Flogging Miley

Flogging Miley

Miley Cyrus, All American Girl
Miley Cyrus, All American Girl

My initial reaction was devious glee, I wanted to rub my hands together like one of those old time villains with a curly moustache tieing a hapless maiden to the railroad tracks. The headline wrote itself: “Miley Cyrus Spanked For Hipster Racism” and I figured this would be an easy one-off. This had all the right elements for a Hipster Racist story. Hipsters denouncing hipster racism, leftie jargon about “privileged white hipsters appropriating the cultural capital of people of color,” so easy to parody it’s hard not to, and plenty of opportunities to throw in some spanking jokes.

I first heard about Miley Cyrus a few years ago from my little cousin who was around 12 at the time. I asked her who her favorite singer was, and she said Hannah Montana, then proceeded to tell me a confusing tale about a TV show where a girl has a normal life and goes to school but magically turns into a pop singer at night. Or something like that. A few summers ago her song, “Party in the USA” was all over the radio, inspiring Weird Al Yankovic’s hilarious parody, “Party in the CIA.”

As bubblegum pop, “Party in the USA” is catchy as hell, and I mean that in a completely unironic way. Part of the whole Miley Cyrus schtick was the fuzzy border between Cyrus herself and the various characters she played, since her first TV show. The lyrics for “Party in the USA” are no different. Cyrus had just turned 18, an adult, no longer under the legal authority of her parents. It’s easy to read the song as referencing her “real life” at the time, a coming of age story for the modern American gal.

Party In The USA

I hopped off the plane at L.A.X with a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of Fame Excess (Whoa), am I gonna fit in?
Jumped in the cab here I am for the first time
Look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy, everybody seems so famous

Get to the club in my taxi cab everybody's looking at me now
Like who's that chick that's rocking kicks? 
She gotta be from out of town
So hard with my girls not around me
It's definitely not a Nashville party
Cause all I see are stilettos, I guess I never got the memo

My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J dropped my favorite tune
And a Britney song was on
And the Britney song was on, and the Britney song was on

So I put my hands up they're playing my song
The butterflies fly away
Nodding my head like Yeah
Moving my hips like Yeah

I got my hands up they're playing my song
I know I'm gonna be okay
It's a party in the U.S.A
Hipster Racism: We Use Black Actors With Blacker Faces
Hipster Racism: We Use Black Actors With Blacker Faces

So I’m reading about how Miley Cyrus’ new video is hipster racism because it’s appropriating ghetto black culture and using black people as props. She actually sings “homegirls here with the big butts” and “twerks” in the video. She even wears a “grill.” Her “look,” the haircut, the outfits, the makeup, it could be described as “mudshark bulldyke.” Essentially, a minstrel show. Instead of painting your face with bootblack and giving parody political speeches full of malapropisms, you wear a Trayvon hoodie and make gang signs. So I go to youtube, watch the video, and somewhere between the initial feeling of disappointment and then growing unease, I resigned myself to the reality. It looks like I’d be writing about the CIA again.

The song is called “We Can’t Stop” (the subtitle “But We Wish You Would” is merely implied) and the lyrics are typical sexualized teenage rebellion and defiance:

We Can’t Stop

Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
Hands in the air like we don't care
Cause we came to have so much fun now
Got somebody here might get some now

This is our house
This is our rules
It's our party we can do what we want
It's our party we can say what we want
It's our body we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want
We can live how we want

To my homegirls here with the big butts
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge us
Forget the haters cause somebody loves ya

Before reading further, watch the video. What’s your initial reaction? What are you seeing? What is the narrative?

All my racist readers will probably think “it’s promoting miscegenation,” the traditional religious types maybe, “it’s promoting degenerate sexuality.” The feminists (hi, gals, I know you’re reading) probably something about the objectification of women and women reduced to objects of the male gaze.

Well take your eyes off of Miley’s ass for a moment. Did you notice any of this?

Rock and/or Roll
Rock and/or Roll

The opening has Cyrus cutting off what looks to be a penal monitoring ankle bracelet. There’s a scene of a black man eating a money sandwhich and a black man inserting things between the teeth of a human skull, which is later crushed by a shoe. Scenes of Cyrus dancing with what looks to be a black transvestite, whom she spanks, and is spanked by.

There’s a scene of a woman at a kitchen counter cutting off her own fingers and blood gushing out. Later she’s kneeling at the counter, mouth level, the knife and the severed fingers in a pool of blood. There’s a recurring scene with dancers dressed in large teddy bear outfits. A scene with a circle of sheep, wearing sunglasses, looking into mirrors. Baby lambs being carried and stuffed game being dragged along the floor. Cyrus breaks an empty pinata with a baseball bat. A crowd of young women and young men get down on all fours scrambling to pick up “candy” from off of the floor.

That’s a lot of unambiguously violent and bizarre imagery for a pop song about a night out dancing at a club! Why would the filmmakers craft such a video for a Miley Cyrus song?

Believe it or not, to answer that question, you sort of have to go to some spooky places, and a long way back in US history. I figure Birmingham, Alabama, 1916 is a good place to start. Only July 16th of that year, a presumably typical Southern woman married to a doctor gave birth to a baby boy. This boy would grow up to be a very interesting man.

Well she took me by the hand
I could see she was a fiery one
Her legs ran all the way
Up to heaven and past Avalon
Tell me somethin' girl, what it is you have in store
She said come with me now
On the Devil's Dance Floor

Flogging Molly - Devil's Dance Floor

ChibiTarotXV-TheDevil-L

To be continued.

19 thoughts on “Flogging Miley

  1. Ugggghhhhhh sorry killer I could only stomach half of that Miley video. WTF? I felt myself being contaminated.

    She needs to be kidnapped and re-educated before its too late. She’ll be another Lindsey Lohan inside 3 years. Something about LA totally distorts these hollywood types.

    She could have had the world at her feet for a few years if she’d kept the looks in her first picture. Now she’s be lucky to recover by 40.

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    1. This is a movie review. Probably half of the 16 year old white girls around the country have watched the video on their smartphones. Miley Cyrus is a product of the entertainment business. She doesn’t write any of her songs, she doesn’t script any of her videos. She shows up, sings, goes through make-up, dances around on the set, and goes home.

      This song was actually written for the black singer Rhianna, Cyrus just recorded vocals over it and starred in the video. The tattoos are fake and all she did was get a haircut. The backstory – the gossip rag stuff about her exploits in LA nightclubs – are likely just as constructed as the music and video.

      Let’s not confuse the product with the reality. Cyrus Inc. in a billion dollar business. Cyrus herself isn’t that interesting. It’s the product that’s interesting.

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  2. She’s just there to attract white teen girls into watching the video. They’re the target for the corruption.

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  3. OK, I just watched that horror show. At the end she is in bed with a white dude and she’s licking his nipple or ribs or something. YAY!? – right?

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    1. She just kissed his chest in that scene. You might be thinking of the part where she tongues the face of the barbie doll dressed in fishnets.

      It’s the ostensibly non-sexual parts of the video that are most disturbing.

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  4. “Racism” sells. Always has. If someone said the producers made that dreck just to get the “racism” angle out there I wouldn’t be surprised.

    If you could only sell white genes, Bill Gates would be serving you drinks.

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    1. The trailer makes it look like a self-esteem trip (which it is, a little bit) but there’s more to the movie than that. No naked girls in a circle with masks on, though there might have been a Hungarian aristocrat in one scene (no promises––I haven’t seen the movie in a while).

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    2. WI, any movie described as “a PG-13 Eyes Wide Shut” is going on my list! I looked it up and watched some clips, it looks hilarious. Of course the entire industry runs on product placement, but they aren’t killing celebrities so they won’t go off the plantation and influence the public. I suspect it’s more about insurance and getting at the estates.

      Let’s face it, actors, musicians, models – intelligence is optional. Add in youth, and they make pretty easy prey for an industry like the entertainment business. Just imagine how much could be made on re-issues after a tragic celebrity overdose.

      As for the gag in the movie about MTV news, when Jim Morrison died, someone wrote a biography about him called “No One Here Gets Out Alive.” All of his friends and band members said the entire thing was wholly fictional

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  5. Saw this mentioned elsewhere. Great read – the creepiest part was the mask thing.

    The rest (On casual observation) just looked like inane tongue-poking dross

    Which I assume is the objective

    Like

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