You know her. You love her. Or maybe you don’t – maybe you hate her – but it doesn’t really matter. Regardless of how you feel about Miley, you won’t believe what she’s done now. Because it’s seriously, literally, amazing. You gotta read this to find out what she’s done.
The young star has had quite a ride on the publicity rollercoaster since entering adulthood. Like her male counterpart and possible clone Justin Bieber, Cyrus has had several bumps on her path of self discovery. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol, navigating the difficult transition from teen idol to legitimate adult artist, walking the tightrope of sexual exploitation and simple self-expression; snags that any young woman might face in the process of maturation were, of course, magnified by her fame. Miley faced harsh criticism for behavior that would, in the case of any non-celebrity, be written off as youthful irreverence; just a part of growing up. But criticism aside, there’s nothing juvenile about what she’s done now. It’s really, really incredible. Keep reading to find out why.
And that’s just what Miley has been doing, by the way: growing up – just like any other teen. And who can honestly claim that they acted appropriately throughout adolescence? None of us. We’ve all fucked up. Fucking up is part of the process, and it’s no different for Miley. She’s developing normally, but because of who she is, she’s thoroughly cemented as a target of tabloid speculators and gossipers; grown men and women who not only think it’s appropriate to scrutinize the behavior of a child, but who also find personal justification in profiting from their mockery of her. Her journey has been a long one, but with this most recent stunt, some say she’s finally arrived. She’s no longer a child. She’s no longer someone just figuring things out. What she’s done now is literally unbelievable. I really can’t wait to tell you what she’s done. And I will, in just a little bit.
Yes, this most recent thing that she’s done is quite amazing. Some might say it’s unbelievable. But to understand just why (and more importantly how) her recent actions are awesome, you have to understand where Miley is coming from. You have to understand context. And it wouldn’t be enough to simply tell you what she’s done. It wouldn’t be adequate reporting to clearly state her actions in a single sentence. To just explain to you outright what she’s done would be a disservice to Miley, and a violation of the principles of online journalism. Influential actions by influential people require context and flourish to not just communicate, but to generate the gravity that they warrant. While Miley’s actions are certainly incredible by their own merits, a good chunk of their importance is crafted by media reaction, and if this recent thing that she’s done were to be stated plainly and without exaggeration, not only would people dismiss it as everyday and insignificant, no one would read the articles about it either. So it is of mutual benefit to Miley, as the recipient of our overwrought incredulity and praise, and to us, as writers, to tell you loudly and emphatically that she’s done something so incredible, so amazing, that you have to read about it now, but not until we’ve kept you on the page long enough to see our other content and messages from our sponsors. And thus, symbiotically necessitated, I must tell you that what Miley has done this time is truly, honestly, quite incredible. You really won’t believe what she’s done now. But before I tell you what she’s done, allow me to stress the importance of context.
You see things don’t just happen. That is, if we are to understand things as events. Events cause and are caused by other events. To each thing its impetus, and from, its resultant things. This causal interplay is the backbone of our understanding of time, which of course, is simply a matter of human perception. Without the heartbeats or lifetimes for us to demarcate and measure these events, cause and effect vanish, and events can be understood more as interlocking, infinitely divisible and infinitely related components of reality; like samples of a fractal. Events become play-selections in a game of rock paper scissors that has neither a beginning nor an end. When you remove the concept of time, things are no longer bound to a temporal hierarchy, and are therefore immeasurable in significance. Things, like this thing Miley has most recently done become insignificant. That’s why it’s of crucial importance that you understand that this thing Miley has done most recently, this latest thing, within the context of who Miley is and why she would do such a thing, is totally awesome, and totally unbelievable. You won’t believe what she’s done now. And now that you understand the importance of context, I’m ready to fully lay out said context. When I’ve finished, you’ll understand why this latest thing is totally unbelievable, and why you had to read this whole article and spend a bit more time on this page looking at advertisements and inflating my engagement metrics to know how unbelievable and awesome it really is. Leave this window open and think about that for a second while we watch this commercial from Microsoft:
That was nice, wasn’t it? Watch it again if you feel like it. Hell, watch it again if you don’t. The important part of advertising is that you watch, not that you think or feel. As long as you associated something with the product, something you’re likely to encounter, be it a word they used or an image or an emotion or even just a name, the advertisers have done their job. The greatest tool in the hands of the globalized marketing machine isn’t high production values or expensive creative teams or an ability to reach a wide audience though the ubiquity of lives mediated by screens. It’s the shrouded, involuntary, almost limbic qualities of the human memory apparatus. It’s our own cognitive betrayals, built into our neurobiology. It’s the knee-jerk feeling in which we smell a specific nuance of fermenting yeast and suddenly we’re reminded of five dollar foot longs at Subway. It’s the way three simple tones will put the NBC logo at the forefront of your imagination. It’s not that Microsoft helped that little boy, or that their products are empowering, or even that the ad, obviously cloying in its heartstring-tugging, was a ham-fisted attempt to associate Microsoft with some kind of deep altruism inherent in capitalist technocracy – it’s that the little boy’s name was Bray. An odd, rare choice for a boy but not odd enough that you’ll think twice about it. It’s the way that from now on, whenever you hear the name Bray, you’ll think of Microsoft. But go ahead, scoff at their use of hashtags. Think for a second that they didn’t know exactly what they were doing with that ad. They want you to hate it. They want you to think it’s bullshit. The ad is bold, but not in the way you think it is. Just like this most recent thing that Miley has done, which you won’t believe.
In fact, what really makes this most recent Miley thing so incredible is the prevalence of advertisements like the one we just watched. The tendency for any intelligent person to see such an ad as not only deliberately saccharine but almost sarcastic in its subtext indicates the complete erosion of sincerity in the adult world. The ad isn’t trying to be sincere, it’s trying to make you thumb your nose at it’s supposed attempt. It’s not that sincerity is uncool, it’s that we’ve already killed it. When the commercials aren’t just regular corporate bullshit anymore but knowing bullshit crafted specifically to evoke the “fuck you Microsoft” response from adults who, in their youth, bought their disaffection from Volcom and still wear it like skateboarding pants that don’t fit anymore, it means we’re caught up in an endless feedback loop of cynicism, and our ability to authentically feel has turned vestigial, like our ability to hunt and gather our own food. The act of feeling itself becomes a confusing tool of foregone utility. The natural human emotional spectrum has become a forest that we lack the survival skills to navigate. Stop consuming prepackaged feel good stories. Free yourself from the MSG of branded reactions. Fuck trying to think for yourself – it’s too late for that. Just try to feel on your own, and you’ll find that you’re naked and afraid, struggling to determine if your sadness is normal or indicative of something more serious; something clinical. Aren’t we supposed to be happy all the time? It can’t be normal to experience something other than happiness, you’ll think. You’ll try to differentiate between unhappiness and depression like two identical berries; which one is poison, you’ll ask. You won’t know. You’ll be lost in the wilderness until some hero, someone like me, comes to rescue you. You need us, the entertainment bloggers, the clickbait writers, the Microsofts, to step in and tell you that Miley, and what she has most recently done, is exceptionally unbelievable. You should feel good about it, and you should feel good about it in the way that I tell you to. And the only way out of the forest, back into the safe confines of approved reactions and feelings, is through articles just like this one, here on Thought Catalog: the place that knows how you feel because we told you to.
So when I say that what Miley has done is truly unbelievable, know it to be true. And know that without me, you wouldn’t know it to be true. Know that you must read my reaction and attune your feelings accordingly. Know that in conversations with friends, you’ll be expected to repeat what you’ve read. Know that no matter what, you’re going to be tested on it later. And this is your chance to study up. So pay attention, and maybe click on some of the ads while your at it. Help out my engagement rate. You scratch my back I scratch yours. You want to know what Miley did? You want to know how to feel about it? Of course you do. At this point you’re thoroughly invested. If you stop reading now you’ll never find out. And I know you want to know, because this latest thing she’s done is really, really fucking awesome.
I mean, of course it is, right? This is Miley we’re talking about here! Miley fucking Cyrus, for God’s sake! The same Miley who, through her outrageous behavior, attracts the world’s attention on a 5 month interval without failure. Miley, whose story the world wants to know and write. Who is this Miley, this girl we all want to know? Is she human, or is she something more? Is she, herself, literally unbelievable? Or Is she just Miley? Just the simple Miley. Miley like everyone else. Miley who has brown hair and just wants to have fun. Miley, who was born on a cold night on a farm in Franklin, Tennessee in late November 1992. On a night like any other night, when, as before, as it has always been, a cervix dilated, pelvic floor muscles contracted, amniotic fluid flowed, and a life, according to those of the Democratic persuasion, came into this world. A literal star was born, and it wouldn’t be long before that little baby, born of Billy Ray Cyrus, a country musician, and Tish Cyrus, some woman, grew up to become Miley, a young girl who’s done this unbelievable thing that you have to read about.
But before she could do the thing, she had some experiences to work through. Context, remember? This baby wasn’t Miley yet. Quite literally, actually. Her name was Destiny – Destiny Hope Cyrus. “Miley” is a nickname derived from her mispronunciation of her given nickname Smiley, which she earned thanks to her perpetual smirk as an infant. Even before she could talk properly, Miley was already, literally, making a name for herself. Just as she’s done now, with this most recent thing you won’t believe.
Most of us are incapable of remembering our early childhood. A scholar of Freud would tell you this is due to its traumatic nature, which may be technically inaccurate but it’s at least conversationally sound. Think about it for a second: imagine if you could remember the taste of your mother’s breast milk or the two years you spent shitting your diapers, unable to clean yourself, genitals exposed to an adult who had to wipe your mess off your anus and testicles or vagina. Then you have to look that same person in the eye for the rest of your life; call them mom or dad; ask them for money when you’re late on rent? Horrifying. Early childhood is traumatic indeed, and thus, the images and experiences of our nascent days are blocked out via the same cognitive mechanisms that keeps pedophiles out of jail, safely obscured in the murky memory banks of adults who can’t figure out why they’re mad at the world. In a way, our earliest memories are literally unbelievable. Just like this thing Miley has done.
And while Miley, like the rest of us, can’t remember what her earliest, most impressionable years were like, she can certainly remember the trauma of being an eight year old girl, uprooted from her home in Nashville, and taken to Toronto where her father was acting on the television series Doc. She literally couldn’t believe what her father had done, making her leave her home like that. But the perennial optimist persevered, and she adjusted to her new life in the Gay Socialist North among the French trash. It was that level of adaptive skill that allowed her to do what she’s done now, which, by the way, is really quite amazing.
That is, it would be amazing, if it had been done by anyone but Miley, who after adjusting to her new life in Canada, and through a bit of nepotism and a lot of talent, landed the role of Kylie on her father’s television show. She was now, at eight years old, a working actress. Now, she was truly on her way. Until that moment, she had just been the child of a celebrity. Now, she was a celebrity child. And it was only a matter of time (fourteen more years to be exact) before she did this most recent, unbelievable thing that you have to read this entire article to find out about.
But wait, you’re saying. Slow down, Nicole! What happened in those 14 years? I want to know about all the things that led up to this unbelievable thing! I clicked on this article and I want the whole damn story!
Well, relax folks, we’re getting there. The story of Miley is a short one, but it’s rich. It’s thick, bold, and layered, like heavily processed honey barbecue sauce. You can’t just consume it; you have to really get in there. Dig your fingers in deep, slather them, and suck on the tips until the nail beds bleed. You have to really savor the story of Miley. It’s the only way you’ll really appreciate this latest thing that she’s done.
Two thousand six was a big year for many folks, and Miley’s no exception. The housing market seemed to be on an unstoppable upswing, everyone could own a home as long as they were willing to take on a mortgage they couldn’t afford, we still had two more glorious years of Bush Jr., and the increased sectarian violence and resultant civil war in Iraq guaranteed that we’d be able to continue supporting the troops for many years to come. Yes, two thousand six was a good year for many, but it was even better for a young girl named Miley Cyrus, who would soon be known by a different name – Hannah Montana.
Miley’s casting in Hannah Montana might be the only literally believable thing she’s ever done. A television show about a young girl who is an international pop star by night and a regular teen girl by day; whose casting could be more apt? Who, I ask, could possibly fill that role better than Miley? Any other choice would be literally unbelievable. And it is because of this – this opportunity to allow Miley to develop in lockstep with Hannah, her life a scripted parallel, not so much a young girl playing a character as a character playing a young girl – that Miley developed the requisite boldness, confidence, and social ingenuity to become the razor’s-edge entertainment darling she is today. Always unpredictable, always in the spotlight, and always thoroughly Miley, the young girl was now fused with her public persona through the skillful machinations of the Walt Disney Corporation. She was now Hannah, at once both product and producer, market and marketer, a thoroughly monetized human being. An auto-tuned golem that vomits a sterile product of superficial controversy, eats attention, and shits gold.
Miley then went on the road, touring heavily for the next several years. Her ticket sales were unprecedented in either the world of manufactured pop starlets or legitimate artists. Scalping prices, adjusted for inflation, topped rates seen during the era of Beatle mania. Using monetary value as a sole metric to gauge artistic ability, she proved herself to be more talented than John Lennon, Elvis, and Michelangelo combined. You know who never sold out Madison Square Garden a year in advance? Goethe. But Miley did. Miley did a lot of things Goethe didn’t do. Namely, this most recent thing, which is so freaking unbelievable and good that I had to write about it, as a grown woman who pays bills and gets older and thinks about what she’s done with her life. I’m telling you guys, it’s really amazing and literally literal.
And it’s so, so literal, guys. She’s done such a literal thing. It’s an actual thing that happened. It’s not an imaginary thing, or a conceptual thing, or a matter of social perception. That’s really why this thing she’s done is so important, because it’s a real thing. Do you know how rare it is for things to even happen anymore? Strip away the specific details of any event in your life and really search your feelings for any newness. Try to identify any actual element of surprise or disbelief or excitement. For all the bitching we do about Hollywood remaking movies, a whole lot of us keep rebooting the same experiences over and over, day in day out. You’ve been remaking the same bullshit story for years. You’re mad about the way the new Ninja Turtles look? Jesus. You “tried” a new type of Hot Pocket this week. You keep selling yourself Wednesday as if it isn’t just Tuesday with some additional scenes at Panera bread. That’s why you need Miley, not because her life is better than yours, but because you don’t have a life at all. Your big thing this week is setting aside an hour to take your iPad to the Genius Bar. She’s out there doing this unbelievable thing.
Maybe you don’t even deserve to know what it is. Maybe the tainting element of your plebeian interest negates the thing’s value in a Schrodinger’s cat sort of way. Maybe this thing Miley has done is so incredible, so important, that if anyone who were actually interested paid attention, it would cease to exist. Is it possible that you, the lumpy idiot reading entertainment headlines, could really take such information and do anything with it? Would you be able to feel this thing’s worth, deep in your soul, like an authentic human? Or would you just consume it, enjoying it maybe but only as a part of a larger entertainment whole, indistinct like an individual french-fry in a big bunch that you’re shoving indiscriminately into your gaping cakehole? Maybe it’s not that this thing she’s done is unbelievable, its that you’ve lost your ability to disbelieve.
Maybe, sometimes, you just want to waste people’s time. To be annoying, sure, but also to remind them that it’s not about whether or not Miley’s actions matter in the grand scheme of things, it’s about whether you’re actually feeling any of this at all. It’s not about whether or not you should give a shit about what Miley has done, it’s about knowing, 100%, that you actually give a shit if you do and you actually don’t if you don’t. Maybe the whole point is that living a life in which you’re oversaturated by low-quality information designed solely to pique your interest and increase page views is a form of experiential masturbation in which you barely get your dick hard, and the payoff – your apprisal of Miley’s thing – is a lackluster, dollop-of-cum orgasm that’s so discontenting that you wonder why you even clicked at all. But it’s too late. You did, and there you are, with your pants down, staring at your tiny deflating penis while you wonder if it was worth the amount of time it’ll take to clean up the cum on your palms.
Maybe I’m just trying to wipe that cum off your hands, guys.
I mean, I’m not. I just didn’t bother finding out what Miley did this week and I wanted to write an article about it anyways. Gotta get them clicks.