Posts Tagged ‘miley cyrus’

O MY MILEY

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

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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.

Never stop.

Championing Re Re’s, Condemning Democracy: the Baby Marie-Antoinettte Interview

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

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Once on a day not too long ago (though not too recent either) I met up with Baby Marie-Antoinentte. The second Bambi Muse baby despot, Baby Marie-Antoinette acquired remarkable notoriety for her “Dear White Race” letter, published in the spring of this year. But, obviously, Baby Marie-Antoinette has monstrous more going for her than just internet fame. Soon, Baby Marie-Antoinette will be the queen of France. Her reign will coincide with the French Revolution, that disgraceful period when the Third Estate (know as “the middle class” in America) will degrade, divide, and, in some cases, behead Baby Marie-Antoinette’s adored family.

Our meeting place was a charming diner on the Upper East Side. In an old-fashioned red-and-white striped booth, I took sips of a Sprite while Baby Marie-Antoinette nibbled on a piece of positively sweet cherry pie.

Having turned down a tsunami of interview requests, I asked her politely if I could publish our chat as an interview. After pondering the possibility with her mommy, Empress Maria Theresa, Baby Marie-Antoinette agreed, as I am, after all, Bambi Muse‘s CEO (and, also, the Empress received final approval).

Me (M): Hi…

Baby Marie-Antoinette (BMA): Hullo…

M: Your cherry pie looks very sweet and yummy.

BMA: It is, just like Tinker Bell, Ariel, and Miley Cyrus.

M: Oh, a lot of people are saying mean things about all three of those girls.

BMA: Yeah, but America is governed by the 99 percent, and they’re average, so they hate specialness, whether it’s a special fairy, a special mermaid, or a special actress/singer.

M: There was tons of scorn slung at Miley’s VMA performance last Sunday.

BMA: Yeah, the 99 percent was very mean about that, but I wasn’t. Miley acted like a re re. And re re’s are magical, like bruises or something.

M: I have a bruise on my knee from getting tripped up on a sidewalk on Broad Street.

BMA: What were you doing on Broad Street?

M: Screaming curses at investment bankers.

BMA: Oy…

M: What is your perspective on capitalism?

BMA: I, too, champion inequality, exploitation, a class system, and so on. But none of those things should be based on money. Anyone can get that. The world should be based on something that’s not so darn indiscreet, like pretty dresses or poems.

M: Can you elaborate please?

BMA: Only chosen creatures can deck a pretty dress decorously, and, likewise, only chosen creatures can compose a captivating poem.

M: Who can compose a captivating poem?

BMA: Baby Ji Yoon can. And so can Baby Carina. They’re both re re’s. One of Baby Carina’s poems is titled CARIO, Y R U SO CRUELLL xXxX. As for Baby Ji Yoon, she says, “my bellybuttons are very impressionable.”

M: Uh-huh, they do sound like lovely and splendid special-ed girls.

BMA: There’s also this girl called Lauren Shufran. Many of her poems are metered. She also made up a word, “Turdecken,” a combination of turkey, duck, and chicken. Normal people don’t know how to count syllables or come up with their own vocabulary. They’re too laid back and communicative; for example, Cate Marvin.

M: The VIDA girl?

BMA: Ugh… VIDA.

M: Do you abhor that advocacy group?

BMA: You bet I do. What consequence is it if Ploughshares publishes 14.759837422222222 percent more boys than girls? They’re all average, interchangeable poets anyways. VIDA doesn’t care if a poem is illuminating; for them, it’s just accessibility and equality. And that’s not poetry, that’s Park Slope lesbian self-esteem talk. Actual poetry is very discriminative and strict. Sylvia is — she killed her daddy and her husband.

M: Tyrants are violent too.

BMA: Yeah, they’re decidedly diehard. It’s delightful. I hope that Syrian boy wins. Americans should stop bombing other countries and mind their own business. Nobody wants to be a democracy, it’s so gross, like pecking the cheeks of Lloyd Blankfein, Ben Bernanke, and Timmy Geithner one directly after another.

M: Yuck!

BMA: We should do something pretty now.

M: Maybe we could quietly sing that song.

BMA: That song?

M: Yeah.

BMA: K.

SICHA, CLINTON, CYRUS: THOUGHTS ON DIVERSE DEMOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

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Choire Sicha’s first book is out. I haven’t read it yet, but it is called Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City. The book party was at the East Village gay bar “The Cock,” and I have to say I have never seen it as packed as last night, at least as a pedestrian who quickly walked past it from the outside. There will be a lot of talk about the book, because almost everyone who reads (a lot?) online knows of Sicha. The book follows a group of gay men and chronicles their lives, but for some reason I trust it to not be regressive, even before I read it. I choose to believe Salon, that it will be “among a next wave of books about gay folks as full American citizens that doesn’t bother walking them through schematic journeys meant to stand in for the American Gay Experience.”

The active endeavor to ensure the meaningful participation of diverse individuals in media is integral. It helps reach a realistic and more informed view on the specifics of a broader range of identities.  However, the constant overanalyzing of public figures’ gender, race and ethnicity identification choices may end up harming the very purpose they were intended to serve: letting individuals receive merit-based recognition for their objectively high-quality work.

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A recent example of excessive analyzing of such nature is that of Hillary Clinton setting up a twitter account. Since the first moment she signed up for the social media website many jokes–some witty, others offensive–have been recurring. An approach that stuck out to me as particularly idiotic was the interpretation of how she chose to order the numerous qualities that define her in her two-line bio. To assert that Hillary Clinton is “anti-feminist” because she starts her twitter bio with “wife” and “mom” before addressing her professional accomplishments, is not only naive and judgmental, it is also self-righteous and flat-out manipulative. Policing the way people choose to present themselves, and telling them they are not to be taken seriously as feminists because they prioritize differently then the average feminist is expected to (?) is childish.

Additionally, who does not know that she also has served as Secretary of State? Pure common sense makes the dialogue surrounding the topic redundant. I think this line of thinking contradicts the true sense of feminism, as in such a system of order the women are provided the agency to identify how to present themselves. What about the people who use humor in their bios? Is that unethical? Are we taking things–such as a public figure’s social media presence–that seriously, and if we are, whose fault is it?

MANIPULATIVE NATURE OF THE DISCOURSE

A piece in The Millions presented a family saga focusing on the case-hardened nature of the way identity is performed by the writer and her grandmother, who seem to fall into the trap of being defined by the social expectations their social identities in how they attain and use power.

“As mixed-race girls, we learned to take what we could from where we could to make a whole. That’s a vulnerable position to be in, susceptible to second-guessing and collapse, but it’s also a crash course in manipulation. Hence the posturing of invulnerability. The multitude of ways that my grandmother and I announced a lack of need, and presented ourselves as in solid control. We don’t need you, we projected, and therefore we may have to ignore what you need as we go about proving that to ourselves once and again. One of the only things I know how to say in Chinese is: Wo zi ze lai. I can help myself.”

After its initial appearance, the ideology of representation has slowly lost a large chunk of its significance. There are times that I feel like I am not supposed to not like non-white writing, even if some of it has to be mundane, dull and entitled. The worst is when the writing is also patronizing and borders delusional. In some ways, if the argument is reduced to powerlessness  as its selling point, it cannot easily be powerful when the powerlessness is not real.

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I am not Miley Cyrus’ biggest fan, but an open letter addressed to her on The Huffington Post offended me. The writer aggressively requests Miley Curys ought to stop disrespecting “what feels black.” What he means of course, is that she should stop trying to emulate the rap element that currently dominates pop culture: she is white, thus cannot and must not do these things associated with what the author considers parts of the black identity, such as twerking. To claim these as an exclusive element of black culture is silly, and certainly flawed at its core: it leads to a new separation and division among people of different races. It seems like the writer might not be comfortable with a broadly inclusive culture that is not segmented the way he views it, or at least that is what the tone of his letter indicates.

His main issue and the central issue with her is her requesting producers that she was trying to go for a vibe that “feels black.” Her creative endeavor to do that cannot be offensive. It can be successful or not. While it is difficult to decide which is the case, at the end of the video for “We Can’t Stop” she smiles wearing a grill. It is not a mocking grin, rather a smile of awareness. She knows what she is doing, and she is doing it with a sense of humor.

Valley of the Dolls

Friday, October 19th, 2012

I’ll admit that I giggled when Miley cut her hair and her twitter fan said she looked butch. I laughed when Britney went loco and shaved it all off. Hair seems to be the number one method of rebellion for the Disney starlets, this host of young women who grow up in front of the camera with overly white smiles and innocent girlish good-looks (often dimples), and then completely implode in the most public way possible.  Yes, of course, these girls seek out stardom, and there will always be young kids who will do anything to get on TV or have their fame moment online, particularly now in this image-saturated techno age. And there will always be parents who will push their child from the moment they can walk to be a triple singing-dancing-acting threat. But what really intrigues/confuses me is this idea of the spectacle itself, the way in which there is an intense focus placed on these young women as they mature from kids to teenagers to young adults:  it’s a coming-of-age that comes with a side of anti-depressants and multiple rehab trips – but it serves as global entertainment – whether it’s taking place on the Disney set, or through leaked grainy mobile bra pics and indiscretions at the Chateau Marmont.

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Skullfuck’d diary

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Every morning I pass a paint splatter that makes me think of the Misfits, but in my version the man had syphilis, an affliction which eventually corrodes the skull. I don’t like punk, or at least I don’t understand it; feels bourgeois almost, like not wearing a shirt and screaming seems like a privilege, and if you still have food at the end of the day, then thank you Safeway and why you bitchin’? When I was 17, it was a pretty bad year. I was listening to hair bands, reading Penthouse letters, and testing my small yellow middle-finger for the first time.

What you don’t see are decaying leaves on the pavement, as I cropped them for aesthetic reasons. So a long time ago on Tennessee and 22nd st. in the “Dogpatch” area in Potrero district, a painter spilled some white paint on the sidewalk, maybe even accidentally stepped in it, then walked away; he was a contractor probably, who just painted a house he didn’t live in so it didn’t really matter. Maybe that’s god, some guy who painted skin on us, then walked away.

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