Why is everyone so gung-ho about Miley Cyrus' indecent VMA performance?
Of course it was distasteful, extremely inappropriate, gratuitously provocative and completely void of any artistic value; but it was also very well calculated, strategically crafted and concocted ahead of time to provoke the very exact controversy we've all been debating over post her sexually-charged performance.
This is not a surprising evolution for the once-upon-a time goody-two-shoes Hannah Montana role model who has now, not only clearly entered adulthood, but is also fully embracing the ruthless marketing tactics of the money-making machine that is the music business. It only seems to be, in my opinion, the logical next career step to take for this good girl gone bad considering that in today's entertainment landscape the only thing that sells and makes headlines is a good old scandal. Either that or taping into the old-school sex tape cultural phenomenon that has, as we know, catapulted into the stratosphere the careers of so many so-called "famous at being famous" wanna-be celebrities.
It's the age-old debate of Art versus Sensationalism. So, has Miley Cyrus gone too far or has she simply grown up and bought herself the exploitative ticket to commercial success?
Putting things back into perspective, in the "let's give them something to talk about" gratuity and PR stunt department, Miley Cyrus is certainly not reinventing the wheel.
She hasn't done anything that hadn't been done before by her predecessors, and will undoubtedly pass on the torch to the next teen idol that will invariably come along and drink the Kool Aid.
Let's keep in mind as well that we're talking about the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), a live music show, that has gradually lost all of its "wow" quality factor since the M in MTV ceased to stand for "music," and instead was replaced by "mediocrity." Sadly, the VMAs, the Grammys and the rest of the Music Awards catalog are a brutal reflection of the current deplorable state of a music industry that has been dominated by a handful of talentless clowns pathetically and desperately competing for attention. With the exception of a rare few, artists today are privileging the culture of sensationalism and copycats to the detriment of artistic originality, creativity not to mention musicianship and craftsmanship. Real talent is a species in danger of extinction.
That said, going back to the debate over Miss Cyrus' explicit live performance, is she not the product of society's own making? Not to excuse her not-so-shocking behavior, I will argue, however, that it does completely align with the mentality of this "me" generation.
The entertainment industry is filled with self-centered, self-absorbed narcissistic individuals who revel in their self-fabricated chaos and drama -- so long as they make headlines.
Shock value takes precedence over moral values. As is often said: "bad publicity is better than no publicity," and I will also quote the legendary publicist and entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum who objectively pointed at the evident reality that "Without publicity a terrible thing happens -- nothing."
We're not only wasting time pointing the finger at Miley Cyrus but also foolishly falling straight into the very trap she tactically set for us. Clearly the stratagem is working since she's still the talk of the town.
Again, I'm not applauding her x-rated Dirty Dancing version nor am I denying the fact that it was absolutely out of line and inappropriate for the younger viewers certain to be tuning in to MTV to watch the show. I am only suggesting that we are blowing things out of proportion and creating an unnecessary frenzy by feeding into a non-existent debate. Why? Because this sort of gratuitous provocative attitude -- although not excusable and morally not acceptable -- has essentially been the new normal for a while.
Of course it does not make it right but it is a bit hypocritical of us to act incensed when we keep biting the exploitative bait the entertainment industry and tabloid press consistently throw at us. Are we really that prude to deny the fact that the Miley Cyrus' of the world are no saints -- and certainly not exempt from the corruption effect of fame.
As far as I'm concerned Miley Cyrus' -- and a slew of her fellow performers -- real crime is the deplorable vocal quality of her live performance, or lack thereof!
Can anybody not run out of breath, not senselessly scream into the microphone, or even be out of key while singing live anymore?
Perhaps the brouhaha is a necessary evil to attenuate the real damage -- a skillful tool to mask the heartbreaking reality that nowadays most of these singers simply can't sing!
Instead of being so focused on producing the next pathetic déjà-vu, overly rehashed exasperating choreography and indulge in total on-stage nonsense theatrics, they should invest their efforts, time and money in the basics: voice lessons!
Realistically speaking, it is safe to say that performers today -- Miley Cyrus included -- are not going to change their ways. And why should they when pulling a publicity stunt has proven to be a vital component part of the marketing strategy to promote their name and project, and most importantly remain current.
And the self-professed "Can't Be Tamed" Miley Cyrus is excelling at practicing what she's been preaching the best ... "We Can't Stop"!
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