Some Words on Miley

Miley Cyrus (photo from US Magazine)

So this whole Miley Cyrus shitshow is getting on my nerves. For fuck’s sake, people, today we probably started bombing Syria, where OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE PAST TWO YEARS, yet when I get on Facebook all I see is a bunch of pictures of Miley fucking Cyrus being compared to a cow. (By the way, none of those pictures actually line up properly. Jerks.) Which makes me think, maybe the reason we focus so much on shit like a former Disney star gone rogue (gasp! that NEVER happens! except EVERY TIME it happens) in times like this is because it feels more manageable than a dictator killing his own people with chemical weapons and our country getting caught up in it and possibly another war looming. Miley Cyrus’s small butt twerking and her tongue sticking out feels a lot smaller and more like we can really weigh in on it. Like our opinions matter. Like maybe we can either pity or shame a young woman into changing her behavior to something we find more… what? Acceptable? Disneyfied? Ladylike? What is it we want from her? I don’t know, but whatever it is, Miley Cyrus seems like a much more hit-able target than unrest in the Middle East.

But ah, ye stupid masses… Miley Cyrus’s twerking at the VMAs was just as far out of your puny control as whatever happens today in Syria. Think about it. We all want to have our little bit to say in support of Miley, or against her. We want to treat the weird latex-and-teddy-bears-and-foam-fingers spectacle from last weekend as if it’s a symptom of Miley Cyrus’s inner angst. Her rebellion. And I’m sure, in some small way, that plays into it. But think about it this way: do you really think, for one second, that her performance on the MTV Video Music Awards was not thoroughly vetted by large numbers of extremely powerful people? The whole thing was fucking choreographed with dancers, lights, sound, sets. Her outfit was made in advance. Sure, yes, I’m positive that Miley had a say in what went into that performance, and I doubt that the extent of her gyrations and so on were scripted to the last twerk. But what I’m saying here is that Miley Cyrus is almost as carefully constructed a piece of fiction when it comes to massive performances like this as the whatever-will-happen today with our military. It’s prefabricated, pre-stamped with approval from the powers that be. There’s money and power and sponsorship all tied up in it. There’s an expectation of what will happen, which can’t entirely be predicted, but can be planned for. Miley Cyrus, poor thing, is just as much a puppet as the service men and women who will be pushing buttons or flying planes or what-have-you. You have no more control over her image or dance moves or outfits or performances than you do over our elite forces.

She can damn well twerk if she wants, but she’s more likely to twerk after getting the approval of her overseers and the moneyed interests involved with MTV. Deal with it. But maybe spend some time thinking about the ripples you’re making in the larger society by focusing on how her butt didn’t quite work in that (terribly crafted) vinyl outfit instead of congratulating her on a brave performance. Sure, most of us wouldn’t relish seeing our friends or daughters or whoever acting silly like that on a stage, but making it clear that only COWS and other such untouchables could ever behave like that in public–with the approval of all the people who stamped the OK on it first–is not helping a damn thing. We might not be able to change the minds of the media or the military, but we DO have control over our own ugly responses to people going against what’s considered acceptable when it comes to women having ownership over their bodies–and showing it. I don’t think Miley Cyrus was coerced into doing what she did. She clearly was enjoying herself. And that’s pretty fucking great. You going on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or whatever and badmouthing her for it doesn’t make one tiny bit of difference in what MTV will continue to manufacture and show the world, but it CAN have an effect on the people in your sphere. The more loving and accepting we all are, the  happier we’ll all be. And the more we can focus on shit that matters, like love, support, and respect for one another. And the people in Syria. So, dude. Get over it. Move on.

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