each other and they spoke, but then Sheener had Tracie turn the volume down on her computer, and then called her to talk on the phone. She explained that she wanted to do audio this way. Tracie asked why it wouldn't just be through Skype. Sheena said, "This is how we do it." (Except she didn't say it like Montell Jordan.)
"So you want us on speaker phone?"
Sheena said, "No, I think I'll call you each on your cell phones and we'll do audio that way. It's OK if the phones are on camera. They always are."
When Rich got to Tracie's (both having left work early), Sheener called the phones. First up was Rich's. He said, "Hello?" Sheener said, "Is this Tracie?"
Once she differentiated between our male and female voices, it was immediately clear that the feedback between the two phones was making everything confusing, so Sheener agreed that speaker phone would have to do. She didn't seem enthusiastic about it.
Throughout all of this, Sheener would intermittently type things into the message portion of Skype. This is an example of how she kept thinking Rich's name is Rick, even though Tracie kept typing "Rich" right away to clue Sheener in.
Also, while we were waiting to go live, we kept bitching about that fact and about how stupid and convoluted this whole communication had been from start to finish. We totally forgot that only our sound was turned down on Skype, and they likely heard all of it. It didn't matter that much anyway, because we were stoned, and as you can see from this video, they couldn't really hear anything we said at all.
When it started, we felt like they were totally rude to us. They asked us how we got into giving advice, and Rich said, "We're not professionals."
Tracie corrected him by saying, "Yes we are, we get paid." To which Rich responded, "We're professionals, but not experts." We thought they weren't impressed but they just couldn't hear us—or they weren't listening. Nobody was.
Here's what it was like:
You can't really tell from the video, but we got booed for giving "responsible" advice. Tracie, who's been derided in the past for giving "irresponsible" advice, seemingly cannot win.
And they hung up on us.
We thought Canadians were supposed to to be polite, but they weren't gracious at all about all the stupid shit we had to do to make this happen. The guy told the audience that they'd never get those three minutes back, but thanks to the janky sound of MTV Canada, you didn't hear Rich say, "Neither will we." We were doing them a favor. They asked us to do this. We didn't get paid, but you can see in the video that they repeatedly mention something about $40. We'd like that $40 ($35.0665 USD) because the story we got out of it, as much as we so cherish it, is still kind of shitty compensation.
Anyway, what we've learned from all of this is that being rejected by MTV Canada is like being rejected by an ugly guy you never were interested in to begin with.
*All names have been changed to protect the Canadian.