Miley Cyrus may be a train wreck, but at least she supports the Occupy Wall Street protests (we think).
After a weekend spent handling the PR mini-crisis that was amateur footage of Miley calling herself a stoner, a video that the singer orchestrated herself is making the rounds on Monday. And this one is only slightly less embarrassing.
Cyrus -- who The L Magazine has dubbed pop music's undisputed worst singer -- has inexplicably remixed her Liberty Walk video with images of OWS protesters (and the police who love to brutalize them).
The protest scenes in the video are heavily slanted towards the chaotic and violent -- naturally, the UC Davis pepper spraying clip made it in there. I do think there's some real value to Cyrus' core audience seeing images of police brutality, wrote Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress. But having a real context for that brutality would lift this video beyond generic teenaged 'stick-it-to-the-man'ism in a way that would be useful and specific.
Much has been made of wealthy Hollywood folks who have shown support for the Occupy Wall Street protests -- since most of these celebrities are firmly among the one percent, it's all too easy to make hypocrisy charges or suspect/accuse said celebrities of having a refractory agenda in aligning with a popular cause. To be fair, though, if Michael Moore or Susan Sarandon failed to make an appearance at OWS protests, we'd take issue with that as well. You just can't win when you've already won.
But as Mike Barthel of the Village Voice points out, A-list OWS types have not benefited from equal opportunity criticism: Some have been forgiven their wealth altogether in exchange for (the perception of) empowering the movement:
The response [to Liberty Walk] has been predictably ungenerous and snorty. Either Cyrus is clueless since she is herself rich--even though that charge didn't seem to be particularly relevant when it came to other celebrities, and in the case of fellow pop stars Radiohead was ignored entirely in favor of celebrating their validity-enhancing endorsement of the movement. Or else she's opportunistic, simply seizing on the movement as a way of promoting herself.
I would probably go with both opportunistic and clueless. Still, Cyrus escapes a hypocrisy charge for the sheer volume of her cluelessness -- Liberty Walk sends a very clear message that Miley doesn't really know/care what the protests are about, and has/wants nothing to do with them. Dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in, reads a message at the beginning of the video. Don't give up! reads the next screen, reinforcing Miley's comfortable distance from such pedestrian concerns as wealth inequality, unchecked corporate influence on legislation, and record unemployment rates.
However vapid we might find Liberty Walk, Cyrus has found at least one unlikely ally. Rolling Stone called the video a bold move, and singled Miley out for not having a choir to preach to like the usual lefty rocker suspects. Cyrus is praised for reaching out to an audience who are likely to be either apolitical or outright hostile to her message.
Hostile indeed, judging from some comments on the YouTube page.
Miley Cyrus is now banned from my house along with 30 other entertainment political wannabes. My kids are not allowed to have anything related to you or what you stand for, wrote Jazzmanoo1x. Bah-bye Miley,.... you get no more of my hard earned money you one percenter liar [sic].
This video and music was clearly made to be taken in an IRONIC way, wrote OBAMAINFANTICIDE. Come on guys, use your heads a little. Miley Cyrus is way? up there in the top .1%. Great work Miley and thumbs up from me and all other fans of irony.
Though the Liberty Walk remix is just getting attention today, Miley uploaded and tweeted it last week -- On Nov. 23 (11/23) at 11:23. After searching in vain for some kind of a coded association between those numbers and Occupy Wall Street, we realized that Nov. 23 was Miley's birthday.