Miley Cyrus and the VMAs

8 Sep

Ok, I know I’m talking about this just as it’s leaving the hot topic list, but considering how unconcerned about pop culture I normally am, and how I usually prefer to talk about things that are long over, so they can be looked at objectively rather than subjectively, I find this case interesting.

First, Miley Cyrus is doing nothing different than a kajillion different pop singers have done before.   I’m not sure if her dancing and gyrating was meant to be sexy or to piss people off (probably both) but it definitely is a publicity grab.   Madonna, Christina Aguilara, Britney–among others, have done this “bad girl” routine before (and better, I might add).   The problem is that , other than Madonna, acting out like this doesn’t mean people take you seriously.     I’m not sure that Miley Cyrus is even trying to be taken seriously though–honestly, I don’t know what she wants, but if I was guessing, she’s trying to become the sort of person that people follow.   It’s this weird twitter based sense of popularity she’s after.  To be on the tabloids, that sort of thing.

None of this is particularly strange.  What is strange, is how America bit into it hook-line-and-sinker.   The day after the VMAs nobody I knew talked about it, until “outrage” started coming out on twitter and bloggers picked it up.   It was the biggest, phoniest, intentional “viral moment” that I’ve seen yet, and that’s saying a lot.    Keep in mind, I don’t think this really outraged (or entertained) anybody, it only turned into that AFTER the reaction was fed to the public via things like Yahoo.   And then, I saw all the bloggers line up and say the same things they always do at things like that–OMG, why don’t we just ignore her, she’s awful…blah blah blah.  I get the same feeling that I did as a teenager when I saw some heavily marketed band that’s supposed to be “cool” and it was a big turn-off because it was so inauthentic.   Keep in mind, I don’t think Miley’s inauthentic in this action, I just think the reaction to it is.

Because, when was the VMAs anything else but a big publicity stunt?   Even Madonna rolling around on the floor was exactly that, and the VMA’s outside of a very small window when videos were relevant, were never a particularly credible set of awards.  Now you’ll hear the same complaints about how rock is dead, and that good music doesn’t exist anymore, and more blahblahblah down that line, but I don’t think that’s the case.  There is still good music, good NEW music at that, and the idea that there was ever an era where the quality of music was uniformly good is fantasy.   In fact, when videos started, all the talk was about how everything had to be turned into slick videos and that was the thing that was hurting music.   Not to mention that if you were ever watching the VMAs to listen to good music your success rate would be spotty at best.

Why do we fall for it every time?  These marketed moments have been around since at least newspapers, and it happens over and over again–forced buzz, paying attention to what’s unimportant.  sort of like forcing a dog’s nose into its own poo.   It’s kind of an abusive relationship if you think about it.  However, that’s why–we don’t think about it.  These things go around because something always goes around, and all the bloggers (including this one) talk about such disposable merde–just to talk.  In the meantime Miley Cyrus will become more bankable for being “rebellious,” because people will watch her to see what happens, and she becomes a credible advertising stream.

My advice?  Let it go.  If she does something artistically credible, or entertaining, have fun, but otherwise, pay attention to what matters people.  Life is too short.

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