Timberlake: Miley Cyrus at the VMAs and the height of artistic culture

Ian Timberlake

If Michael Jackson was the king of pop, Miley Cyrus is certainly the queen. She has brought twerking to the stage the way that Michael did with the moon walk. Her tongue is more iconic than Kiss. And she has become a renaissance woman for defining female talent, grace and beauty.

The MTV Video Music Awards not only has grown since the 1980s to facilitate the greatest artistic performances to date but also has built a reputation as having one of the most sophisticated, cultured audiences in the world for both music and video. Surpassing the Grammys in credibility and performance, the VMAs are one of the few remaining annually appearing programs worth watching. Outside of the Teen Choice Awards and Shark Week, there really isn’t much competition.

The venerable Lady Gaga, a symbol of musical mastery and empowerment in her own, was overshadowed by Miley’s performance. Snooki’s comment that Lady Gaga looked “so natural” was the last nail in Gaga’s coffin. Obviously, the remark showed how Lady Gaga’s talent and sexual prowess is waning and shifting to the younger, more talented Cyrus.

Music and movie critics are anticipating an even greater coming of age story for Miley, who turns 21 this November, as she begins to experiment with things like Keystone Light and Hawkeye. We should expect even greater things to come as a result of this up and coming transition. Who knows what sort of creativity and avant-garde material will revolutionize entertainment and its patrons as the artistic Miley continues to blossom.

Miley’s father, the famous Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted: “Thanking God for so many blessings tonight. Continue to pray for world peace. More love … less hate.” Many people are confused by his tweets and want him to clarify exactly what hate he was referring to, as his daughter has been received with only love and affection after her VMA appearance.

But Robin Thicke bit off more than he could chew, as I don’t think he kept up with Miley’s show-stopping performance. I’m sure all he was enthralled with was the simple opportunity to perform a duet with Miley. Robin’s mother was nearly in tears and has since said: “I can never unsee it.” Miley and Robin’s performance set a new Twitter record at 306,000 tweets per minute.

The VMAs had 10.1 million live television viewers, most of whom were sophisticated, connoisseurs of the arts. Only the most sophisticated and cultured of individuals tune in to a program that features an artist with six top-10 hits and 29 top-100 hits and has gone platinum. Only the most musically inclined people will take time out of their day to watch the VMAs, and only the most stylistically inclined people will take time out of their day to assess the elegant couture of the fellow elegant.

There were, however, some serious style faux-pas. Too many artists donned fedoras, apparently in an attempt to break the association with its balding, D&D playing wearers. Rihanna came in a dress cut all the way up to her hips, and in a flighty passion to follow the ever-changing trend, other celebrities took scissors up their slips before stepping foot outside their anti-paparazzi wagons — Alec Baldwin, who stylishly left his wagon at home, had an offending paparazzo bent over the hood of a car. In similar fashion, Lady Gaga rebelled by not cutting her dress at all.

Justin Timberlake might have had an excuse to wear his fedora as he won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award for having a “profound effect on MTV culture.” It is an award Miley Cyrus surely should have won but she was probably too young and ahead of her time. The VMAs’ audience of sophisticated people surely understand.

Miley made fashion headlines by proudly rocking bedazzled yoga pants, ruby red lipstick and a long tongue. I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing more tongues on the red carpet, on stage and eventually on your everyday street. Kiss might have been the father of the tongue, but Miley is its revolutionary. The tongue has left the cheek.

I feel honored to have grown up in the media age where networks like MTV can broadcast such raw talent to millions of captivated and sophisticated individuals. Sometimes practice doesn’t make perfect, sometimes people are just born with talent like Miley’s and it warrants our undivided attention. We of the cultured audience will watch avidly as Miley continues to skillfully revolutionize modern pop.

Miley’s performance was a stunning addition to the time-tested glamour and sophistication of the VMAs. We as a nation owe a debt of gratitude to our new queen of pop for showing us new heights of cultural elegance and talent.