As much as I love music, I don’t spend a lot of time following or listening to the music that’s on the radio. In this day and age of the internet, independent record labels, and self-produced albums, it’s easier than ever to find good music without ever having to turn on Top 40 radio.
So, I had to rely on social media to have any clue about what Miley Cyrus’ latest indiscretion was all about on the MTV Video Music Awards. Thankfully (or not so much, considering what I saw) there were postings on the internet to see what had appalled everyone on Facebook. When I got a glimpse for myself, I understood.
I’m not even going to go into what it was that she did because that’s kind of inconsequential in the grand scheme of things (and you can look it up yourself. Hint: it was a duet with Robin Thicke). The bigger issue for me is what happens when someone feels that they have exhausted their creativity and talent to the point that they begin to rely on gimmicks such as lewd and lascivious behavior to gain attention rather than raw talent and ability. It seems to happen more and more these days, and I can’t always understand it.
I remember not too long ago when I saw a video of Lady Gaga before she really became famous. She was sitting at a piano, playing and singing, and I thought to myself, she actually sounds pretty good. Behind all the glitz and glam is a fairly talented woman. Why does she have to hide behind all that other stuff?
Miley Cyrus is another story. Is she talented? She got to where she is somehow, some might claim it’s talent, others might just say it was the right connections. She’s not horrible, but I wouldn’t say that she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread either. She’s got some abilities and talents, but there are certainly far more talented people out there.
Maybe it’s the image that she’s trying to shake. She played Hannah Montana for years and we’ve seen a similar pattern from those Disney girls. The path has been paved by the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aquilera (who I would argue has some talent), and Lindsay Lohan, just to name a few. When you’ve had a squeaky clean image, it seems that there’s a need within to break that by swinging pretty far the opposite way, from girl next door to pole dancer in 7 steps or less.
What boggles my mind is that some of these people, like Lady Gaga, actually have talent. Why do they feel the need to use their looks when their talents could easily stand up for themselves? Why hide behind something that is so fleeting when you have something else that’s harder to come by?
It’s kind of hard to believe that corporations like MTV and VH1 can still have as strong of a presence as they do. Of course, people don’t listen to music because it’s art, they listen to it because they want to be entertained, and they are often more visually entertained than aurally entertained. Whatever sells is going to win the day, and unfortunately, sex sells.
I just think it’s a shame when people with real talent can go overlooked in order that some others who are simply flaunting themselves can somehow rise to the top. Maybe I’m an old prude or completely out of line, but it really would be nice to just let talent speak for itself. If you’ve got to rely on anything else, maybe you’re in the wrong business…..or not.