We Can’t Stop Kissing Girls and Liking It: Examining the Cyrus-Perry Saliva Exchange

                        We Can’t Stop Kissing Girls and Liking It

      Miley Cyrus has been making headlines for a while now with her antics—Twerking, sticking out her tongue like she has some muscular ailment, and acting like she is allergic to close. That’s her prerogative. It is not stuff that I look for in musical performance, but hey, it’s her choice. When she wore a unicorn onesie and danced to “Wop,” I laughed. When she bent-down and shook her butt practically naked on Beetle Juice Robin Thicke, my stomach churned. Now that she played tonsil hockey with Katy Perry, I have to speak about it, for I find it insulting. It seems like she and Perry have appropriated, to some degree, homosexuality, and it is wrong.

          This is Miley Cyrus’ world, and we are all merely spectators in it. This past weekend, as part of her Bangerz tour, Cyrus stopped off in Vancouver. At some point, she bent down to kiss a member of her audience: the one and only Katy Perry. The saliva exchange, no doubt, made headlines, and for all the wrong reasons.   You can argue until you are blue in the face that there is nothing wrong with two girls kissing. No arguments from this corner. Homosexuality has been condemned throughout time, and Miley and Katy’s apparent appropriation is harmful as well.

            Today’s entertainment world really is a stage, for it is where a lot of taboos are seemingly broken, where scandals and awe-generating moments tend to unfold. When Katy Perry’s breakout single “I Kissed a Girl” came out in 2008, there was much controversy. Some called her out for appropriating girl-on-girl behavior. Critic AllMusic.com stated that, “[T]he problem is not with Katy’s gender-bending, it’s that her heart isn’t in it; she’s just using it to get her places, so she sinks to crass, craven depth.”

    With her grill-wearing and Twerking, Miley Cyrus, too, has been called out for cultural appropriation. There’s nothing wrong, let me reiterate, about two girls kissing. It just seems that Cyrus and Perry do things like this just to garner attention. This crassly handles the subject of female-female relationships. Call me a hater, but I feel like celebrities resort to these antics just because they are attention-hungry. I know that they are entertainers, as opposed to plain-old musicians, but I feel like attention-grabbing is a field in itself.

This is a free country, and Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry can do whatever they want. Also, I am free to critique it, and I find it shameful.

            

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Narcissism: The Trait of the Entertainer?

            In the entertainment world, there is often a suspension of reality. When I watch Selena, I see Selena Quintanilla-Perez, not Jenny from the Block. In the music world, that suspension of reality exists, I believe, for some musicians. For example, when a performer hits the stage, she is no longer just “that person,” but rather, an alter ego. When Beyonce steps onto a stage, she becomes Sasha Fierce, Yonce, or whatever other name she is going by now. As she such, she has artistic license to say and do whatever she pleases. This, my friends, is a problem.

 

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      Kanye West and Beyonce Knowles are two of the biggest acts in music today. Beyonce is currently in headlines for releasing a surprise album, and not informing the public with any type of promotion, and having that album rise to #1 on Billboard.  Kanye West is known for his engagement to socialite Kim Kardashian, for siring a child whose name sounds more like a direction or an airline, and for his immature, sometimes funny, rants. Both superstars are further connected, aside from their business and personal connections to Jay-Z, for their over-the-top personalities. Beyonce has those names which I’ve mentioned about, and Kanye is the heavenly, celestial Yeezus. They’re not “artistic.” They’re annoying and sometimes disrespectful.

Let us take Kanye, because we have so much information on him. Some of his most well-known songs are “Gold Digger,” which is somewhat ironic considering Kanye’s romantic relationship with Kim Kardashian (yes, Kim Kardashian can make money, or “gold,” on her own, but she’s getting a lot more attention from Kanye. Now, her influence is not just in the world visual [television] entertainment, but in the musical sphere as well], as well as “Jesus Walks,” which is itself ironic, considering how the song decries the rejection of Jesus and the influence of Satan, but Kanye is becoming blasphemous and hubristic, which are, in all Christian respects, sins.  “Yeezus” is a fusion of Kanye’s nickname “Yeezy” with the first name of Christianity’s heralded savior. If you don’t believe in God, and, therefore, Jesus, then fusing your name with Christ’s does not scream of hypocritical blasphemy. Maybe Kanye is no longer Christian, so the charge of hypocritical blasphemy does not apply to him. However, with him always thanking God, I doubt that that is the case. Then, there’s another topic: hypocrisy and business. In Kanye’s song “New Slaves,” one of the trademark songs of his Yeezus album, he calls out the black people who are buying (pun intended) into the promises of corporations. “What you want? A Bentley? Fur coat? A Diamond chain? All you black want all the same things. Used to only be niggas, now everybody playin’, spending everything on Alexander Wang, new slaves.” Talk about hypocrisy at its finest. Kanye not only sells music, but he produces clothing (at least shirts and sneakers). A pair of his sneakers recently sold at around $16,000,000. Unless those shoes have some type of cure for cancers or other potentially fatal diseases, they are not worth $16,000,000. Hell, they’re not even worth $500, in my humble opinion. Is Kanye working from an insider’s perspective? Is he saying that he has had a first-hand look at corporations, and therefore he is fit to decry them and those who support them with money? Well, he is still involved with these corporations, so I do not think so.

Next, we have Beyonce, also known as Sasha Fierce, B, Queen B, Yonce, and, lastly, Her Royal Ass-ness.  If entertainers all were to be represented by a certain quality or body part,  Beyonce’s butt would do the talking for her. With her latest album, which is self-titled, she did no promotions, did not inform the public at large of her upcoming release. A simple link from her Tumblr page directed one to iTunes, through which her album was being sold. With someone as famous as Beyonce, the lack of promotion really did  not hurt. One of her songs, “Drunk In Love,” has become an anthem for romance, in which the participants are so overwhelmed with their love and happiness that they are “drunk.” In another song, however, lies controversy. In the song “XO,” she plays footage from the 1986 call of distress from the Challenger spacecraft. The song “XO” really has nothing to do with extraterrestrial travel. It is about saying goodbye to a romantic relationship. Fittingly, many called out Her Royal Ass-ness for her appropriation of the distress call. She claims that she was honoring the fallen, but that is clearly not true. Is she writing a song about losing a loved one to a Challenger-like explosion? No. Beyonce clearly has become shock-value, no substance here.

Now, some might call me a hater of both Beyonce and Kanye West. Let me save you he trouble: both people have been in the  headlines lately. As such,  I obviously came across them. Also, I feel that it is clearly disrespectful what both individuals have done. Right now, Beyonce and Kanye West are not showing themselves to be performers or artists; they’re acting like narcissists. 

Super Pope: Making Some Catholics “Super” Mad

The man born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio now goes by many names: Pope Francis, Francis, Padre, Pontiff, Francesco, His Holiness, and my favorite, Super Pope. As far as I’m aware, he, unfortunately, does not fly and is not susceptible to kryptonite. He is, however, a miracle, as he is a dose of common sense for the backwards logic/hypocrisy of Catholicism. With one speech, he restored my faith in the, well, faith: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Now, before you get your robes in a bunch, I am Catholic. So do not take this post as some outsider insulting the faith. Appropriately, I am an insider, making me fit to decry some of the principles of Catholicism. The Catholic Church and homosexuality have been at odds with one another, like Tyson-and-Holyfield odds. Some Catholics have decried homosexuality as an “abomination.” For them, homosexuality is the epitome of physical and moral depravity. Now, the Pope’s statement speaks on one of the principles of Christianity. The “[W]ho am I to judge?” speaks on John 8:7, ‘Let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.’ Now, I’m not expecting everyone who is fervently against homosexuality to suddenly embrace it. Simply, refraining from statements such as “God hates gays” and the like would be nice. I’m heterosexual. That is indisputable; ask my friends. I don’t understand what attracts two women to each other, or two men to each other. However, if it’s anything like my attraction to a male, then it’s not something that can be explained. It’s just innate. One could say that I’m attracted to a male because our genitalia are compatible for reproduction, but what about straight couples who don’t want kids? Attraction is there just because. With homosexuality, my opinion is reminiscent of one of Western thinking’s forefathers (I thought that it was Voltaire, but I’ve heard that it wasn’t. I’m not sure): I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I’m not homosexual, but I will stand for the defense of homosexuals. By the way, let’s just stop referring to them only by their sexuality.Orientation, for those to whom it applies, is just one component of the magnificent human whole. 

I applaud Pope Francis for not passing judgement. i think that his statement should be extended to, “If someone is gay and has good will, who am I to judge?” Not everyone seeks the Lord, or seeks peace through the Lord. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. Thank you, Pope Francis, for showing me that superheroes do exist. Superheroes aren’t the one’s with superhuman, out-of-this-world power; they’re the one’s who make use of their human qualities of compassion and understanding when they are told not to.Bravo, Pope Francis; it is nice to see that you’ve matured.

 

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“Growing Up Is Hard To Do…” But It’s Doable

I am turning twenty-one this year. That would be incredibly exciting if I were looking forward to taking my first legal sip of alcohol, but all the years of watching Forensic Files and Law & Order:SVU have left me with the incessant fear that my liver will instantly begin to cirrhode once I take a sip. I’m overcoming that fear, however, and looking forward to drinking some red wine, or some Patron Tequila, in mid-July 2014. The bolded portion is the crux of this post, as recently, I’ve been overcoming some fears, and I’m feeling pretty damn good about it. They say that your teen years, high school especially, is the greatest time of one’s life. If that’s the case, I need a do-over, and I’m getting that in my twenties.

 

1) Let Go. My greatest fear wasn’t rats, lightning, or even death. It was judgement. Not necessarily a life-sentence from a judge (although that would terrify me), but an disapproving glance or statement from someone else. I could get an A- on my Latin exam, but if someone said that he/she didn’t like me or saw me as ugly, the effect of the A- would end. I’d no longer be happy for the educational feat that I accomplished (I love Latin now, but I hated it then), but I’d be brooding over, and crying over, someone’s disapproval me. All throughout high school (from age 14 to age 17), as well as my freshman and sophomore years in college, this plagued me. Now, I’ve come to, and embraced, the realization that, one, someone’s disapproval is not going to kill me ( seriously, my brain won’t cease functioning); two, I’m not the center of the universe, and people probably aren’t thinking about me as much as I think; three, a judgement is usually a momentary, temporary perspective; someone might not like what I’m currently doing and judge me for that, but if the criticism is warranted (what I’m doing is really bad), then I can change for the better; four, that I must focus on myself, because I’m the one who’s living in this body, I’m the one who will die with this body, and caskets don’t have room for bunk-beds.

 

2) Patience Is a Virtue. If there’s a statement that has been repeated to the point of banality, here is one. I fretted all throughout my teenage years about getting a boyfriend. I’ve had a few, and I honestly appreciate the trials and tribulations that got me there. I seriously believe that all good things come in due time, Those years that i was waiting for a guy to come into my life and validate my existence, were pivotal points for me. As mentioned in my previous point, caskets don’t have room for bunk-beds. By this, I mean that we should always take care of ourselves first, because fundamentally, ourselves are all we have. instead of having a guy show me that i mean something, and that I am worthy of happiness and all that stuff, i needed to prove it for myself. like they say, you can take a horse to the river, but you can’t make him drink. if you don’t believe in your self-worth, others can state it until they’re blue in the face, but you won’t believe it. you have to believe in yourself. i have my flaws. i’m often impulsive, sensitive, and impatient. i’m working on them. Heck, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it practically was destroyed in a day, huh, Nero (Latin humor)? i’m still impulsive, but not as much as i used to be. i’m working on it. I am my most prized investment. i find that, when i’m ready for my next relationship, it will be because I value myself enough to choose to be with someone, not that i have to be with someone for the sake of my self-worth.i am virtuous because i value that.

 

3) Be Humble. Well, Kind Of. i have some pretty amazing qualities about myself. i’m incredibly considerate, smart, and pretty damn hilarious. disagree if you want with the latter, but it’s true. i am not a megalomaniac, and i don’t talk about myself incessantly. that’s humility. if you’re really as good as you say you are, you don’t have to go mouthing off about it. if it’s obvious, it doesn’t need to be mentioned. however, some people are humbling themselves in that they’re elevating, baselessly, the status of someone else. if you’re a make-up artist, for example, and you’re shouting-out beyonce or rihanna and providing your services free,just because you’re elevating the person so highly, then you’re doing yourself no favors. you’re inflating someone else’s ego. why humble yourself before another human-being when he/she is promised the same thing at birth as you are, and that, my friends, is mortality. it’s one thing to note someone’s talent or other positive attributes, but it’s another to boast them as if they’re something other than human, which they are. i used to do this a lot. i would fan-girl over someone else, generally a popular girl whose favor i so desperately sought, in an effort to be approved by her and thereby have my existence and self-worth validated.take my word for it, this does you no favors.

4) It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint. I was talking to a friend once, who attempted to console me after I was rejected from my dream school. “You’ll feel like your life is over so many times before your life even begins. You’ll come back up more determined and resilient than before.” I felt like not gaining admission into my dream school was the end-all. I was seventeen, and I was prepared for my burial. Yes, it still pangs me a bit that I am not attending that school, but it’s okay. The rejection, now that I consider it, allowed me to realize that, one, abilities—academic and otherwise—are, in fact, mutable, and that they’re just one facet of the multi-facetness that constitutes character. I know now to work hard, and that my whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  The person who I am today is not who I was ten years ago, and is not who I will be ten years from now when I turn *gasp* thirty-one. I’m in my marathon. I’m not done yet, but I’m still moving. I’ll drink to that.

 

 

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Celebrophilia: The Dumbing Down of a Generation

Late last week, Justin Bieber was arrested in Florida. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs, as well as drag racing and resisting arrest without violence. Of course, with Beiber’s high profile, this incident was on the front page of numerous magazines and websites, including CNN.com. Beiber was Google’s trending topic of the day. In short: he was all over the place. To some, this story is all about an entitled, drunk-off-fame boy who’s heading down a dangerous slope. To others, it is insight into a larger epidemic: the  dangerous obsession that many have with high-profile names. This obsession causes people to excuse, and in some cases, applaud, dangerous, potentially fatal behaviors. It’s an outbreak, and I suggest that you quarantine yourself with all due speed. 

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[Photo Credit: Miami Beach Police]

Now, I do not know Justin Bieber. I know his name, and I have listened to, and enjoyed, some of his music. “Beauty and a Beat” is wonderful; if you disagree, then something’s wrong with you. Bieber seems to be making music and living his dream, to which I raise no objections. I don’t see how any objections could be raised. Where one could say “sustained” to the raising of an objection is with Bieber’s out-of-control behavior. He’s peeing in a bucket that isn’t his and allegedly throwing eggs at a neighbor’s house. Now, he’s apparently put the lives of others at risk with his latest stint and first major run-in with the law. By drinking and getting behind the wheel, he’s putting the lives of everyone out in the area at the time at risk. That is selfishness and negligence, plain and simple. Does he recognize this? I’m not sure. With one of his most recent tweets following his arrest, he states that God is with him and all who support him, and urges his followers to be “strong.”

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[Photo Credit: Justin Bieber’s personal Twitter account]

 

I have a myriad of issues with this. By mentioning God, who represents love, peace, and most importantly, justice, Bieber’s tweet implies that he is being persecuted somehow, and that he will be vindicated. Again, I do not know Bieber personally. He may be dealing with some internal demons, and for that, I shall not judge him. Not at all. However, internally-inflicted or not, Bieber’s actions seriously could have put another’s life or others’ lives at risk, not to exclude his own. As such, O feel that God, or justice, would have Justin Bieber punished for this. This isn’t your music career, Justin. It’s not like you have one bad album and can then redeem yourself with another or others. In a split second, your life and someone else’s can be irrevocably changed.  There’s no do-over there. 

What’s even more puzzling is the undying obsession and support that some of his fans, nicknamed “Beliebers,” have shown him. Like Justin’s parents, some of his fans will undoubtedly support him, and realize that he is a good person in need of help. Fine. If I were going through a  difficult situation, I’d want my parents and close friends by my side. Then again, it doesn’t help for those allies to saturate you with “you aren’t at fault” and “you could never be at fault” chants and cheers. Some of his fans, thank goodness, have stated their disapproval  with his actions.Image

[Photo Credit: “twerkdabiebss”‘ Twitter account]

Others, however, are pretty much giving the diabetic child a bag of white sugar and hoping that this cures his ailment. Loving someone, supporting someone, means that you wish to see said someone improve, and that you have his/her best interest at heart. They say that the most beautiful diamonds grow under the most profound pressure. This “pressure” comes in the form of the trials and tribulations that the person faces, and tough love (“yes, you are at fault”) gets the job done beautifully. This (below) does not do it.Image 

[Photo Credit: KidrauhlHaze”‘ Twitter account]

 

I’ve always wondered what this undying love and support yields those providing it. Do they think that it will cause Bieber to get down on one knee and propose marriage to them? He might love this support on the surface, but this relationship, if it were to happen, would be based on superficiality. That’s not love; that’s idolatry and the fanning of an ego at work. I titled this post “Celebrophilia: The Dumbing Down of a Generation.” I’m not trying to say that generations before my own there weren’t these celebrophiliacs who, like some Beliebers, provide obsession and undying support to celebrities. It’s just that this is the first time that I’ve seen such fervent “love” at work. Like my post on Hollywood a few weeks back, I am writing this as a humanitarian. My objective is opening people’s eyes to the sometimes-purposelessness of celebrophilia. It encourages behavior that is potentially dangerous to both the person doing as well as innocent people, but it serves no purpose to the avid supporter either. Get your vaccination shot; that is, stop worshipping people who, one, don’t even know that you exist, and two, who are people just like you. Stop humbling yourself for others. They use the bathroom as you do, their bodies run on the same fuel as yours does, and they are promised mortality, as are you. Your character is your best investment, and celebrophilia, philias of almost any sort really, dull the shine of your diamond.