Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ode to Billy Ray

I woke up this morning to the news that Billy Ray Cyrus feels that allowing his daughter, the just-turned-legal Miley, to star in the Disney Channel television show Hannah Montana might not have been such a great idea.

I believe this soundbite was released by that press agency called the Department of the Obvious. No, wait, it was actually an interview in the March issue of GQ. In the article, he reminds readers that while he did play Hannah's manager on the television show, in real life, he's not her manager and "has no say in her professional life."

Really? Because she just turned eighteen at the end of November, three months ago. Back when she was fifteen, Miley made the parents of her adoring little fans clap their hands over their chillen's tender eyes when she appeared semi-nude with messy hair, clutching a rumpled bed sheet to her breasts in an Annie Leibovitz photo taken for the June 2008 issue of Vanity Fair. And then, when she was a ripe sixteen, she did a sweet and oh-so-innocent dance around a pole during a performance at the 2009 Teen Choice Music Awards.

In defense of her jail-baity, stripper-esque shenanigans, Billy Ray told Access magazine, "You know what? I just think that Miley loves entertaining people. She loves singing (and) songwriting. I always tell her to love what you’re doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion."

Aww. I see. No one needed to get all upset about that because it was "art." Is that what we're calling it these days, when underage girls open their legs and sling themselves around a pole, favoring the television cameras and the live audience with a bird's-eye view of her hoo-ha? Lucky she had on those BLACK LEATHER PANTIES, or it might have crossed the line into cheap porn, Dad.

But then Miley went on to her 2010 "Can't Be Tamed" video, where she gave the likes of Lady Gaga and Britney Spears a run for their money with her orgy-in-more-black-leather-dominatrix-gear choreography. She was at least seventeen in that one.

So this makes me grumpy. When Miley was doing most of this stuff, she was still a minor. And I just don't give a flip about Hollywood and "handlers" or even Satan (Billy Ray claims in the GQ article that his family is under attack by the devil.) A minor child is under the protection of her parents, and instead of prattling on uselessly about Miley's great love of entertaining and her garbage "art" and all that, why wasn't he rushing up onto the stage of the Teen Choice Awards and pulling her away from that pole, throwing his jean jacket over her body?

Where was he when Annie Leibovitz was taking those photos?

And what the hell was he thinking when his 17-year-old CHILD shot that hideous video?

Where was he when Britney Spears, 29, a former Disney darling, had to have her father act as her conservator -- a legal guardian for an adult -- because her life had spun so far out of control? And then there's Lindsay Lohan, 24, alcoholic, drug addict and weird klepto shoplifter: she's been slowly committing suicide for at least the past four years. These women are both a lot older than Miley and their problems have been brewing for years; couldn't a reasonable person have checked those two sad stories out and thought, "Boy, I sure don't want my little girl to go down THAT road. It would be a lot better if she just had a normal childhood and stayed away from all that child-star stuff."

Because he knew what she was getting into. Heck, I bet all the people reading this post have never had a brush with fame like Billy Ray's or Miley's and you know what Miley was getting into.

And unfortunately, I bet we all know right where she's headed, too. And that makes me feel very sorry for Billy Ray Cyrus, even though I think he's an complete idiot for allowing all this crap to happen in the first place.

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