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December 14, 2017

Let Miley Cyrus and Kanye West be a lesson to you; The VMAs and the plight of “pay attention to me, dammit”

Warning: Mature content. Real song lyrics quoted. Because some folks think this stuff deserves awards.

Every year, thousands of exceptional writers, thespians and musicians create art that stirs the soul, feeds the mind and changes the world.

And yet we celebrate a handful of morons who make crap like this:

MTV capture
Image: MTV screen grab

Miley Cyrus debuted this inspiring new song, “Doo it,” during Sunday evening’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), an annual event that honors the best in music videos from a network that hasn’t actually played music videos since the mid 90s.

Talk about cultural relevance.

Nonetheless, since its inception in 1984, the VMAs remain a yearly opportunity for musical entertainers to push the envelope all in the name of  “Pay attention to me, dammit!”

Cyrus, who also seems to be struggling for relevance, served as the event’s host, and true to sorrowful narcissism, she did her best to elicit shock and awe with marijuana use, an exposed nipple, crotch grabs and a confetti canon between her legs.

But it wasn’t shocking.

It was annoying.

And a little sad.

While their peers and diehard fans celebrated the “art,” “edginess,” and “deep thinking” Cyrus and the other entertainers brought to the stage, the rest of us shook our heads and laughed at their desperation and exaggerated senses of self importance.

Just a few weeks ago, entertainer Nicki Minaj took her outrage to social media because her performance of “Anaconda” did not earn a nomination for best video of the year. Thankfully, MTV rewarded her with the best hip-hop video instead for a recycled hip-hop track and lyrics such as:

“This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles
D**k bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s

Pay attention to me!

It was a bit odd to see Kanye West NOT struggling for attention during this year’s award ceremony. Six years ago, the entertainer rushed the stage after Taylor Swift beat Beyonce for video of the year, and West proclaimed, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”

This time he was GIVEN the stage for a rambling 12 minute acceptance speech as this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard  award, which is a little bit like a lifetime achievement award for popular insipid music and self promotion.

In what are some are calling his “candid” and “poignant” acceptance speech, West never even mentioned his videos or music. However, he kind of, but not really, apologized to Swift for being a whiny, attention-seeking schmuck. In a moment of true candor and class befitting an award show, he also said, “Y’all might be thinking, “I wonder. Did he smoke something before he came out here?” The answer is, “Yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off.”

And then he announced his plans to run for president in 2020.

Which made everyone listening to him dumber for hearing it.

America, let Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West be a lesson to you.

This is what happens when people pay too much attention to antics, but pay too little for good therapy.


This article was originally published in August 2015. As of the summer of 2017, Ms. Cyrus has taken tremendous steps to put her old ways behind her. I wish her great success.


2 Comments on Let Miley Cyrus and Kanye West be a lesson to you; The VMAs and the plight of “pay attention to me, dammit”

  1. I had no desire to watch the VMAs this year or any year before or after it. Videos are not like the videos I used to watch when I was younger. I knew that Miley would probably attempt to up her sad little performance last year, and I avoided the television last night like the black plague, for fear I would see another snippet advertising the wreck of a show. It is simply sad what our world sees as quality entertainment, but it explains a lot.

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