Give Miley Cyrus A Break, She’s Just A Modern Era Flapper


This is a 1926 article from the Dallas Morning News:

Flapperism–bare knees, petting parties, jazz and the hip flask–is undermining American civilization. At least, that’s what many fathers and mothers believe who, while boasting that THEIR mothers knew how and when to blush and what to blush at, yet admit they can not control their children.

Flapperism, they believe, is an art. It is a black art, practiced by both sexes, and, once practiced, never laid down. That’s the terrible thing about it.

These were the great-great grandmothers of the parents currently in the throes of a media-induced freak out about Miley Cyrus’ performance at the 2013 MTV VMAs.

Not much has changed, not really. Pop stars push the sexual envelope, and they always have. From Madonna’s entire 1980s-era repertoire to Elvis’ gyrating hips to the sinful “Jazz” music of the prohibition era, this is the same song with a digital twist.

Is Cyrus’ whole persona ridiculous? Absolutely. Should kids, especially young ones, emulate it? Definitely not. But it isn’t anything very new.

The VMA is an attention-seeking pop culture event. Pop stars will take advantage of it. And the world won’t end.

Twerk on, Miley, twerk on.


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  • LucieYasmina

    Hear hear. Hating on anybody is bad news.

  • MikeInOhio

    My grandma will be 99 years old in November. She has more grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren than I can even count right now. Earlier this summer, during a visit with her, she was telling me how much fun she and her friends had doing The Charleston when she was a young girl growing up in Kentucky; She also talked about how much her mom and dad just hated it, and thought it was something that came right from the devil’s handbook.

    Little did I know that my sweet grandma was the Miley Cyrus of the 1920’s. Who would have guessed it??

  • MB

    I don’t think anyone is arguing Miley Cyrus is “undermining American
    civilization.” She’s just an untalented “artist” desperate for attention
    because she sure as hell isn’t getting any for her talent, and it’s sad
    and macabre.

  • brif

    as usual, oliver tries and fails to make a point. so what if older generations have always criticized younger pop culture? It doesn’t mean the older generation is necessarily wrong and it doesn’t change the fact that miley’s performance was incredibly bizarre. There was a time when a pop culture backlash put an end to the disco era and pop culture is better off for it. we can only hope that miley cyrus has done for twerking what Steve Dahl did for disco.

  • Oarboar

    I knew I should have bought stock in fainting couches last week.

  • Christopher Foxx

    In any age you can point to older folks who are shocked at the carrying ons of younger folks. And there are those who point out it has been ever thus.

    Oliver is just filling his role as the latter.

    • dbtheonly

      Indeed, there’s a marvelous quote about how the younger generation is going to pot, has no respect for their elders, etc. etc. etc. from the Roman Philosopher Seneca.

      That said, it certainly appears from the very little I know, that Ms. Cyrus is not on a good path. Too many “personalities” die far too young from the poor choices they make.

  • ranger11

    What is her persona?