29 April 2008

Has It Come To This?

This is my third post about Miley Cyrus in the past year. I am not exactly proud of this fact, and no, it doesn't reveal any sort of deviant thoughts on my part, but rather, that I don't think the girl is talented, attractive, or deserving of her insane fame and wealth. The problem is - I can't quite seem to avoid seeing and hearing her everywhere, all the time, and I fear I can't escape her unless I totally get myself "off the grid", which simply ain't gonna happen.

There is a media firestorm of sorts right now regarding that picture up above, and considering all the pious handwringing going on right now about how the poor girl has been manipulated by Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz, well, I thought I'd throw my two cents into the meaningless fray.

The only people being manipulated by any of this are you and me.

In showbiz, a picture like that is not used/published without first being fully approved by Miley, her parents, her agent, publicist, and/or whomever else is responsible for vetting such things. If the Cyrus camp doesn't like and approve the image, it simply isn't used. But it obviously was used, so it was obviously approved. Furthermore, her entire family, as well as said publicist, was present at the photo shoot in question.

A day or two after the photos were released, Miley Cyrus herself expressed "embarrassment" in a press release. The key words here are "press release". It is a part of the entire publicity process surrounding the photos and the Vanity Fair article in which the photos ultimately were used, and based on the shitstorm that is now brewing in our culture, I would have to say that it has been an insanely effective PR campaign. Miley's supposed embarrassment was the match that ignited this entire shitstorm, and she and her people threw the match onto the fire themselves.

In essence, Miley Cyrus wants to have her cake and eat it too. She doesn't want to lose her pre-teen/tween/teen fanbase, but she's also now approaching the point in her career when she wants to crossover into mainstream pop culture and start attracting adult fans. Thus, in the coming months and years, we're going to see less of her flashing a peace sign, and more of this:

Because, you know, flashing the rocker's devil horns is a sure sign of adulthood. Plus, more and more pictures show her sticking out her tongue in a vaguely sexual/Gene Simmons manner. Miley can feign embarrassment all she wants, but we must remember that all of this has been carefully orchestrated, and like I said before, you and I, the pop culture consuming masses, are the one's being manipulated.

So, we end up with alot of parents supposedly upset by the suggestive nature of the photograph. There isn't much skin showing, sure, but the common complaint is that she has a come-hither look on her face, and the sheet suggests that she's naked in bed, which is not the kind of image and idea these parents want their children exposed to.

I would argue that these parents shouldn't be allowing their kids to be consuming Miley's shitty brand of "art" to begin with, but I'm not a parent, and I'm guessing it's near-impossible to keep one's kids away from this kind of thing to begin with because kids have absolutely no taste.

I don't know where to go with this blathering rant of mine, or how to end it. I'll just reiterate my only point that you and I are the only ones being manipulated and exploited by any of this. After all, I just spent about 20 minutes writing this useless post, and presumably you just read it.

Hotcha! Hank

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