Miley Cyrus Is Possessed.

I know you're sick of hearing about MILEY CYRUS and well you should be! What is the big deal? Anybody with even a cursory knowledge of horror films could tell you that the girl is simply possessed! She's not the first and she won't be the last. Get over it! It's not like she can't afford an exorcist and really, isn't becoming possessed a natural part of growing up? People who view poor Miley's behavior as some kind of calculated media manipulation need to educate themselves! Thank God I'm here to do just that. Here's proof that Miley is possessed as illustrated by the always informative world of horror cinema...

PROTRUDING TOUNGUE. Sticking out your tongue in a provocative manner is the simplest way to let folks know that you are possessed! AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION (1982) is a fine example of this but really just about any possession movie will tell you the same!

STAIR SLITHER. Those possessed know that making an entrance is key and nothing leaves a more indelible mark than a creepy crawl down a staircase. One needn't attempt a full EXCORCIST style crab walk to be effective; punished heathen Lucy's crypt decent in BRAM STOKER's DRACULA (1992), for example, looses no steam for being streamlined and straight forward.

DANCING TEDDY BEARS. Do your toys dance on their own accord? Congratulations you are possessed! Sometimes it is not your actions but the actions of the inanimate objects around you that determine how lost you are to possession. There are far too many examples of toys, dolls, teddy bears and other symbols of childhood coming to life in possession films (Not to mention THE WALTONS) for me to name them all so allow me to simply reference the doll in BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN (1971) and assume that title alone is enough to back my theory.

SATAN GOT BACK. Honestly I don't know what the devil's long recorded SIR MIX-A-LOT-like obsession with posteriors is all about. I suppose whatever gets the church folk in an uproar is worth his while. Satyr-horned Cyrus' recent display of fanny fascination fits right in with the archfiend's modus operandi. Maybe just count your blessings that a goat was not involved as depicted in THE ANTICHRIST aka THE TEMPTER (1974).

SIMULATED MASTURBATION. I probably do not need to remind you of little Regan's disturbing repurposing of a crucifix in THE EXCORCIST (1973). Unless you've sprayed SCRUBBING BUBBLES directly into your ear, that's still in your head. Miley doesn't go quite that far but if she thinks wearing a foam finger will save her from the curse of hairy palms, she is mistaken. On the other hand what better way to communicate you are Satan's #1 fan?

BODY COTORTIONS. Be real and admit that Miley's twerking stance is basically just the backwards version of the torso origami showcased in THE LAST EXCORCISM (2010).

BODY MUTATION. When you are possessed your body can do crazy things that seem to go against the laws of nature. Your head can blow up like in THE BEAST WITHIN (1982), you can somehow stick a lipstick into your breast like in NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) or your boobs can turn into monster faces like in MAUSOLEUM (1983)! In other words, if Miley doesn't fit into her costume as well as she might- don't blame her blame Satan!

SHAMELESS BEHAVIOR! Opinion has ranged from "Hey, that's too sexy!" to "Hey that's not sexy!" Dusty professional MADONNA sycophant CAMILLE PAGLIA even called MILEY's performance "cringingly unsexy." (Would-be pop stars take note: If you fail to deliver Jane Hathaway a lady boner, it isn't art!) It's as if disobedient CYRUS thought she could just wing it and have fun while Lady Gaga spent all her days practicing her precision SPROCKETS moves! This love it or leave it attitude and scandalous lack of shame over one's physique can only bring to mind that rude scantily clad attic beast from [REC] (2007)! Don't kids today realize empowerment requires flawless choreography and tailoring?

SEDUCTION OF MEN! If only there was some way to figure out why the first order of business for recently possessed gals is to seduce innocent older men! I know you must be thinking "ROBIN THICKE is not so much innocent as the dude that sang this past summer's smash hit date rape anthem." Yes, but don't you understand that Satan speaks in symbols and codes? ROBIN THICKE is the son of ALAN THICKE and when you hear "son of ALAN THICKE" you subconsciously picture KIRK CAMERON, America's greatest Christian! Oh Satan, you and your mocking trickery! How dare you!

O.K., now I'm just being facetious...but only half so. I truly think if you look under the hood of the hysterical outrage to CYRUS's performance you'll see the same engine that drives your standard possession film. Fear of female sexuality doesn't even begin to cover it (though it's a crucial start), something tells me CYRUS could be as sexy as she wanted to be as long as she respectfully emulated an approved icon like deceased exploited trainwreck MARILYN MONROE (see: MADONNA) or expressed the proper reverence and gratitude toward fame and commerce (see: LADY GAGA). Instead her entire shindig was a goofy, gangly, semi-bratty, free-spirited blow-off to the status quo and no, that's not going to sit well with certain folks.

Because the real fear billowing up here (as in many a possession film) is the fear of uncontrollable youth, the fear of the next generation coming up to bat, the fear that they'll stick their (foam) finger up at the boundaries we've drawn for them, the fear that they will not adopt and be loaded down by our collective neurosis as planned, the fear (resentment, really) of their freedom to make their own path where we were too meek to do so. The fear that they'll have more fun than we allowed ourselves, the fear that we misspent our time worrying about the wrong things. This makes the older generation angry but more importantly, and stingingly, this makes the older generation...older (and "older" by the way, is super secret code for "closer to death").

Damn, CYRUS' Pan-tastic rite of passage ritual was a pagan dance on all of our graves! She even transformed 27-year old LADY GAGA into a haggard crone right before our eyes! Don't believe me? check out this clip of GAGA's opening number...

(alright, maybe she can't be blamed for that but still...) In any case, the point is there are plenty of things to be outraged, angry and scared of in this world and a young woman leaving behind childhood has never been nor ever should be one of them. I have little interest in MILEY's musical output (I'm still trying to adapt to OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN's "Physical" and SHEENA EASTON singing songs penned by PRINCE) but from what I've seen, each generation is slightly less ignorant and hateful than the one that came before it so I'm perfectly fine with MILEY and her contemporaries twerking to their hearts content. I say go for it... go for it, have fun and hail Satan!

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10 years ago

That was Robin Thicke she was "dancing" with at the VMAs? From the suit I had assumed it was Beetlejuice…Maybe she's possessed by him?

"Learn to throw your voice! Fool your friends! Fun at parties!"

10 years ago

this post is perfect. you are doing the Lord's work – you and Charlotte Rae

10 years ago

This is officially the only Miley Cyrus piece worth reading. Deceptively insightful stuff, you sneaky genius, you.

10 years ago

She's certainly not possessed with talent.

10 years ago

Psychonator "She's certainly not possessed with talent."

Spot on Psychonator, my thoughts exactly.

10 years ago

Ah, this is one of my favorite reasons for visiting Kindertrauma: I love the re-occurring references to previous posts and reviews from the site! Unk, I adore how much you love Ms. Franklin's sexcreepy tongue darting. Indeed it is an image that is both hilarious in it's obvious genre-trope usage, but undeniably unnerving and unforgettable as a standalone moment that breaks with the visual style of the rest of the film. The scariest faces in horror movies are not the ones covered in blood and latex, but ones coaxed from natural distortions of a normal human face. Thank-you for reminding me that I'm due for my annual visit to the Montelli abode.

I echo TenebrousKate's assertion that this whole piece is a wonderful alternative analysis of the recent Miley furor. Like a lot of your pieces, I'm drawn in by the humor and the thrill of out-of-context screenshots, but like the hidden center of a chocolate covered maraschino cherry, I'm soon left with a lot of food for thought, stuck in my brain like the sweet red stain of cherry juice on my white button-up. And indeed, your paragraph on " fear of the next generation coming up to bat" is right on the money.

A few years ago I rolled my eyes at Lady Gaga's antics while secretly enjoying her music, only to find myself quite impressed with her restrained VMAs opening number. I recognized the maturation of her persona into something undeniably her own and applauded (pun intended) the shear craft put into the dance routine and creative on-stage costume changes. Well done Gaga, you've come a long way from the alcohol-drenched frat-fantasy of "Just Dance"!

In comparison, Miley Cyrus' performance did seem rather, how shall we say, "off the cuff". I feel like the main reason for the unrehearsed nature of the performance was the obvious and uncomplimentary grafting of Robin Thicke to the proceedings. The producers of these kind of award shows love to shorten songs and create medleys with other artists in order free up the performance part of the awards for more advertisements and sponsors, perhaps to pay for the army of elaborately costumed teddy people? As much as it pains me to defend Robin Thicke (that's a whole other can of worms), it seemed like he was very uncomfortable with the whole situation, struggling to find the proper key to sing in during his entrance, not to mention keep a firm foot planted on the ground while Miley attempted to twerk his balance! Had the performance been more up to par in terms of coherence and purpose, maybe we'd have had "Like A Prayer" or "Freedom '90" style water-cooler fodder. Instead we have a pretender to the throne, forsaking considered craft for a shambolic display of pop-tarts in heat.

Maybe there's hope for Miley. As mentioned above, Lady Gaga has matured from a faceless club-banger in her first video, to a challenging artist with a full grasp on her own creative destiny. David Bowie grasped at straws at the dawn of his career, unsuccessfully trying on mime, performance art, cross-legged hippie reverie and "hey ma, can I borrow your evening gown" dress-up before magnificently distilling it all down to the perfectly formed Ziggy Stardust, a work of influence but wholly original. To draw another horror comparison, James Wan lured us into the theater with the promise of cheap, twisted scares with the first "Saw" movie. Years later, he has kept us in our seats with the moving character performances and subtle, creeping human terror of "Insidious" and "The Conjuring". Maybe Miley needed to make this sort of grand level career stumble in order to climb to the next plateau and leave the
juvenilia of what may later be referred to as "the Twerk years" behind. Lost in the shuffle of the post-VMA outrage is Miley's second single, "Wrecking Ball", from her upcoming album. It was posted to her youtube channel the day of Twerk Ground Zero and it is a wonderfully melancholy, beautifully sung song, free of any "hey guys, I just discovered recreational drugs!" posturing. I have not seen one share of it on facebook or seen it mentioned on any online articles, post-VMAs. Maybe "We Can't Stop" is just one layer of the enigma of Miley Cyrus. Maybe there is more to her than meets the eye. She's already proven herself outside the claustrophobic confines of the Disney structure, after all. If Miley considers herself a true artist, she will take this event, contemplate it and draw upon it in a future song/album/appearance. Some may call it "art for art's sake", but that doesn't mean that a gonzo performance can't tell us something deeper about the artist, or even ourselves. Perhaps the late, great Marc Bolan said it best: "If you know how to rock, you don't have to shock."