Thursday, 29 August 2013

Cyrus Twerking downgraded to Bump & Grind

This incident has become a cultural bomb, heard all
around Africa as an affront to Afro-culture. Is it
because a skinny-ass white chick has become
famous for a centuries old come-get-me move?

First of all, if anybody views the video, what
Miley is doing is nowhere near a Twerk.
Firstly, twerks are not done in the vicinity of 
a shlong, be that shlong clothed or not.

 It is a cultural artefact, like the
Moulin Rouge, not a strip club.

Secondly, rich white chick cannot
move her buttocks at all, 
despite the rhythm of a song

Thirdly, even if it were a 
genuine Twerk, whites are 
always stealing African ideas,
not to mention money and oil.

Fourthly, it was so poor,
little Minney Disney would
have flunked the 
Pole-Dancing Academy's
Snake Charming 101

Fifthly, she showed us enough
butt for us to see that she
has no butt.
I'm more concerned with the mental health of the former
child star. As the confessions of Carrie Fisher attest, being
a star and developing your sexuality are two very big
colliding forces- CERN could only be so lucky.

The reasons I think she's nuts and not just sowing wild oats,
are two: The hair . even punks would say "the bitch crazy".

[misstv online]
The tongue. it's one thing to wink and stick out your 
tongue at someone. She ain't looking at nobody. Her 
tongue seems to be responding like that of a dog, in heat.
[daily mirror]
Essentially, I think that this young lady has not been able
to handle her fall in stature. I think indeed, that she's 
operating on auto-pilot. She's just following the noise to 
the next big scene.
I don't know about her music, because I haven't had
time to check it. It can't be much worse than her kiddie
For a guy who likes immaturity when it takes the form
of art, Milli is just too immature, and too Vanilli
& too psycho.

checkit: The Guardian
Miley Cyrus's twerking routine was cultural appropriation at its worst

Cyrus's act was less a homage to hip-hop and more a minstrel show. For cultural cross-pollination, give me the Notting Hill carnival any day
Hadley Freeman 2013 pic
Hadley Freeman
Tuesday 27 August 2013 17.00 BST
Jump to comments (836)

Exactly half a century ago on Wednesday, Martin Luther King described his dream, a dream in which "one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers".

So it seems deliciously apt in terms of reflecting how race relations have progressed in the US since Dr King's era that, just a whisker short of the anniversary of his speech, the world bore witness to one of the more intriguing examples of cultural appropriation. Sadly, King omitted to say whether he also dreamed of "little white girls from Tennessee mimicking anilingus on little black girls wearing giant animals on their backs", so it's impossible to know how he would have reacted to Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs on Sunday. But it seems likely that not even he could have foreseen how the American celebrity world would manage to twist his image into something quite so, if not actually racist, then certainly race-ish.

As I watched Cyrus's performance on Monday morning on my laptop, the first floats in the Notting Hill carnival parade went by outside my window. I have lived in the middle of the carnival route for 12 years now and going by my wholly unscientific observation, the carnival is one of the lovelier forms of cultural cross-pollination. Yes, there are lots of white people trying to dance, not too appallingly, to reggae soundsystems, as well as an increasing overflow of aggressively drunk white men who seem to have got lost on their way to Reading festival. But in the main, the carnival is one of the closest adherents to King's dream that I have encountered in my four decades living in four different cities, with its happy celebration of African-Caribbean traditions, which most of the white attendees excitedly cheer along.

Which brings us back to Miley Cyrus' VMA performance – a perfect illustration of just how the celebrity world appropriates black culture and female liberation. The song Cyrus sang, We Can't Stop, was written by Timothy and Theron Thomas and given to Cyrus when she told them, presumably without a wince: "I want something that feels black." Instead of giving her something by, I don't know, John Coltrane, the Thomas brothers gave her a song originally written for Rihanna which, to be fair, was almost certainly the image of blackness Cyrus had in mind as I don't think Coltrane did much twerking.

Cyrus is hardly the first female celebrity to try to prove her maturity through sexuality and, to be fair to her, she probably felt that she needed more than a pixie haircut to compensate for the Billy Ray Cyrus factor. Whether that had to involve sticking her tongue out repeatedly as if Gene Simmons never happened is something only cultural historians will be able to chart later. Plenty of male singers grab their crotches while performing, but it seems to be only female singers these days who feel the need to strip down to their underwear and simulate sex acts on stage. As nice as it would be to imagine a world in which young women weren't taught to equate hypersexuality with maturity and independence, that remains as unrealised a dream as much of King's speech.

Cyrus, though, twerked the formula as well as her body by adding in a racial element while she copied the dance moves of strippers and bellowed her love of drugs. (Billy Ray's heart must be pretty achy breaky these days.) On stage as well as in her video she used the tedious trope of having black women as her backing singers, there only to be fondled by her and to admire her wiggling derriere. Cyrus is explicitly imitating crunk music videos and the sort of hip-hop she finds so edgy – she has said, bless her, that she feels she is Lil' Kim inside and she loves "hood music" – and the effect was not of a homage but of a minstrel show, with a young wealthy woman from the south doing a garish imitation of black music and reducing black dancers to background fodder and black women to exaggerated sex objects....