Liberal Outrage – Miley Cyrus Edition

You’ll have to excuse me: I’m busy seething with outrage over last night’s VMAs, (which I had to look up to discover means “Video Music Awards”). This was broadcast on MTV, and I’m sad to say that the VMAs did not live up to MTV’s standards of broadcasting.

Somebody alert PETA.

Somebody alert PETA.

Ha, ha! I’m joking of course. The VMAs EXACTLY lived up to MTV’s standards, fitting in quite nicely with programs like “Snooki and Jwoww,” “The Real World,” “Punk’d,” and other gems celebrating (and doubtless hastening) the collapse of Western Civilization.

Now as a rule I do not watch music videos, and I think awards programs are grotesque exercises in narcissism and celebrity worship interspersed with commercials for hair products I can no longer use (see my picture). Also I seriously dislike most popular music, which sounds to me like a dozen squirrels locked in a steamer trunk cannibalizing each other to a sassy dance beat*. So why, you might ask, did I watch the VMAs?

Well I didn’t. Duh. Hell I didn’t even know they were on. I was reading a book at the time. But I was also following Twitter.

Twitter is an amazing communications medium. During crises, Twitter serves as a magnificent real-time information source. This was never truer than during the Egyptian revolution (the good one from a year or so ago, not the horrid, depressing one happening right now), when the world was mesmerized by the heroic actions of young men and women in Tahrir Square, broadcast through phone video footage and live Tweets. Powerful, moving stuff.

When there is no crisis going on, however, Twitter mainly serves as a vehicle for Starting Trouble. Also for letting the world know when something really awful is occurring.

As the evening progressed, I started seeing Tweets saying stuff like this:

Watching the #vmas. I LOVE NSYNC!!!!

I don’t know who they are, but I bet I hate them. So I continued reading**. There was more:

Holy Shit! Did Taylor Swift just curse!?! #vmas

Taylor saying a bad word. With subtitles.

GIF of Taylor saying a bad word. With subtitles. (Click at your peril. Use the Back button to return to this fine article.)

That was vaguely interesting, though still not as interesting as the book. But then:

Why is Miley Cyrus humping a Teddy Bear on TV!? #vmas

Jesus, Miley. Get help! #vma

WTF? I mean What. The. Literal. Fuck? #miley #vmas

Dear God. I just threw up in my mouth. Somebody make it stop! #vmas

My interest was piqued. Acting quickly, I googled “Miley Cyrus VMAs,” and found a site showing the video of Miley’s li’l song.

Which I watched. Avidly.

I can’t possibly do justice to the act, which has been described in excruciating detail with a ton of vitriol by hundreds of outraged viewers. Google it yourself and pick the pundit/celebrity/politician of your choice. But to summarize, Miley pops out of the belly of a giant robot teddy bear wearing a unitard with another teddy bear on it. She sings her terrible song  (see below) while humping dancers dressed as bears, masturbating with a big “We’re Number One” foam hand, and twerking all over the place. Her tongue, which is approximately eight feet long, is flopping around in a totally suggestive way during the non-singing bits.

We Can’t Stop

It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want
We can sing what we want
To my home girls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya
And everyone in line in the bathroom
Trying to get a line in the bathroom
We all so turned up here
Getting turned up, yeah, yeah
So la da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Molly*
Doing whatever we want
This is our house
This is our rules
– Miley Cyrus

Later Cyrus stripped off her unitard revealing a fairly unattractive, overly-tight bikini and kinda did this “duet” with this white guy named Robin Thicke. Thicke got to keep all of his clothing on, but he did have to simulate fucking Cyrus from behind (probably with Cyrus’s dad in the audience) on national TV so I can’t say he got off scott-free, debasement-wise.

Having enjoyed this jaw-dropping train-wreck three or ten times, I checked out some other notable performances from the show. Lady Gaga did her song, “Applause,” and at one point she too stripped down to a bikini. (In fact she had four costume changes during the song, including one bit where she was sorta dressed like a nun with a perfectly-square head. Hawt.) Gaga’s music was a good deal better than Cyrus’s, and she personally looked and sounded more like an artist and less like a coked-out stripper. There was debasement, sure, but it was tasteful debasement.

Katy Perry sings "Roar." There was a tragic lack of twerking in this performance.

Katy Perry sings “Roar.” There was a tragic lack of twerking in this performance.

Katy Perry ended the evening with a song called “Roar,” which was a fairly standard but entertaining “girl power” ballad staged in a mock boxing ring. Perry was conservatively dressed like Rocky Balboa and amply proved that she could jump rope and sing at the same time. I enjoyed her performance and wasn’t even a little outraged. I missed the spinny things on her boobs that Perry’s worn on other performances, but you can’t have everything.

So there it is. Three women, each taking a different approach to their music. I enjoyed them all, but for very different reasons.

Should I be appalled by Cyrus’s performance? I suppose. But I can’t help thinking about the dozens of agents and managers and producers who worked so hard to make that horrid thing happen for my entertainment. Don’t tasteless, disgusting semi-human reptiles who batten on vulnerable, emotionally maimed child-stars deserve to make a living too?

It’s the giant robot teddy bear I feel most sorry for.


*Also there is cussing and the “n-word”.

**”The Red Pyramid,” a juvenile fantasy about Egyptian gods by Rick Riordan. Don’t you dare judge me.


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One Response to “Liberal Outrage – Miley Cyrus Edition”

  1. Positive Thinking | I'm Just Sayin' Says:

    […] if these are the Final Days, I will not be forced to reexamine my position on the Miley Cyrus twerking controversy. Originally I was horrified (as any married man must be) at […]

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