By now everyone has probably written everything there is to write about the “controversy” over the Miley Cyrus “twerking” performance on the Video Music Awards, but I am going to add one more thing.
I hated the performance but not for the reasons others did. Wasn’t offended by the sexuality or anything like that.
I was offended that anyone thought that any of this mattered in the slightest. But I really couldn’t put my finger on what really made me hate it, until I read that Cyrus told the other performer that they were about to “make history”.
Excuse me? Make history. For what?
And then I read this:
On a quick look, the scientific evidence is clear. “Popular TV shows teach children fame is the most important value,” stated the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) press announcement of the study by psychology professor Patricia Greenfield and her Ph.D. student, Yalda Uhls. Titled “The Rise of Fame: An Historical Content Analysis,” the study evaluated the two most popular tween TV shows of every decade for the last 50 years. Recruited online, 60 reviewers rated the programs based on 16 moral values incorporating traits from cutting-edge research investigating what makes people desire fame. They ranked community feeling and benevolence as the most important moral concepts in Andy Griffith and The Lucy Show, which aired in 1967; Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days, which aired in 1977; Growing Painsand Alf, which aired in 1987; and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World, which aired in 1997. In those decades, fame and achievement hovered at the bottom of the list. But in 2007, the moral values flipped—fame and achievement skyrocketed in American Idol (the talent competition) and Hannah Montana, in which high school student Miley Stewart (played by Miley Cyrus) leads a double life as a pop star. At the same time, community feeling and benevolence plummeted.
Like my uncle once said while watching people “dance” at a baseball game – “Everyone wants to be a star”.
That’s what offended me.