The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Andrew Telling Headshot

Sinead, Cyrus and One BIG Wrecking Ball

Posted: Updated:

Reading the open letter from Sinead O'Connor to Miley Cyrus was, for me anyway, pretty engaging. I didn't find it 'whoreishly moralistic', as many Tweeters suggested. Nor did I feel it was undermined by Sinead's previous mental health woes or the ripping up of the Pope's image on Saturday Night Live. It was genuine hand of friendship entwined with poignant advice from a person doubtlessly skilled in the ways of life, art and the music industry. Let's be honest, the tongue waggling, Twerk busting minx could do a lot worse than having Sinead O'Connor in her camp.

This whole brouhaha is a wonderful example of just how stretched our demographic chasms have become. And really, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' in the Sinead / Cyrus debate because every frame of reference is justified depending on which point of the social fence you sit.

Consider the following:

1. Miley Cyrus is a naked human pendulum on a granite wrecking ball of life exploiting her own sexuality for capital gain, corrupting the young minds who idolise her carefully crafted brand.

2. Miley Cyrus is manipulated at the hands of an industry that has honed a powerful and much hyped female product, mercilessly extracting what they can for their own monetary gain.

3. Miley Cyrus is an experienced and shrewd twenty year old girl who understands her own brand and exposure. She's an artist who strives to provide her fans with high quality pop music and a unique and engaging image.

The likelihood is anyone reading this will, by and large, agree and disagree with one of the statements in equal measure. Oh, and before somebody takes to the comments section I'm fully aware that I've not included the all important fourth statement.

4. I just don't care! Why are we even talking about this?

Fair point.

Unless we know Miley Cyrus personally, and 99.99% of all commentators don't, our beliefs and understanding of her are forged in the foundations of our own moral compass. We decide whether she's 'right' or 'wrong' depending on what we think is 'right' or 'wrong'. And what we think is 'right' or 'wrong' comes with the endless exposure to our own personal experiences. Typically, the older one gets, the less they understand the social relevance of, and I'm quoting the Oxford English Dictionary's definition, 'dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance'. Kids will get that. It's their world and they're socially connected to it. Our parents? Well, if you grow up on Jive and your musical heroes are tea total virgins in bed by ten then anything involving Twerking will be little short of pornographic.

The point is, Sinead O'Conner was not wrong to write her letter. Not at all. I truly believe it was done in the spirit of 'motherliness' and we need more people like that in the world. But, her personal journey disconnects her from the world surrounding Miley and, I suspect, it's a world of complex relationships and great fragility. Miley's 'response' was testament to that; she's totally adrift from the life and experiences of Sinead; she just didn't want to hear it.

As with everybody, it's for her to tackle her own journey, make her own mistakes, enjoy the highs and claw her way back from the lows. And I expect there will come a time when Miley's personal experiences eventually do connect her with Sinead's letter in the way in which it was intended.

And when that happens and the rubble has finally cleared, perhaps they will swing from the wrecking ball together.