What Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke can teach us about our priorities
Ok, I'm being a bit of a media whore by using those two famous people's names to get your attention, but I have something to say about the events of last Sunday night. Those of you who don't know what is going on with our second favorite Disney star, this post is not for you. It is for the rest of us. The ones that have watched the performance, read the scathing commentary on it, maybe learned a bit about feminism and racism, and can't seem to escape the on-going coverage. Facebook, Twitter, CNN, the my darling BBC are all over this nutty freak show. Miley and Robin (in his ill-fitting pants) are laughing all the way to the bank. Our obsession is lining their pockets.
Why, as a culture, are we so much more interested in the pop events like this embarrassing performance? Why can't this go by as just another ridiculous display by a young, out of touch, racially ignorant, untalented pop star?
Here is my hypothesis: it's because when things are difficult to understand, difficult to align with our world view, horrible and dark and confusing, it's easier to become obsessed with pop culture nonsense. It's easier to express outrage towards an outlet like the VMAs (I didn't even realize MTV was still around and relevant!) rather that to take the time to educate ourselves on important things like the fact that we might be going to war, or women's rights, or the incredible constitutional violations happening right under my nose in Madison, WI.
We have our priorities out of whack.
It's too hard to care about Syria.
It's too complicated to care about genocide.
It's too political to care about reproductive health.
We don't want to take the time to read, research, learn about our world and those around us who need our attention and help.
We are smarter than this. We have more heart that this. I need to believe this.
Miley taught me once again, that I let my media consumption go to far. I let myself get dragged down to the level of Perez Hilton and TMZ. I think it's because I'm scared of another war. I'm scared that our education system is failing our kids. I'm fearful that people are dying by the hundreds of thousands because they don't have access to basic sanitation and drinking water. I'm worried about our culture. (Man, I sound like fun at a party don't I!)
It's easier to look at the 10 most horrific reactions to Miley's performance. It's easier to be outraged by a 20-year-old who is shaking her ass.
I, for one, am unplugging a bit from this media juggernaut. I am turning off the television and reading only the blogs I trust. I am engaging with my family, my son, my love. I am helping bring safe water to people. I am focusing my energy on being healthy and bringing peace to my yogis. I am remembering what is important to me.
Thank you Miley and Robin for the wake-up call. I'm done with you for awhile.