Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I didn't see the MTV video awards, or whatever it's called, that seems to have a lot of folks in a tizzy over Miley Cyrus's set. I did catch a few clips from it on the web and found it pretty lame. It was an obvious attempt to be outrageous in some sort of sexual way but for my taste it bombed.

So I expected people to criticize the performance. Which some do. But a lot of what I'm seeing on Facebook and elsewhere is outrage at the sexual explicitness of her performance. Some even saying their children were upset by it. But in my memory, there have been a lot of outrageous and kid inappropriate stuff on the MTV awards shows for decades now.

I mean haven't Madonna and Britney Spears and Lady Gaga made their own attempts to be sexually outrageous in performances at these awards over the years, some of which were more scary than sexy (intentionally, whereas Cyrus's seems to have been unintentionally scary while trying to be "sexy")?

And don't many male rappers, let alone bands and etc., have lyrics that are way more offensive than what Cyrus was pretending to be doing on stage. Have these parents and others who seem so upset about the sexual aspect of her performance not noticed their performances (including the guy Cyrus was acting out with on stage in the performance many are upset with her for).

Some have expressed their outrage as concern for another child star losing their way as an adult and ending up like Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes. That certainly may be a legitimate concern, but again it seems to hinge on her attempt to be outrageous in some sexual way.

For my entire life, "American" culture has seemed to accept violence, and its becoming more and more graphic, while often seeming to be upset with any expression of sexuality whether vulgar or romantic, also becoming more and more graphic over my lifetime.

I find most sex scenes in movies and on TV not interesting and often embarrassing, mostly because they don't resemble any sex I've experienced except in some aspects but not the experience. When Forest Whitaker transitions from one emotion to another in THE BUTLER I know what he's feeling, I identify with it, I've felt it and I'm probably feeling it along with him as I watch it. That's great performing.

But very few flicks and TV shows I've seen capture the fun or depth of connection or sense of discovery or deep gratitude etc. I've experienced and suspect most have in sexual encounters. There was a scene in DON'T LOOK NOW, with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie I remember identifying with at the time, and a few others over the years, but most of the time: boring.

The same goes for violence. I've experienced some over the years but have only very occasionally seen anything I could identify with my own experience in flicks and TV etc. Especially the more graphic it has become, often to the point of total absurdity. But though I had no interest in watching the MTV awards show that caused all the stir (and we know her manager is happy about it since as I understand it she is now managed by the guy who made Britney Spears' much more limited talent a profit machine by creating controversy etc.) what I have been paying attention to, and I'm sure you too...

...are the terrible photos and video of the children and others convulsing or already passed from chemical weapons in Syria.  It seems absurd for politicians and others to get so upset over the deaths of women and children and other innocent victims of chemical weapons that can be counted in the hundreds when the total death toll is estimated to be over a hundred thousand caused by other weapons.

But there is something especially fear fostering about chemical weapons, an historical psychological trauma consciousness like societal PTSD from what happened in World War One where so many young men died from mustard gas, and from the horror of the gassing of millions in Hitler's death camps. But for whatever reason, it looks like the USA will finally make some military gesture toward Syria in an official and open way (we already have operatives in there according to many sources, but they're the usual secret forces or secretly deployed forces our government has been using for decades now without officially letting us know about it).

There is so much uninformed and ill-informed commentary going on around the web and so-called "social media" about this that it serves as another reminder, as if we needed it, of how dark these ages are despite the access to so much information. People comparing it to Bush Junior's invasion of Iraq, and even some commenting on sites I've seen saying this proves "Bush was right" because these commenters think that Assad got his chemical weapons from Saddam and that these are actually the WMD the Bushies were looking for and couldn't find but now have been, in Syria!

Of course an attack by our missiles or whatever ensues on a few key military and possibly Syrian government targets as a warning, based on the evidence of these chemical attacks is not the same as invading a country on speculation they have chemical weapons and might use them because they did many years before. Hey, I'm anti-war, any war, but as I argued with Howard Zinn one time on a stage we were sharing, I still think sometimes, i.e. Hitler, they're necessary. This may be the case here, no matter our inability to control the outcome unlike WWII in the end.


JIm said...
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Anonymous said...

no one ever seems to (or seemed to) criticize Michael jackson when he grabbed his crotch....

as for Miley Cyrus ? there is not very much to her beyond what people say about her,,,, she certainly
can't 'hold a candle' to Cher or madonna, or Lady Gaga !

Lally said...

Actually as an actress and comedienne as a kid she was pretty good, certainly a better actress than Madonna (my teenager watched her show so I got to see it now and then). And in her earlier musical shows when she was still connected to that child actor persona, she was certainly as good or better than Britney Spears et. al. But this new incarnation is ill-advised as far as the show goes, though like I said it may be a mart long term move in getting her an adult identity that she can milk when the music career dries up, a la Spears et. al.

Anonymous said...

Comprehensive, long range, incisive insight, as usual, clearly and humanly expressed. A+ today, My Friend.

Bill Lannigan

Lally said...

thanx for the good grade professor lannigan

JIm said...
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Anonymous said...

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