anne mikolay 2012 120

anne mikolay 2012 120I will be the first to admit I am not into today’s music. I do not listen to popular radio stations (my dial is usually fixed at 101.5 or 99.1), nor watch music videos on television. However, I know who Miley Cyrus is and recognize Lady Gaga (even know how she chose her name) and Robin Thicke (who lacks his actor father’s class). After watching a bit of the VMA awards program (to see N’Sync’s performance), I’d like to pose a question: what the heck was that?

Lady GaGa must be obsessed with geometric shapes. Her appearance at the VMA awards with her head stuck in a white cardboard square was characteristically kooky, though not nearly as mind-bending as her arrival inside an egg at the 2011 Grammy awards. As GaGa moved toward the stage at the VMAs looking very much like an alien in a Star Trek episode (beam me up, Scotty – please!), I was quite aware gimmick dictates this artist’s every move. Indeed, for better or worse, Stefani Germanotta, the little Catholic school girl GaGa used to be, is long gone.

And so is Hannah Montana.

Miley Cyrus long ago ditched her Hannah Montana wig and her squeaky clean Disney image and replaced them with…whatever that was at the VMAs. If, in her former Hannah Montana persona, Cyrus was a role model for little girls, I surely hope those same little girls were not watching the VMA awards; what Cyrus presented should not be emulated or admired. What was she wearing? A bathing suit? What was she doing? Were her suggestive gyrations with singer Robin Thicke (not exactly role model material either) rehearsed, calculated offenses or spontaneous, ill advised maneuvers Cyrus will someday regret? If Cyrus intended to impress the audience with her newly discovered maturity and prove herself an adult, she missed the mark by a long-shot. In fact, she proved the opposite. Unlike Lady GaGa, who is confidently over-the-top, secure in her fabricated, kooky image, Miley Cyrus is uncertain of her own identity, flaunting herself in much the same way adolescents wave around their car keys or cigarettes as proof of maturity. It’s the age-old “hey, look at me! I’m cool and all grown up!” syndrome, a symptom of immaturity if ever there was one. Poor Miley Cyrus. Her immaturity exploded all over that stage.

So, again, viewers of the 2013 VMA awards, please tell me. What was that? Was it comedy, science fiction, or reality? Was that distasteful spectacle a reflection of society’s morals? A glimpse of a future downward spiral? The shape of things to come for the younger generation? A disgrace? A joke? Admittedly behind the times musically, I can’t critique the VMA’s music, but as a parent, I can assess the message in the program, and I certainly don’t like it.

Whatever that was…it was downright scary. 

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Anne Mikolay

Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...