|Nothing compares to Miley Cyrus|
You’ve all seen it!
You’ve all seen Miley Cyrus swinging about on a wrecking ball with her kit off, and you’ve all seen her licking a sledge hammer.
None of it’s original, of course. Bruce Springsteen sang about Wrecking Balls, Peter Gabriel sang about Sledge Hammers, and Sinead O’Connor allowed the tears to roll down her cheeks in her video for Nothing Compares.
Miss Cyrus acknowledged a debt to Ms O’Connor when she talked to Rolling Stone magazine about making her latest video, and that’s when the trouble really started, although, frankly, I’m tempted to think the trouble started ten years ago when Mr and Mrs Cyrus exposed their little girl to the vagaries of that business we call ‘Show’.
Sinead O'Connor saw the article and the video, and she responded in the way that might be expected, by seeking to protect a young woman that she thought was vulnerable. She wasn't interviewed or, so far as I know, paid for her contribution. She simply wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus on her own website, which is now 'down' because it can't deal with the weight of traffic.
The World talks about Miley Cyrus. It talks about her growing up in public. It talks about her tattoos and her weight. It talks about her choice of hair styles and boyfriends, and it talks about her choice of outfits and singing partners.
We all saw her twerking, not terribly well, at the VMAs and now we’ve all seen her naked.
It was foolish of her to invoke Sinead O’Connor.
It wouldn’t have taken her a moment to google the Irish chanteuse to find out a little about her politics and to know that attaching her name to this sort of material might have garnered some sort of response... Except, of course, there’s a good bet she knew exactly what she was doing.
All publicity is good publicity, and baiting a very political, European woman into a slanging match in the media could only be good for Miss Cyrus if she wanted more hits on YouTube, if she wanted more publicity for her song and her video, if she wanted Wrecking Ball to find a higher position in the charts this week.
It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Well, of course it is.
And she got what she wanted, because here we all are, talking about it and her.
As of right now, the official video for Wrecking Ball has 185.5 million hits on YouTube. And it’s a pretty impressive bandwagon, too. The most popular parody has already reached the 3.5 million hit mark, and there are more than a dozen of them.
The problem is that, no matter what Amanda Palmer says about it, Sinead O’Connor is probably about right.
Amanda Palmer likes to think that, as women, we can all plough our own furrows, play in our own dressing up boxes, even if that means wearing nothing at all, explore our own sexualities, and do it all in public, safely and without coming to any harm. What a wonderful World she must live in.
To do those things we must have a great deal of security and love in our lives, a modicum of privacy, some real smarts, political awareness, trust and hope.
Clearly Amanda Palmer has had and probably still has those things. The way she talks about her mother in her open letter to Sinead O’Connor certainly suggests that. Miley Cyrus didn’t have that; Miley Cyrus spent her childhood, her formative years, on the sets of tv shows and movies that were already exploiting her, even before she hit puberty.
I wish I could believe that at twenty, Miley Cyrus is in charge of her own destiny, knows her own mind, is politically mature and doesn’t need the guidance of others, despite having grown up in public and worked in show business, probably for as long as she can remember.
I wish it was simply about feminism and empowerment, but it’s not.
I hope that Miley Cyrus won’t live to regret any of this, but I fear that she will. I hope that Sinead O’Connor is wrong about what lies in Miss Cyrus’s future, but I somehow doubt it.
The very fact that Miley Cyrus plundered Sinead O’Connor’s career for her own work rather than have an original idea, and then lashed out at her when the older woman sought only to fill a caring role in her life that seemed lacking, speaks volumes.
I only hope that women like Ms O’Connor are still willing to stand at Miss Cyrus’s side when she finds herself in real need of their support.