CELEBRITIES ARE REPOSITORIES and filters for mass projection, sacrifice and god-form for the global majority who live for the most part vicarious — a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Miley Cyrus is doing a good job.
I’ve never heard any of her songs, neither now or in her previous incarnation. But neither have I ever heard Sarah Palin’s voice. Those just aren’t the circles of media I move through. It was only yesterday that I learned, for example, that Taylor Swift is not a boy. Some may find this hard to believe. That’s good. I’m bragging and I earned the rights, having passed precariously through more than one minefield of shlock.
A few years ago, when everyone was losing their shit over Lady Gaga, I couldn’t have cared less. And yet, suddenly, I care deeply about what’s going on with Miley Cyrus. Why?
For starters, I grew up in Appalachia where Billy Ray was a household name. I imagine, if I heard the beginning of one of his songs, I would be able to sing along til its end in the same way people have the pledge of allegiance committed to memory. This is not to say I have any enthusiasm for the man’s work. Only that there’s a familiarity I can’t ignore.
As far as the Hannah Montana phenomenon is concerned, I wasn’t privy to any of that either, short of hearing the name amidst the rabble — the case, as stated before, with a great deal of other type pop culture whatever.
Coming back to the point, it takes a special individual to stand up to this much attention. It takes, as well, a lot of careful scheming to stage drama in a world where staged drama is all that happens. And while the publicists are the true unsung heros of anything that grabs our fought-for dismissal spans for the split-fucking-second it takes to click next, it takes no small amount of bravery to say, Sure I’ll be your avatar.
What with the perils of maintaining stature as a scapegoat straw-woman, absorbing and absolving the disgusting crud of our collective pathos and (ugh) zeitgeist.
What with the unsavory realities of child-stardom and being fingerblasted by media moguls since before her pupa stage.
Hannah my Cyrus
Miley mon Always
what your haters truly feel is the guilt of a sexualization that began long before you approached the blurred line of adulthood, and the subsequent resentment of a culture that refuses to own up to it.
Boldly you face forward, a full-fledged woman doing things that grown-ups do. Never apologize. You are not the victim that America in its grossness wants or expects. A triumph, as you are nonetheless our vessel.