Minnie Mouse Weeps for Miley Cyrus
Lookie at Miley Cyrus, all growed up. Well, physically, yeah. Mentally, emotionally -- forever seventeen. That's seventeen by today's dilapidated standards. Seventeen is the age of arrestment for far too many Americans whose maturing -- then aging, withering -- bodies create the illusion that an adult must inhabit those atrophying innards.
Of course, Miley has the excuse of being part of the "entertainment industry" -- or that segment of it that trucks in the lewd, pandering to gen-u-ine adolescents and adults (so-called) for mucho dinero. Miley is product -- willingly, just to add. She lives in a bubble of business hustlers, sycophants, and hangers-on. She's got a little habit, and it ain't laudanum; its celebrity and money, or money and celebrity... whatever the order. Are those two of the Seven Deadly Sins? As a matter of fact...
All those ghouls circling Miley will tell her that she's just fab, a real artiste, who, like the amazing Madonna long before her and the incredibly talented Lady Gaga more recently, is knocking down barriers in the name of art. Raisin' popular entertainment to daring, unprecedented heights. (Oh, that's not "Art," as in the guy who runs the "adult entertainment" store -- aka, smut house -- down the street; that's high falutin' art).
That's like Andrew Lloyd Weber or Rogers and Hart stuff. You know (or maybe you don't), when popular entertainment aspired to something more than titillation and naughty in-your-face displays by often marginally talented eye-candy... when adults had control of disposable income, and not their randy, pimply-faced offspring (there are better treatments for pimples nowadays, of course). And before those hip kids and their moms and dads did Vulcan mind and immaturity melds and started liking the same crappola.
Miley has a run in her, that is, until she winds up in a rehab or county lockup. Or when attention-span challenged cool kids and their equally challenged and lascivious daddies move on to the next girlish novelty. Or when the daily rigorous workouts, tummy tucks, breast implants, liposuctions, facelifts, lip enlargements, hair coloring, and anything else fail to create the illusion of youth. When Miley starts to resemble one of those dummies at Madame Tussauds (Wax Museum, as formerly known) -- not quite real anymore -- she'll be definitely kaput.
The former -- fan boredom -- is more likely than the latter, fatal tread wear after years of keeping the tires rolling. Miley's just part of a string of other girly performers; she's a piece of chocolate for ever-famished consumers of pop: quickly gobbled, digested, and pooped out.
Churn and burn, baby, churn and burn. Keep the fans in chocolates. That's what keeps the bucks flowing into the entertainment industrial complex.
Camille Paglia, academic, leftish culture critic, and sometimes iconoclast, in a recent Time magazine column offered that Miley was a lot of shtick. Paglia claims that Madonna, unlike Miley, was the real deal. In Paglia's own words:
Young performers will probably never equal or surpass the genuine shocks delivered by the young Madonna, as when she sensually rolled around in a lacy wedding dress and thumped her chest with the mic while singing "Like a Virgin" at the first MTV awards show in 1984. Her influence was massive and profound, on a global scale.
Paglia, age sixty-six and a baby boomer (of course), illustrates that arrestment doesn't afflict only the less pedigreed.
"Genuine shocks," Camille, as in a three-year-old dropping his/her/it's (let's not get gender-specific) pants in public? Of course, it was a high watermark in the world of popular entertainment and western culture when Madonna "thumped her chest with the mic while singing 'Like a Virgin'"...
You betcha, Camille. Doubtless, Madonna's "influence was massive and profound, on a global scale." Why, I'm convinced that Madonna's performance that historic night at the MTV awards show had a "massive and profound" impact on Deng Xiaoping, then ruling the People's Republic of China. Deng was probably terribly impressed with the crass, puerile state of American culture. Commies and ancient culture sorts can smell decay and weakness half-a-world away. Deng, an apex predator, likely chuckled and licked his lips -- not over Madonna's bravura performance, mind you -- but over the softness he detected in an enemy of China (rival, for the fainthearted).
Deng no doubt reasoned that, judging from Madonna's stage antics, America's downward trajectory would make it easy prey one day. Given the deteriorating state of contemporary American culture, the diminutive Deng may have been spot-on.
But ol' hip Camille goes on, averring that:
Pop is an artistic tradition that deserves as much respect as any other. Its lineage stretches back to 17th century Appalachian folk songs and African-American blues, all of which can still be heard vibrating in the lyrics and chord structure of contemporary music. But our most visible young performers, consumed with packaging and attitude, seem to have little sense of that thrilling continuity and therefore no confidence in how it can define and sustain their artistic identities over the course of a career. [Italics added out of astonishment.]
Maybe Professor Paglia has a better ear for music than I do, but I'll be darned if I hear strains of "17th Century Appalachian folk songs" in hip-hop, rap, gangsta rap, or sex-infused cotton-candy pop.
And African-American blues? A noble music, borne from the suffering and deprivations of blacks in their days working the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta. The "N-word" wasn't dropped like dimes in blues lyrics like today's Mozart-inspired gansta rap, nor did we hear the old blues' singers wanting to off cops or those horrible peckerwoods that oppress blacks today.
Women may have caused male blues singers' woes, but they weren't "bitches" to be f-worded and disposed of like worn-out crack pipes. There was a soulfulness and dignity to the blues that can't be matched nowadays.
Sure, Camille, gangsta rap has its origins in the hood; its indigenous "music." The hood, where underclass blacks have degenerated into a state that makes Dante's Inferno look like a beach holiday. Gangsta rap is full of hate and anger and violence and degeneracy and evil. Did I say "degeneracy and evil?" Such quaint concepts. Silly me.
Somewhere in Never-Never Land, Minnie Mouse weeps for former Disney star and Disney sister, Miley Cyrus, who, for a purse full of gold coins and fifteen minutes of fame, strutted off into America's Heart of Darkness.