Thoughts on Miley Cyrus

I saw this video when it first appeared a few weeks ago and loved it. The art direction, styling, cinematography, even the editing are all spot on. As a music video and short film it hits it on the nose. I also loved the depth to which MC is owning her rebellion and transformation from a young star into a full fledged pop star. After seeing last night’s VMA performance, I see a lot of the same things but am also struck by the racial and gender issues she dives a little cluelessly but beautifully into. Hip hop is the new punk rock. It is where the suburban kids go to rebel. And rebellion is good, it’s healthy and most of us get to do it behind closed doors, or at least not in front of TMZ and the cameras rolling. Yes, I was struck by the jarring nature of watching a petit blonde white girl being the center of attention amidst black performers from who she is taking so much of her inspiration from. The sexual politics that don’t just lay beneath the surface of MC’s performance but are spread eagle on the stage are nothing new either. Madonna did it too and MC’s performance is similar to Madonna’s early days, not just in appearance but attitude as well. The past decade the only shocking things we hear about and from young performers are what they did on the weekends, not what they are doing artistically and frankly, I am way more interested in seeing an artist push our and their own buttons with the work they do, not who they slept with or what they smoked on their time off.

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