Miley Cyrus is probably the most famous person on the internet these days. Her performance at the Video Music Awards and latest music video have been the heavenly mana of many moralising busybodies. Feel free to watch, but here’s a recap: the former involved her rubbing up to an older has-been and the latter involved her wrapped around a chain naked. Both have produced some rather amusing internet memes.
Even more amusing than the photoshop skills of random internauts was the outcry of the moralists. These ranged from mums worried about their precious darlings being exposed to bad examples to feminists trying to deconstruct the performance into a swipe at the patriarchy. It’s always the patriarchy.
Naturally, if the average person doesn’t like something, he or she wants it banned. Indeed, the American Federal Communications Commission had more than 150 pages of complaints from people, demanding that they find a way to make the performer sorry for what she’d done. (un)Fortunately, the FCC has no jurisdiction to censor cable channels, so MTV is safe to continue producing more of the same “entertainment”. However, the complaints are definitely worth a read.
In addition, the Parents Television Council, a US pressure group, issued a complaint against MTV, along the lines of “Heads should roll”. In a much more ironic that Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” turn of events, Miley Cyrus’ father is a member of the PTC. They lobby the US Congress for legislation that would provide the ability to pick-and-choose which cable channels to pay for. That is a fair point, and perhaps cable networks could very well start offering such a possibility, without the heavy hand of government.
It does seem that the modern statist society both undermines parental authority and is seen as a way for negligent parents to pass the blame to someone else. Anyone else, whether they be teachers, governments or pop starts, are responsible for the tender feelings of their little angels, but not the parents. While it is hardly a pressing libertarian issue to defend dubious acts of people who don’t know any better, the outcry is symptomatic of the blame culture. After all, companies like MTV do not force their products or propaganda down people’s throats, and no one is forced to watch trash like the VMAs. I haven’t since 2005, that’s for sure.
Don’t want to your children to see barely-of-age girls gyrating around on stage in a tasteless manner? Turn off the TV, or better yet, get rid of it completely and do some parenting.