According to a lot of music blogs and Youtube comments, Miley Cyrus has recently crossed to the pop culture “dark side”, abandoning her former yet ever lessening bubble gum cuteness in favor of whatever genre this video is technically categorized as. Other than the alarming fact that the label of ‘badass’ is given to someone with tattoos and shorn hair, ‘We Can’t Stop’ puts on a performance that is obviously trying too hard to attain its up-with-the-times title. It is yet another signal to me that pop music is slowly rotting America musically from the inside out. You need to watch it several times to realize if she’s actually singing, which you will because you’ll be oddly transfixed by her pitiful twerking and the massive teddybears with legs that dance with her. I’m not quite sure what the intention of a song like this is- maybe it’s Cyrus’ attempt to clutch at the final vestiges of her trendiness that has unfortunately lasted throughout my adolescence. No, I take it back, I’m sure that is what she’s doing. Cyrus is trying to offer something she thinks we want- trying to keep ahead of the cultural times to the point where even the media takes pause. What scares me is that nothing in this video is novel- we are scarily looking at a distorted reflection of the reality of culture. Oh, music gods, save us!
- If you don’t find this video to be at all palatable, don’t feel bad. It probably speaks to your music taste. This video is designed to reflect the growing Ecstasy culture- that is, entering alternative worlds where the walls are jelly and the floors vibrate and turn colors. The kids in this video are supposed to look like they’re on massive amounts of Molly, a pure form of ecstasy (I’m not all that insightful, the lyrics are a dead give-away, she literals refers to the fact that her pals and she are “dancing with molly” while wacking each other’s butts). This visual manifestation of molly sub-culture fails terribly- though it does so hilariously. The people in that video walk straight lines in heels, don’t look like they’re drowning in sweat, and gyrate to rhythms the rest of us can hear. Let me go out on a limb and say this: if you are on MDMA not only can you not do the aforementioned activities, you can’t even hold a conversation with someone. Clubs profit grandly because of this, folks on molly want to dance partly because that’s the only thing they can do without looking like they need to be escorted off the premises. There is no way those models can even keep up the pretense of being on drugs- and that’s not good. Miley Cyrus, former Disney country sweetheart, just showed America’s youth that you can take a pure form of ecstasy and look like you just stepped from the pages of Cosmo. Score one for encouraging responsibility, Destiny Hope (that’s her real name by the way, I’ll let you think what you will about that).
- I like sticking my tongue out. It’s fun. But this music video makes me never, ever want to extend my speech-making organ from my mouth again. The only thing I can really glean from the star’s personality in this video is her carelessness- it’s her casual neglect for everything that doesn’t allow her to dance or pass out by doing it. Go back and count how often this girl shows us her tonsils- or look at the snaps of a man eating a dollar bill sandwhich, or how she parades around in white fur. Strangely, I don’t feel Cyrus’ rebellion- I feel how much of a waste of space she and her friends are. By limiting what the audience sees to mere drug-feuled frolick paired with crazy visuals like skulls made out of French fries, we feel like she nor her video has any purpose. Or worse, we feel as though that purpose is to denigrate everything they’ve ever been given-their parents’ trust funds, or any final traces of manners or respect. These visuals speak to the kinds of values that are being encouraged, or that the producers think are encouraged already. This isn’t teenage tomfoolery- it’s not even ‘Rebel without a Cause’- both of those things I live for. This is just…..mindless waste.
- I agree with Vice Magazine- Miley Cyrus really does need to take an African American Studies class, because the way she abuses the culture that gave her the groundwork for her music (look to hip hop) is almost laughable in its stupidity. In one scene she and three other black women “twerk”, but that is the only place they appear. They help Miley try and fail to shake her ass, and then go poof because they don’t fit with the white-person- taking molly demographic (there are black men in the video, but honestly they strike one as supporting acts, too, it’s predominately white kids floating and fighting). Miley designs her racial accessories- but they aren’t the only ones. I can’t put my finger exactly on why, but all the times that Miley grabs other girls’ breasts or asses, I feel her take on a patriarchal position. She morphs into Vanilla Ice for me- scrambling for female body parts because that’s what culture has allowed him to do. I think this fits in with my view of her as wasteful- she seems to be collecting and promptly throwing out women, and black people while she’s at it. Instead of a healthy dose of LGBT support, Miley doesn’t get the cultural nuances right and acts like she’s a Hugh Heffner scout. The purple haired girl in the final scene is complacent to be conquered, thrown back while Miley grins widely and once again flashes her well-documented pink tongue.
I could go on for days, but I won’t because Miley isn’t worth draining my laptop battery. What’s sad is that I actually find her very talented- her cover of ‘Jolene’ is haunting- you should absolutely listen to it. But ‘We Can’t Stop’ shows us that she’s right- we can’t. We apparently can’t be real about drugs, or the waywardness of generation X, or stop making women or people of race ornaments. As much as I detest this video- I don’t think this is anything new and different. These are just disgusting trends that are going to continue until we make videos where black women do not teach Miley Cyrus how to twerk, but how do trigonometry- where womens’ body parts are not possessed, but willingly shared. And for god’s sake, when we’re real about what happens when you’re on that much molly.