Miley Cyrus and the Tackiness of Moral Outrage
The primary reason everyone is furious at Cyrus is because we were first introduced to her as a child star on the wholesome Disney Channel show Hannah Montana. Since then she’s done everything from struggle with drug use to star on a risque episode of Two and a Half Men. But last night’s lurid performance, a parade of Cyrus’s devalued sexuality through our living rooms, made her loss of innocence official. The entertainment industry has done with Cyrus what it does with most young child stars, and especially female ones: Tear them away from their parents, chew up all their moneymaking potential, then spit them out damaged and morally adrift. As the New York Times put it (and rightly so), Cyrus is someone “to whom no one has apparently said ‘no’ for the last six months or so.” Our expectation of Cyrus was that she was an innocent role model, and now that she’s betrayed that expectation, we feel morally outraged.
G. K. Chesterton,
Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which your are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. ... It may be that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal and that you are a paralytic.
As I Was Saying
Evil is easy, good is hard, temptation is a given; therefore, a healthy society talks to itself.
Such ritual denunciations strengthen our good inclinations and help us suppress our bad ones. We need to hear them, and hear good acts praised, too. We need to hear the crowd (hear ourselves) praising good and denouncing evil.
Goodness is unnatural, and we need to cheer one another on.
"Unresolved Evil" (1998)