SINEAD O’CONNOR’S OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS
A lot of my friends, both real and virtual have been talking about Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus about her twerking etc. Some of what I have been reading on social media has been vitriolic towards Sinead – mainly along the lines of how dare she be over forty, female and voice an opinion.
The personal insults to Sinead, who has been open and honest about her problems and doesn’t claim to be a role model anyway, have been accompanied by cheap mockery about her mental health.
Before we knew any better we used to lock people with mental health issues in prisons and torture them. Some of these prisons charged a fee for ‘normal’ people to go along and watch the suffering.
If you think we’re more enlightened these days you’d be wrong. Watch the millionaires – both men and women sniggering at people with obvious mental health issues on television talent shows. Watch the rich and famous mock and scold the poor and uneducated on morning chat shows and when you’re finished take a look at a lot of the responses to Sinead’s open letter to Miley Cyrus.
I have read Sinead’s letter and I think she was just talking common sense and sharing some of her own experience. She wasn’t being ‘bitchy’ about Miley. She wasn’t being ‘jealous’ or any of those other things women are accused of when they speak out. She was just trying to cut through the bullshit and talk a bit of sense.
THE CULT OF CELEBRITY
Sinead was on the Late show here in Ireland on Friday night talking with the host, Ryan Tubridy. She made very intelligent points about the music industry in general, the cult of celebrity, the growth of the talent show and talked about how young artists are controlled and exploited by the industry but the host kept trying to veer the discussion towards her ‘spat’ with Miley.
Maybe it’s easier to make television out of the personal than the political but does that make it better television? Then why are our television schedules so filled with crap? Do television producers have low opinions of their viewer’s intelligence? If so why? Sinead only had nine minutes on the show anyway. I know I’d rather have nine minutes of interesting than ninety minutes of boring.
SENSITIVE SOULS SIMON AND LOUIS
Which brings me back to the Late show – it seemed as though Ryan was afraid of discussing the real issues. When Sinead talked about talent shows like the X factor manufacturing artists and murdering music in the process he was squirming and even said he was worried about hurting Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell’s feelings who I’m sure were crying all the way to the bank.
Was Ryan really worried about sparing the feelings of those two poor sensitive souls? Or was he worried that people might switch off at the idea of an intelligent debate?
LATELY THE LATE SHOW
The Late show used to be a forum for lively debate. Somewhere we could tune in and see the current affairs and events of the day being discussed.
I personally lost faith in the integrity of the show the night Annie Murphy (the mother of Bishop Eamon Casey’s son) was thrown to the wolves by the host at the time for daring to bring the good name of a bishop and a church into disrepute. (I know…you have to laugh now.
SO WHAT’S ALL THIS GOT TO DO WITH WRITING?
Well, as a writer and artist I am with Sinead on this one. She wasn’t putting down artists like Miley and clearly said there is room for all – surely true of all art including writing.
What Sinead was trying to point out was that the elbowing aside of talented artists whose bodies aren’t seen as marketable enough by middle-aged millionaires is a crime and the crime results in the murder of music.
TWERKING OUR WAY ON TO THE BOOKSHELVES
Has the same thing happened to books? Will us writers soon have to twerk our way on to the bookshelves? Are books being murdered by the cult of celebrity? Do us writers have to be marketable? Or is it enough for our books to be readable?
I’d love to know what you think?
Bye for now.
There’s more from my diary here.