Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Miley Cyrus for Person of the Year? Just one more indicator that the world is coming to an end…

Okay, she didn’t win.

And of the ten people on the semi-final list for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, I suspect she came in dead last, or tied for a dead last, dead heat with Syrian President Bashar Assad.*

Okay, if she had been chosen, she wouldn’t have been the worst person of the year. Not when Hitler and Stalin are on the list.

Okay, she certainly wouldn’t have been the most boring. On name alone, the boring-est ever would have to have been 1955’s Harlow Curtice. No not that Harlow Curtice. The Harlow Curtice who was president of GM.

And okay, she wouldn’t have been the only notorious woman to have been awarded this honor/cover picture. Come on down, Wallis Simpson – gal-pal extraordinaire and Person of the Year for 1936. (Can you imagine what People, Us and The Daily Mail would have done with Wallis and Edward? Yowza!)

But out of all the folks they could have tapped for the “honor” of making the list, Miley Cyrus? MILEY CYRUS?

Miley, Miley, Miley.

I remember when you were young and wholesome. And every little girl between the ages of 6 and 11 went out as you. Or Hannah Montana. Or you as Hannah Montana for Halloween. You were cute, funny, and – dare I say – wholesome.

Well, Miley more or less jumped that wholesome shark when she appeared in an erotic photo spread with her achy-breaky heart father – a spread in which, if you didn’t know they were father-daughter, you’d have come away with “lovers.”

Her tawdriness peaked – at least we can hope it peaked – at MTV’s Video Music Awards show this fall, when she vamped, twerked, and grinded her way into something other than the hearts and minds of those watching at home.

In truth, I don’t have a clue whether Miley Cyrus has any talent in the least, or whether she has a small modicum of talent, and needs to twerk it up to compete with more talented pop stars like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé , and Katy Perry.

Sure, “Wrecking Ball”’s catchy enough, if I close my eyes during the pathetically trying-way-too-hard-to-be-sexy video.

Yes, I am an old prude.

And, yes, I get why Time – searching for relevance in an age when “news” is dispensed by Perez Hilton, not Walter Cronkite; and trying to stir up young-folk interest in its Person of the Year Award list, which had only one cute-ish – in a hipster sort of way – guy on it (that would be Edward Snowden), and is mostly taken up by boring old war-mongers and politicos – might want to put Miley Cyrus on the list.

But what, exactly, does she represent?

The end of innocence? The triumph of notoriety over talent? That twerking is as newsworthy as filibustering (Ted Cruz), poisoning your own people (Bashar Assad), and telling the Catholic Church to stop obsessing over gays (Pope Francis)?

Has our culture become so celebrity-besotted that Miley Cyrus can make a run at Person of the Year?

If that’s the case, may I offer the agnostic’s prayer:

God, if there is a God, save our soul, if we have one.

*I decided to look things up and found that, while our gal didn’t make it onto the short list that the top five comprise, Bashar Assad (“Lethal Tyrant”) came in number four, wedged for eternity between Edith Winsor (“The Unlikely Advocate” whose unlikely advocacy toppled DOMA), and Ted Cruz (“The Joe McCarthy Look-a-like Barn Burner”). By now you probably know that Pope Francis (“The People’s Pope”) was chosen Person of the Year, while the first runner up was Edward Snowden (“The Dark Prophet”).

Miley did place number three in popular voting, with one-sixth of the vote, but apparently Time ignores vox populi. But she is, I guess, the people’s twerker.

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