If you spend any time on social media, you know that Miley Cyrus shocked the world with a hyper-sexualized performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that would have been aptly enhanced by adding a pole. Her performance became a top trending topic worldwide, proving that the entertainment industry will never lose money by overestimating viewers’ appetites for debauchery and titillation. Comments on Twitter, mostly negative, broke records, but MTV was very happy. There is no such thing as negative publicity!
What is not so shocking is that Cyrus’s performance garnered so much attention. We have become a society that focuses on the trivial and the salacious, at the expense of focusing on things that are important and serious. Here are ten things that I think are much more important that Miley Cyrus’s prancing around the stage with her tongue hanging out at the Video Music Awards:
1) We still have no real answers about what happened in Benghazi almost a year ago. Where are the survivors? Why are they not being allowed to talk? This has all the earmarks of a master cover-up orchestrated by the current president and the media’s favorite for the next president. Why is there no ongoing outrage? Why are we not hearing about this every day, loudly? (Oh yeah—because Miley Cyrus was acting like a slut on TV…)
2) The Fast and Furious scandal has been labeled a “phony scandal” by the Obama administration. What happened there? Why in the world did the United States provide weapons to drug cartels, which were subsequently used to kill hundreds of Mexicans? Is there any wonder relations with Mexico are less than friendly?
3) Current immigration reform plans all seem to point to adding eleven million new citizens, many, if not most, of whom are low skilled workers who will be competing with current citizens for entry level jobs. Those who are unsuccessful will be added to our welfare rolls. Considering the fact that we are borrowing unprecedented amounts of money just to keep from defaulting on our obligations, is this the time to be increasing those obligations? (But back to Miley–what is wrong with her tongue?!)
4) Egypt is coming apart at the seams. What is especially troubling is the targeting of Coptic Christians. More than 100 Christian churches, properties, and individuals have been attacked or vandalized with at least 38 being set on fire. We in the US have a history of standing up for the underdog. Where is the outcry over this?
5) We are on the verge of going to war with Syria over its use of chemical weapons. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether these weapons were used by the government or by the rebels. Wouldn’t it be better to be clear as to whom the enemy is before we start firing on them? And is our goal to remove President Bashar al-Assad? Why not? After all, it worked so well in Egypt! (But back to MTV with Robin Thicke as Beetlejuice—how cool!)
6) And speaking of Syria, does it make sense for the U.S. and Russia to be arming the opposing sides in the conflict? Are we ready for World War III? Why are we getting involved here?
7) We have become a nation divided between those who work and pay taxes and those who live off the work of those who pay taxes. While there are those who truly need a hand, there are many who are capable of contributing to society who have decided that it is just as profitable to live off of government handouts. Food stamp use increased by 59 percent between 2008 and 2011. People receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) has skyrocketed to the point that some are claiming it will be insolvent by 2016. It used to be an embarrassment to take government aid. Now it is a way of life for many people who are perfectly capable of working. How long can we afford to do this? (Hey look, America–now Miley is dancing around in granny panties!)
8) Even if some of the people currently living on the dole wanted to work, jobs are hard to come by. The U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate is the lowest it has been since 1979, 63.3 percent. Rather than focus on policies that encourage job creation, however, our leaders continue to grow government and create roadblocks to full-time employment in the private sector. With so many people unemployed and depending on the government, why are we creating another government program that creates dependency and kills jobs?
9) We are approaching another debt limit battle in October, with Democrats refusing to budge on their intent to continue to borrow us into oblivion and Republicans adamant that spending must be cut. Am I the only one to think that a 16.7 trillion dollar debt ceiling is way too high already? That even talking about raising it without making some serious changes in how we spend money in this country is crazy? (Speaking of crazy, I will never look at my giant foam game finger the same way again…Thanks, Miley…)
10) Feral teenagers are attacking people at random while civil rights activists try to convince lawmakers to repeal Stand Your Ground laws. Why isn’t there more outrage about the behavior that leads to young men like Trayvon Martin being shot? Why do repeated attacks and murders perpetrated by a particular segment of society just draw yawns from the rest of us? We only get upset when a potential victim is able to defend himself? And why on earth push for the repeal of laws that protect us when we defend ourselves?
We have reached the stage of bread and circuses, folks. The government is keeping the masses happy with all kinds of government goodies (bread) and the ever-complicit media is providing the entertainment (circuses) while largely ignoring the important and real stories that we need to be aware of. Most of us are happy to remain ignorant, fed and entertained, while allowing our leaders to mismanage us into collapse. It did not work out well for Rome, and it will not be pleasant for us. Wake up, America! Educate yourself, America! Speak up, America! Your country cannot wait much longer.