Miley Cyrus and the Syria Civil War

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By Sunny Peter | October 8, 2013 6:25 PM EST

The Syrian rebels must know who spoiled their party. If they were expecting the Aug 21 chemical weapon attack would move the minds of Western people, and get the U.S. and its allies involved in their backyard war, the poor guys simply got it all wrong. And they have no one to blame but Miley Cyrus.

What the Syrian rebels thought a chemical weapon attack could achieve - grab world attention - Miley Cyrus did better.

By the time the world was coming to grips with the horror of what happed in the outskirts of Damascus, Miley Cyrus landed a bombshell at her MTV VMA performance, one which got the Western world grooving. It did not matter that the lives of over 1000 people had been snuffed out, the world went vilely, with its crotch grabbed, gyrating around Miley's twerks.

Google Trends - Miley Cyrus versus Syria (Aug - Sept)

The Syrian rebels must know who spoiled their party: On Aug 21, when news of the chemical weapon attack broke, Miley Cyrus and Syria were tied at a score of 2 each. But Miley Cyrus left Syria far behind on Aug 26 with her MTV VMA performance on Aug 26 scoring a 100 against Syria's 4.

Growing beyond Disney's cute Hanna Montana; Miley Cyrus climbed to a whole new level - on Internet analytics, much beyond the comprehension of the embittered rebels in the Syrian civil war.

Speaking about Miley's performance at the MTV VMA papa Billy Ray Cyrus emphatically told CNN's Piers Morgan: "Miley's smart enough to know that to come out of the shadows of 'Hannah Montana,' it really takes something extremely drastic, which when you go to that level, it creates passion, and passion is either love or hate. But there's no middle of the road for passion."

Papa Cyrus is right; Miley had to grow beyond her Hanna Montana image -right for her.

But Syria is no Agrabah, Syrian rebels are not Hades and neither is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, no Gaston. These are real people, real conflicts.

Yes! To Papa Cyrus's beloved daughter should go the credit of saving the world from a possible catastrophe?

But to her, also goes the credit of berating the consciousness of humankind. A consciousness that would still prefer titillating gyrating twerks; to puffed out bodies of innocent men, women and children.

Terming it as the "lowest-common-denominator entertainment: hardly anything new in the music industry," Christian Piatt wrote in the Huffington Post, since the VMAs aired, there has been a breathless competition online to see who can be more offended by Miley Cyrus' highly sexualized performance."

The irony is evident as Daniel W. Drezner wrote in his Foreign Policy blog: "I'm intrigued by this notion that attention to popular culture somehow "crowds out" attention that the public would devote to the minutiae of international relations. Or, to be more accurate, I'm bemused by this notion because it's utter horses**t. Unless tastemakers want to put a total clampdown on popular culture, ordinary Americans will simply reallocate their attention towards other pop culture ephemera. If Miley Cyrus hadn't done... er... what she did last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, that effort would be devoted to critiquing Ben Affleck's casting as the new Batman or some other story."

As the New York Mag which quoted Mika Brzezinski's sparing commentary about Miley Cyrus on MSNBC's Morning Joe show: "That was really, really disturbing. That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably an eating disorder, and I don't think anybody should have put her onstage. That was disgusting and embarrassing."

Basking in the glory of international attention, Miley Cyrus is not concerned about the criticism she garnered: "I don't pay attention to the negative because I have seen this play out. How many times have we seen this play out in pop music?" she asked during an interview with MTV

"You know now . . . you know what's happened. Madonna's done it, Britney's done it. Every VMA performance, anyone that performs ... That's what you are looking for. "You want to make history. Me and Robin, the whole time, said, 'You know you are about to make history right now?" Miley Cyrus said.

Miley Cyrus was playing to the gallery, we know it; but what about all those who played along with her.

If the surviving victims' of Syria gruesome chemical gas attack expected the international press to speak up for them, Meredith Artley, Managing Editor of CNN.com wrote where the media's loyalty lay.

Explaining what led CNN.com to put Miley Cyrus on their top news section Meredith says, "The answer is pretty simple. It was an attempt to get you to click on CNN.com so that we could drive up our web traffic, which is turn, would allow us to increase our advertising revenue." It could not get blunter than that.

But she is candid. "In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech," she says.

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