Right. So, Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Lots of churn about this today. I watched her performance just now. A few thoughts.
- Has her management decided that the Humbert Humbert demo is her sweet spot? Also, are plushies the new gay? Because I liked the old gay way more.
- Miley apparently suffers from an affliction that prevents her from keeping her tongue in her mouth--the poor creature gurns like Keith Prodigy after a wasabi gargle.
- "La-da-di-da-di, we like to par-ty" is the stupidest line in an English-language song since Vortigern invited the Saxons to Albion. Fact.
- During the latter half of this number, after she's shed her PaedoPals™ outfit in favor of a bra and panties because clothing is so, ohmygod, clothingy, Miley employs a large white foam hand in a variety of ways, but primarily to point at her and others' genitals. I have never been a supporter of abstinence education. Until now.
- Is Robin Thicke the George Michael of his generation? Because he sucks, and George Michael didn't. So, that made me wonder.
- No, but really: what the fuck is up with the stuffed animals?
- Miley likes to twerk. But not in a boner-inducing way. More like in a poodle-on-your-leg way.
- If you have to ask the crowd at the VMAs to "make some noise," you're not doing your job.
So, I listened to the Big Three singles for this summer by women and watched the corresponding VMA performances: Miley's "We Can't Stop," Lady Gaga's "Applause" and Katy Perry's "Roar." Then I thought of the book Girls Like Us, which chronicles the lives of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon as they took off from the '60s into the '70s. Let's think back 40 years. Carole King had released Tapestry two years earlier, Joni was between Blue and Court and Spark, Carly had just released No Secrets and "You're So Vain" was everywhere.
I don't think it's an unfair comparison; only Miley is considerably younger than the other five at the same point in their lives. Carole, Joni and Carly were not art-rock princesses playing rarefied airs to the intelligentsia; they were mainstream "pop" artists, none more so than King who had minted millions of 45s as a songwriter in the shadow of the Brill Building. Of Miley, Gaga and Katy, only Gaga has the craft and smarts to be playing anywhere near the league of their foremothers and, even then, the shtick gets in the way of the songs.
So, yeah. Sorry, kids. Your music sucks like an open chest wound. But, hey, twerking plushies! That's gotta count for something, right?