August 26, 2013
Posted by on
If you haven’t heard about Miley Cyrus’s performance on the Video Music Awards last night, congratulations and apologies. Congratulations for staying out of the mess which is popular culture and mainstream media. Apologies, because I just spoiled that for you.
I’ve got a mixed opinion of Buzzfeed, but this list provided a pretty good overview of the hot mess which was Miley’s performance. Completists can find the entire performance here on Mashable, and it doesn’t make a lot more sense in context, either. She looks like someone who’s trying too hard to be edgy, sexy, and naughty, in hopes someone will forget she was ever a virginal Disney princess and cash cow.
Wonder why that is.
While the entire internet, including mainstream media sites which theoretically carry important world news, all run around in circles and shout about the risque content of the performance, I keep wondering, Is this really what we’re most concerned about in this dance routine? Slut shaming? That’s all we’ve got? That’s our biggest problem. Because I can think of a few other ones we might want to consider.
- Our entertainment culture all but requires artists to escalate bad behaviors for marketability. What Miley Cyrus did was the same thing artists have done forever. Put on a controversial show, get some attention, and that will sell. Lest we point a finger solely at the music business, television does this as well. Throw a dart at a programming guide (use Nerf if your guide is on the television or computer monitor), and it’s almost guaranteed to hit a “reality” program. These don’t drum up viewers with people who behave in an acceptable manner.
- Miley used a black person as a stage prop. Two white, privileged entertainers (if you want to call either her or Robin Thicke that) pranced around on stage, surrounded entirely by black backup dancers made up as toys. At one point, Miley sashayed up to a woman who almost had “stereotype” flashing over her head in neon, and motorboated her ass. Whether or not this was intended as racism, it had every appearance of it.
- A young woman is having a public meltdown and people are more concerned with her ass in short shorts. Age 20 is damned awkward. Almost everyone goes through a period of trying to find themself, or discovering adult sexuality, or what have you. Most of us have the luxury of doing it in private, without hordes of screaming pundits staring at our every move with a finger on a camera shutter. Child stars don’t get that luxury. Her behavior, and her choices, all remind me of a defiant kid who’s acting out without really thinking of the consequences.
- What did the Cylon Bear have to do with anything? Or any of the bears, really? Bored, dancing bears stomping around on a stage? What?
But maybe the most important question we should ask is…
Why is this news?
I’m more confused about that than the dancing bears.