Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WE CAN STOP:  Hank and Marie watch the VMAs.

Let's be clear: there's nothing "shocking" about a female performer (whether singer or actress) choosing to go all sexual to prove she's all grown up, whether it's Olivia Newton-John's long trek from Sandra Dee to getting "Physical," Anne Hathaway in Havoc and Katie Holmes in The Gift, or the multi-car train wreck which remains Britney Spears' career despite Isaac's love for "Toxic". This is a path which pop culture lays out fairly plainly for women in entertainment, and those who follow it tend to get the bargained-for results.

[Speaking of which: it wasn't a "train wreck" either -- Cyrus did exactly what the choreography called for, and elicited the desired media cataclysm in which I'm now participating. If you want to see a languid train wreck, watch Spears at the 2007 VMAs.]

Let's save terms like "controversial" and "shocking" for when they're deserved: Sinead O'Connor's or Elvis Costello's SNL performances, Dylan at Newport, RuPaul's vicious undermining of Milton Berle at the 1993 VMAs (because of an off-stage slight), etc., performances which actually challenged audiences. Sunday night was a nontroversy.


  1. Precisely--by trying so hard to be "shocking" and "transgressive," Miley just wound up being a bore. (It's a similar problem to the one I had with Lee Daniels' The Butler--by trying so hard to be an Important Film, it wound up as a parody of one.)

  2. Yeah, I just can't get myself worked up. Do media outlets schedule pearl clutching for the day after the VMAs? It's been happening ever since Madonna writhed around Radio City Music Hall in a wedding dress.

    Unfortunately, I have Miley on the same track as Britney, Lindsay and Amanda. I hope she avoids it, but it seems like she's headed for the same train wreck.

    Speaking of Britney, do you think she was watching Justin and thinking "I used to be more famous than him. What happened?"

  3. This was very enjoyable: http://www.theonion.com/articles/let-me-explain-why-miley-cyrus-vma-performance-was,33632/

  4. MidwestAndrew1:17 PM

    I think the biggest problem I had was the difference between being edgy and being EJJY! It's the same smarmy "You want sexy? I'll give you SEXXEE1!" that is more an emotional backlash than it is a statement about one's identity. It's Poochy. In trying to be so edgy, I think the corner was turned into gross/lame/ick factor.

    That said, I've never figured out why people think she's interesting/attractive/talented. Did she display any real talent on Disney, or was it all just playing within the Disney sandbox (I don't know... never watched and don't have kids)? By comparison, I can see what people like in Selena Gomez. She seems to have a head on her shoulders (in the Taylor Swift gif making the rounds, I can't take my eyes off Gomez' reaction, which is "Be careful, the cameras are... too late.") But I don't know what it is people see/like in Miley.

  5. The Pathetic Earthling1:51 PM

    I didn't watch -- I'm not going to watch -- but was unless your name is Gene Simmons or are actually having sex your tongue shouldn't be out of your mouth that much.

  6. If nothing else, as a result of the discussion about this, I now know what "ratchet" means.

  7. Governor Squid3:14 PM

    Nice. They might have included a callback to this old chestnut while they were at it.

    Ah, good old Marilyn. Those were simpler days...

  8. Natalie4:18 PM

    I think the controversy here was really misplaces. Embracing your sexuality is great. Doing so while simultaneously sexualizing and dehumanizing your all black dancers is a problem. This is more articulate than I could ever be on the issue although I think her "100% hands off" attitude at the end of the article is a little much. http://groupthink.jezebel.com/solidarity-is-for-miley-cyrus-1203666732

  9. Roger7:05 PM

    Or http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/the-onion-predicted-miley-cyrus-backlash-2008_n_3817462.html

  10. Roger7:06 PM

    Exactly. It wasn't edgy or controversial; it was *bad*.

  11. Adlai7:13 PM

    Yep, I was coming here to post that.

  12. S. McHale4:33 AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching that video because characters from my favorite show are in it. That's just about it. Oh, and Breaking Bad puns were perfectly used in the comment thread. Case in point, "Twerk lightly."

    - Samuel, orlando corporate law