The Worst Songs I Have Ever Heard #9: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (It’s Not What You Think)

Easy there, Bollocks! readers. I’m not about to suggest to you that the opening track from Nirvana’s Nevermind is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. I love that song. I love that album.

But I found this (if your work computer restricts the YouTubes and/or if you’re not feeling brave enough to click the link, I’ll tell you what it leads to: a video of Miley Fucking Cyrus covering Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) on the internet the other night and it struck me that something very eerie is going on here. Indeed, there is such an all-encompassing aura of weirdness surrounding this… I’m not sure what to call it… that I feel I have to interrupt myself for a minute to tell you that, as I began working on this post, I consulted my Twitter feed only to discover that Jen Kirkman tweeted a link to a TMZ article about this very performance. I think Kirkman spoke for all of us – literally every generation – when she made the plea, “Leave my generation alone, Miley.” I’m glad that comedians are starting to pick up on this; we’re going to need all the help we can get.

It seems like it was just last week that I told you what happened when Billy Ray Cyrus went down to the crossroads.  I mentioned that Billy Ray labored in obscurity for a few years while formulating a diabolical scheme to return to the spotlight and/or a swimming pool full of money (and, naturally, an illegal immigrant to clean said pool). And I said the tale of that scheme, which involved selling his daughter Miley as a slave to the Walt Disney Company, would have to wait for another time.

Well, that time is now.

Here’s what I think is happening, and it’s been in the works for quite some time: Miley Cyrus, while spending years in a nightmare of dual identities (as both Hanna Montana and Miley Cyrus), had time to think. The easy answer would be to blame her father’s greed for landing her in her mouse-eared prison, but what about the society that allowed her father to taste fame and fortune to begin with? Surely, any world that would allow “Achy Breaky Heart” to ignite a line-dancing craze was not worth preserving. So, like Ivo Shandor, Miley Cyrus decided that humanity was too sick to survive.

Of course, her father had to be punished too. Miley found little ways to rebel, ways that would sully her father’s reputation and force him to apologize to his fan(s) on Twitter. But what punishment could be greater for Billy Ray Cyrus than the daughter he sold as an entertainment product taking that path to its logical conclusion? Miley resolved to first dominate human culture and then destroy it – and she wouldn’t need the Devil to do it.

Phase One was subtle – Miley would exploit her position as Hanna Montana to seduce the world’s tween-agers into loving her insipid pop music. This would generate a steady revenue stream to fund the next steps in her twisted plan for vengeance. Her cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” marks a tactical shift to Phase Two of this plot: Miley will take aim at songs that defined generations, and she will destroy them, rendering the music that soundtracked the best moments of literally all of our lives completely unlistenable and, indeed, repugnant. With the great songs of our lives sullied by Cyrus’s vocal touch of evil, we will stop remembering our best moments – just to be safe. We will become depressed, we will completely lose our bearings as a people, and we will beg Miley Cyrus to end it all for us. At which point, she will announce seven new Disney shows featuring members of her family and these safe, cutesy, bullshit shows will be the only cultural items we’re fit to consume. Ever.

You might think I’m overreacting. “Surely,” you’re thinking to yourself, “Miley Cyrus can’t do all that.”

I tell you she can. And don’t call me Shirley. Think about it: isn’t her cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” almost kind of beautiful in its sheer perversity? Listen to the guitars, slightly off that indelible rhythm; the drums that are like a sick joke about Dave Grohl’s drumming. Listen to the way she casually blows off the entire second verse of a song that she claims played such a big role in her life (Official Bollocks! Fact: Nobody ever forgets the second verse of a song that has truly inspired them. Nobody. If you forget the second verse, the song clearly did not inspire you). And listen to the way she sings it – this is the sound Obi Wan Kenobi heard when Alderaan was destroyed (at least one Star Wars nerd is sitting in his mom’s basement right now ready to send me a nasty email which reads, “Obi Wan didn’t hear a sound when Alderaan was destroyed; he felt a disturbance in the Force that was as if “millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” That person is going to miss the point, now and forever).

I don’t want you to think, dear reader, that it’s too late. But I would like to instill in you a sense of urgency. Who knows what iconic song could be next? Do you want to hear Miley Cyrus slaughter “The Times, They are A-Changin'”? Then I suggest you take action. Direct confrontation is futile; what we must do, for the good of every living creature on this planet (outside of the Cyrus family, obviously) is engage in subtle resistance to the influence of Miley Cyrus and her child-pimping father. When your kid says they want the new Miley Cyrus CD, pretend you misheard them and get them a Bikini Kill album (which album? Fuck, any of them). Yes, your child may hate you in the short term and possibly even in the long term, but isn’t that a small price to pay for the preservation of a healthy musical culture?

Obviously, compact disc misdirection won’t be enough on its own. We must also do our level best to ignore – and put no money in the pockets of – the Cyrus family. In order to do this, we’ll need to distract ourselves. I suggest we devote hours upon hours to educating ourselves, taking an active interest in our communities, and perhaps enjoying fine meals with good friends. We must avoid the 24-hour news channels, lest a Cyrus magically appear on one of them. I’m sure some of my more technically savvy friends can set up a universal Cyrus Filter on the internet that keeps us from inadvertently paying attention to a Cyrus, even for a second. If Miley Cyrus’s goal is the ultimate destruction of all human culture – and I submit to you that it is – then our best defense is a rigorous, dignified enriching of that culture, is it not?

Who’s with me?


4 thoughts on “The Worst Songs I Have Ever Heard #9: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (It’s Not What You Think)


  2. Pingback: The Worst Songs I Have Ever Heard #13: “My Best Friend’s Brother” « Bollocks!

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