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An attempt to defend Miley Cyrus...sort of

Okay, first off, what is so bad about twerking?

Honestly, up until two months ago I had no idea that this booty shaking, thigh quaking, hormone stimulating craze even existed, at least, not by that name. I'm old enough, though, to remember when a number of similar moves were served up in both up-tempo and mellow, sensually heated, mostly urban flavored music videos. Didn't Mrs. Carter do an upright variation of twerkable actions as backward she hung on to the waistband of Mr. Carter in her live rendition of "Déjà Vu" at the 2006 BET Awards? I, for one, thought that action was kind of hot. There was a hardly a peep of protest after that performance. Frankly, as a relatively well preserved middle aged man (Eek, to think that any thing after 38 is actually considered middle aged is depressing; male life expectancy according to the 2011 CDC report is 76, but I digress...), I'd be pretty psyched if I could break off a few energetic tweeks without quickly needing a pain pill and a massage. Of course people freaked out after Ms. Jackson got nasty with Mr. Timberlake because of the infamous wardrobe malfunction after he clearly stated "I'm gonna have you neked by the end of this song." Was no one taking him seriously? Yet, Lady Jackson was the one who was given a scarlet letter for her exposure; President of Pop JT survived largely unscathed. Yes, Hanna Montana shook her money maker brazenly into Mr. Thicke's crotch, blurring eyeballs across the nation, but it's not like he quickly walked, ran or chivalrously slid out of the reach of Ms. Cyrus' quivering behind, he stood there and took it like a man.

Part of my quandary over the whole flap is why have the men involved escaped blame almost totally in these televised sex-spectacles? They couldn't have had a lap dance without supplying their laps. In videos, male hip hop artists have been routinely skewered for providing overtly sexual representations of women, but it appears our female artists draw the worst ire from TV performances. My disappointment with Miley Cyrus' performance was not because of her jerking, finger waving, thrusting, licking, grinding, strutting effort to be different (she was singing to "Blurred Lines" at one point, least we forget; and remember a lady named Madonna, who must have been watching at one of her mansions, bored out of her mind, "I have soooo been there, done that, kid."), it was that she felt compelled to stick out her tongue like a crazy person for so much of her time. What was that supposed to show? What it did not show was sex appeal if that is what, to some degree, she wanted to display. If America wasn't ready to accept Hanna Montana as sexy before the VMAS, the tonguing like Jagger actions confirmed that view.

However much we might have been shocked with Miley's act and Robin Thicke's contribution to it, ultimately, Cyrus achieved what she wanted, "ATTENTION MUST BE PAID." In the world of any publicity is good publicity (Make no mistake, VMA performances are about getting noticed) the big losers of this spot were ultimately Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz who, after all the hoopla was over, must have felt like Christina after the 2003 VMA Britney / Madonna lip lock, "Hello, everybody, she kissed me too. Hello-o-o-oh-ooo!!!"

Chris Haley - 8/28/2013 1:06 AM

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