Miley Cyrus smoked a joint onstage at the MTV EMAs in Amsterdam. OK, obviously Miley was doing this for attention. I am often times a Miley apologist because I think she gets judged too harshly when her mischief is rather tame and in line with a great deal of other people her age. She says rather naive and immature things sometimes but everyone does and I don’t think we should all be held to the opinions we had two years ago or even one month ago because we’re always evolving and growing as people.
With that said, c’mon, reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally? REAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY, THO? Miley >=| ! Like, there is no misconstruing the tactic here. You don’t smoke weed on stage during the MTV European Music Awards unless you want people to talk about it. I know the awards took place in Amsterdam but I SEE YOU, GIRL. You know what, I wouldn’t even care if musicians did stuff like this for attention if they weren’t constantly talking about how their stunts shouldn’t overshadow their music. Then they go on and on about being a real artist and how people focus on “the negative” when they are just trying to make art.
Look, just be honest. You have every intention of having your antics overshadow your music. That’s fine, just say it. Admit it. Whatever. Maybe singing and making music isn’t precisely what you want to do, maybe being a performer and entertainer is a bit more apt of a description because you enjoy the spectacle and attention that comes along with it. Miley did say in her documentary The Movement, “You’re always going to be making people talk. You might as well make them talk for two weeks rather than two seconds.”
Lady Gaga essentially admitted in her single, “Applause,” that she lives for the gaze of others like a tree falling in the woods, Gaga, and all celebrities, only exist if we bear witness to their sounds, moans, cries, achievements and arrogance.
Miley told Rolling Stone, in the interview where she also admits she loves marijuana, about her need to be seen, “It’s almost depressing when you’re not working. You’re so used to people calling your name, and that energy, and when you don’t have it anymore … That’s why I never complain about people wanting autographs or pictures. Because if there were a few days where no one asked, I’d probably be like, ‘What the fuck’s going on? Do people not like me?'”
I’m not going to pretend like I don’t get anything from that transaction because it is a transaction. As a writer I get something to discuss, dissect and think about. As a person I get something to talk about, to project an almost unreasonable level of emotion onto, whether that be annoyance, admiration or outrage. I love it when my favorite TV characters get what they want, I hate it when they make self-destructive choices but I am never going to look away; celebrity culture isn’t much different. If this weren’t the case why would we culturally celebrate people just to throw shade any time they step outside of the paradigms we expect them to inhabit?
While Gaga can admit she is an attention whore, at this point in her career it’s most important to prove that she is a real musician. She exhausted every shock tactic from meat dresses, on-stage suicides and cross-dressing so early in her career that her more recent sensational efforts have included looking more “natural,” a flying dress and singing in space, none of which have garnered the same jaw-dropping responses as when she was first on the scene. The only trick up Lady Gaga’s sleeve left, in order to sustain her audience, is to actually make good music.
Miley is in those early stages of her rejuvenated career where she has the liberty to do shocking things (even if they aren’t all that shocking or groundbreaking) because she is establishing herself as a new artist after having a rather good-girl image. The trouble with that is, is that eventually everyone is going to make up their minds about who this new Miley is. If this new Miley is just an attention-seeking, pop star with a few PR stunts in her bag of tricks then it won’t be easy to exasperate our attention spans. Like KISS, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Madonna and Lady Gaga, it won’t take very long for Miley Cyrus’ spectacle to wear its novelty off and become quite mundane.
As we have found ourselves saying before, “Oh, what did Lady Gaga wear today? Nothing at all, yeah OK, whatever, that’s just Gaga.” Soon we’ll be saying, “What did Miley do this week? Do Molly with some little people? Yeah, she’s just being Miley, whatever.” Smoking weed onstage at the EMAs may overshadow her actual music now, but eventually Miley is going to have to deliver on the artistry otherwise we won’t be talking about her at all.
Watch the performance here.
Here are many other examples of Miley Cyrus smoking weed.