Ray Comfort, Miley Cyrus and Humanism

I’ve tried to avoid all of the furor over Miley Cyrus’ apparently raunchy performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (how the hell do they have awards when they haven’t shown any videos in the last decade?), but since Ray Comfort is weighing in on it, I’m all ears.

Tuesday on their Internet-based video show, Comfort and his colleagues discussed the former Disney child star’s raunchy performance at the MTV awards.

“She has prostituted herself in the most horrible public fashion and brought shame to [her father] and dishonor [to her mother], and what for? It’s just very sad,” Comfort said.

Brought shame to her father? I’m sorry, her father is the guy who gave the world Achy Breaky Heart, which was, to steal shamelessly from Joe Queenan, a “premeditated act of musical genocide.” There’s nothing his daughter could possibly do to bring any more shame on ol’ Billy Ray than he already brought to himself.

“This is the fruit of humanism,” Comfort continued. “If you abandon the Scriptures and lose the fear of God you’re going to go to humanism and say that man isn’t sinful, he is basically good, and anyone who goes to that has gone off the rails of being good. But here, Miley Cyrus hasn’t had a bad background or a broken family, she has a sinful heart who has given herself to things that are sinful knowing that she will get applause from men.”

Not from this humanist male. And it isn’t because she’s “sinful” or too sexual or anything like that. It’s because she is reduced to engaging in such spectacle because she can’t get noticed on the basis of her talent. Like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, she deliberately set out to shock people and get attention. And it worked. Which makes it downright boring to me (just like Cooper and Manson, by the way, who bore me to tears).

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  • cry4turtles

    Hey I love Alice and Marilyn, and if Miley made baby Jesus cry, I love her too! Ratchet it up Miley!

  • Aliasalpha

    At least Alice Cooper was a proper musician

  • matty1

    It’s almost cute how far from reality these wingnuts are. Hearing that Comfort considers a pop star doing a ‘sexy’ dance to be excessively sinful makes me want to dump in the middle of De Wallen one evening and let him make his own way home.

  • pacal

    I’m sorry, her father is the guy who gave the world Achy Breaky Heart, which was, to steal shamelessly from Joe Queenan, a “premeditated act of musical genocide.”

    WIN!!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I can’t tell you how shocked and disappointed I when I saw a child/teen starlet move to adulthood by committing such shocking and disappointing acts. It’s the first time this has ever happened. Now that she’s broken the taboo, what can follow but the chaos of others following her example with further shocking and disappointing acts even beyond derriere enwigglement?

  • cjtotalbro

    Ed is more of a GG Allin fan.

  • matty1

    The worst thing about the incident is I was forced to look up the word twerk to understand my friends comments. I only have so much space in my brain and they made me put ‘twerk’ in there.

  • katybe

    I feel like there ought to be some stern guidance somewhere about never, ever, naming that song, which is now lodged in my head!

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I’m surprised they haven’t just turned it into the striptease channel and been done with it. It’d be more interesting, which isn’t saying much. Oh, Miley Cyrus? Who? Is she the current falling ember? Haven’t we all seen this trajectory before?

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    I think I’m experiencing the effects of long-term television deprivation because I have to ask, “Who’s Miley Cyrus?”

    If you’ll pardon me, I have to shove cotton swabs into my ears until I can scrape “Achy Breaky Heart” out of my brain, again.

  • Abby Normal

    With just a couple minor changes this could easily be a rant against Elvis shaking his pelvis 60 years ago.

  • unbound

    I think this was the best take on the whole Miley Cyrus event – http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=k6Lb3kFwJRQ#t=12

  • francesc

    Well, she is “prostituting” her looks. Ray prostitutes his brain. At least you can’t claim that the first one is selling a scam product.

  • dugglebogey

    This is a former Disney child star trying to shed her clean image and be seen as an “adult.”

    How is this anything but expected, normal behavior from someone who wants to be a contemporary actress?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Actually, just about everyone I know (including the atheists and humanists as well as my fiancee’s Southern-Baptist family) is bashing Miley Cyrus, not for being raunchy, but for being just plain batshit ridiculous. WTF was up with all those stoned-looking dancing teddy-bears? She’s no Madonna.

    (BTW, I just glimpsed a quote of Miley in an interview saying we were all giving her performance a lot more thought than she gave it. Which would explain a lot if true.)

  • =8)-DX

    @Modusoperandi

    disappointing acts even beyond derriere enwigglement?

    From my viewing of the performance there was also crotch and nipple enwigglement as well as large fluffy animals. It was a prime example of the “I’m not having sex, I’m dancing by moving as if I’m having sex because people can imagine me having sex while I’m dancing, which isn’t sex” paradox (the converse of this is the “we’re not actually dancing, we’re actually having sex, just using dance moves as part of the sex, although we’re not actually genitally penetrating, or naked yet” conundrum).

    Hasn’t Ray Comfort ever been to a disco?

  • illdoittomorrow

    Abby Normal @11:

    “With just a couple minor changes this could easily be a rant against Elvis shaking his pelvis 60 years ago.”

    But that’s totally different!* That was The King, and The King was a man. Therefore, prostitution.

    *Now.

  • Doug Little

    This is just a case of the generation gap showing. Nothing to see here.

  • Doug Little

    BTW Manson is a fantastic performer, very theatrical, along the same lines as Cooper.

  • caseloweraz

    There’s nothing his daughter could possibly do to bring any more shame on ol’ Billy Ray than he already brought to himself.

    Yes, there is. She might become a Democrat like her paternal grandfather Ronald Ray Cyrus, whom she apparently adored.

    And while I have no evidence for this, I tend to think her turn toward raunchiness was instigated by the people managing her career.

  • kimbeaux

    @Modusoperandi (5)

    For:

    derriere enwigglement

    You surely owe me a new keyboard. I think the screen can be saved.

  • Michael Heath

    More tongue!!!

  • tomh

    Hey, Miley Cyrus once quoted Lawrence Krauss with, “You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded…So forget Jesus. Stars died so you can live.” Since then, anything she does is alright with me.

  • inquisitiveraven

    Would this help people bleach out Cyrus pater’s song?

    As for Cyrus filia’s performance, I seen some websites where the major complaint isn’t the raunchiness, but the cultural appropriation.

  • Doug Little

    inquisitiveraven @24

    I seen some websites where the major complaint isn’t the raunchiness, but the cultural appropriation.

    Yeah, I’ve seen that as well.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    It’s because she is reduced to engaging in such spectacle because she can’t get noticed on the basis of her talent.

    1. I don’t consider an overtly sexual performance by a woman to be “reducing” her at all, in itself. Maybe someday we could stop implicitly siding with the Ray Comforts of the world by sharing in that perception that women are reduced by showing off their bodies or otherwise displaying their sexuality.

    2. Almost no female performing artist “gets noticed on the basis of her talent,” at least if we’re talking about singers or actors. Being young and beautiful, or at least starting young and beautiful, is a requirement at the bare minimum for the vast majority. Once your youth and beauty have gotten you attention, being sexual is what gets you money. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Talent is a nice bonus on top of all of that, but not a requirement.

    3. Miley Cyrus didn’t do anything that previous pop artists, both talented and not, haven’t done over and over prior to her. If there’s anything shocking about this whole thing, it’s that people are actually shocked by it.

    4. Actually, Miley Cyrus is quite talented. She has a beautiful voice. If you don’t like what she chooses to sing with it, that’s really a matter of taste. I would be quite surprised if there is a single female pop vocalist popular these days that you are a fan of, Ed. 😉

  • Thorne

    inquisitiveraven @ #24 said,

    Would this help people bleach out Cyrus pater’s song?

    I think we’ve been Poe’d!

  • eric

    “She has prostituted herself in the most horrible public fashion…“This is the fruit of humanism…

    Riiiight. Because prostitution (of either the figurative or literal type) never occurs in religious cultures. Amiright, or amiright? And by the way, Ray spells out the connection between humanism and prostitution in his next book, selling right now on Amazon for only 19.95…

  • tomh

    What a shocker. Old people don’t like young people’s music. Or the way they behave. I came of age in the sixties and heard all this almost word for word back then. And countless times since. Shocking.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I was at Walmart last evening (it’s the only place within walking/cycling distance of my house to buy some things I needed) and the “Holy Books” section at the store–right next to the coloring books for tykes and some other juvenile “lit”. Seemed appropriate.

    @2&19:

    Manson IS theatrical; vince tries to be. Also, Vince is a fucking pal of Joe FUCKING Arpaio. I turn the station when that overexposed dickwad’s music is playing.

    Miley Cyrus’s outfit and act reminded me of nothing so much as Jim Carey’s “Vera de MIlo”.

  • cry4turtles

    Just a poll, how many people know who Vince is?

  • some bastard on the net

    It’s because she is reduced to engaging in such spectacle because she can’t get noticed on the basis of her talent.

    I agree with Gretchen, Miley hardly ‘reduced’ herself in any way with an overtly-sexual show (the whole thing was nothing new, and she is 20-friggin’-years old).

    Granted, I didn’t like the performance, but it wasn’t due to Miley grinding with Robin Thicke, it was because she was grinding with that slimeball Robin Thicke (who, while dressed as Beetlejuice, was singing Blurred Lines, which has an over-abundance of the misogynist phrase,’You know you want it!’). I thought the rest of it was simply confusing and really failed to take advantage of her usually excellent voice.

  • freehand

    Abby Normal With just a couple minor changes this could easily be a rant against Elvis shaking his pelvis 60 years ago.

    I remember him being on the Ed Sullivan show and being displayed only from the waist up.

    I seem to remember Alice Cooper playing between innings at a baseball game in Boston around 1971. Something involving a large snake and an electric chair, as well as music. Local DJs on one team, firefighters(?) on the other, with Professor Irwin Cory as the umpire. Frankly, I’m surprised I remember that…

  • freehand

    Sorry, Professor Irwin Corey

    “When I tried to join the Communist Party, they called me an anarchist.”

  • Doug Little

    cry4turtles @31

    Google is your friend. Well I had to look it up anyway, I’m not that savvy on the rock and roll trivia.

  • AnatomyProf

    You clearly haven’t listened to early Alice Cooper. The and put out some amazing, creative work (the 80’s material was, as one album title states, trash). The Schools Out album is a masterpiece (the title song a classic, but just the tip of the iceberg). There are also classics like No More Mr. Nice Guy, Teenage Lament, and Elected. To each their own, but I’m disappointed in your lumping of dissimilar objects today.

  • carlie

    Does he have any idea what Robin Thicke’s video looks like? All Miley was doing was acting out the music video, except with MORE clothes on. The women in the video were completely topless. Not twerking, but the foam finger, the strutting, that was all the same as in the video the grown-ass 38 year old Thicke decided to make. I’m disgusted by people who yell about Miley and “what she did” without putting any criticism on the adult who choreographed the whole thing.

  • Michael Heath

    cry4turtles,

    “Vince” is Alice Cooper’s actual first name (shortened from Vincent).

    democommie, disappointed but not shocked to hear Mr. Furnier’s friendly with Arpaio.

    I grew up in area so anti-rock and roll we had to continuously beg to get the local “rock” station to play “School’s Out” during graduation week, in nineteen fucking seventy-eight. That same local station would play Hotel California but not Life in the Fast Lane.

  • colnago80

    Re freehand @ #33

    I remember him being on the Ed Sullivan show and being displayed only from the waist up.

    And on the same show a couple of acts later, actress Debra Paget performed a dance number wearing very little.

  • Doug Little

    Michael @38,

    Wow, music distribution has changed so much from those days. Now I can listen to an Australian radio station which is on the other side of the earth via a cellular data network which my cell phone is receiving and then rebroadcasting it via bluetooth to my car’s stereo system. OR I could steam my entire music collection that resides in the cloud via a free service (google play) via the same method. If there’s one thing that the internet was good for it was allowing independently produced music to flourish without the help of major record labels or radio play.

  • freehand

    colnago80Re freehand @ #33

    I remember him being on the Ed Sullivan show and being displayed only from the waist up.

    And on the same show a couple of acts later, actress Debra Paget performed a dance number wearing very little.

    I was like, ten then, so I don’t remember that.

  • martinc

    I’m surprised I never got into Achy Breaky Heart, considering I quite like both its chords.

  • http://markfiend.wordpress.com markw aka markfiend (call me mark)
  • cry4turtles

    Doug and Michael, I’ve known Alice’s real name since 1972 (pre-Google). I was just wondering who else knew. I’ve been a fan for four decades. Just saw him a few years ago. The man is ageless. I want to marry him and have his babies, except menopause might interfere.

  • caseloweraz

    Cry4turtles: Just a poll, how many people know who Vince is?

    For some reason, I’ve always remembered that Vince Musorgsky uses the stage name Alice Cooper (though I may have misspelled his last name.)

    Just as I remember that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually Alice Sheldon.

  • cry4turtles

    Michael’s correct, Alice was formerly known as Vincent Furnier. Wish I had a prize. Da da da da da!