Open Letter To The Internet: This Miley Cyrus Thing Has Me Worried

Hi People of the Internet!

Based on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and every other social media platform ever invented, the most important thing that has happened in the last 24 hours is a performance by Miley Cyrus on MTV’s VMA Awards. I have the luxury of being in Japan where this was neither aired nor talked about nor if it was talked about could I understand it. But I looooooove the Internet so I’m well versed in the events. I even looked up some video footage!

Here is what I saw: I saw a 20 year old. Singing a song. Dancing around. To a concept someone else certainly envisioned and created and convinced her was a good idea. I saw her nearly naked, like somehow this should be shocking by now, and then I learned a painful first lesson about what ‘twerking’ actually means. It was probably in poor taste, certainly a bit vulgar at moments, a little awkward to watch. End.

Here is what concerns me: THIS IS SO IRRELEVANT IT IS INSANE. There is so much anger and outrage towards this young woman, you can feel it in your browser. I know we all can’t spend our days as Greenpeace activists or climate change scholars, but I would find it heartening if the number of people in my feeds who are upset about this would put this amount of energy into SOMETHING ANYTHING PICK ONE that really matters. I will slip into a depression if I start listing off every single thing that qualifies here, but think women’s rights or food safety or drone warfare or income inequality or sweatshops or animal testing or child hunger. Feel passionate about something real, and have fun with the stuff that is not.

Before everyone goes all ‘OK WE GET IT YOU ARE BETTER THAN US JERK’, let’s be clear that I am not arguing against mindless pop culture as means of relaxation and entertainment. I watch Project Runway. I read Twilight so I could know what we were all talking about. I like to laugh and point and stare and have fun like that. It’s fine, we’re humans, it’s not all Proust and quantum mechanics and world peace. But all this garbagey fun has a time and place. For example, the Miley Cyrus thing: place would be ‘wherever you were sitting when you saw it’ and time would be ‘the duration of the song and possibly 90 additional seconds.’ And yet, the next day, the memes are multiplying, the status updates are continuing and Twitter spits out a snarky Miley tweet every 4th line.

Here’s the other thing: if we are going to obsessively talk about this, let’s actually talk about it. Let’s educate ourselves about minstrel shows and think about the implications of the visual and racial representation of her performance and her recent video. Or maybe, and I mean MAYBE MAYBE, let’s question our reaction and ask how far we’ve internalized the misogyny of our culture when we are SO DISGUSTED by the actions of a 20 year old woman who expressed herself with sexuality but no one pays mind to the 36 year old man who was the object of said twerking. A man who is 16 years older, is a father, certainly had just as much if not more ability when practicing this number to say ‘Hey everybody! This feels inappropriate! I’m not sure I want to do it this way!’ No no, HE isn’t slutty. HE isn’t disgusting. He is just a victim of being twerked by a girl who was doing something sexual but not doing it while being pretty enough and acting too weird in the meantime. Given that his Blurred Lines video itself is simply him being really gross around topless women, I guess I should have already figured he had a free pass. They give those out to people with penises.

Final note to consider: Miley Cyrus, weird dad and crazy child star life and with the gall to cut off her sexual hair and all, is a human being. And, my dear Internet, you are being very very rude.

Love, Lane

11 thoughts on “Open Letter To The Internet: This Miley Cyrus Thing Has Me Worried

  1. What are you talking about! Seriously though, I had no idea until Twitter slapped me with it this morning. I looked at one story and saw Robin Thicke, King Douchebox and just went…too bad for both of them and any kids (err early 20’s adults) who are influenced by this. To be fair, the limited amount of people I follow on twitter had little say about this but when they did say something they made sure to include teddy bears and Robin Thicke in their thoughts. Anyway, these people that give Penis passes need to come into my life because it would be greatly appreciated! JK, sort of.

    Either way. I completely agree with you 1000%, social media or as I refer to it…social ME ME ME uh DUH is pointless for the most part. It is leading people past a point of entertainment into a land of degeneration. NOW, I also fall into the category of people who should put effort into larger issues that have an impact on society, I can do much better. Sports is my mindless distraction when I have time. We can always be better, some people just have a lot more room for growth.

    1. Oh you mean the sport you do as distraction and also use as a platform to advocate for a mentoring program? Ummmm…I’m glad you agree with me, but let’s not downplay that you are doing more than most!

  2. It was a mess. 1) Madonna kissed Brittney but she SANG first. 2) I didn’t get the whole teddy bear thing. 3) Disney over correction – a la Christina and Brittney,; fine, look good in a bikini, but if you are at a music show, at least give good music. Back to basics!

  3. The object of this article: to downplay the disaster Miley Virus enacted on Sunday. I am all for women’s rights- but they are not sustained by debasing a woman to masturbating herself on stage, twerking and distorting her face to look like she is retarded. Women’s rights, and equality are sustained by allowing her to perform artistically, and maintaining a wholesome personality. What she did was not even a performance, it was a display of horrific ridicule and insulting to all women around the globe. It screams I am insecure, and have nothing to offer. No creativity, and all women have to debase themselves to be anyone?” really? The concepts and issues involved are huge!!!

    1. Hard to follow ‘I am all for women’ rights’ with BUT and a list of things that women can’t do, isn’t it? Frankly, the issues with this performance were many if you want to analyze them from a sociological point of view, but in my opinion the gyrations of an immature girl who is still in a stage of that most of us wouldn’t have wanted highly publicized is the least of my concerns.

      1. Hard to follow ‘I am all for women’ rights’ with BUT and a list of things that women can’t do, isn’t it? Frankly, the issues with this performance were many if you want to analyze them from a sociological point of view, but in my opinion the gyrations of an immature girl who is still in a stage of that most of us wouldn’t have wanted highly publicized is the least of my concerns.

        Criticizing the semantics of the word “but” as used, really? The problem is (and this is were we disagree): the “gyrations of an immature girl” ARE of great concern to other people. And if you post something with the option for comments people that ARE concerned with these will voice their opinion and they have a right to be concerned. Thus, people that are concerned will have the right to post their opinions on other sites as well. Events that influence (or communicate with) any group of individuals will have a sociological/psychological impact, and will cause reactions and thus consequences. This is because greater concepts are always tapped into via mass communication and entertainment, as no matter how fictional or staged, these always contain a message, and possess (varying degrees) of value at many different levels and to many different people.

    2. Ok, just to be clear this is a personal blog and all comments are subject to approval because, well, it’s a dictatorship of silly writing and not a democracy where the First Amendment binds me. I approved your comment because I am aware of variation in opinions and yours has validity. Surely you must be aware when posting it that it is then my prerogative (on a personal blog, no less) to disagree?

      1. “Ok, just to be clear this is a personal blog and all comments are subject to approval because, well, it’s a dictatorship of silly writing and not a democracy where the First Amendment binds me. I approved your comment because I am aware of variation in opinions and yours has validity. Surely you must be aware when posting it that it is then my prerogative (on a personal blog, no less) to disagree?”

        Absolutely and very well put. You most definitely have a right to disagree and so do I and so does everyone else that is disgusted with the immorality of “the gyrations of an immature girl”. Stuff like that should never happen in our media, whether some people like it, dislike it, or don’t care about it. It has no artistic value. LOL

  4. With respect, I believe that you may have made a huge assumption that people who have chosen to have an opinion about Miley-palooza are also not very passionate about other issues.

    As well, when someone behaves wildly inappropriate, people are going to notice; tongues are going to wag; and people will judge. That is human nature, past, present and future. There are consequences to everything we do; even if it is that people will form an opinion about us that will possibly lead to a reputation that we don’t want to be burdened with. (See, I am still trying to explain the inappropriateness of the VMA fiasco to my 14 year old daughter who also watched…and it puzzles me that she just shrugged her shoulders and said “yeah, that was gross”…seems it is just us old Fuddy Duddies that have such strong opinions about it…the younger generation has accepted “lewd” behaviour has part of their culture, in the same way we accepted the “virgin” Madonna, and the crotch grabbing Michael as our “normal”…and the way our parents accepted the gyrating Elvis… but I digress.

    Having said that…Miley and Robin’s circus act had consequences too…people are talking about them. Mission accomplished, I would say! I don’t think they mind at all. Coincidently, both of them are releasing new songs/video’s this week! Go figure? 🙂

    Finally, I do believe that there are also many many people that believe that Robin Thicke was also very inappropriate and in fact, with his life experience and maturity, could have refused to take part in the act…however all of this is speculation. At the end of the day, all we know is what we saw with our own eyes; processed with our own brain; and then formed our own opinions. The internet? Well just a means to express those opinions anonymously (and agreeably, some people ARE downright rude!)

    Thanks for sharing the blog and your perspective.

    1. As I tried to make clear in the post, I don’t think everyone had the same opinion about this event or that everyone even gave a shit, just that the overall tone and feeling of the massive number of posts in MY social media reading were leaning one way. I realize there were many feminist or racially critical responses after the fact, I’m talking about the ‘word-on-the-street’ sense I had.

      As I also stated, I have no problem with tongues wagging. I just feel, and I know I’m not alone, that many people who never get this upset about anything had an undue amount of angst over such a contrived situation while the rest of the world goes on around us with much more gravity. To be honest, Miley was the least offensive part of that entire performance for me. Clearly you must know that this was a rant against as you put it what I ‘saw with my own eyes’ and I do know there are people who don’t care/do have other interests/loathe Robin Thicke?

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