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More wreck than Wrecking Ball?
October 3, 2013 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Sinead O’Connor’s Remarkable Open Letter To Miley Cyrus "Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent."
posted by Defying Gravity (259 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent."

That part about "talent," it sticks in my craw.
posted by uraniumwilly at 7:50 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Rolling Stone article actually made me like Miley more.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:54 AM on October 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


I think it's remarkable that such an incredibly obvious and truthful letter even needs to be written. Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


What the buggering fuck is up with that tongue?

WHY IS YOUR TONGUE ALWAYS OUT MILEY? WHY?

Have you lost the ability to sweat?
posted by fatfrank at 8:00 AM on October 3, 2013 [55 favorites]


Lectures from people old enough to be your parent about how you should act less sexualized? Does that ever work?
posted by tyllwin at 8:00 AM on October 3, 2013 [26 favorites]


That's not bad but Freeman on Miley as Kali was one of the awesomest things I have ever seen on the internet.
posted by bukvich at 8:01 AM on October 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley.

I suspect this is not true. While we're guessing how Miley feels, I'd bet money that she is being shamed from about 60,000 angles and propped up by another 60,000 angles. Which must be very disorienting and scary.
posted by bilabial at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


I did not watch the VMA performance. I have not seen the Wrecking Ball video. Maybe they are totally beyond what I figure them to be, but all I'm seeing for weeks is a lot of people slut shaming a young woman and I just can't join that chorus.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:03 AM on October 3, 2013 [56 favorites]


From the Rolling Stone article:

There's an old male stripper in leather hot pants, fishnet­wearing go-go dancers, a miniature Psy dancing to "Gangnam Style." Amazon Ashley, the six-foot-seven burlesque dancer whom Miley mimed anilingus on at the VMAs, comes over, topless, except for pasties, and gives her a massive hug. "I Believe I Can Fly" plays on the PA, and a bummed-looking Oompa-Loompa, who is attached to a cable via a hook on the back of his overalls, gets hoisted up to the ceiling and dropped down to a table of girls, where he delivers a bottle of liquor.

This is what I imagine the IRL meetups are like.
posted by jquinby at 8:05 AM on October 3, 2013 [30 favorites]


Lectures from people old enough to be your parent about how you should act less sexualized? Does that ever work?

That's not what O'Connor is saying. She's not saying "act less sexualized" she's saying don't step and fetch for a bunch of horny guys:

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done.

Ouch. She never fails to hit the high notes. Good for you Sinead. Happy I paid for two tickets to see you last November - and now I doubly regret that I had to give them away.
posted by three blind mice at 8:07 AM on October 3, 2013 [33 favorites]


"Open Letter to [X]" = "Public Shaming of [X]"
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:09 AM on October 3, 2013 [15 favorites]


Lectures from people old enough to be your parent about how you should act less sexualized? Does that ever work?

A lecture this was not-- it was couched in carefully respectful language for one thing-- and when it's the experience of one of the few people in the world who have shared (or had people trying to foist on her) Cyrus' current position, it's worth her while to listen to it.

Remember when Sinead O'Connor tore up the picture of the Pope on SNL, and all the scandal that attached to it, being booed off the stage at the Bob Dylan tribute, being lambasted in the media? And that she explained her actions as a protest against the history of child abuse in the church? And then it turned out that she was right, and the Catholic church, particularly in Ireland, was rife with abusers and predators?

Still waiting for apologies, there.
posted by jokeefe at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2013 [150 favorites]



"Open Letter to [X]" = "Public Shaming of [X]"


How is it any more shaming than the Rolling Stone article that basically points out that she is a rich, entitled young woman with no real direction?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Miley is actually very talented. Very distinctive twang to her voice and a little bit of rasp, plus a wide range. Could have gone the Taylor Swift way but the material she's working with now is poor.

The slut-shaming has been awful to watch. Sinead is brave to start the debate by biting the hand that still (kind of) feeds her, but she could have picked up on the reception of Miley's transformation instead of the more standard 'music industry will crush you' stuff.
posted by colie at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2013


Sinead - why didn't you just write a letter to Miley herself? Why did you have to write this letter saying essentially that Miley is whoring herself out? Why, if this came out of genuine concern, did everyone have to read this letter?
posted by Riton at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Maybe because Miley's actions are playing out on a huge public stage, and part of Sinead's concern is how this affects other young women?
posted by jokeefe at 8:13 AM on October 3, 2013 [58 favorites]


That part about "talent," it sticks in my craw.

Why?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:13 AM on October 3, 2013


In a weird way, this makes me think of the lack of care given to young women of color in the music industry whose personae are based on exaggerated sexuality. Miley Cyrus is named in this letter as a vulnerable young woman and this is, I suspect, largely on account of her whiteness. Not because anyone shouldn't be considered and treated with care - it's not that she shouldn't be treated with care because young women of color are not, but that some people are cast as "naturally" ready to exploit.

I'm not entirely happy with "ooh, criticizing Miley Cyrus is slut-shaming" (let's bracket the racism since honestly, Miley Cyrus acts racist because there's a whole bunch of pop production structures which push her to do so).

The thing is, Miley Cyrus isn't Sarah-next-door wearing high heels and a short skirt to the school dance, where most of the choices about her clothes and self-presentation are made directly by her directly for the effects she hopes they'll have on the world immediately around her. Miley Cyrus probably has so many handlers, marketers, focus groups and stylists that you'd need a conference center to assemble them all. Her looks and gestures are carefully chosen to create a product. How much of that product is something she'd choose if she...weren't a celebrity? Had retired post Hannah-Montana? Lived in a society with more choices about how women celebrities present themselves? It's impossible to say, and I think that anyone who doesn't actually know her pretty well probably shouldn't try. Equally, we shouldn't frame this as some kind of "Miley Cyrus just wants to express her sexuality and everyone is slut-shaming her" thing. Fame and celebrity distort all that into irrelevance.

Which is the other thing: it disturbs me very much that so many people need celebrities to act out morality plays. It seems cruel to simultaneously put so much moral weight on someone's actions and to demand that they act the celebrity in an exciting, novel manner.

And when folks are all "this is slut shaming" or even "Miley is a racist", I think it overlooks the absolutely horrible, horrible process of consumer capitalism that turns the very famous young into puppets or dolls, people who are in an environment where everyone needs them to make money, lots of it, when normally they might not even be old enough to hold a job, and the money must be made from their image, body and voice. People whose experience, good or bad, is totally totally out of the way of normal people; people who are still very young but in an environment where older people will treat them either as old-beyond-their-years (at best!) because everyone else in the milieu is older or as potential victims. Miley Cyrus is a proxy, a person who is not able to "express her sexuality" in any way that makes normal sense.

It's about a thousand pities, and while it's not a patch on sweatshop labor or human trafficking, this kind of celebrity culture is something I would certainly stop if there were a way to stop it.
posted by Frowner at 8:13 AM on October 3, 2013 [65 favorites]


I'm going to assume that Sinead O'Connor is not a complete idiot and has also reached out to Miley Cyrus privately.
posted by jeather at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where is Billy Ray in all of this?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


"I know what I'm doing. I know I'm shocking you. When I'm dressed in that teddy bear thing [for the show], I think that's funny. I had this obsession about this character that's like an adult baby. Like, if you see a baby do that, it's so warped and weird, but there's something creepily hot about it. When I'm in that teddy bear suit, I'm a creepy, sexy baby."
I don't think the idea that she's being exploited is particularly convincing at all in light of her explaining herself this way.

The hand wringing that she's being exploited and the slut shaming are tired... maybe even as tired as the "shocking" pop provocateur act she's working.

Slag her because this game is old. Slag her because her music is bad. Slag her for the troubling attitudes towards black femininity. Heck, slag her because her take on what is creepy/sexy is a whole lot of creepy and not that sexy. But the whole how-can-she-let-this-happen-to-herself thing is slut shaming based on a willful ignorance of who she is and what she's doing.

I like Sinead and have always admired her willingness to speak her mind. But she makes me wince a lot with what's actually on her mind.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:17 AM on October 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I have an idea! If you really give a shit, why don't you write her an actual honest to God letter or give her a call? This patronizing open letter stuff is ridiculous.
posted by kbanas at 8:18 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually have a bit of respect for Sinead O'Connor. She shaved her head because she was actually quite beautiful but she didn't like how people paid attention to her looks instead of her music. That takes guts. Her finger wagging probably won't change much, but in my book she has credibility to write this.
posted by dgran at 8:19 AM on October 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


Where is Billy Ray in all of this?

Not that it matters, but...
These days Miley is pretty close to her parents. She sees them about once a week. "My dad's always home," she says. "He's like, 'There's nothing for me to do out here.' So he chills at the house all day, and I go see him." ... For a while, Miley's dad was pretty upset with her partying ways. In 2011, he gave an interview to GQ where he said if he could go back in time and stop her from being Hannah Montana, he would. But Miley says they've gotten to a better place. "We have a different relationship now," she says.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:21 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's really kind of painful watching Miley Cyrus.

We got to be awkward teenagers in relative privacy and anonymity, whereas she, as a former child star and celebrity, has to do all of her awkward growing up and grasping for adult sexual identity in a very public way, under the disapproving eye of the moms of millions of Hannah Montana fans while social justice bloggers go over her every move with a fine toothed comb and hold her aloft as a symbol for all that is racist and horrible in society and everyone else laughs at how much she sucks. There isn't really a healthy way for her to do that, for her to go through that, and we've seen many others before her get crushed in the gears of the machine.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:22 AM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley.

I'm not embarrassed for her in the slightest. Miley is on about the forty-fifth minute of her fifteen minutes, and for all anybody knows that's just what she wants. 'Exploited', for Heaven's sake--people who scramble to find shit jobs at minimum wage for their entire working lives are exploited, too, and have worse problems than the stiff neck one gets from sleeping in a pile of Krugerrands. Miley is an adult, she's vastly rich, and she can do, and presumably is doing, whatever she wants.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:22 AM on October 3, 2013 [20 favorites]


WHY IS YOUR TONGUE ALWAYS OUT MILEY? WHY?

I'm baffled as well, but it seems like she was trying to hype something related to this logo on her outfit.

Is it some aborted Stefani-like-Harajuku marketing thing? Anyone else know? The bear has the answers...
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2013


When I imagine Miley reading this letter, she laughs and rolls her eyes a lot.
posted by morganannie at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't think Miley is being exploited or making a sincere effort to express her sexuality. This is a false dichotomy and I'm tired of people arguing sides, because not only are there troubling sexist overtones to either side of that, but it's dead wrong. She's just the umpteenth iteration of the Look at Me! I'm a Shocking Pop Star! archetype and she's doing it to sell records and get paid.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:26 AM on October 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley.

They once said the same about Sinead. And Madonna. And Lady Gaga. And Amanda Palmer. And Cher. And Britney Spears. And a bunch of other artists I am not vested in. I could probably go on all day.

I find that letter disingenuous, self-serving, uncaring, and hypocritical. If Sinead actually did give one shit about Miley she'd pick up a phone, not write an attention seeking "Open Letter."
posted by cjorgensen at 8:27 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here's why it's an open letter:

"upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… "

Miley is publicly claiming a derivative work, Sinead is defending her brand.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:27 AM on October 3, 2013 [17 favorites]


miley's been sticking her tongue out for years and years - it pops up in hannah montana press pics - it's funny to watch people react as if it's a suddenly thing.
posted by nadawi at 8:27 AM on October 3, 2013


She shaved her head because she was actually quite beautiful but she didn't like how people paid attention to her looks instead of her music.

Yeah, because she was quite homely after the head shaving bit and no one looked at her in that way again the end.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:27 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really hate it when pointing out problematic objectification of women is mischaracterized as slut shaming. Slut shaming is an issue, but it's also an issue that it seems that famous women are always, at some point, expected to pose in their underwear or some such sexualized thing. Actors, musicians, comedians, athletes, authors--sometimes I'm surprised at the breadth of careers that are included in this expectation. Aside from how much it sucks that talented women also have to look good (semi) naked, it also sucks that young women have to show that they've "grown up" and athletes have to show that they aren't dykes and smart women have to show that they aren't just brainy by letting us all see how darn sexy they are. There's nothing wrong with being sexy, but Sinead is exactly right when she says that this "send(s) across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent." (Leaving aside the question of whether Miley is talented, I think Sinead is making the larger point here, in addition to addressing Miley directly.)
posted by Mavri at 8:28 AM on October 3, 2013 [54 favorites]


"Your body is for you and your boyfriend."

and then...

"Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire."
posted by morganannie at 8:29 AM on October 3, 2013




Sinead - why didn't you just write a letter to Miley herself? Why did you have to write this letter saying essentially that Miley is whoring herself out? Why, if this came out of genuine concern, did everyone have to read this letter?


Because the real addressee is a teenage star to be named later, who is soon to come of age?
posted by ocschwar at 8:31 AM on October 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


When I imagine Miley reading this letter, she laughs and rolls her eyes a lot.

Yeah, this.

When Jay-Z dissed her for twerking, she handled it with so much grace and aplomb that Hova couldn't help but give her props for it.

It this was *anyone* but Skinhead O'Connor, I'd be much more dismissive of it as being yet another old has-been wanting to drain some youth credibility from a younger, hotter act.

I don't think you can level those allegations at O'Connor. I think she's genuinely sincere. Patronizing and a complete media whore, but still sincere.

I have an idea! If you really give a shit, why don't you write her an actual honest to God letter or give her a call?

Yeah, this.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:34 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


also - i get what sinead is doing here and the whys - but it seems like she's looking at her own life through some skewed lenses and everyone is quick to cosign - like, yes, shaved her head to reject beauty standards and called out the catholic church long before that was the thing to do - but also wrote a letter about being horny, humping yams, and doing anal - and got married in vegas to a drug counselor and immediately went looking for weed and found crack with him in tow.
posted by nadawi at 8:37 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please, make the open letters to Miley Cyrus stop
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:38 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sinead O'Connor is frequently embarrassing--and always remembered for that--and often right--for which she is generally not given the credit. (See, again: the Pope and the Catholic Church.) Not everything about this letter is great, but it took some guts to write it and take the criticism it will engender.

I have no real opinion on Miley, because I don't pay any attention to her stuff other than when she shows up in my face (I didn't see the VMAs and I didn't read the Rolling Stone interview) but I generally make time for Sinead. She is the real deal, warts and all, and that's way more interesting to me than this year's edition of the pop (music) tart.
posted by immlass at 8:39 AM on October 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


I guess I have something of a hard time raising anything much by way of moral objection to the way Miley Cyrus has been acting/performing. Sure, there's a conversation to be had or started with people about the broad topic of sexualisation, but I'm not sure that Cyrus owes much in that direction, nor is there any great reason why she can't perform however the hell she wants. She's young and famous and is the focus of attention and she's playing with that. She's not the first and she won't be the last. Why all the public harassing and trash talking of her isn't held up as the greater problem overall, I'm at something of a loss to understand. I hope she can cope with all this handwringing and abuse etc etc etc and that she gets through it all ok.
posted by peacay at 8:46 AM on October 3, 2013


Why the Feds worried 'bout me twerkin on this corner
When there's politicians out here getting popped in Arizona
posted by Teakettle at 8:48 AM on October 3, 2013


Here we are discussing Miley. Exactly what her and the industry wants.
posted by tunewell at 8:49 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


i thought nicki minaj and danny brown had some interesting things to say about miley, twerking, detroit, and getting paid/recognition.
posted by nadawi at 8:54 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's not like she's Lindsay Lohan or something.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:54 AM on October 3, 2013


lindsay lohan was so last year - everyone is mocking/pitying amanda bynes now.
posted by nadawi at 8:57 AM on October 3, 2013


I wanna look cool and I wanna look good
With my hair slicked back and my black leather boots
I wanna stand up tall with my boobs upright
I feel real hot when my makeup's nice
I get sexy underneath them lights
Like I wanna fuck every man in sight
Baby, come home with me tonight
I'll make you feel good, make you feel alright
posted by Flunkie at 8:58 AM on October 3, 2013


Count me amongst those that found little remarkable about this letter.

"Don't get screwed by a recording/entertainment industry that doesn't care about you, and ultimately sees you as disposable." is great, and so is specific and nuanced advice regarding how women are treated and perceived as entertainers (that I can personally never speak to).

I think part of the difficulty lies in Sinead defining Miley Cyrus as a 'singer' - something that I'm not certain Miley would. I don't mean that she cannot sing, I mean that for pop stars, being an 'entertainer' is a larger and more encompassing role that includes aspects of how one looks, dresses, dances, sings, plays instruments etc. I understand the patriarchal tendency to judge women in any field for their bodies instead of their talents - but in some jobs, body, image and sexualization are a part or result of the talent. I suspect Sinead O'Connor wouldn't tell body builders, olympians and models that they should focus less on their bodies (and how people perceive them), because I suspect she understands those jobs as having a fundamental component of physical display. I don't see this as different from being a modern pop entertainer.

Now about that using-sex-workers-as-an-example-of-what-not-to-be stuff...
posted by AAALASTAIR at 8:58 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


It feels a bit like this was actually current day Sinead writing a letter to young Sinead.
posted by gwint at 9:00 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


What Does Miley Cyrus Want Us to Say So That She Knocks It Off Already?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:07 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Skinhead O'Connor"?

Really? That's the level of discourse you're going for here?

Plus all the "If you really cared about her, you'd talk privately" in this thread is borderline concern trolling. If you really cared about about this topic, you'd think it through for a minute before snarking pathetically.

The same shit was going on in the M.I.A. thread the other day. Another famous woman taking hits because she dares to express herself outside people's comfort zone. (Versus the Kanye West thread where half the world came to his defense for acting like a putz.)

Don't like what Sinead had to say? Fine. Talk about the substance. But for fuck's sake can we talk about the actual interesting topic here and not what your witheringly fatuous, curled lip of derision spits out?
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:07 AM on October 3, 2013 [48 favorites]


"I know what I'm doing. I know I'm shocking you. When I'm dressed in that teddy bear thing [for the show], I think that's funny. I had this obsession about this character that's like an adult baby. Like, if you see a baby do that, it's so warped and weird, but there's something creepily hot about it. When I'm in that teddy bear suit, I'm a creepy, sexy baby."

Cyrus is deliberately forcing us to confront what we've made her into, and we don't like that, because we're determined to keep doing it to as many girls as we can get hold of.

O'Connor is telling her she doesn't have to be consumed by her own image, and I hope she'll listen, because when all that babyishness is used up and she flames out, the charred remains aren't going to be pretty.
posted by jamjam at 9:08 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


i was in the mia and kanye thread and it seemed like both artists were being roundly shat upon. so - you know, perspectives differ. also, when it's one artist slamming another artist it's a little harder to draw the lines about who is doing the concern trolling.
posted by nadawi at 9:12 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lectures from people old enough to be your parent...

...dont step and fetch for a bunch of horny guys:


The letter is both, and neither, and coming from the right place, but I doubt will be effective.

I don't think she's a slut to be shamed, but she certainly panders to the lowest common denominator for self-aggrandizement.

I'd pretty much be proud to stand where Sinead is, Miley not so much.

Guess which one has a few principles.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:12 AM on October 3, 2013


[Maybe stop with the trolling accusations and go to MeTa with that if you need to.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:15 AM on October 3, 2013


Mavri: "I really hate it when pointing out problematic objectification of women is mischaracterized as slut shaming."

That's a fair point. We have a tendency to conflate two very different groups of people taking issue with her use of sexuality, one side coming from a chiding, patronizing (and yeah, slut shaming) angle, the other more from taking issue with problematic objectification.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2013


I dig Sinead and will ALWAYS carry shame with me for reacting poorly to her protests of the Catholic Church. However; while I think her heart and head are in the correct place and she is not incorrect in her advice; her own career path may not be one that someone else would want to emulate; had this come from someone like, hmmm, Britney or Christina it may have hit the target; Sinead never traded on her looks or sexuality (AFAIK) and it may fall on deaf ears.

Yes, Miley has herself (as recently as this week) said this is all calculated and the results and reactions are desired; so I don't think anyone will be able to dissuade her from it (see the STILL ongoing news discussion about the VMAs and the Wrecking Ball videos when all discussion of the Navy Yard shootings have fallen from the radar as evidence that she is getting the attention she seeks)

I'm not her dad, her friend or even a fan; I don't really see anything wrong in what she is doing since I've seen so many artists do the same for years.

However, I love me some Sinead O'Connor wisdom and would gladly sit through a 3 hour sermon if she was in the mood.
posted by NiteMayr at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2013


I think it's remarkable that such an incredibly obvious and truthful letter even needs to be written. Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley.

No, actually. I have no interest in this little moral panic. All the stuff she's doing is pretty unremarkable. Revealing clothes and suggestive dancing? Sticking out her tongue? Is that what passes for shocking now?

Madonna slept with black Jesus, at least that was novel.
posted by spaltavian at 9:19 AM on October 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


For my money, Madonna is a much more interesting starting point for a conversation about Miley than just about anything else. Cyrus's entire schtick right now feels like a dunderheaded, half-understood, copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of Madonna's altogether more complex and interesting relationship with provocation, sexuality, and femininity.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nothing is more irritating than people who claim someone like Miley Cyrus has 'no talent'. Comments of that nature are more indicative of the narrow world view of the commenter than of the target of the comment. I don't listen to Miley Cyrus' music but I'm not arrogant enough to deny the talent she has.
posted by spicynuts at 9:25 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have an idea! If you really give a shit, why don't you write her an actual honest to God letter or give her a call? This patronizing open letter stuff is ridiculous.

O'Connor says that she's been approached several times by media asking for comments. I suspect it's an open letter so she doesn't have to repeat herself ad nauseum every day to another reporter. Nothing wrong with that. And if you read between the lines, it's as much an FU to the music industry as it is a letter to Cyrus.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:29 AM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I also find it hilarious (NOT) that the "Top Commenter" currently at the head of the comments section is a guy telling Sinead 'what's the big deal Miley's just having fun'. Perfect. Did he even read the letter?
posted by spicynuts at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2013


much like kesha, miley has some pipes.
posted by nadawi at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


spicynuts: "Nothing is more irritating than people who claim someone like Miley Cyrus has 'no talent'. Comments of that nature are more indicative of the narrow world view of the commenter than of the target of the comment. I don't listen to Miley Cyrus' music but I'm not arrogant enough to deny the talent she has."

I have what I call my Any Idiot Rule. Whenever someone is asserting that some pop star or other is talentless and doing what any idiot could do, I simply ask, plainly?

"So do you think there is a shortage of idiots? Or do other idiots just not like the idea of being rich and famous?"

I find her music kinda awful, but not in the sense that I doubt she has a talent within her genre, more that threat of giant hornet attacks couldn't get me interested in said genre.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sinead recently got a face tattoo. Her judgement is suspect. I feel like this is a fairly obvious attempt by Sinead to get attention; not any kind of genuine concern for Miley Cyrus. I think that Miley Cyrus is putting on an act for us. She doesn't seem genuinely screwed up like Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan.
posted by humanfont at 9:37 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Slut shaming? Shitty music shaming.
posted by chasing at 9:43 AM on October 3, 2013


miley responds
posted by nadawi at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2013


roomthreeseventeen: "I think it's remarkable that such an incredibly obvious and truthful letter even needs to be written. Everyone is embarrassed for Miley but Miley."

Honestly, I'm not. I see potential in her. She's young and naive. I don't know why. I feel like her "acting out" has some recognition in there of something deeper when it comes to artistic meaning and rebellion (as a political stance, not a naive personalpoliticalbrandstance) and I can't quite explain why I feel that. I think she's mentally younger than her age, and a lot of that is from her being sheltered from the world, but I keep thinking that she's somehow seeking something bigger, and I think if given the chance and opportunity to do so, she could achieve that level of consciousness.

That's why I was struck by Sinead mentioning her "talent" because she's clearly speaking to her, not at her. She's not preaching, she's communicating and trying to empathize. Which is more than the first comment here which snarks about "talent".

That doesn't mean I like her current path or think that being on the same stage as Robin Thicke is ever, ever ever acceptable, it's clearly not.

But I think there is a self-awareness struggling to make its way to the surface that if nurtured could blossom into something wonderful. I would rather we, as a culture, take time to nurture that, than and out hate and snark and kill this potential before it even gets started.

I could also be quite wrong, and she'll just turn into one more Kardashian style celeb, full of self-indulgence and nothing more. A female Bieber, full of herself.
posted by symbioid at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"So do you think there is a shortage of idiots? Or do other idiots just not like the idea of being rich and famous?"

That's not a very good argument. It's possible the pop star system is (sometimes) like a lottery and Any Idiot with average talent could be a star if circumstances gave them the same opportunity, exposure, and promotion.

Determining whether Miley or any other star has exceptional talent requires evaluating the star in question. A blanket, "of course she's talented or she wouldn't be a star" is not very convincing.
posted by straight at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


nadawi: "miley responds"

Ugh. That was kinda shitty, essentially a Twitter-enabled version of saying, "Who gives a fuck? Bitch is mentally ill."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:56 AM on October 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


"miley responds"

I did not have much of an opinion on any of this really before that, but that was cold and mean.
posted by jessamyn at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2013 [36 favorites]


the part that gets me is that sinead is speaking to her as if she's some kind of naive teenager who's being pimped out unknowingly by an exploitative music industry

so how long was she hannah montana?

doesn't her father's experience in the music industry inform her of anything?

don't you think she could retire tomorrow if she really wanted to?

i don't pay any attention to her, but i'm pretty sure she knows what she's doing - highly controversial tv appearance - controversial video - sexy rolling stone cover

let's face it - if she wanted to go the girl next door route like taylor swift she could have and probably been successful at it

she's working the system - sinead only did that up to a point of popularity and then totally blew it off with the pope thing - maybe that was worth blowing a career over, only she can judge that - her principles were right ...

today's media - and the kids consuming it - are a lot more openly and bluntly sex crazy than they used to be - i'm not sure that's such a good thing, but it's the context that miley is operating in and she's milking it for all she can
posted by pyramid termite at 9:58 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


O'Connor says that she's been approached several times by media asking for comments.

That sounds like a humble-brag. What media outlets are constantly approaching Sinead O'Conner for her opinions on Miley Cyrus?
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 9:59 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


miley responds

on the other hand, that was just fucking low
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 AM on October 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


I write this as a dad whose daughters are younger than Ms. Cyrus, so: "Miley, you don't have to do all this. Go back to the studio and write some more. You have a good voice and can sing, and you can have a long career in music without ever needing to dress like that again."

I will readily admit that I like her voice. (Heaven knows I have heard it enough in my house.) And I would be happy to hear more of it for years to come, as long as she wants to be a singer. However, if what she wants is to be a Media Figure or Famous Person, then those jobs have a noticeably shorter lifespan and she should be ready for that.

Good luck, Miley.

(I won't even get into the "when you look back in twenty years, boy are you going to wince" angle because most people will mistakenly think I am judging.)
posted by wenestvedt at 10:01 AM on October 3, 2013


[friendly reminder, using the edit window to edit for content is not that cool especially if you are using it to make your insults more insulting. Try again?]
posted by jessamyn at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


WHY IS YOUR TONGUE ALWAYS OUT MILEY? WHY?

HYPOTHESIS: Her real dad is Michael Jordan.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Putting aside whether it should have been written/published and focusing on the content, what I think is good about this is encouraging Miley Cyrus to be wary of the influences in her life and very cautious about anyone who wants her to adjust her public sexual image in return for money/sales.

What I don't think is so good about it is the bit about "your body is for you and your boyfriend," and the implication that there is a right amount and a wrong amount of skin to show inherently, and that showing more than that is by definition prostituting yourself.

When you encourage a young artist to think hard about the way marketing interacts with bodily integrity and to answer those questions for herself with the full understanding of what the trade-offs are, that seems like a good thing. When you tell her she's a prostitute if she shares too much of her body with more people than she should, that's shaming. (To me.)

So part good, part not so good.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


I get the concern. But Cyrus seems a lot more self aware than lots of people give her credit for. Plus she's all grown up now. She doesn't have to be Hanna Montana anymore.

O'Connor, I think, could have done well by not injecting herself into the public conversation over "What's to be done with Miley?"
posted by 2N2222 at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


O'Conner was cited as an influence by Cyrus, that's why the media kept contacting Sinead.
posted by drezdn at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know if everyone has seen this 23

It is clear that Miley Cyrus has been co-opted by the satan worshping Illuminati that run the music Industry. The truth is right there in the title.

2+3 = 5, the number of sides in a pyramid.

The number 23 recurs throughout the video, often accompanied by the depiction of a horned figure. The mysterious horned figure purports to be that of a bull, but it is clearly a depiction of Baphomet, a diety worshiped by many Illuminati rappers.

The song specifies that the number of bottles they pop is 23.

There are many other clues for the observant.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:25 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I find it very strange that we react to "Miley" as an actual individual person rather than the manufactured and cleverly marketed pop culture construct that she is.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:35 AM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


O'Conner was cited as an influence by Cyrus, that's why the media kept contacting Sinead.

And of course, O'Connor just had to publicly oblige. I'm sure the media will stop ringing her phone now.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:39 AM on October 3, 2013


I find it very strange that we react to "Miley" as an actual individual person rather than the manufactured and cleverly marketed pop culture construct that she is.

Why is it so strange?

That's how we're encouraged, indeed urged to react -- and the circumstances and historical/cultural context may be vastly different, but that's how it's been (the public being encouraged to view the celebrity as intimate friend/partner/lover/father/mother/brother/sister) at least ever since Frank Sinatra stepped on a stage and hit peak stardom velocity.
posted by blucevalo at 10:40 AM on October 3, 2013


I find it very strange that we react to "Miley" as an actual individual person rather than the manufactured and cleverly marketed pop culture construct that she is.

Seems to me that "Miley" is both, just like a million other celebrities. Hell, leave the words "pop culture" out and that applies to nearly everyone, to some extent.
posted by glhaynes at 10:44 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


When you encourage a young artist to think hard about the way marketing interacts with bodily integrity and to answer those questions for herself with the full understanding of what the trade-offs are, that seems like a good thing. When you tell her she's a prostitute if she shares too much of her body with more people than she should, that's shaming.

This. Lots of this. I read the letter, and half the time I was like "yes", and the other half "ew". When Sinead got to the part about sharing yourself 'with your boyfriend", I decided then and there that overall, the letter was mostly ew.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:46 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


O'Conner was cited as an influence by Cyrus, that's why the media kept contacting Sinead.

the media contacts all sorts of people trying to get a reaction. it seems like those who really care for miley cyrus, like her godmother, dolly parton, have managed to keep their mouths shut in public. sinead can't really lecture miley about giving the powers that be exactly what they want when she's all too willing to play the roll of disapproving elder statesman and say that it's because the media kept calling.
posted by nadawi at 10:54 AM on October 3, 2013


For the record, it seems pretty clearly the the twitter account Miley took a screencap of is not Sinead O'Connor's real twitter account. It's this person. He was mocking Sinead, I assume.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:01 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, now I'm confused. Some sites seemed to think it was a real thing, but it does not look like @vampyahslayah is O'Connor's account. Were the gossip sites duped or am I missing something?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2013


Seems to me that "Miley" is both, just like a million other celebrities. Hell, leave the words "pop culture" out and that applies to nearly everyone, to some extent.

While I am perfectly aware of the concept of persona, not everyone has a team of media strategists, choreographers, makeup artists, SFX artists, media buyers, yadda yadda yadda working to craft, broadcast, test, refine, recraft, and rebroadcast... etc etc.

In short, her public persona is an entrepreneurial venture, where as most of us are satisfied with improving our Klout score.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2013


When you encourage a young artist to think hard about the way marketing interacts with bodily integrity and to answer those questions for herself with the full understanding of what the trade-offs are,

... you are being condescending and assuming a lot about the person you are talking down to. Also, begging the question re: bodily integrity.
posted by spaltavian at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2013


Elvis must be stopped. Uh, damn; just forgot it was 20xx something something. Carry on.
posted by buzzman at 11:20 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pater Aletheias - i think that's a case of an account being hacked/taken over by someone else later. vampyahslayah@yahoo.com is the address sinead gave in her find me a lover post and she talked about suicide a few times on her twitter, and then would later thank her fans for their concern - i think the cops even checked up on her once over it. it seems pretty confirmed that it used to be her twitter name.
posted by nadawi at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2013


20 = all grown up?
posted by yoga at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

There's your tl;dr.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 11:28 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some sites seemed to think it was a real thing, but it does not look like @vampyahslayah is O'Connor's account.

Best I can tell, @vampyahslayah was O'Connor as recent as 2012 (the date on the HuffPo article), but currently is not. Twitter allows users to change names at will, so once O'Connor dropped it, anyone else was free to pick it up.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:38 AM on October 3, 2013


How dare this woman show off her body and stick out her tongue?!

How dare this woman to tell her to stop?!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2013


I think we are off peak Cyrus, which apparently occurred in 2008. A full two years before Lil' B's seminal I'm Miley Cyrus.

As youtube says:

Zachary Schneller 3 weeks ago
This song is more relevant than ever.

posted by Ad hominem at 11:49 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"So do you think there is a shortage of idiots? Or do other idiots just not like the idea of being rich and famous?"

I do think there's a shortage of idiots who have rich and famous fathers with lots of connections in the entertainment industry and were therefore unable to get cast in the starring role of a popular children's show. There are many far better singers who toil in anonymity because they weren't lucky enough to be born into wealth and fame.

But I also don't think Miley is an idiot. She grew up in the industry and knows exactly what she's doing: taking full advantage of the weird mix of shame and obsession over sex in our culture that still somehow persists centuries after our Puritan forebears passed away.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 12:04 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Back a bit I did some copywriting for a design company that did packaging for Disney products (lotsa Hannah Montana crap), and the Disney people went to the design people and asked for some product branding ideas they could pitch Miley Cyrus so maybe Disney could convince her that Disney would be the right choice to manage and promote her as she grew up into the next stage of her career.

So it's interesting to see where she's decided to go with her brand and also ... sobering ... to see just how far away from her vision we were with our stupid ideas.

"Smiley Girl Jeans"? Hoo boy.
posted by notyou at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2013


Who is going to write an open letter to Justin Beiber? Gordon Lightfoot?
posted by Brocktoon at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


amanda palmer writes an open letter to sinead o'conner
posted by nadawi at 12:33 PM on October 3, 2013 [18 favorites]


amanda palmer writes an open letter to sinead o'conner

That was so, so good.
posted by likeatoaster at 1:06 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whatever else you think of Miley Cyrus, if you can listen to her rendition of "Jolene" and still claim she's lacking talent, you may not be the best judge of talent. I've come to the realization that in part, growing up means knowing and internalizing the difference between "I don't like it" and "It sucks." I don't personally care for Miley Cyrus, but the young lady can sing very, very well.
posted by jennaratrix at 1:08 PM on October 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Preach it, jennaratrix. Her Jolene cover is phenomenal.

I don't care for Miley's music, but the young woman is talented.
posted by DWRoelands at 1:12 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah, that's the clip i linked in the miley has some pipes comment up thread - it's really great. much like with gaga, i look forward to the future stripped/acoustic record.
posted by nadawi at 1:18 PM on October 3, 2013


i don't like how the conversation is steered toward slut-shaming when it's not the issue. i guess i fall toward paglia's view, that the performance was so poor that it was embarrassment to proud sluts everywhere (and we don't like the continued association). where i thought cyrus' performance was offensive was that her performance of sexuality is so inauthentic and uncomfortable, like watching a girl who has never had sex imitate softcore porn. madonna did some crazy sex shit along the way, but you always got the sense it was her own experience.

it's fun watching the music industry magazines insult o'connor, considering she called them out. it was pretty telling that the E(!) coverage of cyrus' response was entitled 'Girl Fight,' which reinforces exploitation that is so common we barely see it anymore. the music and gossip industry coverage pretty much proves o'connor's points.

i was more surprised that cyrus, in response, threw out the pope-photo thing as some kind of evidence that o'connor is crazy and/or attention-seeking. it hurt her reputation and career a lot, but it turns out she was at least ten years ahead of the rest of the world in calling out an extensive cover-up of child sexual abuse within the church.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:20 PM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Man, if Malcolm Gladwell writes one too, MeFi's gonna go crazy.

I like Amanda's letter a lot. She has a really nice way of understanding both sides as well as presenting her own experience.
posted by zompist at 1:22 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eh, I'm not saying she is untalented or anything like that, but that cover of Jolene does nothing to prove that for me. She seems like a perfectly competent singer, sure. But that version of Jolene is just a rehash. It's not phenomenal. It's a perfectly competent imitation of a phenomenal song, without any significant change to make it somehow different from its clearly superior predecessor.

I guess I'm of the school that says if you're going to do a cover, either do it differently than the original, or do it better than the original. This is neither, and not by a long shot.
posted by Flunkie at 1:24 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


it's interesting that the married 36 year old with the rape-y song is virtually unmentioned as the focus continues to burn on "miley's performance."
posted by nadawi at 1:25 PM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


the "clearly superior predecessor" seems to like it
posted by nadawi at 1:28 PM on October 3, 2013


I want Umberto Eco to write an open letter to Amanda Palmer, now. I don't know about what, I just want it to happen.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:29 PM on October 3, 2013 [24 favorites]


So Dolly Parton is nice? To her goddaughter? That shows that Miley Cyrus' version of Jolene is the crème de la crème of versions of Jolene?

Jolene is a fantastic song, and essentially cannot be unintentionally fucked up by anyone competent.
posted by Flunkie at 1:30 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


i don't think anyone said it was the best version ever - i think people said they liked it and that it shows that she can sing. i'm not really sure what you're fighting about...
posted by nadawi at 1:33 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm saying it's not phenomenal. This was in direct response to it being called phenomenal.
posted by Flunkie at 1:34 PM on October 3, 2013


Is this the thread where we enter our request for Noam Chomsky to write an open letter to Camille Paglia?
posted by bukvich at 1:37 PM on October 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Why Sinead O’Connor’s Letter To Miley Cyrus Is Not Slut-Shaming" by Scott Janovitz
posted by larrybob at 1:40 PM on October 3, 2013


Just in case anyone is still wondering why Sinead O'Connor wrote that letter and made reference to media types asking her opinion: if you watch the Wrecking Ball video (and I have) there are closeup shots of Cyrus which are very obviously a homage to Nothing Compares 2 U, and Cyrus herself stated the same. That's why Sinead got pulled into this, and why she published the letter; her own work was being referenced by Terry Richardson, of all people, and I would imagine she would have something to say about it.

I'm also tired of the accusation of "slut-shaming" when it comes from men accusing women of over-reacting to profit-driven sexualization.
posted by jokeefe at 1:44 PM on October 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


"Sinéad O'Connor – don't assume Miley Cyrus is a victim" by Melissa Bradshaw
posted by larrybob at 1:45 PM on October 3, 2013


"Why Sinead O’Connor’s Letter To Miley Cyrus Is Not Slut-Shaming" by Scott Janovitz

It's all Terry Richardson's fault? Cuz I can believe that.

Somebody oughta write that guy an open letter.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:45 PM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


why didn't she write the open letter to (or mention) terry richardson?

call it whatever you want - sinead telling miley to save her body for her man is gross and a pretty awful message to cram into "respect yourself."
posted by nadawi at 1:50 PM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Comments on this E! article seem to agree that Miley brining up mental illness is a low blow.
"Girl Fight: Miley Cyrus Disses Sinead O'Connor, Compares Her to Amanda Bynes"
posted by larrybob at 1:55 PM on October 3, 2013


Girl Fight give me a fucking break
posted by jokeefe at 1:56 PM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think the Amanda Palmer open letter to an open letter is the best.
posted by larrybob at 2:00 PM on October 3, 2013


All this attention, handwringing, etc is just what her management has been working towards. The first thing I think about whenever someone mentions Miley Cyrus these days is generally "Larry Rudolph is really smart." She signed him on as her manager in February this year - since then her image and repertoire have undergone a pretty drastic overhaul with really visible (and successful, by their standards) results. (Larry Rudolph = Britney Spears' ex-manager; responsible for Britney's similar transition etc.)

This isn't exactly all "Miley's idea" or "Miley letting loose" etc; it's all quite carefully engineered by her team. Just from a business or 'industry' standpoint... it's pretty impressive.
posted by aielen at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aside: now that it's been established that Amanda Bynes' strange behavior was the result of paranoid schizophrenia, it'd be the decent thing if people stopped using her as a punchline. I know starlets are out of control, yo! and famous people are hilariously weird! but schizophrenia is really and truly not funny.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


I hate to bring this up. Paris Hilton, remember her?

She signed to to Young Money, joining Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj. Here is a preview of her First Single

Won't be long before she is getting open letters too.

Amanda Bynes almost signed to BSM, Waka Flocka Flame's label but I think it fell through. Only a matter of time though before she signs with someone.

Seems like there is some kinda trend. I don't know wtf is going on anymore.

I think Sinead should work with like, a reconstituted Black Star, and put out a conscious rap album. She is behind the times with this writing words down nonsense.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:28 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you Nadawi! I love that song and Miley's rendition is really fun.
posted by Carillon at 2:34 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who is going to write an open letter to Justin Beiber? Gordon Lightfoot?

I believe a TV host called him out in a live interview. Which is a bit more hard core than an open letter.
posted by ocschwar at 3:00 PM on October 3, 2013


sinead responds to miley's response

once again i find myself nodding along with parts and vehemently disagreeing with parts.
posted by nadawi at 3:05 PM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was trying to figure out why Cyrus' VMA performance (and her other attempts to rebrand herself as a wriggly pop tart) failed so utterly. I mean, she's not an un-pretty girl. She's certainly no less pretty than Lady Gaga, who manages to strut around in skimpy costumes without embarrassing herself a bit. Cyrus was trying to outrage, and she did, but the response was the wrong kind of outrage, everybody felt queasy and sad for her.

I am reminded of somebody's observation that cool people can do things that would look ridiculous if anybody else did them, and make those things look cool. 1973 Mick Jagger, for instance, could hop around in rainbow suspenders without a shirt, because he was Mick Jagger. It's not just about self-confidence. Cyrus gave every indication that she really thought she was hot shit, up there. She was an attractive you woman with oodles of self-confidence, doing an act that could've (maybe) worked if she was 1985 Madonna. But she lacks that cool chromosome, she just doesn't have It... and so watching her try to be super sleazy-sexy in her little nudie teddy bear costume just feels icky and sad.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sinead should respond to AFP's response.
posted by Flunkie at 3:09 PM on October 3, 2013


I was trying to figure out why Cyrus' VMA performance (and her other attempts to rebrand herself as a wriggly pop tart) failed so utterly. I mean, she's not an un-pretty girl. She's certainly no less pretty than Lady Gaga, who manages to strut around in skimpy costumes without embarrassing herself a bit. Cyrus was trying to outrage, and she did, but the response was the wrong kind of outrage, everybody felt queasy and sad for her.

It makes sense if you consider that she was presenting an over sexualized version of a child star to make a point or just for the hell of it. That doesn't mean there aren't problems with the performance, but it sounds like Miley is child star coming into her own, for good or ill.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well I'm going to pen an open letter to the both of them. Let's hope they can both listen to sense!
posted by mazola at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm sending an open text, because HIPNESS.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:21 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


has she failed? she seems to be pretty successful. while there might be some queasy hand wringing, it's not a universal reaction.
posted by nadawi at 3:22 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


> They once said the same about Sinead. And Madonna. And Lady Gaga. And Amanda Palmer. And
> Cher. And Britney Spears. And a bunch of other artists I am not vested in. I could probably go on
> all day.

My daughter's age is just right for having watched Britney as a Mouseketeer, so I actually remember Britney as a Mouseketeer. I am embarassed for her.
posted by jfuller at 3:30 PM on October 3, 2013


The cynical part of me (which is a large part of me) thinks that sinead is, just like Elton John, leveraging MC's media hype (which is based on her youth and still unrealized potential) to generate a little media hype of her own. I mean, if O'Connor really cared, she would at least PM Miley Cyrus.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:30 PM on October 3, 2013



I did not have much of an opinion on any of this really before that, but that was cold and mean.

I second that.

That was an INCREDIBLY vile thing to do.

I didn't agree with Miley's new persona, but it looked like it was getting her what she wanted. But now I think she has just totally, as we say in the South, "showed her butt."

My own open sentence to Miley? "Honey, just remember, you reap what you sow."
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


All we need are some Perky Pat and Companion Connie dolls, some CAN-D and a few virtual layouts and we will be all set.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I liked the "open letter" concept much better when they were simply thrown away by the lackey at the newspaper whose job it was to do so.

Had he lived to see this open letter twitter tumblr era, William Safire surely would've opened every vein he could with alacrity.
posted by basicchannel at 4:03 PM on October 3, 2013


sinead responds to miley's response

This started out stupid and is even stupider.

Isn't the adage "Never punch down."?

This is going to devolve into a feud like the Ophra/Trump feud. It doesn't matter if you care you will be unable to escape.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:09 PM on October 3, 2013


I find myself on Miley's side. It's not like she can't be different in a few years. She tried something, is trying something, and it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Everybody clucking their tongues at her...I mean sheesh. Calling Miley a prostitute is really stupid. I used to love Sinead's music but if Miley and Britney want to twerk and pole-dance and they're fine with it, it doesn't mean they're going to twerk and poledance their way into a meth addiction and for all eternity.

Women have bodies and they're allowed to make mistakes with them and not have to deal with everyone saying they deserve to be devalued for being sexual or suggestive or get warned about regretting it. (Jesus, all day long with the, "Young lady, you'll regret this and that, etc.") Miley gets to do what she wants and stop doing it if she doesn't feel like it anymore without being forced to feel shame, as though shame is so instructive.
posted by discopolo at 4:23 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Women have bodies and they're allowed to make mistakes with them

especially their fingers - on a computer keyboard
posted by pyramid termite at 4:34 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


> as we say in the South, "showed her butt."

If "the South" happens to be Atlanta we say "showed my butt at Pizza Hut".
posted by jfuller at 4:40 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


ah, the wonders of southern cuisine
posted by pyramid termite at 4:46 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I find that letter disingenuous, self-serving, uncaring, and hypocritical. If Sinead actually did give one shit about Miley she'd pick up a phone, not write an attention seeking "Open Letter.""

You just sound jelly that you get no attention for your jackassletters.com.
posted by klangklangston at 4:50 PM on October 3, 2013


Jelly?

Anyone have Sinead's address?
posted by cjorgensen at 4:56 PM on October 3, 2013


U Jelly
posted by klangklangston at 5:00 PM on October 3, 2013


This whole this is a tempest in a sexpot.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


it's a good thing the government's not shut down or anything like that.
posted by philip-random at 5:50 PM on October 3, 2013


so looks like spears is claiming she's been pressured to ramp up the sex by the same manager who is managing cyrus' (supposedly self-guided) public sexual awakening.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


so looks like spears is claiming she's been pressured to ramp up the sex by the same manager who is managing cyrus' (supposedly self-guided) public sexual awakening.

Reminds me of the Japanese "talent" management system, where television and media personalities are constructed and controlled by a slick marketing machine that is more like indentured servitude than anything else.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2013


Amanda Palmer replies to Sinead O'Connor:

"In other words, let's give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle, instead of ordering them to get back in the house and put some goddamn clothes on."

Why the hell would you charge into battle naked? Armour would be a better idea, really.
posted by New England Cultist at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Open letter to the open letter to the open letter to the open letter.
Boo.

posted by SpacemanStix at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amanda Palmer and Sinead O'Connor share a curious confidence that people will want to hear what I have to say about THAT. Whatever that is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's Britney Spears all over again. I was expecting this to happen. I feel bad for Miley. She is in a world few of us can ever understand unless we are a part of it. I am hoping the best for her.
posted by eq21 at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2013


Amanda Palmer and Sinead O'Connor share a curious confidence that people will want to hear what I have to say about THAT. Whatever that is.

They're also both right: people are interested. I find a lot of the response to the open letters pretty interesting as well. Dudes get to spout off on crap all the time and nobody thinks much of it. But Cyrus name-checked O'Connor and O'Connor had something to say, and she said it, and HELLO there must be something wrong with an woman speaking up. And I'm not an Amanda Palmer fan (she generally makes me eyeroll) but if she wants to comment on something on her own damn tumblr, there is nothing wrong with that, either.

You don't have to agree with everything either of them said to side-eye the idea that they need to shut it down because nobody wants to hear what some uppity woman has to say on things like "how the music business exploits women".
posted by immlass at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2013 [17 favorites]


the spears story is interesting because she doesn't name names. she isn't legally in control of her work and some wondered if she was talking about her dad there. it's curious that a woman too sick to control her own affairs is still being put forward for our entertainment.
posted by nadawi at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ursula Hitler: I was trying to figure out why Cyrus' VMA performance (and her other attempts to rebrand herself as a wriggly pop tart) failed so utterly.

Failed at what? Anyone who was saddened or shocked by her performance are not her audience, especially the professional outrage class. All of you are told old to listen to Cyrus or critique her. You not liking it isn't her "failure".

St. Alia of the Bunnies: I didn't agree with Miley's new persona,

You mean you didn't like it. There's nothing to agree or disagree with here; it's what she does and you like it, dislike it or don't care. Your solemn disapproval is no more important or correct than someone else's unexamined enjoyment. It's entertainment; it's rarely important for good or bad.

"Honey, just remember, you reap what you sow."

I know people speak differently in the south, but you're not her mom. The familiarity and the unasked for advice are more disrespectful of Cyrus' agency than any sexually charged performance.

Why bother with tsk-tsking someone you don't know? If it's not your thing, change the channel.
posted by spaltavian at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


i am not looking forward to the sinead snl skit that is sure to happen this week with miley hosting.
posted by nadawi at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's positively Warholian now, she's a Campbell's soup can. [NSFW]
posted by thinkpiece at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why the hell would you charge into battle naked? Armour would be a better idea, really.


The Native American custom of stripping down for battle was a direct response to the introduction of musket balls. They were pretty quick to figure out that lead shot is more survivable if it doesn't embed a strip of cloth deep in your body.

And the lesson Amanda Palmer and Sinead O'connor should take away from this observation is that you should dress for the battle your enemy has in store for you.

(So if the enemy has ray guns, I recommend highly reflective tin foil.)
posted by ocschwar at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: I didn't agree with Miley's new persona,

You mean you didn't like it. There's nothing to agree or disagree with here; it's what she does and you like it, dislike it or don't care. Your solemn disapproval is no more important or correct than someone else's unexamined enjoyment. It's entertainment; it's rarely important for good or bad.


From my point of view, I can and do absolutely disagree with that persona. Not liking it is PART of disagreeing with it, but there are lots of things I don't particularly like that aren't in the realm of disagreement.

"Honey, just remember, you reap what you sow."

I know people speak differently in the south, but you're not her mom. The familiarity and the unasked for advice are more disrespectful of Cyrus' agency than any sexually charged performance.


And my remark THERE was directed at her slam against Sinead's mental troubles. That pissed me off pretty bad-much more than any of her juvenile antics at any awards show, frankly.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:02 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


that warhol link goes to terry richardson's page and is nsfw.
posted by nadawi at 8:08 PM on October 3, 2013


Sorry, yes, NSFW. And I meant that the pictures of Miley by Terry Richardson are Warholian. The endless shots of the product, over and over and over.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:11 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


[NSFW warning added]
posted by mathowie at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2013


Who wants to bet Richardson shot the original unicorn twerk to WOP video. That blank wall man, shit is like his signature. We know he shot the Upton Cat Daddy video too.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:39 PM on October 3, 2013


The Native American custom of stripping down for battle was a direct response to the introduction of musket balls. They were pretty quick to figure out that lead shot is more survivable if it doesn't embed a strip of cloth deep in your body.

And the lesson Amanda Palmer and Sinead O'connor should take away from this observation is that you should dress for the battle your enemy has in store for you.


This makes no sense. Winning a battle does nothing if you lose the war. The Native Americans lost. (So did the Gauls.). Fighting naked is just stupid. If you're going into battle naked, someone should damn well tell you go into the house and put some armor on.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:09 PM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Failed at what? Anyone who was saddened or shocked by her performance are not her audience, especially the professional outrage class. All of you are told old to listen to Cyrus or critique her. You not liking it isn't her "failure".

Well, have you heard anybody, young or old, saying they actually liked it? Camp hounds and schadenfreude junkies dug it, but that's about it. She's a national laughingstock right now, endlessly parodied and goofed on. I think she hit the stage expecting to reinvent herself as a sexy pop siren, and it was a fiasco by virtually any measure.

I had no strong opinion about her, before the performance. I knew she was trying to shed her wholesome image, which I thought was a worthy goal. But the act she went with, with the teddy bears and the unflattering topknots and grinding on Robin Thicke and her tongue lolling around like a cocker spaniel's... it was so, so not good.

My criticism was not that she was too trashy, but that she wasn't cool trashy. I have zero problem with good trash, but watching her was like watching a sloppy-drunk sorority chickie doing a table dance on a very wobbly table.

It's Britney Spears all over again.

Indeed.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:45 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ursula Hitler, I'm with you on this one. It was just gross. Not at all sexy. Not at all appealing. Creepy, trashy, and tacky in the bad, unfun way. Why can't a barely legal starlet class it up as a way of looking sexy and adult, for a change? Plus now she's going on about all the drugs and how she wants to look this bad and....ughhhhhhhh. I don't care if she wants to boff a whole football team, but I do care when she grosses me out with her "sexuality" and I can't go anywhere online without seeing that damned animal leotard and the twerking and tongue. And I didn't even watch the VMA's. Other people can pull it off, as you mentioned upthread, but she isn't. I think the only person that likes her looks and behavior IS her. Which makes me think she's an idiot with no taste, and....yeah.

I have never liked Miley, though. Before the terrible haircut, she had average looks, kind of a raspy voice, sings songs that seem to be at best mediocre, and every time I hear her speak, she sounds pretty bratty and uncouth. Talent, what talent? I don't see it. And if she has any, it's now buried under a pile of creepy skank vibes and twerked-on stuffed animals and "molly."
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:36 PM on October 3, 2013


"amanda palmer writes an open letter to sinead o'conner"

F*cking awesome. I really have to go find some of Ms.Palmer's music.
posted by Snowflake at 11:11 PM on October 3, 2013


I find a lot of the response to the open letters pretty interesting as well. Dudes get to spout off on crap all the time and nobody thinks much of it. But Cyrus name-checked O'Connor and O'Connor had something to say, and she said it, and HELLO there must be something wrong with an woman speaking up.

Actually, people of all genders have a field day when Bono goes on a bit about his pet causes, or when Dave Grohl feels compelled to make pronouncements about whether EDM is legitimate music. That isn't to say that women don't face additional, often unwarranted skepticism when they express their opinions. They do, indisputably. But there's certainly a well-established current of annoyance people feel toward artists of any gender who are seen as being tedious with how often they feel they must chime in.

You might note, for instance, that the overwhelming majority of the criticism of O'Connor's open letter is coming from a resolutely feminist perspective. That is, people aren't saying Sinead should pipe down because she's a woman, they're taking umbrage at her condescension and her patronizing of Cyrus: surely she must just not realize what she's doing, surely she's a pawn, etc. Whether you agree with this criticism or not, you can see it comes from an entirely different place than "mouthy woman must shut up."

For my part, I really like Sinead O'Connor. But I'm able to feel that way--and even agree with a lot of what she says--and still think maaaaaaan, she does go on. I'm a big Flaming Lips/Wayne Coyne fan, but I can still wince at how often he runs his mouth.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:12 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's a national laughingstock right now, endlessly parodied and goofed on. I think she hit the stage expecting to reinvent herself as a sexy pop siren, and it was a fiasco by virtually any measure.

By any objective measure her reinvention has been a huge success
posted by The Gooch at 11:18 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Side note: if you've never seen Sinead in Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy in which she plays the titular character's hallucinations of the Virgin Mary, you totally should.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:23 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, have you heard anybody, young or old, saying they actually liked it? Camp hounds and schadenfreude junkies dug it, but that's about it. She's a national laughingstock right now, endlessly parodied and goofed on. I think she hit the stage expecting to reinvent herself as a sexy pop siren, and it was a fiasco by virtually any measure.

I'm not vested in her, well out of her intended audience, and I thought the performance was amusing in a good way. And I'm not convinced she's unaware of the ridiculousness of the whole display. She comes out and says how funny it is for someone with negative butt topology like hers to twerk. It wasn't cool trash. It looked like goofy, fun, even self deprecating trash, and all indications point to that being the intended effect.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:31 PM on October 3, 2013


"Well, have you heard anybody, young or old, saying they actually liked it? Camp hounds and schadenfreude junkies dug it, but that's about it. She's a national laughingstock right now, endlessly parodied and goofed on. I think she hit the stage expecting to reinvent herself as a sexy pop siren, and it was a fiasco by virtually any measure.

I had no strong opinion about her, before the performance. I knew she was trying to shed her wholesome image, which I thought was a worthy goal. But the act she went with, with the teddy bears and the unflattering topknots and grinding on Robin Thicke and her tongue lolling around like a cocker spaniel's... it was so, so not good.
"

You should read her RS interview; she addresses a lot of these complaints there.
posted by klangklangston at 12:16 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Folks this is Hanna Montana after all, Punk Rock Miley is probably her newest character. When the interviewer left I wouldn't be surprised if she got back into her sweats and dinosaur feet slippers and went back to watching Hoarders re-runs.
posted by PenDevil at 12:35 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone who was saddened or shocked by her performance are not her audience, especially the professional outrage class. All of you are told old to listen to Cyrus or critique her. You not liking it isn't her "failure".

I'm really wondering exactly who IS her target audience? I'm 47 and I was appalled at her performance because it made no sense to me and I thought it was tacky and sad. Ok, I'm 47 so maybe I'm too old to listen to her music.

But my daughter is 22. She had the exact same reaction I did. She thought it was tacky, showed no class and had no positive message for women in her age bracket. The only song of hers that she likes is "Party in the USA"-but then again, my 40 year old husband likes it too.

My neices are 18, 16 and 13. None of the 3 of them particularly cared about her performance other than thinking she "looked stupid". They don't listen to her music unless it happens to come on the radio in the car-but they don't seek it out or download/buy any of it.

My son is nearly 11. Listening to the back seat talk during car pools and when volunteering at his school-she's not even on 5th grade girls' radar.

So who is she marketing this persona to?
posted by hollygoheavy at 2:00 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


So who is she marketing this persona to?

She's a star of such huge proportions that it's more important for her to be established as a 'thing' across the entire spectrum of social media-driven pop culture, rather than actively 'have fans' any more. Lady Gaga 'has fans' and it's starting to look quite old-fashioned and quaint.

So, yes, the VMAs were a success for her. Success is now measured in Tweets and YouTube views and it doesn't matter if most people are saying 'euwww' as they watch. This is modern entertainment.

One remaining area where pop stars are still making money is on their live tours as well, so this is another reason for her to introduce a strong 'OMFG what will she do next on stage?' factor.
posted by colie at 2:37 AM on October 4, 2013


I was ranting about this to my two nieces, and they changed the subject to her music and how good it is.

Cyrus has more than one audience. I think if you pander to the creepy old jerk demographic it is easier to sell music to your actual fans.

We might not like that, but i think that is the way things are.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:16 AM on October 4, 2013


Disney's creepy genius has long been it's ability to sell kids' sexuality by delivering it super scrubbed down and wholesome. It's not as if someone woke up a few months ago and discovered in Miley fresh, untapped fodder for the machine. The warning about the predations of the music/entertainment industry is accurate, but seems like that ship sailed for Miley about 9 years ago.

it's fun watching the music industry magazines insult o'connor, considering she called them out.

Except she didn't call them out. She called out Cyrus...not her managers, record label, MTV, Disney, The Industry etc. I get O'Conner's gripe, but her target seems misplaced. If you want to rage against the machine...rage against the machine...not its presumed tools.

I think the only person that likes her looks and behavior IS her.

Not sure there's anything wrong with this.
posted by space_cookie at 3:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


All of you are told old to listen to Cyrus or critique her. You not liking it isn't her "failure".

That's funny. I'm mid fifties and I like Miley's music, and I really like Wrecking Ball. On the other hand, she's pretty much the poster child for "sexy" not being sexy anymore. She's like a living cartoon character, flat lines and bright color and action, no caves or hollows or shadows. What better metaphor than not being able to keep her tongue in her beautiful mouth?
posted by thinkpiece at 3:55 AM on October 4, 2013


Well, have you heard anybody, young or old, saying they actually liked it?

I'm thirty; I don't know anybody who watched it. Neither me, nor the Concerned Moms of America are her demo.
posted by spaltavian at 4:54 AM on October 4, 2013


Sinead's Third Letter to Miley.
posted by Elmore at 4:59 AM on October 4, 2013


Whatever one thinks of Amanda Palmer, it's clear she's doing her music (and her nudity) on her own terms with her own aesthetic. That is substantially less clear with Mikey Cyrus, and given her history, it's highly likely that she's being packaged according to someone else's idea of "what sells". That, to me, is what Sinead O'connors message was about, much more than "don't get naked."
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:22 AM on October 4, 2013


It looked like goofy, fun, even self deprecating trash, and all indications point to that being the intended effect.

Yeah. From the RS interview:
Miley isn't bothered by people who called her performance a disaster. "I wasn't trying to be sexy," she says. "If I was trying to be sexy, I could have been sexy. I can dance a lot better than I was dancing." She knows sticking her tongue out isn't hot and that those weird stubby pigtails aren't flattering ("I look like a little creature"). And she even knows it's ridiculous for her to twerk. "People are like, 'Miley thinks she's a black girl, but she's got the flattest ass ever,'" she says. "I'm like, I'm 108 pounds! I know! Now people expect me to come out and twerk with my tongue out all the time. I'll probably never do that shit again."

It's all calculated though. She says she probably won't do that shit again, like it was a one-off, but her tongue's still out in half her pictures. Publicity-wise she's doing a pretty good job having it both ways, downplaying the significance of the VMA performance in interviews while continuing to play off the goofy/trashy image.

Probably wouldn't hurt her to apologize for the mental health dig, though; I don't think being an asshole is part of whatever it is she's trying to project these days.

[Great line from Sinead in that last letter: "You ought [to] apologize for joining those who mock and humiliate women who have been too nice frankly, to manage the music business without sensibly losing their minds."]
posted by torticat at 5:37 AM on October 4, 2013


miley's tongue has been out since at least 2008. i don't think she'll stop that any time soon.

success isn't just measured in tweets and views - she has actual legitimate sales - her last 2 singles have been her biggest selling songs, she's topped the charts in countries she's never charted in before. her reinvention is an out and out success.

CheeseDigestsAll i would have agreed that maybe sinead was making her point badly until her second letter where she called miley a prostitute - that's a shitty thing to call a woman while simultaneously accusing miley of being anti-woman.
posted by nadawi at 6:02 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't call these publicity stunts a marketing failure. The numbers speak for themselves - the latest 2 singles ("We Can't Stop", "Wrecking Ball") have been doing very well on the charts - much better than any of Miley Cyrus' previous releases.
People are listening and watching, even if they're complaining and criticizing at the same time.
I thought this sort of sums it up.
posted by aielen at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2013


I wasn't going to comment, but "Punk Rock Miley"? Really? Is punk that fucking dead?
posted by Dysk at 6:20 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is obviously her club kid phase, not her punk phase. avril and greenday are still killing punk for the mainstream like they've been doing for decades.
posted by nadawi at 6:23 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


last night at the girls rock dallas benefit, amanda palmer sang 'nothing compares 2 u' and 'wrecking ball' together. oh, and girls rocking at the event.
posted by nadawi at 6:49 AM on October 4, 2013


I wasn't going to comment, but "Punk Rock Miley"? Really? Is punk that fucking dead?

Yes, yes it is.
posted by PenDevil at 7:10 AM on October 4, 2013


Sinead's third letter has now destroyed her original credibility and the whole thing is just painful now.

She's now snarling at Miley about 'g-string changes' and threatening legal action because Miley might have 'damaged her career'... Sure, Miley should not have mocked the mental illness stuff but if the 'poor young exploited teen star' is half as damaged by the evil industry as Sinead thinks she might be (and like Bynes was/is?), then surely turning on her so viciously so fast over a bad Tweet is not really cool?
posted by colie at 7:14 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


You might note, for instance, that the overwhelming majority of the criticism of O'Connor's open letter is coming from a resolutely feminist perspective. That is, people aren't saying Sinead should pipe down because she's a woman, they're taking umbrage at her condescension and her patronizing of Cyrus: surely she must just not realize what she's doing, surely she's a pawn, etc. Whether you agree with this criticism or not, you can see it comes from an entirely different place than "mouthy woman must shut up."

Just because someone is (or claims to be) coming from a feminist perspective doesn't mean that they can't be delivering an antifemnist message. I suspect O'Connor would consider herself something of a feminist in her own way, though far more of a gender essentialist and through more of a religious filter than I'm comfortable with. And yet some people here find her message antifeminist. (See also, closer to home: a bunch of recent gender MeTas.)

Bono has opinions about all kinds of things unrelated to music or the business (and has been expressing them for longer than Sinead O'Connor has even been on the music scene) and I don't know a lot about Dave Grohl, but I know enough about EDM to suspect that Grohl doesn't know much about it. O'Connor's first letter is talking about her life experience and her career arc in the music business, again, after being name-checked, though, so like it or not, she's actually talking about something she does know about and has a reason to say something on. Those examples aren't comparable.

(Though O'Connor is probably not doing herself any favors with letters two and three, the latter of which I haven't read. Regardless of other things, when you're 40something, you owe it to yourself not to get into internet slapfights with kids.)
posted by immlass at 7:28 AM on October 4, 2013


If Miley Cyrus wasn't a former cutie pie Disney Channel star I doubt we would even be having this conversation. Not trying to claim that Cyrus is some sort of completely innocent victim or anything since obviously her performances and persona as of late are intentionally provocative, but she is hardly the first singer to use sexuality as part of her act. I have a hard time seeing what makes Cyrus' dress and performance style so much more outrageous, shocking and worthy of scorn than Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Lil' Kim or any other singer who has used skimpy dress and blatant sexuality as part of her act without being shamed by the "we are very concerned about you, young lady" contingent (It's possible I'm forgetting some of the scrutiny these other woman have experienced throughout their earlier careers, but this definitely feels different).

I hope O'Connor's subsequent letters to Cyrus have quieted the "this isn't slut-shaming, stop saying it is" crowd. I would think O'Connor straight out referring to Cyrus as a prostitute and making snide remarks about Cyrus changing her g-string ended that debate (and I would also think the multiple letters in a row in rapid succession should also quiet the "This was not a publicity stunt" argument)
posted by The Gooch at 7:34 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


i am not looking forward to the sinead snl skit that is sure to happen this week with miley hosting.

I am expecting Miley to rip apart a photo of Sinead.
posted by Kabanos at 7:42 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


nadawi, I agree. O'Connor lost it with her response (not that Cyrus didn't sort of ask for it, but Sinead could have stayed above the fray and not made it a catfight).

I liked things about both Sinead's (first) letter and Amanda Palmer's letter. The thing is, though, they were both making an assumption: Miley Cyrus [is / is not] in control of her image. Unless you know the truth, it's all speculation.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:50 AM on October 4, 2013


O'Connor is probably not doing herself any favors with letters two and three, the latter of which I haven't read. Regardless of other things, when you're 40something, you owe it to yourself not to get into internet slapfights with kids

I feel the same way. Which is why I can be annoyed by Sinead in some cases, even as I am a fan, without it in any way being me wanting to silence her as a woman. If you're not quite where I am on this with her yet, give her time. If past is prologue, she's not close to letting this go.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2013


Is punk that fucking dead?

Yes, yes it is.


Not tonight in NYC!
posted by thinkpiece at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2013


  • Sinéad O'Connor – don't assume Miley Cyrus is a victim
    Sinéad O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus isn't entirely helpful to women. While O'Connor's warnings about young artists being exploited by the music industry should be taken seriously, the implication is that naked or other sexual images of women inevitably entails the woman being a victim. Why should this be the case? How boring a world without any images of nudity would be. There would be no celebration of the immense power of sexuality, no eroticism.

    O'Connor doesn't use the word objectification in her letter, but the idea that looking upon women's naked or semi-naked bodies necessarily means the disempowerment of women underlies her words. When O'Connor writes, "you ought be protected as a precious young lady", and says that female nudity makes young women "prey for animals and less than animals", she equates women's bodies with vulnerability and violence...
  • Miley responds further

  • posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Holy cow, her "Jolene" cover is really good. It's too bad being a popstar pays so much; she should be a blue-grass singer, just like how Gaga should be a broadway star. That's where their talent would finally be on equal footing with their oversized personas.
    posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2013


    Really? Is punk that fucking dead?

    In order to be relevant today, John Lydon would need Autotune.
    posted by flabdablet at 8:55 AM on October 4, 2013


    john lydon's butter commercial
    posted by nadawi at 9:02 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


    In order to be relevant today, John Lydon would need Autotune.

    I have hard time parsing Autotune and relevant in the same sentence. Unless you mean that to be relevant is to sell product, be popular with in-crowd teens etc. My definition of relevant has always gone a bit deeper.

    I mean, Fucked Up feel pretty relevant. And I'm not hearing any Autotune there.
    posted by philip-random at 9:40 AM on October 4, 2013


    There is always an outrageously sexy act at the VMAs.

    People are just mad because Miley is playing a sex object that no one wants to have sex with. I love it. She's all sex and no sexy.
    posted by that's how you get ants at 9:40 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


    If you're not quite where I am on this with her yet, give her time.

    As a long-time fan of O'Connor's, I'm well aware she can go on. The fact that even her fans don't feel like listening past a certain point doesn't mean she needs to shut up, nor that the criticism of her having an opinion about what she was name-checked over in the first place doesn't have a sexist angle.
    posted by immlass at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Miley is playing a sex object that no one wants to have sex with

    I think this is actually more common than people think in the music industry. Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga spring to mind as stars that do all the sexy dressing up stuff and yet have no sex appeal. The media like them because there's a vocabulary around them but no real threat.
    posted by colie at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2013


    Closed letter to Miley Cyrus
    posted by rollick at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


    gaga and kylie are both super sexy to a lot of people.
    posted by nadawi at 10:12 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Unless you mean that to be relevant is to sell product, be popular with in-crowd teens etc.

    rel•e•vant (ˈrɛl ə vənt)
    adj.
    1. bearing upon the matter at hand; pertinent.
    2. having practical value or applicability.
    [1550–60; < Medieval Latin relevant-, s. of relevāns, present participle of relevāre to rebuild, Latin: to raise, lift up.

    sar•don•ic [sɑːˈdɒnɪk]
    adj.
    characterized by irony, mockery, or derision
    [from French sardonique, from Latin sardonius, from Greek sardonios derisive, literally: of Sardinia, alteration of Homeric sardanios scornful (laughter or smile)]

    trag•ic (ˈtrædʒ ɪk) also trag′i•cal,
    adj.
    1. dreadful, calamitous, disastrous, or fatal: a tragic event.
    2. extremely mournful, melancholy, or pathetic.
    3. pertaining to or characteristic of tragedy: a tragic actor; tragic solemnity.
    [1535–45; < Latin tragicus < Greek tragikós of tragedy =trág(os) goat + -ikos -ic]
    posted by flabdablet at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2013


    Sinead O'Connor is rumoured to be making a surprise appearance on RTE's Friday night chat show The Late Late. The rumour is reported on the broadcaster's own website, so make of that what you will. The show will be available online on the RTE Player but I don't know what regional restrictions it will have. Don't think I'll be watching, this has become too much of a trainwreck already.
    posted by Elmore at 12:26 PM on October 4, 2013


    immlass: "The fact that even her fans don't feel like listening past a certain point doesn't mean she needs to shut up, nor that the criticism of her having an opinion about what she was name-checked over in the first place doesn't have a sexist angle."

    Ah. I think I get where you're coming from better. You were responding to the "Why did she even offer her opinion on that?" people from above. I think we're more on the same side than maybe either of us thought then, as I agree with your assessment there.

    Consider me part of an entirely different camp than the "Who asked her anyway?" camp. I love Sinead and I think she was justified in speaking out in this case. So we agree on that much. HOWEVER...

    As for what she chose to say, I think (as do a bunch of folks, including Amanda Palmer, for instance) that there are problematic aspects to O'Connor's first letter to Cyrus, in terms of her insistence that Miley is a pawn not in control of her own persona.

    As you said yourself above: Just because someone is (or claims to be) coming from a feminist perspective doesn't mean that they can't be delivering an antifemnist message.

    And finally, while I feel O'Connor is entirely justified in speaking up/out here, I don't think it's necessarily sexist for people to roll their eyes at her, because, even to those of us who consider ourselves fans, she has a long established tendency to go on and on. That there would be a second and a third (and hell, maybe eventually a fourth) open letter was not hard to see coming.
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:59 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I'm not surprised that Sinead has probably pushed this past where she should have. She did what she thought was an open caring thing in that open letter, and got bitch slapped for it, in what had to be the most hurtful way possible.

    I'm sure Miley is in the "all publicity is good publicity" camp but I am kinda embarrassed for both of them. But I FEEL for Sinead.
    posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:00 PM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


    I need to stop reading this thread or else I think I'm gonna throw up.
    posted by azarbayejani at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga spring to mind as stars that do all the sexy dressing up stuff and yet have no sex appeal.

    Well, there's sex appeal, and then there's glamor. I think of glamor as a property possessed by people who look stylish and beautiful, or have some other dazzling quality about them, but their allure isn't really sexual. They make you yearn to be like them, more than you want to bang them.

    I'd say Gaga is more glamorous than sexy, but I beg to differ with the idea that Minogue isn't sexy. I mean, back in the day... Wow.
    posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:48 PM on October 4, 2013


    She did what she thought was an open caring thing in that open letter, and got bitch slapped for it, in what had to be the most hurtful way possible.

    It's not like this is the first time this has happened. When O'Connor was dating Mary Coughlin's recently estranged husband, O'Connor sent Coughlin a stream of toxic text messages, threatening her, claiming she'd break her face, etc.

    When that relationship broke down and O'Connor eventually married somebody else, Coughlin made an off-hand remark about O'Connor being a 'fecking lunatic' and was similarly threatened with legal action.

    So it's hardly like O'Connor doesn't have form in these media visible cat-fights. If she doesn't like the heat, she might want to think about staying out of the kitchen.
    posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:53 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I find there to be irony in the idea that many are defending Miley from the position that women should be able to make bold and sexual statements and this is somehow sexist and denying Sinead her views. This is a can't win scenario.

    I respect both their rights to express themselves. I just think one is way off base and wrong.
    posted by cjorgensen at 6:36 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Sinead's Third Letter to Miley.

    Wow, that didn't take long to go off the rails.

    That "letter" is stunning.
    Cease behaving in an anti-female capacity. You will become the victim of it shortly. Soon it will be you the media 'crazy' .. and you will not enjoy it.. and you will appreciate people (like myself) standing up for you. Which I will be happy to do.. if you earn my respect today by apologising publicly.
    The comments on that post are also enlightening.
    posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on October 4, 2013


    Why Sinead O'Connor is Wrong About Miley Cyrus.
    posted by discopolo at 9:14 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


    "O’Connor is essentially a Bible-thumper, promising Cyrus eternal damnation — in the form of mental illness — for the sin of wanting to make some money on her assets."

    That nails it. O'Connor really is insufferable.
    posted by colie at 1:56 AM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


    That spring, South Park has an abundant harvest of corn.
    posted by flabdablet at 2:15 AM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


    i don't see a lot of people denying sinead the ability to speak, i'm seeing a lot of people disagreeing with her. there's a difference.
    posted by nadawi at 6:25 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    also - i haven't seen mention of it once - everyone knows miley didn't pull bynes's name out of thin air, yeah? that bynes for months would tweet about how ugly miley cyrus was and how miley's (then) boyfriend was the hottest man on the planet. miley got asked about the "feud" all summer and mostly managed to stay above it, just saying -
    “I think it’s all so sad that I don’t want to add any fuel to that fire, because it’s really so sad to me. And you know, [I] was rooting for her to come back until she started attacking me.”

    The singer added: “I just thought it was hilarious that she mentioned my name the moment I was the worldwide trending topic on Twitter. It’s just funny ’cause the moment you’re, you know, a trending topic, it’s funny how many people want your name to come out of their mouth so, somehow, they can associate and maybe they can be a trending topic.”
    i still don't think she should have tweeted the pic of sinead's tweets - but i think people are getting the idea that she just side attacked amanda bynes for being the crazy starlet du jour when it was probably a bit more personal than that.
    posted by nadawi at 6:38 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    O'Connor has a great voice and love some of her work. Her Sean-Nos album was great. But I try to ignore her persona, I have no interest in that. And I think I am one of the few people who hasn't seen Cyrus' VMA performance.

    Interesting to watch Nothing compares to Wrecking Ball for a comparison of the two songs/videos. Have to say I prefer O'Connor's but Cyrus does have some talent, I'm just not part of her target market I'd guess.
    posted by Fence at 7:40 AM on October 5, 2013


    i don't see a lot of people denying sinead the ability to speak, i'm seeing a lot of people disagreeing with her.

    You're correct. I reread the thread and I found exactly 2.5 comments saying Sinead was being silenced her whole life! and one was being ironic, so I retract my comment.
    posted by cjorgensen at 7:50 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    The "promise of mental illness" is not for the sin of making money from "assets" but for mocking the mentally ill. Which doesn't totally redeem the damnation. It implies that Sinead has armchair diagnosed Miley to me, because surely Sinead doesn't see it as an affliction cast upon people for their transgressions. And if Miley is mentally ill then cut her some slack, and reach out to her on that angle. Perhaps Sinead views the whole industry as crazymaking. But she wasn't saying that Miley deserves mental illness because she twerked, exactly.
    posted by lordaych at 7:57 AM on October 5, 2013


    Also to view it charitably one might frame this as "if you think mental illness is something to be mocked, then perhaps you are mentally ill and if not, you deserve to be so that you will eventually understand." I'm bipolar and I know what it's like to be interminably frustrated with someone's unwillingness to emphasize but this does come across as very impulsive. I'm super ADHD and understand exactly what it's like to be possessed with the urge to write huge rants. Over time I've learned I don't have to send them.
    posted by lordaych at 8:02 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Rationally speaking nobody deserves mental illness, but those sorts of thoughts to bubble up from time to time. Pain makes for irrational thoughts and behaviors and when it seems like people won't meet you halfway then it feels almost like gaslighting except they don't know they're doing it.
    posted by lordaych at 8:04 AM on October 5, 2013


    i think looking at it from miley's side, she's probably feeling some pain at everyone shaking their moralizing finger at her and she has the burden of being the target of a lot of attention by mentally unwell people (and has been that target since she was a child). i think that's why she brought up bynes - that it was another case (in her mind) of someone taking out their issues on her. she'd do better to ignore it, but that's probably hard when a lot of the leading headlines were basically "elder stateswoman finally talks some sense into troubled child star!"
    posted by nadawi at 8:15 AM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Sinead was being silenced her whole life!

    Pointing out the rather obvious truth that O'Connor (and Palmer) are getting treated differently for commenting about Miley Cyrus by the press and the internet commentariat than a man would be is not the equivalent of saying people are silenced their whole life. I've muted/unfollowed more people on twitter over this than I had to over the Breaking Bad finale--and my twitter stream is nominally pretty feminist. (Though it has a lot of SFF people on it and those folks seem to be hostile to Palmer for in-group reasons.)

    Asking Amanda Palmer to intervene in the Syrian civil war next--to mention one tweet I saw in passing over this--is exactly the sort of eyerolly thing that says discussion among women about issues to do with women is stupid stuff and not worthy of consideration and stfu already. You don't have to like what any of them have to say to notice the trend.

    a lot of the leading headlines were basically "elder stateswoman finally talks some sense into troubled child star!"

    That's not on O'Connor, though. And while it's not about "silencing" O'Connor, it's about putting what she had to say into a narrative that's been going on in one form or another since Annette Funicello shocked people by putting on a bikini. Child stars get put in a system, they transition more or less well, and the girls are judged more harshly for getting out of the system and how they do it than the boys are. Unfair, but the way it is.

    O'Connor's initial comments were certainly easy to cast into that form. She got herself ordained as a Catholic priest in a splinter sect so it's not surprising she has traditional/regressive views on sexuality, for instance. But the music business and the music press/public are awful to women, which we keep coming back to here (see: Grimes, Chvrches, Amanda Palmer, etc.), and opinions/discussion about how that's hitting Miley, especially from someone who has been there like O'Connor, is way more interesting than the narrative we've got now, which seems to be breaking into "crazy woman barfs all over poor Miley" or "catfight between two musicians who have music/tours to promote", which is another take I've seen on this story (complete with they're both "c*nts", coming from a woman, no less). I wish I were surprised by any of that, but I'm not.
    posted by immlass at 8:30 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    i agree with all of that. i was just saying that a lot of people seem to think that miley should have just enthusiastically thanked o'conner for looking out for her, when to my reading (and knowing the sorts of attacks miley's been getting) it didn't seem very kind even if it was meant that way.
    posted by nadawi at 8:43 AM on October 5, 2013


    It implies that Sinead has armchair diagnosed Miley to me

    Looks like tardive dyskinesia.
    We should not have given her the medicine drug.
    posted by flabdablet at 8:45 AM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


    > WHY IS YOUR TONGUE ALWAYS OUT MILEY? WHY?

    Maybe she just has a thing for Barty Crouch JUNIOR?

    (Sorry, we watched Goblet of Fire again last night.)
    posted by one weird trick at 8:56 AM on October 5, 2013


    Amanda Palmer just retweeted this link: "Miley, Lindsay, Amanda, Sinead. an homage to AFP's Polemic on woman in music". Also, I had not heard AFP's "Gaga, Palmer, Madonna" but it's great.
    posted by larrybob at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2013


    Annie Lennox comments (possibly unrelated?)
    posted by rollick at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2013


    Just to disagree with otherwise great comment above: She got herself ordained as a Catholic priest in a splinter sect so it's not surprising she has traditional/regressive views on sexuality, for instance. She did get ordained, and abandoned the idea within a few months as she couldn't stand the requirement for celibacy. I can't imagine that Sinead's ideas on sexuality have ever been "regressive".
    posted by jokeefe at 2:35 PM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


    i love gaga palmer madonna - my favorite version is the first version, recorded moments after writing it.
    posted by nadawi at 3:17 PM on October 5, 2013


    Miley & Mumford and Sons
    posted by humanfont at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2013


    To her credit, Miley Cyrus does a decent Michele Bachmann impersonation.
    posted by homunculus at 12:15 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


    An Open Letter to Open Letters to Open Blouses on Miley Cyrus et al
    posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 AM on October 6, 2013


    She did get ordained, and abandoned the idea within a few months as she couldn't stand the requirement for celibacy. I can't imagine that Sinead's ideas on sexuality have ever been "regressive".

    The point is well taken. "Regressive" is probably not the right word, but I was looking for a way to suggest that "traditional" values endorsed by the Catholic Church are not always a net positive. (And I have no idea what O'Connor's current stance on them is; it does seem to change over time based on her actions. But there's no doubting the Church and other forms of spirituality have had a deep impact on her life just based on her music, and that some of that is going to lean her toward "your body is for you and your boyfriend" which was one of the low points of her initial letter.)
    posted by immlass at 7:47 AM on October 6, 2013


    Look who was funny and adorable and self aware in SNL promos for yesterday's shows. So much for the tongue wagging/lashings.
    posted by discopolo at 5:58 PM on October 6, 2013


    Contrasting reviews of Bangerz in the NYT and WaPo... without having listened to the album, I think I agree more with the Times's evaluation of Miley overall.
    posted by torticat at 4:44 AM on October 7, 2013


    Sinead's fourth letter to Miley.
    posted by Elmore at 1:17 AM on October 8, 2013


    miley's answer in an interview that preceeded the fourth letter
    “If you want to know my thoughts, I think she’s an incredible artist,” Miley said. “I think she’s an awesome songwriter and I was really inspired by her for my ‘Wrecking Ball’ video, which is what started the whole thing. I don’t know how someone can start a fight with somebody that’s saying ‘Hey I really respect you. And I really love what you did.’ ‘You know what? You suck and I don’t like you.’ That was kind of crazy, but like I said, I’m a big fan of hers, so it doesn’t really matter.”
    posted by nadawi at 8:17 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


    so i listened to the whole album just now - and you know, it's not awful - like most modern pop records it's 4 or 5 stand outs and some filler but this isn't some lindsey lohan/paris hilton type of record. it's very much in line with katy perry/ jessie j/ke$ha. the parts where her signature gravel voice come out are better than when she raps, but it's really not bad overall and there are a couple parts that are straight up interesting.
    posted by nadawi at 1:23 PM on October 8, 2013


    DirtyOldTown: "That there would be a second and a third (and hell, maybe eventually a fourth) open letter was not hard to see coming."

    Elmore: "Sinead's fourth letter to Miley."

    Annnnnnnnndddddd... there it is.
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:46 PM on October 8, 2013


    the roots, miley cyrus, and jimmy fallon do an acapella cover of we can't stop
    posted by nadawi at 7:18 AM on October 9, 2013


    Sufjan Stevens' Open Letter to Miley Cyrus:
    Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2013


    vampire deer's open letter to miley cyrus

    dear miley

    needs more cowbell

    love, vampire deer
    posted by pyramid termite at 6:34 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Holy shit how is this thread still active.

    Her remix with French Montana is out. Miley Ain't Worried Bout Nothing
    posted by Ad hominem at 11:26 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


    sinead is still writing letters.
    posted by nadawi at 6:31 AM on October 15, 2013


    Now Dan Harmon has responded to questions about Miley Cyrus on his Tumblr. It's very much worth quoting at length for its contribution to the cultural conversation:
    I don’t know a lot about her. I know her Dad is a country singer and that she’s a pop singer. I know that whenever she does anything in public, old people get excited about wanting to hurt her. So she must be doing something right. Johnny Cash said “it’s good to know who hates you and it’s good to be hated by the right people.”

    The rest is mostly rumor, I can’t say that I really know any of this for a fact. I have heard that she is taller than she seems on TV. I have heard that she is able to see in very low light. Someone told me that she is actually ashamed of this, and has had numerous surgical procedures attempting to “cure” herself of her special eyesight, which, to me sounds like more of a gift. I think I read somewhere - but please do not quote me on this - that if she is standing twenty feet from a tablecloth, in normal light, she can make out individual fibers, and that the FBI will sometimes bring her in to assist them on special cases, cases which are particularly time-sensitive, i.e., a human life is at stake, and/or a crime happened in a convertible with the top down and it’s going to rain soon, and they can’t wait for someone to look at fibers through conventional means.

    Apparently, in those cases, the head investigator will say “get Miley” or “where is she this time” and it will cut to her finishing a concert, and she will look over from the stage into the wings, and there will be men in black suits waiting, and she’ll have this look on her face, like, “here we go again.” Because I guess she doesn’t get along with the FBI on a personal level, because they’re highly trained and very cautious people, and she’s just sort of a free spirit with these very powerful eyes.

    As I understand it, and I need to stress this is all gossip, this is just stuff I hear in the kitchen at work, but supposedly, in the end, they get the job done together, in spite of their different approaches, and justice is essentially served.

    Also, I heard she twerked, I don’t know what that is but I heard she twerked.
    This would certainly explain the basis of her 2012 movie So Undercover, as well as why the FBI was so quick to track down that guy who hacked her e-mail. In any case, I have come away with new-found respect for Ms. Cyrus.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 9:46 AM on October 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


    Obviously all the concern about Miley is ridiculous, there are no signs that she has any problems and she just very successfully handled a challenging career transition in the fame game and wound up only getting more famous, so mission accomplished, and if people have a problem with how she's being manipulated by others maybe they should write open letters to her string-pulling managers and if people have a problem with how she's debasing our culture maybe they should write open letters to her fans... but I really just wanted to go on the record to object to the statement that Kylie Minogue has no sex appeal (!?!#)
    posted by leopard at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Her new song with Tony Montana is pretty terrible.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:33 PM on October 15, 2013


    i put the album in my 1000+ playlist and fu w/ french montana came on - it's kind of silly and overwrought, but it makes me hope for a stripped down version, maybe on british or japanese tv - go the gaga direction when it comes to live performances. i don't mind it even a little bit. i feel like liza minnelli should be swinging her fishneted legs behind it.
    posted by nadawi at 6:28 PM on October 16, 2013


    Terry Richardson Change.org Petition Calls For Industry Insiders To Stop Hiring Him.
    posted by larrybob at 11:10 PM on October 19, 2013


    Finally, an older female musician Miley is willing to take tips from: Courtney Love.
    posted by larrybob at 1:33 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


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