This culture is our culture. It’s the one we’ve earned, we built it, bought it, rewarded it, and mock those who refuse to play as old fashioned, out of touch, and dangerously extreme. And then we’re shocked at what we’ve created.
I liked this post about the brouhaha and the real problem behind said brouhaha. I especially like what he says about our ‘selective outrage,’ and this:
“last night’s horror show didn’t happen in a vacuum. We are generally an oversexed, amoral civilization, and this is the sort of spectacle that sort of civilization produces. Pretty simple. People often seem troubled when a young woman acts so sexually desperate, but then many of those same folks will lash out with mockery and derision anytime someone suggests — GASP! — self control as an alternative.”
Remember the shock and outrage over a decade ago when there was a wardrobe malfunction (or maybe not so much a malfunction) during the halftime events at the Superbowl? I was not even mildly surprised by what happened at the halftime show. I was, however, totally stunned by my Christian friends who acted like this was an unprecedented spectacle of debauchery in a previously wholesome as whole wheat bread spread with butter from grassfed cows event. My own family and several friends of ours had been turning off the game during halftime for all of our adult lives, and I’d been embarrassed by the antics of the cheerleaders when I was a child at least 40 years ago. I couldn’t believe that Christians really thought this was completely out of character for the halftime show.
I’m always bemused by people being shocked by programs that I have found so shocking that we haven’t watched them for decades. I was never a Miley fan, but this blog post is pretty much spot on.
Miley wasn’t the only one on stage, but she’s the only one being targeted for criticism, and all that criticism is aimed in the wrong direction. Adults made Miley who she is, you who bought her stuff, took your kids to see her, made her an object of entertainment. She would have gone nowhere without the full complicity of adults who were supporting her in an environment those same adults would never in a million years have wanted for their own children.
Miley’s just doing what she likely suspects she needs to do in her business: Shock people. She’s grown up watching, say, Britney writhe with a snake on the very same awards show, so it’s hard to blame her if she’s surprised by the universally negative reaction. She’s doing what she thought we wanted.
The problem, this time, is that our society feels like it knows her, knows her backstory, knows she’s someone’s daughter, and isn’t able to forget it. Other women, like the ones on stage with Miley, the ones no one is complaining about? Well, we can sexualize them, reduce them to toys lacking a story, but this girl? We know her dad!
Kids don’t need more kids. They know plenty of them. Kids need adults, actual adults, adults adult enough to reject a culture that is so bored, so dead, that it can only feel alive if given one more jolt, one more shock. And it’s hard to shock, anymore, but Miley hit that mark.
A lot of people today are blaming her parents, and yes, they are ultimately responsible as well, but seriously? Who rewarded her parents? Who made it profitable for them to make merchandise of their child in the first place? Who hypocritically took their kids to see her movie(s?) while insisting they would NEVER let their kids be in show biz? Who let their own kids watch her on TV, bought her Hannah Montana gear for their kids, and just generally made sure it remained profitable to market this child and her image in the public square?
Miley Cyrus is a symptom, not a cause. The cause? Look no further than the music and movies on our own shelves, in our homes, in our own histories on youtube, hulu, Amazon Prime and the like.