On trainwrecks and twerking

So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you either watched the VMAs on Sunday or heard about them Monday and possibly have an opinion. Of course, the runaway performance of the evening was Miley Cyrus. Should we be surprised? I mean, c’mon, this is MTV and the 10th anniversary of the Britney-Madonna-Xtina (was she Xtina yet at that point?) pesudo-lesbian kiss, and Miley promised her performance would be “even crazier.”

Game, set, match.

She raised the bar on crazy. And lowered the bar on good taste. And performance standards. And the reviews were immediate and harsh, beginning with the shock and awe coming from the Will Smith family in the audience. Wow. Those reactions are a meme waiting to happen.

But why did it bother me? I don’t watch MTV, gave it up when the network gave up music. My kids have never been Hannah Montana fans, nor have they ever watched MTV themselves. None of us are really plugged into young Hollywood or looking to Miley to provide a role model or spiritual guidance or any of that, so whatever; I can change the channel.

I don’t blame her parents, won’t throw the stones that I’ve seen pitched in the direction of Billy Ray, he of the questionable hairstyle and manscaping choices. I’ve read enough backstory to understand that while, yes, the child grew up in another world with famous parents and a job before she got her period, she probably also had limits and rules she had to abide by. I mean, again–Hannah Montana. Not exactly a sexed-up Lolita, more of a buttoned-up Gidget. Is it a matter of her shrugging off the Montana mantle and spreading her Miley wings? Seriously; hasn’t she been banging that drum for years? I don’t buy it.

So why am I bothered by this turn into twerking and trainwrecks? If you listen to the backlash, half of the comments berated the girl for her lack of talent. While her dance choices may be are suspect, the girl can wail. She’s got pipes the likes that Britney only wishes she had.

This is the reason I find Miley’s VMA performance so disturbing; it wasn’t performance art like Lady Gaga–while I’m not necessarily a big fan of Lady Gaga’s music, I don’t deny her talent. She brings the crazy and she can, because she backs it up with her talent. Miley’s performance confused that, she left her talent at home and just presented us with crazy. And it’s not the genre or the dancing–find a way to do both! That’s the key.

I hope it’s a phase. I hope she’s just like the really smart girl at school who tries to dumb it down to win over the jock / stoner / idiot boy she has a crush on, but by the end of the movie, she realizes that there is no boy worth dumbing your talent down for.

Check out these videos if you don’t believe me:

So I find myself saying the words I thought I never would: Come back, Miley. It’s okay. Talent will triumph over crazy if you let it.

11 Responses to On trainwrecks and twerking
  1. Kathryn
    August 27, 2013 | 11:33 am

    Well I have to agree with you here – poor Miley was an act of desperation the other night BUT BUT… go check out the new video Robin Thicke dropped today. NSFW probably… http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20728803,00.html Look familiar? Same suit. Gals twerking. An Ass float (no, really). Foam Fan fingers… it was their idea of art folks. Not MY idea of art but there you go.

    Miley needs to grow her hair back, put on some clothes and let the music speak for her and she’ll be fine. Let’s not forget Madonna was humping the VMA stage all those years ago and she did just fine.
    Kathryn´s last [type] ..Chick Tunes – August 2013 Playlist

    • Mari
      August 27, 2013 | 12:56 pm

      Ugh. Thicke is ick. The ass float was the final straw. It’s Two Live Crew meets Justin Timberlake. But not in a good way.
      I’ve never seen someone try to assert so loudly “look at me! I’ve got street cred!” Or maybe I’m just out of touch with reality? Which I’m okay with. He’s got a decent voice. I don’t mind the music or the twerking or the dancing in general–and Miley can twerk her tiny little ass off as far as I’m concerned, but the girl cannot substitute ass shaking for talent. And putting a sign in your video declaring to the world that you have a big dick? Makes me think eh, maybe not so much.
      Mari´s last [type] ..Video Blog #3: advice

  2. Gina
    August 27, 2013 | 3:38 pm

    You are absolutely right, cc. The girl has got talent. She can wail as well as sing a ballad better than most of her Disney counterparts. She turned very wrong somewhere though, and it seemed to have started when she copied P!nk’s haircut. She tried to turn punk and then named herself the new queen of twerking, and let’s not forget her private life. I only hope that this is another fine, yet embarrassing, case of another Disney star trying to find themselves and prove that they are grown and not the girl next door by acting like a slut. I was embarrassed for her just watching it, but just couldn’t look away. I have no respect for attention whores, but at the same time her performance got her exactly what she wanted; attention. Yes, it was negative attention from most sources, but no press is bad press as far as celebrities are concerned. I feel bad for the girl because not being herself is just going to lead her on a downward spiral that the whole world will be witness too. Need I remind everyone of what we witnessed with Brittney Spears? Yikes!

    As far as Robin Thicke goes, he is 35, a husband and a father. He should’ve known better being that there were kids out in the audience as well as watching at home. Coming out in what can only be described as a Beetlejuice suit, and letting the poor girl touch his, what I can only imagine, is a tiny weiner with a foam finger and do the bent over ass shake, just makes him pathetic. He’s old enough to know a hell of a lot better. Shame on him.

    Don’t get me going on her dry humping teddy bears. All I’m going to say on that is let them remain the childhood symbol of lovies and protection. Don’t act out whatever beastiality fantasies you have with them, regardless of whether or not they’re giant versions.

    Disgusting, trashy and just plain sad.

    • Mari
      August 29, 2013 | 10:12 am

      Well the performance certainly put his tiny dancer on the map, didn’t it? They played to the shock factor & sex is the last shock factor in place, I think. I hope it inspires an about face and reminds us that there is a big world out there with bigger problems and these two and their shenanigans are better left to obscurity while the grown ups try to focus on the real world … not the MTV-fashioned capital R, captial W Real World, but the actual world where actual people live.

  3. Scott
    August 27, 2013 | 8:38 pm

    Great take, Mari, though I take umbrage to calling Billy Ray’s mullet “questionable”. Nothing qiestionable about it. I’m happy I didn’t see the VMA broadcast and have avoided clicking any of the articles or tweets to “see what I missed”. Frankly, I would probably just find it depressing and another example of the breakdown of American society.

    I’m assuming (?) that most of Miley Ray’s fans from the Hannah Montana era are old enough now to have not been too horrified by the exhibition but it still makes me sad that an artist would feel the need to resort to being outlandish and provocative in order to delay fading into obscurity. Granted, Miley Ray is not as talented as, say, Alicia Keys or Taylor Swift but it’s still sad that this is what she needs to do in order to become a ‘trending topic’ again.

    Should I be embarrassed to say that I like Lady Gaga quite a bit? But she’s been weird since Day 1 and her stage performances remind me more of KISS and Alice Cooper than Madonna. I first started admiring her when she appeared on SNL, sitting at a piano, playing and singing the bejeesus out of Poker Face.

    One of the reasons I am sometimes happy I never had kids is I will never have to shield my kid’s eyes from anything like the VMA’s, never have to explain what Britney and Madonna are doing, never have to explain why there’s no material in the rear end of Prince’s pants, etc. I’m a coward like that.

    Hey, I just realized your initials are MF and I am offended. To whom should I address my letter of outrage?

    • Mari
      August 29, 2013 | 10:20 am

      Dude; you must admit that the hybrid crew cut/mullet that BRC sported was the jump the shark moment that mullets fear. *shudder*

      Lady Gaga is not bad at all–not my genre, but a hell of a talent. I usually like this type of super popular dance music about 5 years after everyone else likes it. I’m not an early adapter, I guess. ;)

      My kids are at the age where they see antics like the VMAs & they let out a collective “ewwwww!” And my favorite part of being a parent is informing them and shaping them into the kind of people I want to spend time with: well rounded, respectful, funny and kind. So those VMA moments? That’s my cautionary tale!

      Oh and someday, I will buy a BAMF wallet like Jules in Pulp Fiction and why not? I am Bad Ass Mari Farthing, am I not?

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