Badly Broken: USA Chooses Cyrus the Virus & Angie Harmon over Heisenberg?

It is no secret to readers of this blog that I am a huge fan of Breaking Bad.  It is one of the few shows I watch live and I consider it one of televisions three best dramas ever (assuming they stick the landing with the remaining 5 episodes).  But this morning was a 1-2 punch of disconcerting news for me on the Breaking Bad front.  First off, Breaking Bad is well behind… Rizzoli and Isles of TNT, in most watched shows on cable television.  Huh?  I have never heard of anyone liking this show, let alone hearing or knowing anyone who watches it.  I mean a co-star of the show just killed himself, so that seems like a big thumbs down.  Angie Harmon was the attractive, but overrated, one-note-of-complete-intensity actress who is married to the NFL’s Last of the Mohicans – Jason Sehorn (he was a white starting cornerback in the NFL).  Welcome to the Two Americas people – one where some watch Breaking Bad, some watch Rizzoli and Isles and way more people watch the MTV Video Music Awards.

That’s right, after reading the Cable TV results in the NY Times I tuned in to Facebook and saw that many more of my friends were offering more commentary about the VMAs (shouldn’t YouTube be hosting these awards now?) than about Breaking Bad.  And the big story was about Miley Cyrus performance (John Malkovich’s Cyrus the Virus from Con Air is now passing the title on to Miley).  As embarrassed as I am that lots of people I know in their thirties were watching it instead of Breaking Bad, I was even more disturbed by her performance.  People are condemning it, but haven’t we reached a critical point in youth and sexuality (sorry to sound like an old fart – I know Miley is an adult legally, but her and MTV’s market is more youthful).  There is a flood of sexual content on television on exponentially more on-line.  Cell phones have also cut out parents as middlemen in the relationships of teenagers, while also giving teens and younger the capability of sending sexual images to each other.  As I said on my third album Too Big To Fail, teens have been horny forever, but a half a generation ago you had to buy pornography from another human being (shaming) and often speak and meet a parent or parents to become close to a high school girl or guy you were interested in (awkward and uncomfortable).  Now the sexual urges have never been stronger, but none of the gatekeepers are as firmly in place so kids can act upon their urges with not as much need to develop the requisite maturity that used to go hand in hand with it (or at least more so). Just like your 5 year old’s ability to play video games on your smart phone does not necessarily mean the child is actually smart, so it goes with teens’ increased exposure to sexuality and the actual maturity to deal with sexuality.

I know we no longer judge people, especially women, quite as harshly for sexual practices, but at some point shouldn’t we retain a little bit of judgment?  Sexuality, like technology, is not inherently evil, but in the wrong hands or in the hands of someone not mature to deal with it can still be harmful, both physically and mentally.  Here is what I posted on Facebook this morning that seemed to get a good response and sort of sums up my thoughts.

Can some people at least admit that our culture of hedonism masquerading as sexual empowerment, without any judgment or restraint, is partly what gives us monsters like Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian.  Exposing and teaching young people, especially girls, to embrace sexuality before they are mentally mature enough to understand it is what leads to chicks like Cyrus and Kardashian thinking they are “brave” or “bold” or “empowered” when they are just sort of shameful and disgusting.  I understand the backlash that emerged from substandard treatment to women and the sexual double standard that still persists to an extent today, but the pendulum seems to have swung too far.  We need fewer hypocrites on the right talking about family values and more free spirit liberals to start citing the values of decency once in a while.  This is not about condoms in high schools or birth control. It’s about common decency.  Perhaps when the next Miley Cyrus blows the next Robin Thicke on stage in 2025 we might pause and say “hey maybe we aren’t evangelical hypocrites or puritans burning witches just because we draw a line in the sand for what our kids are exposed to.”

Odd that today is the anniversary of women getting the right to vote.  I am sure if Susan B. Anthony were alive today she would have harsh words for Miley Cyrus and there would be many empowered women telling her to shut her judgmental ass up.  And then Ms. Anthony would watch Breaking Bad. #Hero

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