Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening and/or Night, fellow Sh*theads. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I spent last night after my minions went to bed sitting in my living room with my wife, Nicole, drinking raspberry lemonade, Tweeting and watching the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs for short). Why? Morbid curiosity and a dearth of things to watch on Sunday nights now that “The Killing” is over and “The Walking Dead” is still a few weeks away. I hadn’t watched a full VMAs in over a decade and admittedly, the idea of seeing how much it’s changed since my days of watching it for acts like Pearl Jam and The Red Hot Chili Peppers really appealed to me. Like I said: Morbid curiosity. And Justin Timberlake. FYI: I think JT is the f*cking bomb. That’s a little known fact about me that I hope doesn’t ruin my “street cred.”
He didn’t disappoint (though I could have done without the N’Sync mini-reunion) but that’s not why I’m writing this blog entry, right now. I made it through Lady Gaga’s opening performance unscarred though admittedly, I got really sick of seeing her in the audience wearing her shell bikini all night. Taylor Swift, too. I know that Miss Swift is “in” right now but seriously, someone PLEASE feed her a sandwich. It pains me to look at her emaciated figure.
Post-Gaga, they gave out the first award which went to an “ar-teest” I’ve never heard of before and then? Then? Oh my goodness, then. I can’t describe it. You simply have to see it for yourselves if you haven’t yet. And here it is for your… ahem… viewing pleasure, sarcasm 150 percent fully intended:
Like I said: There are no words. Nada. Zilcho. Zip-a-rooni. If you follow me on Twitter (@madchronicler97) and were keeping up with my feed last night well? This particular Tweet says it all:
Why is Hannah Montana on stage in a bathing suit, dancing with teddy bears? #ThingsIthinkIthink while watching the #VMAs.
And this one, which followed it a few moments later:
“WTF IS this?” #ThingsIthinkIthink AND VOCALIZE to @CarasMomma while watching the #VMAs.
BTW, @CarasMomma is my wife’s Twitter handle. I highly recommend following her as she tempers my oft-times insane, subjective Twitterverse that centers around sports and books with a much more restrained one of her own that circulates around @adamlevine and pharmacy memes. She’s funny. Here’s a sample of her “work”:
I’m going to be defeated by a 1 year old today. Her super power of whining will indeed win out.
Seriously, guys: Check her out. She deserves to feel as loved in her own, subjective Twitterverse as I feel in mine. End parenthetical aside.
What is it with these once-Disney Channel superstars post-their Disney Channel careers? Miley Cyrus, alias “Hannah Montana,” Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears et al. In truth? JT may be the only one that left the Mouse House and went onto a scandal-free, successful career. The rest of ’em? It’s like they’re the… to employ a much overused yet highly relevant cliche, “the cat’s meow” pre-leaving. They’re the “next big thing.” Then they leave and embark on careers sans-the overbearing influence of the Disney Powers-That-Be and within a couple of years, they’re in rehab, or posing for Penthouse, or in Miley’s case, copulating with Robin Thicke and a foam finger while wearing a gold bikini that looks like something out of Cheryl Tieg’s closet circa 1976. WTF?
It makes no sense to me. Maybe the old adage about finding fame young is true. Maybe it really does destroy people like Miley. I can’t imagine that a teenager or a pre-teen… a “tween” is equipped to cope with all that comes with stardom. But for every train wreck like Miss Party in the USA there’s an Emma Watson, who started playing Hermoine in the Harry Potter movies at the ripe, young age of 11 and managed to come out of the experience not just unscathed, but more mature and well-rounded than most teenagers I knew growing up. For every Amanda Bynes there’s an Emma Stone who found success early, and is now at 20-something one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood.
Maybe “Hermoine” and “Easy A” are the exceptions to the adage. For every child “ar-teest” that went onto a successful, adult career there’s a half a dozen Macaulay Culkins and Jodie Sweetins. Mind you, my interest in this kind of thing is purely limited to what I hear about from my co-workers and read in my wife’s Twitter feed. But admittedly, I’m a bit… I wouldn’t say concerned about it but perturbed? Most definitely.
Consider that last night, I had a dream. As near as I can tell I had it sometime between when I passed out around midnight and when smallish bear woke up briefly at 2:30 AM. In it, I was at a diner with Miley Cyrus post-her VMA performance and I questioned her… for lack of a better (and less repetitive term) questionable acts in pursuit of her “art,” i.e. dry-humping the guy who sings “Blurred Lines” and simulating masturbation with a foam, nail polished finger. Her response was to tell me that she didn’t give a sh*t what I thought. She proceeded to call security and have me thrown out of the diner. The fact that the security guards were all zombies ala “The Walking Dead” was just an extra added bonus, as was the crossbow I magically had on my person and used to eliminate said “biters” before I turned back and saw that Miley was gone. Then, I woke up. True story, guys. I rarely remember my dreams but that one? It stuck with me, and I’ve been dying… no pun intended… to write it down all day.
But the dream itself was supplemental to the fact that in my explanation to the former Miss Montana of why she should re-consider her raunchy “act” in the future, I brought up my own daughters, i.e. my minions, and I remembered… and still remember what Chris Rock said once upon a time: My only job as a father is to keep my daughters off the pole, i.e. the stripper pole. I pride myself on my capacity to raise them right and keep them from a life spent dry humping smelly dudes wearing stained sweatpants and fishing dollar bills out of their underwear. And Billy Ray Cyrus? He did a piss poor job of keeping his own, talented little girl off the proverbial pole. Shame on you, Billy Ray. As if “Achy Breaky Heart” wasn’t bad enough. Insert b*tch slap here.
But I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks that my minions have certain talents, likely inherited from their father and his grandfather, both once-theater geeks who sang, acted, danced and even had one or two moments of caddiness that they… that I regret, to this day. But I don’t think that I’m tooting my own horn when I say that I was talented. Perhaps I still am despite the rigors of age, cigarettes and alcohol. I caught myself singing “Jesus Christ Superstar” yesterday while driving home from my sister’s house and I’ve got to admit, I sounded pretty good. Even Cara told me so. Maybe one day I’ll re-embrace that side of my personality and fulfill my dream of playing Pilate in “JCS.” Regardless of whether I do or don’t I have to acknowledge the fact that my little ladies? They may have a career in front of them as singing, dancing and acting “ar-teests.”
Cara’s a born performer: She’s been making up songs and banging away on her little pink piano ever since she got it for Christmas a few years ago. I have a video of her singing “Call Me Maybe” that is priceless though I won’t post it here (at this point, I hope you are aware of my feelings on publicly posting pics/vids of my daughters). And Natalie? Natalie’s not even 15 months old yet and she already can sing parts of the “Caillou” theme song and the “boom, boom, boom” portion of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” I just played JT’s new single “Take Back The Night” for her earlier and she was smiling, dancing and laughing to it the entire time. It warmed my heart. It always does when I watch them perform.
But then, I think of the curse of the once-Disney Channel stars and starlets. And I think to myself, “what if one of both of MY daughters are the next face of the Mouse House?” My gut tightens and I wretch because my lone job as their father is to keep them off the f*cking pole and if that happens? Then the odds of them one day wearing a teddy bear leotard and sticking their tongues out incessantly in front of tens of millions of people increases. If the old adage about childhood fame is, in fact, true, and all evidence points to the fact that it is, then stardom = Rehab. And I don’t want that for either of my little’uns. So what do I do?
If one or both are, in fact, born performers… if it’s “what they’re meant to do” then the last thing I want to do is suppress them. What parent doesn’t want to see their child or children successful? But I also don’t want to see them 19 and Tweeting topless pictures of themselves to their million plus Twitter followers ala Miss Bynes. I don’t want them to be the featured “ar-teests” on that skank Perez Hilton’s highly overrated website. I never want the term “upskirt” associated with them. Mind you this is all speculation. I have no idea what biggish bear and smallish bear are going to be doing x-amount of years from now. The future is, of course, unwritten. “Destiny” is equivalent to laziness, i.e. it’s an excuse that people use to sit still and not work for the things that they want. But could it happen? Of course it could. Cara could be “Hannah Montana: The Next Generation” and Natalie could be Selena Gomez. So how do I resolve one with the other? If one or both have futures as “ar-teests,” how do I keep them off the pole?
By doing exactly what I’m doing, right now. By preaching “right,” decrying “wrong” and eliminating any “Blurred Lines” between the two. By fostering a love of a real “ar-teest” like Justin Timberlake who has managed to achieve super stardom, sans controversy despite his lowly beginnings as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club and later, as a member of… SIGH… N’Sync. By making sure they know who Pearl Jam and The Red Hot Chili Peppers are, despite the fact that by the time they’re “of age” Anthony Kedis and Eddie Vetter will likely be sharing a room in their local Home for Aged Persons. By introducing them to Taylor Swift’s music which is, actually, pretty good, but cautioning them against her lifestyle (or, just telling them to EAT A SANDWICH). By allowing no trace of Miley “I Was Just Impregnated By A Foam Finger,” “Hannah Montana” Cyrus to impinge upon their own, subjective universes… EVER, By blocking Amanda Bynes from their respective Twitter feeds when they’re old enough to use Twitter and all social media responsibly. By encouraging them to watch cerebral television and not just the VMAs. By reading the Harry Potter books and watching the Harry Potter movies with them, and pointing out that Hermoine is a textbook example of what a strong, young female role model looks like. By watching “Easy A” with them and making sure they understand not just the humorous subtext, but the story behind it, i.e. The Scarlet Letter.
And last but not least? That being a theater geek who sings, acts, dances and even has one or two moments of caddiness is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing so long as they keep things in perspective, and understand always that being a member, proverbial or not of the Mouse House is not necessarily a precursor to being a punchline on TMZ. Being one doesn’t give you “street cred.” No, not at all. Nada. Zilch. Zip-a-rooni. Keep your wits about you, little’uns, and don’t crush your daddy’s achy breaky heart, else I might have to roll up and bitch slap Perez Hilton.
G’Night, friends. Have a glass of raspberry lemonade on your old buddy the Madchronicler.