Arts & Culture

Miley’s PR Mileage

Is it because there is always delight in the semitranslucent mystery, the flowing charshaf, through which the flesh and the eye you alone are elected to know smile in passing at you alone? Or is it because I can imagine … Read More

By / April 30, 2008

Is it because there is always delight in the semitranslucent mystery, the flowing charshaf, through which the flesh and the eye you alone are elected to know smile in passing at you alone? Or is it because I can imagine so well the rest of the colorful classroom around my dolorous and hazy darling: Grace, and her ripe pimples; Ginny and her lagging leg; Gordon the haggard masturbator; Duncan the foul-smelling clown; nail-biting Agnes; Viola of the blackheads and the bouncing bust; pretty Rosaline; dark Mary Rose; adorable Stella, who has let strangers touch her; Ralph, who bullies and steals; Irving for whom I am sorry. And there she is there, lost in the middle, gnawing on a pencil, detested by teachers, all the boys' eyes on her hair and neck, my Lolita.

I find the budding scandal, as it were, of Ms. Miley Cyrus's photo spread in Vanity Fair to be as ridiculous as the fact that no one would touch V. Nabokov's manuscript in 1955 except The Olympia Press, Maurice Girodias's hothouse imprint located on the Isle of Wight, and future publisher of Valerie Solanas's S.C.U.M. manifesto, which would have made Humbert Humbert cackle. Now that the unfinished and malformed Original of Laura looks well on its way to being typeset, thanks to Ron Rosenbaum and Vladimir's spectral influence in his son Dmitri's decision-making, it seems as if the creator of Lolita is still needed to satirize American culture's titillated puritanism and faux outrage. A week ago I didn't know who Cyrus was ("Hannah Montana" sounds like an Orthodox right-wing militia), and now I know that she's three years too old to be ranked a proper nymphet but mature enough to milk an "I have sinned!" PR kerfuffle for all it's worth:

“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”

As for those new fans in truck stop men's rooms and dentist's offices, Miley thinks this grape-juice tastes funny. What's more newsworthy, that Disney has some explaining to do to a phalanx of angry mommy bloggers or that the New York Times had to append this correction to its story about the whole pre-fab controversy?

A headline and an article on Monday about a Vanity Fair photograph showing the actress Miley Cyrus in a suggestive pose left the incorrect impression that she was bare-breasted. While the pose was indeed revealing, she was wrapped in what appeared to be a bedsheet; she was not topless.

Now how many eager beavers rushed right out and bought a copy of Graydon's glossy after running their eyes over the misleading headline?

Also, a word to the Cyrus household: Annie Leibovitz doesn't do wholesome.