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Never Confuse Spectacle and Controversy With Talent

We’d all be better off by ignoring the calculated marketing efforts of creatively bankrupt celebs

Miley Cyrus is laughing all the way to the bank.

Did you catch the audience in her VMA Awards clip? Not the automatons dancing and screaming around the stage like this is their last night to live, but those in the seats behind? You’d think they were at an anthropology lecture.

Which in effect they were. What we’ve got here is a 20-year-old so creatively bankrupt that she’s looking back instead of forward, breaking no rules or taboos but just replicating poorly what has happened before, with Madonna kissing Britney and Prince appearing in assless pants … all to stir up those who don’t watch so this evanescent turkey of an event will have legs.

But those in attendance are not buying it. They’re so bored that they’re looking at their cell phones. They’re not jumping for joy, they aren’t even leaving their seats, because what you’ve got here is a made-for-TV moment that doesn’t work live, unlike the best of music, and they just don’t care.

And you wonder why we live in a culturally bankrupt society.

It’s a performance with no socially redeeming value; it’s meaningless. And if you’ve got your knickers in a twist about Miley Cyrus cavorting on stage at the VMAs, you must live a cloistered little life and be afraid of your own shadow. Miley wasn’t twerking so much as she was tweaking an establishment that has made her the star of the week even though her talent is so limited it could fit inside a thimble.

So MTV gets what it wanted. An outlet so musically bankrupt that it gives One Direction the Song of the Summer Moon Man gets to look all dangerous and cutting edge when nothing of the sort is true.

And Miley Cyrus gets to extend her television fame just a bit longer. And Robin Thicke shows he’s the tool of the system we always believed him to be.

As for the bloviators, who is giving these people ink? Who cares what these parental organizations have to say. They’re tiny in size and minuscule in impact. But reporters without brains print their words because they believe fake controversy sells papers/Web ads.

Hell, most kids didn’t even watch this travesty, this marketing extravaganza.

But we’ve got parents worried setting parental controls, worried about what little Adam and Brooke might see, when the truth is they’re exposed to all of it, and all the stuff that bugs their parents doesn’t even merit a shrug from them. Nudity, violence, sex: It’s available online 24/7.

But put it on a lame cable channel and trump it up with media repetition and we’ve got a fake controversy whose only effect will be to make little boys and girls at home believe that they too can test limits on TV for big bucks with little talent.

Then again, what would you rather do, watch this lame clip or get a sext from your junior high school classmate via Snapchat, something that disappears before your Facebooking parents have even heard of the service?

We live in a puritanical society that is offended over irrelevancies. Did you know women go to the beach topless in Europe! Where arethe editorials? Where’s the offense?

The most offensive thing here is people of little talent getting so much attention.

But they wouldn’t get it if everybody wasn’t complicit.

Truly want to change the world? Then move right along, pay no attention, especially in this Internet age where whatever transpired will evaporate in a matter of hours.

Let’s ignore Miley Cyrus. Let’s ignore Kim Kardashian. If we stop paying attention to these no-talents, true talents will have a better chance of emerging.

But that’s not how we like it in America. The poor are embroiled in fake controversies and the corporations get richer. Yup, as much as Miley Cyrus benefited from her VMA appearance, it’s MTV that truly triumphed. Imagine what they’re going to charge for ads at next year’s charade!

Read more Bob Lefsetz columns at Lefsetz.com

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