I was driving home from work on Friday night and I was listening to a local AM radio station because they do traffic updates every ten minutes. I tuned in a few minutes early for a traffic report on Friday and the radio people were talking to a news anchor at KCAL 9, which is a CBS affiliate here in L.A. They were discussing the top news stories of the day and reminding you that you could learn more if you watched KCAL 9 News at Six or whatever. I have no problem with that. But here’s the first thing I heard when the anchor started talking about Friday’s top stories: “Can you believe this new Miley Cyrus video?”
I am not making this up. According to the people who are supposed to report the fucking news in Los Angeles, this was the biggest story of the day on Friday. Now it’s perfectly legitimate for me to discuss Miley Cyrus on Bollocks! because this is a music blog and Miley Cyrus is at least a pretend musical performer (I don’t say she’s a musical “artist” because that would make my head explode). But for an actual news station that is actually supposed to report real goddamn news, this is fucking appalling. Bernie Sanders spent four hours dissing the trillion-dollar, bipartisan tax deal on the Senate floor on Friday. Does KCAL 9 want you to tune in at six o’clock to learn more about that? No. They want you to turn on your TV and get all the juicy details about Hanna Montana’s first steps toward a stint on Celebrity Rehab (and they’re lame steps, by the way. Hey, Miley, if you’re gonna make headlines by doing drugs, do some real fucking drugs! Salvia? Are you kidding me? Next time your Disney-owned ass is being discussed by pseudo-journalists on my commute, you better be overdosing on heroin. Step up your game, kid).
Again, I don’t care if TMZ talks about Miley Cyrus – they’re celebrity stalkers and it’s their job to talk about meaningless shit that celebrities do. They’ve never once pretended to be journalists, as far as I know. But the folks at KCAL 9 probably had to go to school to get where they are (tell me that’s still true. Even if they majored in Communications, they still need degrees to do news on the TV, don’t they?) and what they did on Friday (and hell, they probably do it every day. Because who wants to be informed about what’s going on in the world when you can agonize over Miley Cyrus’s nascent drug habit?) was just one more kick in the nuts to the already ball-bruised institution that used to be credible journalism. If you want to know why we’re completely fucked as a country, just tune in to KCAL 9.
But since we’re on the subject of Miley Cyrus and since this is an infinitely better place to discuss her than a no-longer-legitimate news organization, let me tell you what I think of this whole pseudo-situation (in case you couldn’t tell already): if you want to understand why Miley did what she did (and honestly, who gives a shit?), just ask yourself one question. If your dad was famous for that fucking Achy-Breaky Heart song, wouldn’t you do every drug you could get your hands on? I know I would. Looking at the video and seeing 1990s redneck chicks line dancing makes me want to do drugs right now. I couldn’t imagine growing up with that bemulleted dipshit always wandering around the house in his muscle shirts, trying to dream up other songs about other organs (thank God the follow-up single, “Pretty Shitty Bowel” was a dud; that line dance would’ve been horrifying).
I know what you’re thinking: “Matt,” you’re thinking, “are you really blaming Miley’s drug use on her father’s horrible music, offensive hairstyle, and even more offensive taste in clothing?”
Sure. Why not? I get that Billy Ray Cyrus apologized to his fans on Twitter for his daughter’s bong video… wait. No. That’s not true. I don’t get that at all. So your famous daughter (more famous than you ever were or ever will be) is videotaped taking a bong hit and, rather than having a discussion with her like a rational adult, you take to your Twitter feed and apologize to the three or four people (tops) who still listen to your shitty music? Really, Billy Ray? Are your fans so sensitive that the news of your daughter’s use of a perfectly legal, mildly (oh so mildly) hallucinogenic plant will upend their entire existence? Because if that’s the case, I will establish and donate to a telethon to benefit the mental healthcare of Billy Ray Cyrus fans.
Miley Cyrus is 18. Like many 18-year-olds, she wants to try drugs. This is not news. This is life. The only reason anyone cares that Miley Cyrus took a bong hit is because she is a Disney product and people are still foolish enough to think that a kid who is a Disney product is automatically a great role model for their children. I guess this is my month for giving out quality parenting advice, because here comes another idea that all you parents need to digest forthwith: celebrities, especially musicians and movie stars (and super especially teenage girls who star on Disney shows), will always be completely retarded role models for your children. They are famous for entertaining us and a frightening number of us find drug-addled, sex-addicted fuck-ups entertaining. If your child must pattern their life after someone famous, maybe pick a well-known person who at least has (or had) their shit together. Like Ghandi or Maya Angelou or the Dalai Lama or someone like that. You probably won’t be able to learn much about these people from the TV though (especially not KCAL 9). You might have to do a little homework finding role models for your children. And, in a pinch, you might have to find (gasp!) non-famous role models for your kids! How about that? Who decided that only famous people could be role models? Why don’t you try being a role model for your kid? And don’t tell me, “It’s not that easy” because I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s probably really hard. You know, like having kids is. But so what? There’s lots of worthwhile shit to do that isn’t easy.
At the end of the day, Miley Cyrus’s little bong incident might – at the most – inspire lazy, self-righteous California politicians to ban salvia in this state, which, just like marijuana, won’t keep the offending herb from the hands of the people who really want it. Whether that happens or not, Miley Cyrus will go on making shitty movies and worse music, her dad will go on being a complete chimp on Twitter, and KCAL 9 will go on driving nail after nail into the coffin of journalism.
I need a drink.