Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke perform "Blurred Lines" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 25, 2013.
Shortly before I was born, Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, and the cameras were forbidden from showing Elvis from the waist down because of his gyrations.
Fast forward about 50 years where the MTV Video Music Awards were rated suitable for anyone 14 and over to view. I guess there are a lot of very experienced 14-year-olds because I saw Miley Cyrus’s performance and she was doing things that were banned at the old Gold Club in Atlanta.
I was shocked at her dance routine, gyrating, humping, partially stripping and even spanking what I believe to be a large bear, although it could have simply been Tom Arnold wandering up on stage for all I know. I know the act was shocking because I viewed it about 20 times just to make sure what I was seeing was as shocking as I thought it was.
Therein lies the problem. I don’t think all that many folks really know, or even care, what went on at the MTV awards, but then the media carries on about Miley’s performance to make sure anyone who may have escaped being exposed is indeed exposed. Truth be known, there was a whole lot of exposing going on.
But, let’s be frank here. Miley Cyrus’ dad is Billy Ray Cyrus. What did everyone expect was going to happen? She’d go on stage and perform a reading of the second act of Hamlet? Billy Ray wore a mullet for 10 years after it, thankfully, died a terminal and complete fashion death. His greatest song was “Achy Breaky Heart.” I doubt he’ll be featured on “Antique Roadshow” anytime soon, but “Duck Dynasty” is a distinct possibility.
Miley has been trying to shake her Disney-created Hannah Montana image for quite some time. If faking sex acts with a We’re No. 1 foam finger won’t shake her Disney image, I guess nothing on Earth will. She did things with that finger that would make Larry Flynt blush.
I was most amused by the crowd shots of celebrities who appeared to be shocked at the act. These same celebrities adore Madonna and Lady Gaga, neither of whom wear enough at their concerts to properly cover a chihuahua. Both regularly simulate sex acts in front of, and sometimes with, a cross, but I guess that is OK. Just don’t cross the line and fake it in front of the three bears.
I suppose rap songs glorifying “putting a cap in someone,” throwing out the n-word like they’re being paid $50,000 per use, which I guess in some ways they are, and talking about their girlfriends and wives as hos and bitches is all just hunky dory. I’m surprised Andrew Dice Clay didn’t complain about the foul language used or Elliot Spitzer call for an end to exploiting impressionable young women. Maybe Sylvester Stallone can call for an end to movie violence and Lindsay Lohan can chastise rampart drug use in Hollywood.
Tasteless, sexually exploitative, inappropriate … yep, you name it and her performance fit the bill. But when the bill is all about just that for the last 40 years, what do you expect? I didn’t really mind it, may go watch it again. It’s all those sanctimonious, hypocrites that ply their trade with nothing but shock and awe, now feigning shock that turns my stomach.
I think I’ll go home and watch “Leave It to Beaver.”
Email T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.