pop culture

Open Letter to Sufjan Stevens About His Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Dear Sufjan,
People been passing around that letter your wrote to Miley Cyrus in an attempt to insert yourself into a conversation that dosen't involve you between a bunch of people who don't care what you think. I imagine you're pretty proud of yourself. After all, it got you a mention in USA today. So I'm sorry to break it to you, then, but actually the whole thing makes you look like a total douchebag. And not for the reasons VICE magazine says you're a douchebag. As if VICE magazine had any room to talk. No, the problem isn't that you got shit wrong and made typos. Everybody gets shit wrong and makes typos. The problem is more esoteric than that.

First, it's kinda weirdly racist. As you know, the whole kerfuffle surrounding Ms. Cyrus lately got started by criticisms that she went on MTV and somehow appropriated black culture in a way that is illegitimate and racist. On MTV. Now, I don't want to delve into the ins and outs of all that here, because frankly I think there's very little in pop culture that doesn't hark back to minstrelsy and mass culture was born from assholes ripping off black artists. At the same time, I think it's pretty dubious to say that anything anybody does on MTV can ever be truly authentic since the first time it played The Replacements "Bastards of Young" video in 1985. So the shock and outrage seems a bit overplayed to me.