Gossip and "tabloid journalism" is pretty much impossible to avoid these days. That's all Drudge is, and it's basically the only type of story the pathetic, character obsessed media will report during this presidential campaign. Maybe it has always been that way in the modern era. It says more about the press and the people obsessing on this crap than it does the audience who is held captive to it by way of not being provided any kind of viable alternative. I'm talking about the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photo shoot today, but it could and does apply to practically any one of the media's fascinations with shiny things. Let's take this one step at a time.
Faux Crusades There are two main arguments against photoshoots like this that you'll hear. First, it'll instantly triple the population of pedophiles on this planet for every 5 seconds the image is available on newsstands and the Internet. Second, it'll turn all the Hanna Montana fans into raging sluts and sinners.
That's not true of course, and any reasonable person is going to realize that, but we don't have reasonable, normal people living in our TV boxes, telling us what to think and how to act as if they'd anointed themselves the moral center of our culture. They won't come right out and declare that, but that's the way it is right now since the only people offended over this "scandal" are the people reporting it 24/7. They'll tell you a picture like this will erode the moral fabric of America but won't spend so much as a minute wondering if the people eroding our culture are them, for obsessing over absolutely harmless and trivial tabloid garbage like this.
Think about this for a minute, Fox News's top anchor wants to hold a conference where a bunch of middle-aged adult men will gather, look at at, and then "discuss" sexy pictures of a 15-year-old-girl. This in service of their agenda to rid the world of sin and pedophiles who probably didn't know about these pictures until they started talking about them on the nightly news and in the papers. Good job guys!
Here's an amusing list of a few of the big name outlets expressing moral outrage over this travesty: New York Times, Associated Press, People Magazine, Reuters, ABC News, The Beeb, LA Times, USA Today, MTV, etc..
Who is the sick bastard obsessing over this stuff again?
Naturally there's no evidence that young female fans are going to see these pictures and flood America with imitations. First of all, Vanity Fair? Seriously? Do all these outraged moral conservatives think Hanna Montana fans have ever heard of this magazine in the first place? And what are the imagined (perhaps fantasized?) consequences of this anyway? I don't think we're going to see a pandemic of young girls realizing their bodies aren't anything to be ashamed of and that adults are mostly overprotective not due to rational concerns over safety, but because they can't get over their own personal shame and hangups instilled upon them by their parents.
Why? Because those parents are going to instill that shame on their kids and continue the ridiculous cycle of taboos that aren't even supposed to exist in western culture. As things stand today, America and the world in general have some strange notions about what is forbidden and off limits and what is acceptable when it comes to a young persons sexuality. For instance the age of consent for sex in 1/3rd the U.S. is actually 16. You could literally have sex with the girl in about 7 months free and clear (in Canada you could have done the deed when she was 14) but pictures that show about as much skin as a bikini right now is "scandalous" and "offensive" and also apparently demeaning towards women in general. Anything nude until she's 18 could send you to prison for life.
Excuses Without hours of Drudge posting the picture and insinuating that she was topless for the shoot, Cyrus (through a publicist I'm sure. What, your 15-year-old doesn't have a publicist? I guess since Cyrus in a role model then, every kid is gonna want a publicist now) came out and denied those rumors saying she had a shirt on and was most certainly not nude. Then came the inevitable blame-shifting from Cyrus to Vanity Fair for "making it look like" she was nude for the photo. She's sorry of course, and has let her fans down by doing what 90% of teen girls do with their cellphone cameras and webcams -- it's called growing up.
These out-take photos make it pretty clear that was going on and I don't see any reason to believe claims that Cyrus was taken advantage of.
And would you expect anything different? She's 15, of course she's going to do something and the blame somebody else, that's what kids do. That's why kids make bad role models by default.
Missing The Big Picture Moral conservatives may find this stuff offensive but I'd like them to explain to me how it hurts them. There's nothing in any Miley Cyrus picture I've seen that reveals more than you can see any day of the summer on a beach, and really in some instances a lot less. But that's not really the point. The big picture here is that the moralists and media will obsess over irrelevant matters while ignoring the really important ones like teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. If you don't like the pictures, don't like at 'em. Don't buy the magazine for your own kid. But don't pretend that a bare back is somehow more important to teen girls than sex-ed -- which they are not getting -- and open and frank discussions instead of kicking it under the carpet, locking it in the closet and pretending these things aren't happening.
Jamie Lynn Spear's pregnancy at 16 was a wonderful opportunity to open that discussion and instead the media obsessed over how Jamie is going to turn into her sister. I'd expect that in a super market tabloid but instead it was plastered all over the news for weeks. Yeah, she messed up, guess why? It wasn't because of saucy pictures on the Internet, for crying out loud, it was because the guy she was with wasn't wearing a god damned condom, and because young-girls getting birth control pills is a really big deal when it shouldn't be.
She made a stupid mistake but you can't lob all the blame on her when this society won't even try to educate young girls (and guys too) about the two levels of responsibility. Keeping it in your pants is plan A and the first level. Plan B is use a condom shit head.
You won't hear about that on TV, in the media, or from Bill O'Reilly at his "conference."
Prudes Finally, when can we stop being such prudes about these taboo issues and act like adults for once? Sometimes a 15-year-old can be disturbingly hot. Sometimes drugs are pretty damn cool. I like trans-fat, it tastes awesome even if it is bad for me. I like sitting on my ass and watching TV instead of exercising -- at least I'm happy and not obsessing over other peoples lives. If people spent less time trying to control other peoples lives and spent more time trying to improve their own, there'd be a lot less stress in life.
So what if Miley Cyrus wants to show off? As long as the pictures aren't illegal how the hell is it anyones business but hers? People want to tell her to grow up, I'm kind of thinking the same thing for them.