In Today’s Edition of “When Critics Overthink”
I present to you a Los Angeles Times music reviewer trying to salvage his own personal idea of self-worth by declaring Miley Cyrus (aka “Hannah Montana”) a “young experimental artist”:
The entire show operated at a frenzied fever pitch, but its David Cronenberg-like climax came right before the encore, when the regular girl sang a duet with her famous alter ego, who’d disappeared from the stage but now reappeared on the screen of a giant video monitor.
Which of us is more real, the artist seemed to be asking the audience, about half of which consisted of perplexed-looking adults obviously confounded by the performer’s sophisticated interrogation of our current media moment.
Either one of two things are going here: Either critic Mikael Wood is has his tongue well in cheek, in which case this is moderately amusing, or he’s totally serious, in which case he should be grabbed off the street, hustled into some dark room, and waterboarded ’til dawn by Robert Hilburn and the ghost of Lester Bangs. Also, if this is the case, one wonders how much mileage he might get out of, say, The Parent Trap.
Honestly, though, even if Wood is just taking the piss here, there’s a certain point at which you draw back from the precipice; with lines like “Cyrus utilizes television’s simulacrum of reality to depict a version of herself that’s lifelike enough to make you care about her,” Wood has hurled himself well into the inky darkness, and all that’s left is to wait for the muted splat, signifying the bone-powdering impact of his snarky cheekiness against the dark and smooth basalt floor of unintentional pretension.
Either way, a note to Wood: Dude. You’re reviewing a concert of a 14-year-old actress singing bubblegum pop. Please, get a grip. Otherwise when you’re forced go review the Cheetah Girls and you start blabbering about Rousseau in the review, someone is going to find you and stab you in right the eye. Really, it’s for your own safety.