Tuesday, August 27, 2013

1)Miley Cyrus, C.S. Lewis and the elevation of lizards 2) a doctoral dissertation on Miley's art as racism

I said I would resist the testation to comment on the Miley Cyrus news (CNN here, The Onion here) .

 So I won't...

except by way of linking these two intriguing posts!:

1)Miley Cyrus, C.S. Lewis and the elevation of lizard:
Morgan Guyon connects some dots for me re:  elevation  (see  "of course prayer/Bono  is erotic...until elevated and  Elevation and Suach/ Does God believe in The Edge?
 and C. S. Lewis:
I was completely unaware of what happened with Miley Cyrus because I’m utterly uninterested in pop culture. It came up in the context of a debate I was having with another Methodist blogger about the nature of eros. Basically the blogger was saying that Biblical sexuality must start from a “deep-seated suspicion about sex and caution about its power as a dark force in our life.” I was arguing that a better starting point would be to talk about how rich and beautiful eros is when it’s directed at God, particularly in the adoration of Christ’s body and blood in theEucharistic act, when our eros hasn’t been spewed into a kleenex and tossed into a toilet as a degraded form of fleshlines...

...In C.S. Lewis’s Great Divorce, one of the inhabitants of hell who comes to visit heaven has an ugly lizard clinging to his shoulder and whispering in his ear. An angel asks him if he wants the lizard to be killed. When the man finally lets the angel kill the lizard, he writhes in agony but then the lizard dies, falls to the ground, and is resurrected as a giant stallion that the man climbs upon to ride feverishly off into the mountains chasing the dawn of God’s glory. That is what eros looks like when it has been crucified and resurrected. -full post, "Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, and the death of eros"


2) a doctoral dissertation on Miley's art as racism?

However, some have explored their revulsion over Cyrus’ actions and made fools of themselves.Take Vulture columnist Jody Rosen, for example. Rosen is a seer. He saw what no one else saw in Cyrus’ actions. Through his perceptual acumen and years of scholarly training, Rosen identified historical themes of the racial subjugation of African-Americans in Cyrus’ jiggling.
“[T]he shock that Cyrus was peddling wasn’t sex. It was all about race,” Rosen wrote, priming his readers for maximum shock.
“Cyrus has spent a lot of time recently toying with racial imagery,” he adds, revealing the disturbing fact that he sees racial imagery everywhere.
“Cyrus twerking her way through the video for her big hit ‘We Can’t Stop,’ professing her love for ‘hood music,’ and claiming spiritual affinity with Lil’ Kim,” Rosen continues. “Last night, as Cyrus stalked the stage, mugging and twerking, and paused to spank and simulate analingus upon the ass of a thickly set African-American backup dancer.”
If you’re keeping score, Cyrus is “toying with racial imagery” by virtue of her being a fan of and collaborating with African-American artists and by performing hyper-sexualized dancing with one of her black backup dancers. But this workmanlike presentation of damming evidence continues:
“Her act tipped over into what we may as well just call racism: a minstrel show routine whose ghoulishness was heightened by Cyrus’s madcap charisma, and by the dark beauty of “We Can’t Stop” — by a good distance, the most powerful pop hit of 2013,” Rosen adds.
A doctoral dissertation could (and will) be written on the racial, class, and gender dynamics of Cyrus’s shtick. I’ll make just one historical note. For white performers, minstrelsy has always been a means to an end: a shortcut to self-actualization. The archetypal example is inThe Jazz Singer (1927), in which Al Jolson’s immigrant striver puts on the blackface mask to cast off his immigrant Jewish patrimony and remake himself as an all-American pop star.
Rosen was correct to warn his readers of impending shock. He is probably correct that a “doctoral dissertation could (and will) be written” about Cyrus’ coded racism. This revealing and horrifying truth about what modern academia rewards is especially embarrassing. Rosen seems not to recognize, however, how he is parodying himself and his colleagues with this admission   Embarrassing: Columnist Sees ‘Racism’ in Miley Cyrus’ Twerking ‘Minstrel Act’  by Noah Rothman

Religion without science is blind': Miley Cyrus defends 'forget Jesus' tweet as she responds to backlash

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