It’s been two months since Miley Cyrus twerked her way out of the realm of forgotten, has-been teen stars and into everyone’s conversations. As was to be expected, for a handful of days that followed the VMAs, people were giving their opinions on the performance.
Everything from, “I can’t believe she did that!” to “She’s just being Miley, okay? Leave her alone!” was on my Facebook news feed and the lips of my friends, peers, and coworkers.
Again I say it’s been two months. We were all there. We’ve seen (and seen and seen and seen) the video and still shots of both Miley’s performance and Will Smith’s family’s reaction. It has had plenty of exposure on television news stations, YouTube, and, as of last week, on the projector in one of my classes. At the Homecoming pep rally, JSU’s cheerleaders danced to a mash-up remix of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines”, and Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke couple’s Halloween costumes are selling for nearly two hundred dollars on eBay.
Miley hosted Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, and on the following Monday, my coworkers were talking all about her performance of “We Did Stop”, a parody song about the government shutdown.
Why won’t this die? Did I miss something? Two months after the fact, why is everyone still talking about Miley Cyrus, whether negative or positive?
Because that’s exactly what she wanted us to do. She’s famous, and famous people want to stay relevant for as long as they can. When they’re desperate for more hits on Google or YouTube, they’ll do something completely insane. Then, when someone else does something even crazier to upstage them, the media and the general public move on to the next on-the-verge-of-needing-rehab pop star. Such is the law of the land in the realm of pop culture.
Remember the 2009 VMAs, when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video (“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”)? Neither did I, until I Googled “VMAs” while I was writing this column, and saw the memes. That triggered my memory.
That incident, like every other “shocking” thing that a celebrity does to get more attention, was a flash in the pan. So rather than slam my head on my desk the next time the words “twerk” or “Miley” come up in conversation, I will remind myself that this too shall pass.
Several years ago, Brad Paisley released a song called “Celebrity”. The lyrics read, “I’ll make the supermarket tabloids; they’ll write some awful stuff. But the more they run my name down, the more my price goes up.” No kidding! People go from famous to obscure when they are no longer in the spotlight. As long as they are getting attention, there is no such thing as career suicide.
However, I’m almost to the point of being ready for some other pop star to do something crazy and Tweet-worthy, just so, excuse the bad pun, we can stop talking about this.