So, last night a girl who apparently isn’t a kid anymore did some sexually suggestive antics on live television and the boy in the Beetlejuice suit besides her, who sings that terrible, date-rapist song, got a pass (of course).
I don’t really care about that girl who isn’t a kid anymore, because she actually is a kid still, and forever will be a kid, and no amount of slut-shaming will change that. I don’t care that she was trashy, raunchy, etc. She still has that mirror she will look into every night and every morning, and if the drugs and the money and the loneliness and the incessant void won’t catch up to her, one day, the mirror’s going to crack and she will shatter with it. I don’t care that reputable news stations (CNN, cough) are covering stories like this, because this is the gluttonous culture we live in, and it ain’t surprising anymore.
What I do care about is this: the million of girls and boys who are still kids watching what transpired and what’s transpiring. I care that the boy in the Beetlejuice suit gets a pass because his song is catchy, and apparently, since the girls in his video are “hot” and “you don’t hear the lyrics while you’re dancing anyways,” what he’s saying isn’t sexist nor dangerous. I care that this live-televised music awards show and the whole industry continually sells this numbing and deadening way of life and everything, from social media, blogs, news outlets, people I’m friends with, talk about it like it’s either no thing or utterly shocking.
But all I have is a pen and my own tongue, and that’s what I’m going to use to express my discontent. That girl who isn’t a kid anymore and that boy in the Beetlejuice suit, like all the minions before them, have had their moment in the sun and will fade away soon enough. Their messages will imbue society’s psychic fabric for a long time. But so will mine, and my tribe’s, and our discontent. Our voices are louder, our tongues longer, and our spirits are the sun; we know what the shadows look like and have seen truth.
And that’s just it: the whole machine wants you to forget that. They want you to focus on her trashy attire and her humping and the boy’s cute voice that makes your body dance. They want you to forget the drones dropping bombs, the chemical weapons, the protests, the fight for real freedom. They want you to forget that this isn’t freedom, it’s mind-numbing exploitation. And they will want you to consume consume consume consume consume until there isn’t anything left but a broken home and the television’s limelight on.
This is what I’d say to those million kids who watched the VMAs last night: Miley Cyrus is just a girl and all she wants is attention and acceptance. Robin Thicke is a boy who wants the same. They’re just imitating shadows. Everything is. It’s a grand production to make you forget. Don’t. Don’t end up like them, products of their own insecurities. I’m not asking anything more but to remember that there are chains and shadows, and only you know how to break them.