I’ve received literally thousands of personal e-mails, text messages and homemade sympathy cards this week, all asking the same thing: “What in the world is up with Miley Cyrus?” I think I’m being asked because of my well-documented enjoyment of Cyrus, her alter-ego, Miley Stewart, and Stewart’s alter-ego, Hannah Montana. Also, one time in the Bahamas, I had my wife take a picture of me standing next to a Miley Cyrus concert poster, smiling excitedly like a bearded schoolgirl. It was a joke, but only kind of. And, yes, as my sister pointed out on my personal Facebook page, I watched Hannah Montana: The Movie by myself. Give me a break, sis! Who was going to watch it with me? You?!? Not bloody likely.
So, sure, I get why people would be interested in my opinion of Miley’s recent twerk assault on the Brooklyn last Sunday night on Mtv’s Video Music Awards, but there are a few things you’ve got to understand. First, I’ve moved on. I got what I needed out of Hannah Montana (don’t ask me what that was, because I do not have an answer, I’m afraid) and I’ve subsequently moseyed on down the pop culture road a spell. And guess what? I didn’t even watch the final season of Hannah Montana. Does that shock you? Does that give you a cause for pause? Or a cause for paws? Does that make you want to pet a cat? Sorry. Look, I watched Hannah Montana and then I didn’t. There you go.
Second, I haven’t followed Miley’s post-Hannah career all that closely. I hear about the big stuff (the raunchy Twitter pics, the casually racist Asian-eyes picture, the interviews in which she expressed embarrassment of her Disney past, her engagement, her seething hatred for her father, etc.), but I didn’t know she released an album between the last Hannah Montana thing and the recent “We Can’t Stop” single until I did a little research for this piece. Miley apparently covered “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on this mysterious album. For real. Essentially, I know about as much about what Miley is up to as everybody else. I’m no Miley Cyrus expert, I’m just a guy who once had “If We Were A Movie” on his iPod.
I should add that I have nothing against Ms. Cyrus either. This disinterest did not come from a perceived personal slight or a rejection of her self-appointed role as America’s preeminent twerking weirdo, I just have better things to do. Like read to my daughter. Or cook dinner with my wife. Or watch terrible horror movies with my closest friend and talk about them into a microphone for an hour afterwards. Or watch a summer blockbuster and enjoy a follow-up dinner/religious discussion at Chipotle with my dad. Or take a satisfying dump while playing Castle Story: Valentine’s Day Edition on my iPhone in my toddler's bathroom. Stuff like that is much more important to me than paying attention to Miley Cyrus. That being said, I do have some thoughts.
Regarding the VMAs: Look, we’re all adults here, and most of us have a working knowledge of what goes on at the Video Music Awards. Every year there is a performance or two that pisses off groups like the Parent’s Television Council. They complain about it for a couple of days and then we all forget about the PTC until the next VMAs when, I don’t know, Kanye West takes a shit on stage or Lady Gaga gives Bigfoot a blowjob. Whatever. Something crazy/disturbingly sexual/crass/weird/vaguely homoerotic/borderline Satanic/porny/filth-coated happens every year, and somehow the country survives. Miley’s twerk-a-thon is no different from, say, Madonna’s air sex in a wedding dress or Madonna’s tongue kiss with Britney Spears or that time Madonna broke the record for the world’s largest live anal gangbang while the VMA’s credits rolled (that never happened). I’m just saying, Miley stepped provided the this year's "offensive thing" and there you go. If you saw it start up and you thought, “Oh, I don’t like where this is going,” I hope you turned it off. If you didn’t, oh well. You chose to watch a former Disney star strip down to a peach-colored bikini and dry hump Alan Thicke’s son. That’s on you. Also, shut up, Parent’s Television Council. Nobody cares what you have to say ever.
I don’t think what Miley did was wrong. She was on the Mtv VMAs not Good Morning America. She wasn’t making a special appearance at a church somewhere. Her performance wasn’t followed by a lengthy sermon and Communion. I should add that I haven’t watched her performance, but I’ve read enough to know how it all shook out (No pun intended—if a pun had been intended I would’ve written “twerked out," you know, like a take on "worked out." Hilarious.) and I’m neither outraged nor impressed.
Which brings me to my final point. Miley, don’t you think you’re laying it on a bit thick? I mean, I get it, you’re a big girl now, you’re no longer under the gloved thumb of Mickey Mouse and you want to let your twerk flag fly. We’ve all been there. Of course, we didn’t all result to the tacky, seemingly desperate ploys for attention you’ve been trying out lately. And that’s what is ultimately disappointing about this whole not-important-at-all story: the desperation. None of this seems genuine. The tongue wagging, the butt bouncing, the good-time drug use: it all seems so lame and fakey. Maybe this is the real you, Miley. Isn’t that what she said when she cut off all her hair? Yeah, she said something, like, “I can finally be the real me.” So, the real Miley has cool hair, smokes weed, sex dances on TV, recklessly appropriates black culture, and vaguely threatens her father on Twitter? All right. That can be you. I guess I just don’t like you very much. Oh, well.