Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus' tongue gets its day in the sun

I feel I ought to write something about the stupidity of drawing a "red line" in the Middle East and then having to back up your boasts with military power when it's promptly crossed - by whom I don't pretend to know, but I don't see why Assad would have done it. He was winning - why now?

(I didn't make this brilliant shoop and I don't know who did.)

But I shan't. I've been roaming the innertubes and keep coming across, so to speak, Miley freaking Cyrus and her horrible plaque-covered tongue.

She reminds me of the Swedish Lion, just less well preserved.

I've no idea why she was sticking it out anyway - sticking your tongue out so far makes you grimace, and the overall effect is about as sexy as finding a shopping cart in a creek covered in the invasive alga known as Rock Snot (Didymosphenia geminata) which may be what that blue-white stuff on her tongue is, though I'm going with Candidiasis.

What she was doing between sticking her tongue out is "twerking" which I had actually heard of as Madonna twerked, I believe, a couple of weeks ago. She may have jerked, or booty-popped, though, which is similar. Miley was twerking, i.e. shoving her arse into the crotch of, Robin "Aptly Named" Thicke, the one who is suing Marvin Gaye's family for some reason I can't follow. (The kids of today, eh?) The occasion was the VMAs, the video awards show for the channel that doesn't play music videos anymore.

In the stalwart British tabloid, The Daily Mirror, their breathless write-up was commented on by reader G. Moran, who said:
I didn't think it was particularly shocking myself. She's just a teenage girl experimenting with her identity. Leave her to it. She's not hurting anybody. If you're offended, don't look 
Look, she's not, Mr. Moran, she's a great beast of the entertainment business attempting with much success to separate your children from your money. Teenage girls going to find themselves go backpacking to Holland on gap year, not sexually harass popstars on international awards shows.

On the other hand, some have pointed out that Robin "Short Plank" Thicke's song, Blurred Lines, is about not taking no for an answer when requesting sex, and Cyrus could have been humiliating Thicke intentionally for singing a stupid song.

Apart from the general outcry - that this was beyond the agreed-on age level appropriateness for the viewership - there was the general outcry that she's really not very good at this, and a third general outcry that she's "appropriating black culture".

Maurice McCloud in the Grauniad kindly forgives her for it.
I've got no problem with white artists taking the best of black pop culture but Cyrus's hyper-sexual act doesn't cut it
I'm not sure when he was voted the spokestypist of black culture, but I accept. I have after all benefitted from appropriating black culture myself - my professional qualification is in blood banking, and I believe that's one we chalk up to the African-Americans.  I'm not sure that twerking is something I'd advertise as the best of my culture, though. Or that it belongs to any culture, really, any more than say, pole dancing or lap dancing.

Meanwhile, CNN put Her Twerkness as their top story for a while, prompting The Onion to lash out with the nastiest bit of satire I've seen from them in quite some time.
In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. 
But boy oh boy did it get us some web traffic. Which is why I, Meredith Artley, managing editor of CNN.com, put the story in our top spot. Those of us watching on Google Analytics saw the number of homepage visits skyrocket the second we put up that salacious image of Miley Cyrus dancing half nude on the VMA stage.
The performance spawned a Tumblr themed with Miley Twerking On Things We Should Be Talking About, like Syria.  Song-a-day guy Jonathan Mann wrote a song about her tongue and Syria. And now so have I - it's like a thing.

And not to be left out, British Bobbies for some reason dancing at the Notting Hill Carnival in London twerked up, or jerked up (opinions differ) a storm. London Time Out has some glorious gifs of them. You have to love the bobby.

Then, for no good reason, my current fave musician, Jack White tweeted:

This turns out to be Busta Rhymes and Nicki Minaj rapping in deepest patois - oops wrote patios again there first time - and twerking.

Et tu, Jackie Boy?

 Update: More info on cultural appropriation.

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