Social Commentary: MTV VMA awards

It started with a post from Todd Starnes of Fox News:

I noticed a significant police presence in my Brooklyn neighborhood – barricades, road closures, chaos.

ME: “Excuse me, officer. What’s going on — a terrorist threat?”

POLICE OFFICER: “No sir. It’s the MTV Video Music Awards.”

Among the folks trolling around my hood are Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.

In other words – the risk of acquiring a communicable illness increased by about 80 percent.

I stopped paying attention to MTV awards when they stopped playing music (about the same time Kennedy left the network). I listen to Pandora for my new music and rarely watch rock music video, unless it’s Weird Al or Songify. Videos have become soft porn in the name of music. But lets admit that they affect our youth, the perceptions about relationships (which currently seem to be, take off your clothes in public and people will like you more) and current events in the world–this according to MTV VMA’s is not about Egypt or Benghazi, or even the Trayvon Marton controversy. It is Taylor Swift’s breakup, Justin Timberlakes dismissal of his former bandmates, Miley Cyrus’s hair and her proof she’s “all grown up” with obscenity and rude gestures (Is it me, or didn’t we used to think this was a sign of NOT growing up?), which even left the Smith Family (no strangers to Hollywood or MTV) open mouthed:


As a people, even left leaning people, we complain about the state of our nation, about how other countries see us, and about how poorly we treat each other. I don’t understand why any of this comes as a surprise to us when we put such displays of our culture on international spotlight. Are Muslim nations correct in saying Western Culture is a bad influence? Take a look at Miley Cyrus. Ten years ago she was a fresh faced youth with a promising future in an industry dedicated to inspiring the youth: Disney. Steeped in the Disney Culture, you’d think she’d emerge a little more like Selena Gomez, a little less like Lady Gaga, but this is what happens when you are “steeped” in the entertainment culture. Period. This is what our lovely children become when THEY are steeped in American entertainment.

It’s easy to blame this all on Billy Ray, and easy to blame Lindsay Lohan’s problems all on her mother.  And there is no question that Miley knew EXACTLY what she was doing and how it would shoot her “to the top” of the dogpile.  That says as much about the dogpile as it does about those that love watching it.  Yahoo called her “Queen of the Obscene” proving she was “all grown up” (didn’t we used to think using profanity and being obscene in public was a sign you HADN’T grown up?) and naturally almost every other main stream media outlet will agree that this is somehow proof she’s ‘grown up’ but…

Long ago, child stars who worked for Disney were protected from the influences of the industry. You don’t see Halley Mills stripping off her clothes for extra attention. Kurt Russel is pretty low key for a class A celeb. Annette Funecello was the epitome of grace then and now. And you can be sure they all had pretty driven parents. We used to think them being well adjusted people both on stage and off was a sign that they had grown up. What changed between then and now was our tolerance for exactly what happened on the MTV VMA stage. We used to know it happened between celebrities BEHIND the scenes (Debbie Reynolds and Liz Taylor come to mind), but now we see it live and even on stage.

The irony is that even celebrities know it is destructive for them. Lindsay Lohan admitted this to Oprah, and the criticism of paparazzi in Hollywood shows their tolerance does have a limit. But strangely, they still suck up the attention, even the negative attention. What they (and we) have created is a paparazzi culture, and it doesn’t seem to reflect very well on us at all.

A free people necessarily would tolerate such happenings, but a good people would never glorify or participate in it.

(Photo credits, Yahoo entertainment news)