FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2009 file photo, singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the "Best Female Video" award during the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. West is still feeling the pain over his trophy grab from Taylor Swift last year, and he’s expressing his pain all over Twitter. West has unleashed a torrent of emotions on his official Twitter on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, acknowledging he was wrong for taking an award from the country sweetheart at the MTV Video Music Awards. But he says he "bled hard." He says he had to cancel his tour with Lady Gaga and even lost employees. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
You don’t need my permission to talk about Miley Cyrus. Go ahead.
You can talk about twerking (not a typo, it’s a dance).
Feel free to talk about Robin Thicke, Drake, Lady Gaga or anyone else you’ve never met who was in attendance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night.
There are storylines of “real” human beings (celebrities) that are compelling.
It’s not your fault for being engaged by the overtly sexual performance of a former child star.
Your feelings are justified, whatever they may be.
If you feel a connection to the lives of these people, go ahead and talk it out.
A couple of weeks ago I dedicated this entire space to Charles Bradley, who I only met once. I was overwhelmed by the man’s story.
I was compelled to write about Bradley because he’s real. His performance was real.
Whatever Cyrus was doing by bending over in front of married father Thicke and using a giant foam finger to rub her body, it wasn’t real.
“Wait. Hold up,” you might say. “Austin, how dare you accuse this manufactured pop star of manufacturing a moment on a manufactured international broadcast?”
Madonna’s been coming up with new ways to shock that audience for 40 years.
In 1994, Michael Jackson pulled it together long enough to kiss Lisa Marie Presley onstage.
Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford scaled the scaffolding in 2000.
Britney Spears performed with a python draped over her shoulders.
And this side of “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” Kanye West’s most memorable public moment was ambushing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.
All of these events happened at the VMAs.
I’ll never get the five minutes back it took me to glance over the VMAs Wikipedia page, but it’s worth it if we can connect the dots together.
Looking at that brief highlight reel, I think it’s more than a coincidence all of these people behaved slightly insanely at the same show.
Let’s assume these high-profile incidents involving high-profile people at a high-profile event are planned or calculated.
Word of mouth has always been valuable. In a time where fewer consumers are spending money on entertainment, talk is the primary currency.
Open displays of sexuality are the easiest way to get lips flapping – or, more accurately, fingers tapping keyboards.
Cyrus had the top spot on CNN.com on Monday, making it the most important story on the planet.
Award shows are meant to get attention. That is even more important than the self-congratulation.
They capitalize on us normies: the ones who read the gossip and watch the awards show.
We are human beings in control of our lives.
We are not managed. We do not have stylists. We do not evade the paparazzi.
We are free.
Yet we’re sold the lie: you should be unsatisfied with what you have.
I’m happy I will never have to do those things.
If I do have to dance half-naked, humping bears with a python around my neck for international audiences, I’ll probably tag a worthwhile message at the end of it. Just to mix it up.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306 691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theaustinx