Okay, here's a quick disclaimer - I haven't actually seen the VMA video of the Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke performance that has created such a kerfluffle. Nor have I seen any Miley Cyrus music videos - ever. I'm sure the dance was offensive and overly naughty but let's check our disgust and outrage just for a minute and examine this situation a little closer.
First off, how about we lay off Miley. We (as in the North American culture) love to give these young people the spotlight and then tear them down until they absolutely lose their minds. And then we pity them and wonder what went wrong. The smart, strong or maybe cold and calculating ones play us for fools, make a fortune off of us and go on their way. The less fortunate ones still make a fortune off of us but at a cost that is probably greater than the rewards they reap. Miley (or the peeps behind Miley) knew exactly the type of attention they would receive and went for it because that's their business.
Miley is in show biz and this week the buzz has been all about her. The media loves it because they're selling their stuff, Miley's peeps love it because they're making money off of it (her), and Miley's lovin' it, for now, because she's making news. Sex and scandals sell and that's what they offered up because we gobble it down every time! Cha-ching!$!
We need to cut the faux indignation and hold our arrows directed at Miley because once Miley has been used up the machine will simply look for the next pretty face to put through the ringer. And once again we'll fall hook, line and sinker. The truth is we're all complicit in this debacle. Let's share the blame, go ahead, take some then pass it around.
What about Mr. Thicke? Why has he escaped relatively unscathed? Do we imagine that he did not know what the performance was going to entail? Of course he did, but he's male so he knew he wasn't going to come under much fire. In fact the attention is probably doing his business good. It kind of reminds me of the infamous wardrobe malfunction. Why didn't Timberlake get blasted for ripping off Janet's top? Noooooo...it was somehow Janet's fault. Something's wrong there...and very telling about the way our society views culpability differently depending if you are a man or a woman...when it comes to things of a sensual nature.
What about the choreographers? The show's producers? The network broadcasting the VMAs? If you fault Miley for her performance, then you ought to hold all of the above in the same light. Perhaps they should be held more accountable than Miley...how many times have they done this? How many times have they sent some young kid out there and watched them unravel until he or she is no longer valuable to them?
And what about us the consumers of the sexploitation and scandal? We click on the articles...we watch the videos...we write about it. Are we just as guilty? Are we simply feeding the machine and gearing it up for the next in line?
I think there probably should be shock and indignation after a performance like the one Miley and Thicke put on at the VMAs. But the shock and indignation should not be directed only at the performers...but at us as well. I just think we all enjoy the show and aftermath too much for our own good...and too much for Miley's good for that matter. Those that make a profit off of it know it. And so it goes, on and on and on.
|Let's Stop the Machine!!|