Watch the VMA Performance Here: http://www.mtv.com/videos/misc/942064/we-cant-stop-blurred-lines-give-it-2-u-medley.jhtml
Why Miley Cyrus is My Hero
Celebrity is nothing more than bank accounts, barricades, velvet ropes, asses with cameras invading your personal space, fleeting senses of achievement and more isolation than one person could reasonably handle. In the realm of cultural production, the paradigm of celebrity is suspect. It is the reification of the idealized life that closely resembles the false front that victimizers use to keep abuse secret. Abuse only thrives in the darkness of secrecy and celebrity uses velvet ropes, capped teeth, and personal assistants to help create a buffer zone as the public builds a cult of personality. This only compounds the difficulty in receiving useful assistance when dealing with life crises. The amen chorus only get you so far, when they are benefitting from your dysfunction.
Today’s entertainment shows vividly display the dissipation of some celebrities’ sense of reality. To base a cultural production on rape culture engrains a self objectification expected by the fans and benefactors. To inhabit the roles of oppressor and oppressed drives out the individual’s sense of joy and pain replacing it with a numbness. We pour massive amounts of energy into celebrities like they're a billion dollar lottery ticket that we want to win. Once we don’t win, that ticket gets thrown in the gutter like all dreams that have rebuked us.
For the icons of current youth culture to turn their nose up to Miley is to be the fakest hypocrites that there are. They play coy with rape culture, overtly in the men’s case and subtly in the case of the women and then point their fingers at Miley. When they do this they are just falling into the game of separation and stratification leading to the objectification game of slut shaming. They are more afraid of Miley’s aggressive tongue and crotch grabbing than anything real. These stars that berate Miley should be pulled out of their Beverly Hills Mansions and roundly spat upon.
There are representations of life prevalent in the works of Miley Cyrus as a modern day artist rejecting the confining straight jacket of celebrity culture with its social strictures and rituals. Max Freely pointed me down this road partially when he wrote in his essay “The Trayvon Test",
“I came to realize that all members of Western society are products (in one way or the other) of the ideological framework of SCWAMP. SCWAMP is Leslie Grimmer’s acronym for Straight, Christian, White, Able Bodied, Male, and Property Holding.”
He should have pointed out what an ideology is. When using the term “ideology” I am referring to the definition of the term in the sense of ideology as a paradigm embedded in culture that oppresses through distortion. Leslie Grinner has coined the SCWAMP acronym to describe an embedded ideology based on heterosexual (straight), Christian, white, able-bodied, male, and property holding. The rites associated with the class of property holder, male privilege, religious factionalism, youth and strength, and assumed heterosexual privilege should be pulled from culture and scrutinized for usefulness and potential to inflict pain through exclusion.
“The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization.”
“It is obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement; but rather than resigning myself to this appropriation I choose to re-appropriate the term “feminism,” to focus on the fact that to be “feminist” in any authentic sense of the term is to want for all people, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, domination, and oppression.” Bell Hooks, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism.
Only through the phenomenology and epistemology of oppression can such progressive movements start to resemble the forms they were fighting.
Healthy communities are communities that end inequities by eliminating false categories of race, class, and gender. They are false constructs introducing stratification and false dichotomies in human relationships.
Enjoy your bodies, enjoy your lives, and don’t let the economic machine grind your sexuality into dust using the shaming techniques that they would have you submit to. You submit your sexuality, your life essence that is when they know that you are under other’s control and can place you in line to your beleaguered march toward being a mindless cog in the meat grinding machine.
Yet what did Miley’s Dad think of all this?
US Magazine, Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 12:00pm (PDT)
… there's no telling what the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer, 52, may have said to Miley in private conversation, he told Entertainment Tonight that nothing's changed.
"Of course I'll always be here for Miley. Can't wait [to] see her when she gets home," the "Hillbilly Heart" author told Nancy O'Dell of Cyrus' shocking, sexually provocative show inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "She's still my little girl and I'm still her dad regardless how this circus we call show business plays out. I love her unconditionally and that will never change."
A swing and a miss to try and drum up family controversy from the jaundiced media whores. The reaction photo of Will Smith and family was actually during Lady Gaga's opening performance.
The structure of SCWAMP is made evident the forms of art that the embedded ideology promotes, always a economic hurdle for the less moneyed classes, exclusionary, and based in hierarchy. Often with “learned” appreciation, these expressions of art are always promoted by hegemony.
“Some people act as though art that is for a mass audience is not good art, and I think this has been a very negative thing. I know that I have wanted very much to write books that are accessible to the widest audience possible. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bellhooks186095.html
We witnessed Miley’s Carnival with the vibrancy of color, sexual lasciviousness, and a joyful disregard of authoritarianism. This challenge to authority comes from a paradigm that puts joy in opposition to greed, anger, and the need to control. It also challenges victimizers and those who would stay in a mentality of un-empowerment and ceding control. Any popular artist who criticizes her, just wait, your turn is coming next.
Any artist from the Caribbean especially should understand the importance of this work. Miley Cyrus is necessary. The average person living in America needs to be shaken awake, but to engage those who are media saturated, change will have to come from the politics of joy.
“How do we make rebellion enjoyable, effective, and irresistible? Who wants the tedium of traditional demonstrations and protests – the ritual marches from point A to B, the permits and police escorts, the staged acts of civil disobedience, the verbose rallies and dull speeches by leaders? Instead, why not use a form of rebellion that embody the movements’ principles of diversity, creativity, decentralization, horizontally, and direct action? These principles can be found at the heart of a ancient form of cultural expression – the carnival.” Notes From Nowhere Collective November 1, 2004 http://www.narconews.com/Issue34/article1097.html
As human beings we are drawn toward ritual and rites of passage. It is through making the making of meaning evident that a inspiring story can be told. Miley Cyrus is my hero. These are our storytellers and as such our avenues to healing.