I was not even aware that the 2013 Video Music Awards happened until yesterday — a full day after they occurred. The only reason I heard of the ceremony was because of an attention-grabbing performance by Miley Cyrus, who is apparently ready to show the world she is no longer a child star.
As I cringed at her ridiculously sexual dance moves, I asked myself how on earth this could pass for entertainment anywhere in the world, let alone at an awards ceremony that supposedly contains the most talented artists of our country.
I am fairly certain that most adults around the country cringed in a similar fashion to Cyrus’ performance, and from the camera in the audience I could see many of her fellow artists also watching in disbelief.
I am also under the assumption that whoever choreographed her performance understood that this display would be considered in poor taste for most people over the age of 20. That leads me to believe that her embarrassing excuse for a performance was targeting children who probably still idolize her from previous years.
For me, it’s hard to choose between which is more disturbing: that children are consuming so called “entertainment” from their corrupted idols, or that the idols themselves are being propped up by advertisers and organizers who do not care about promoting real talent. The performance took various features of hip-hop culture, such as “twerking”, and combined it with Cyrus’ own brand of weirdness, resulting in a lewd call for attention featuring Robin Thicke.
I realize I am sounding alarm bells over something that will blow over fairly quickly. In all likelihood, the kids who are eating up Cyrus’ performance today will look back in embarrassment at this phase in their development. But the fact that it will blow over does not render it meaningless.
The dual forces of advertising and children’s musical inclinations are converging dangerously these days, to preclude talented artists from rising and providing the public with artistic nourishment. Other talented artists such as Macklemore and Justin Timberlake gave tamer, and in my opinion, better performances Sunday night. It is clearly only my estimation which ranks Timberlake over Cyrus, because there can never be true objectivity when it comes to music.
Despite this, we must determine in what direction we really want our entertainment culture to go toward. There is only so much time for the average person to listen to, research and support their favorite artists.
For children, there is more time, but their horizons are narrowed by what they see in the mass media. Giving such a prominent spot to Cyrus for her to showcase her mediocre musical talent and crude dancing skills reflects poorly on the state of American entertainment.