Society of the Twerking Spectacle
Via facebook I recently became aware of another dumb controversy regarding another "misbehaving" celebrity. Apparently Miley Cyrus mentioned Sinead O'Connor as an inspiration, and Sinead blew up with an open letter on her blog lecturing Cyrus about nakedness and women allowing themselves to be exploited, and then 2nd-tier pop star and media gadfly Amanda Palmer got in the act and posted an open letter back to Sinead.
Here's what I think. First of all, I've seen Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" video that started the whole debate and it seems a really sad, tragic, vulnerable song. Cyrus is either super messed up and struggling, or really really good at pretending to be.. and then to muddle that up further with the bizarre mixed (sex/violence) visual messages of the video is just a trainwreck.
But second of all, should we really care about this Catfight of the Famous? It seems to be the epitome of the Society of the Spectacle that we're all sitting around avidly reading the patronizing letters these rich pop stars are writing to each other about how wide or how level their playing fields are. The basic feminist and anti-consumerist message is great, but i'll already be passing that worldview to my children and i don't need any millionaire musicians to teach me how.(btw I'm purposely not linking to anything I'm talking about above, because that would just feed the click-hungry spectacle machine that I'm talking about.)
(and btw i can't ever respect Amanda Palmer after the fiasco where she was caught not paying the local musicians who guested on her gigs during her last tour, claiming she couldn't afford to, after she'd just finished raising a million bucks on kickstarter. I guess she eventually changed her mind and gave in and started paying people, but still, the idea that she originally planned not to, and her defensive rationalizations about why she shouldn't, left a bad taste in my mouth.)