You are Outraged and I am Annoyed

Dearest Reader, again, this will be a rant. I will most likely offend you. I will go ahead and clarify that I am wretched sinner. I am not perfect. Oh, and neither are you.

By now, it’s old news. Miley Cyrus “shocked the world” with her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

And, to be honest, I’m simply annoyed with all of the “outrage”. Parents, conservative religious groups, and Will Smith (by way of pictures and meme’s) have shown their disapproval of the performance. Was it awful? Sure. Do you have every right to be outraged? Yep. Do I think we should pull the planks out of our own eyes first? Absolutely.

So, why am I annoyed?

Well, because none of us should be surprised. Didn’t we all see this coming? I mean, when Billy Ray was pushing his daughter into the spotlight after he failed to follow up “Achy Breaky Heart” with another hit, we should have all seen the writing on the wall. Let us think back to other performances that have attempted to “shock” us…Madonna, Britney, Christina, etc…the bar has been set pretty low. MTV has no moral filter (Jersey Shore and Teen Mom are solid evidence of that).  We simply should not have been surprised. As I watched, I simply thought, “Wow. This is a really pathetic and desperate grab for attention.”

In the end, Miley was successful. More people are talking about her than they are the lack of bands, JT’s marathon performance, Macklemore’s beautiful words on human rights, and how no one in the audience knew who the two guys from Vampire Weekend were. And, let’s not forget…Robin Thicke…the married man, Robin Thicke was there too and was a full participant in all of this. It’s not like he was surprised. He knew what was going to happen. Why are we focusing on Miley and not so much on Robin?

Now, it would be easy to start quoting Scriptures like 1 Timothy 6:10 (the love of money is the root of all evils) and say that the pursuit of fame and fortune has led to ruin. But, that seems like a cop out. It’s too easy.

The reality is this…where were we? The Cyrus family have talked about Jesus often throughout their career. So, where has the church been as it seems things started going wrong for young Miley (let’s remember, she’s still just a kid…I believe she’s 20)? Where have the pastors, youth workers, and strong Christian women to speak into Miley’s life been? Maybe they’ve been there and have largely been ignored? However, my guess is that those voices of positive influence simply haven’t been there. I’m guessing there haven’t been too many who have pulled Miley aside to let her know that there is a better way. So, Monday and Tuesday we criticize this behavior…and yet we did nothing to prevent it. And, we probably aren’t doing anything today to prevent future incidents.

So, let’s be honest about part of the reason why I’m annoyed. Dancing aside, more people should be outraged with the overall vocal quality of the performance. It was awful. And, by the way MTV, where were the bands? It was like karaoke at Applebee’s night!

However,  what I find most annoying is this…many of those who are outraged by Miley Cyrus’ performance pay a lot of money to allow their daughters to perform similar dance moves in similar costumes. The only difference between Miley’s performance and some of the elementary, middle and high school dance team routines I’ve seen would be the presence of Robin Thicke. Think about it…revealing outfits? Check. Over-the-top make-up? Check. Booty shaking that makes people uncomfortable? Check. Stripper-esque moves? Check. Twerking? Check. Loud-screaming fans (called parents in the dance world)? Check.

It’s like me…I’ll get offended by the colorful language used in some of my favorite music and films. Yet, I often put together strings of obscenities that would make Lil’ Wayne blush. So, my outrage seems a bit mis-directed.

We’ve got a bit of the “plank eye” syndrome. We call out what we see in others but fail to own up to our role in all of it.

So, should people be outraged with the Miley Cyrus performance? Of course. But, we should be honest enough to do a reality check within our own lives.

We can criticize Miley, Robin, and MTV. But, are we justifying similar behaviors in our own lives?

Hopefully this serves as a reminder that we have a role in all of this. So, what are we doing to speak words of hope, truth, love, acceptance, and encouragement into the lives of the young people in our world?