As you may have assumed, I did not catch the VMA Awards live. I don’t know that I ever have. In fact, I am typically unaware they take place, that is, unless something happens during the VMA Awards that affects pop culture in such a way that it is unavoidable to any person on Facebook or Twitter. As was the case when Lady Gaga wore a meat dress or when Kayne West mugged a shocked Taylor Swift, because she stole Beyonce’s award.
And this year Miley Cyrus went so far that even Madonna and Lady Gaga blushed. (In truth, they were probably jealous.) Did I see it? Yes. I searched YouTube to see what all the fuss was about, and then submitted myself to six minutes of pure torture. Water-boarding would have been more pleasant!
I was very blessed that the only full version was a blurry cellphone recording off someone’s TV set. Bad quality in both the video and the sound worked to my advantage.
Still, I can’t remember being so pained at watching something. It reminded me of the fatal train wreck a few weeks back in Europe. The news kept playing it over and over. Only with this, one view did its damage on me. Yes, a complete train wreck. Kudos to Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe who, while live on TV, told her producer to stop playing it.
Sadly, despite all the outrage, blogs written, righteous indignation, anti-Miley sentiments calling for her head on platter, don’t think for a moment that Cyrus will not cash in big on this. These are profitable train wrecks, unlike real train wrecks. Madonna and Britney kiss. Didn’t hurt their careers. Lady Gaga… well, just pick one… she’s bigger than ever. Justin Timberlake is an A-list actor and chart-topping singer. He didn’t miss a beat after revealing Janet Jackson’s breast in front of the most-watched event on TV (I think)—the Super Bowl. I actually thought that Kayne’s (can I call him just by his first name?) career would tank after charging Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech. What a fool I was—he’s bigger than ever.
Don’t think for a minute America’s daughters don’t still want to be her and they will pay plenty to see her perform and buy her brand. If Cyrus was performing somewhere tomorrow, she would sell the place out in an hour.
And yet, I don’t blame Miley Completely.
I blame Disney! And I blame her parents!
How many lives has Disney destroyed? Yes Donald Dick and Mickey Mouse have no qualms about destroying the lives of a teenagers if it will fill their pockets (well, Donald doesn’t wear pants) with mammon. Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Vanessa Hudgins (nude internet photos), Demi Lavoto (bulimia, drugs, alcohol, rehab), Shia LeBeouf (charged with assault with a deadly weapon, drunk driving and more)… and let’s not forget “Born-Again Christian” with Yeshua tattooed on his side, non-Disney star, and currently on the same train as Cyrus (about to wreck) and probably soon-to-be-in-rehab-or-jail Justin Beiber.
It is really easy to blame these kids for their reckless actions. And to be sure, part of getting a driver’s license, turning eighteen, living on your own, etc., is taking personal responsibility. But what about the responsibility of Disney to protect these young entertainers from themselves? I don’t even know that it is possible, because there is simply something unnatural about a teenager experiencing fame and fortune. They were not meant to handle it. They don’t have the life-experience, humility, mentoring and wisdom to handle such power.
I can do whatever I want—I’m Famous!
Why does Lebeouf drive his car into a neighbor’s car who is annoying him? Because no one has told him no for a very long time. Why does Lavoto feel free to physically attack one of her dancers? She has been trained to believe that she is bigger than life. Teens suddenly coming into millions is simply not good. Then there is Billy Ray and his wife who should have known better. He understands the soullessness of the entertainment industry. He knows that teens are often sexually abused because instead of being in school they are on the set with potential predators. I am sure he never dreamed that his little Hanna Montana would one day (soon!) be twerking (I can’t believe I just wrote that word—I mean Microsoft Word doesn’t even want to recognize it!) with a 36-year-old married man in front of hundreds of millions of people. No, Billy Ray never imagined such a thing. But he should have.
Who knows what Miley Cyrus has had to deal with since becoming Hanna Montana? We know that her parents’ on-again-off-again marriage is painful and doesn’t produce the deeply needed foundation of self-confidence and character a teen star needs to make sound decisions.
I pray for Miley, just like I pray for all the former religious teen stars my girls would come home talking about. “Dad, Britney is a believer! Can we listen to her music?” It is not that they were never good kids, it’s that no kid is built to handle worldwide fame and fortune—heck, most adults can’t handle it!