The Onion predicted Mileygate (thanks to Eric Stoner):
Monthly Archives: August 2013
Young white woman gets up on stage in stripper outfit. She sees her bold, provocative performance as a declaration of sexual desire and power. Others vilify her as a whore. Everyone is shocked; everyone can’t stop talking about it. Runaways fans: Does this sound familiar?
As truly awful as Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance was last night, I still feel sorry for her. As Cherie Currie found out 37 years ago, when she took the stage at the Starwood nightclub wearing a corset and fishnet stockings, it is extremely hard for a young woman to get up in front of an audience, flaunt her flesh, and maintain control over the way her body is interpreted. The Runaways singer wore her bustier for exactly one song, “Cherry Bomb.” Still, as happened again on the radio show we were on last Friday, that outfit is still the only — or at least the primary — way people see Currie. Once our Puritan culture’s boner is tripped, it stays ready to swing into action at the slightest provocation.
Flesh offered is flesh consumed. Aroused desire quickly turns into hatred, especially if the audience feels it is being teased. The vitriol of the attacks on the former Hannah Montana — the desire for her to be dead, or disappear — are shocking and nothing new. Currie also used to wind up as a corpse on stage, during “Dead End Justice”. A headline in one of the Japanese magazines that famously featured fetishistic shots of the under-dressed, under-age singer says it all: “Fuck Me, Kill Me: The Runaways.”
Cyrus is a young woman who has to grow up in the spotlight and doesn’t know how to be herself. For too many years she was desexualized; released, her libido rages uncontrolled. She’s the ugly, almost naked image of our entertainment culture’s pedophilic youth obsession and Madonna/whore complex, paying the price for all of our sins. MTV pimped her ride, just like Kim Fowley, Mercury Records, and the Japanese skin mags pimped Cherie. The shame belongs on them, not her. I mean really, Robin Thicke deserves far more hatred for singing his date-rape anthem than Cyrus gets for playing along.
Also, it must be said, Currie didn’t do that awful thing with her tongue. Her act was almost masculine, inspired by the drag of Rocky Horror not, I don’t know, MTV. Miley, I know you worship Joan Jett: Go back and look at her career. She never stooped to a pole dance. And she would have punched Thicke in the face.
It was an honor to be on the radio with Cherie Currie yesterday. Kudos to 45 North for a great show on the Runaways and girl bands today. On Wisconsin! You can stream or download here.
Old Beloit friends and others, I will be live on the Wisconsin Public Radio show 45 North Friday morning from 10-10:45 CST.
I remember being in Meow Mix in NYC, watching the episode of Ellen where Ms. DeGeneres came out — and Joan Jett handed her the congratulatory toaster oven at the end. AfterEllen praises Queens of Noise — and runs some great photos. (How come Getty didn’t show me those ones?)
I can’t say enough how gratifying it is that the people who read Queens of Noise get it. Today’s rave review comes from The Houston Press. I particularly like the last graf:
“Queens of Noise is as wild a read as was the Runaways’ short-lived career. But in the hands of such a skilled, careful, and picture-painting writer as McDonnell, it’s far more than the scandalous jailbait journalism it might have been.”
The review of Queens of Noise by Pete Roche from the Examiner in Cleveland may be the most thorough and complimentary yet. Here’s a sample:
McDonnell’s book is an all-inclusive overview that draws hundreds of quotes from dozens of magazine and television interviews with the musicians, managers, confidantes, and kin to paint a bigger, clearer picture than any previous work. The Mamarama author (who also writes for The Miami Herald and Village Voice) digs deep, separating fact from fiction and myth from reality in between her own lucid expositions on the California culture, geography (“Exopolis”), and demographics (wo)manifesting in The Runaways’ union, ascent, success, and concomitant struggles.