If I have 11 pine nuts and I give you five, keeping six for myself, what do we have? We have a difference of a piñon.
What if our differences concern not quantity but time? My wife, Bonnie, and I have radically divergent conception of time, which I will now explain.
You see, I’m likely to say to Bonnie, “We haven’t seen Diana in two years,” to which my wife will reply, “It’s been more like 10 years.”
Who’s right? Well, let’s not go into that now, except to stress that I usually give her the benefit of the doubt. On one such occasion, we even looked it up and discovered that it had been closer to 10 years, but it wasn’t exactly 10 years, more like nine.
The same idea popped in last week when it seemed as if the world had ended. Rather, it was several clips showing Miley Cyrus, performing a lewd dance, her tongue hanging out by a foot (my exaggeration), in a skimpy, flesh-colored outfit, as she gyrated, performed a lot of unmistakable stances designed to titillate the crowd at her performance for the Video Music Awards, to a multitude of admiring, fawning, gasping, salivating, arms-undulating fans.
“Now isn’t Miley Cyrus that cute little 10-year-old who last year played Hannah Montana?” I ask. “That was 10 years ago. She’s 20 now,” Bonnie says.
Remember the incident during halftime of a Super Bowl when Janet Jackson caused millions of viewers to back up their video recorders repeatedly as they asked, “Did they really do that?” Yes they did.
Purposely, I hedged on the year of the Roman numbers of that Super Bowl, as I will argue that it was only last year and Bonnie will say it was “more like 10 years ago.”
In a routine with Justin Timberlake, the oh-so-innocent performers let a key part of Janet’s upper anatomy get exposed. Now purely for scientific and sociological reasons, I too hit the rewind button on my TV set, just to be reassured that I wasn’t being hasty in my judgment. I’m sure many of you did the same thing, whenever it was.
So much attention did this mammarian exposure generate that we needed a new term — wardrobe malfunction — to explain and justify what happened and to exonerate Timberlake and Janet Jackson. There was no wardrobe malfunction in Miley Cyrus’ bumps-and-grinds routine. The entire performance was a malfunction.
Did Miley Cyrus make a bigger splash than Janet Jackson? My first disclosure is that I never purposely watch a performance like that. My familiarity with Miley came solely through the non-stop videos that played on some of the late-night shows on TV.
So profound was the Cyrus-Thicke caper that lexicographers have even added a new word for the display. It’s called “twerking,” and its definition goes like this: “Twerking is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, ‘wobble’ and ‘jiggle’; to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”
And that just about describes what the 20-year old Miley did. We wonder which came first, the dance or the definition. Did some producer say to Miley and Robin, “Please do some twerking in your routine”? or did the act precede the definition, as in “Well, that dance was so shocking that it amounted to . . . to . . . twerking”?
The clips that appeared on national TV were fairly brief, as was Miley’s flesh-colored outfit. The most disturbing part was that the former Hannah Montana thrust her tongue out Great Dane style, for . . . for whatever reason.
Was the dance art? Hardly. Was there any talent? Absolutely not.
What’s to stop any 20-year-old from doing similar gyrations, tongue hanging out by a foot, thinking it’s talent, and making millions?
Miley Cyrus, is best known for her role on the Disney television series Hannah Montana. Her father is William “Billy” Ray Cyrus, an American country music singer, songwriter and actor.
Miley cut her teeth early in life with Disney productions, as did Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan. We need to question whether these stars are ideal role models for our young, innocent, impressionable youth.
That kind of lewd exhibitionism just doesn’twerk.
• • •
As part of the Las Vegas Old Timers Living History Project, a group of residents got together to give monthly panel discussions on the way things were when we were children.
The prime mover for this project was Petey Salman, whose recollections brought to mind the days when much of north Seventh Street was an open field, where horses once grazed.
Petey grew up where La Fiesta Restaurant now operates. During the time we had these historical presentations, Petey rounded up the following people:
Molly Garcia, Ernie Quintana, Editha Bartley, Erminio Martinez, Manuel Pacheco, Tito Chavez, Duke Salman, Samuel F. Vigil, Al Castillo, Jimmy Koch, Petey herself, and me.
It took lots of work, energy and planning to produce these programs, and many who attended are appreciative of her efforts.
My friend Petey passed away Aug. 26. We will miss her.