Oddly enough, Allan Bloom died the same year Miley was born.
Once there lived a professor by the name of Allan Bloom (1930-1992). He wrote a book called The Closing of the American Mind. In this book published in 1987 he studied various aspects of youth culture, including rock music, through the lens of the great philosophers. Gather round, dear readers, as I present to you the words of Allan Bloom as illustrated by the musical artist and former Disney child star Miley Cyrus.
“This is the age of music and the states of soul that accompany it. …Out of the music emerge the gods that suit it, and they educate men by their example and their commandments.”
“Today, a very large proportion of young people between the ages of ten and twenty live for music. It is their passion; nothing else excites them as it does; they cannot take seriously anything alien to music.”
“In alliance with some real art and a lot of pseudo-art, an enormous industry cultivates the taste for the orgiastic state of feeling connected with sex, providing a constant flood of fresh material for voracious appetites. Never was there an art form directed so exclusively to children.”
“But rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire — not love, not eros, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored.”
“Young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse. …Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later.”
“The words implicitly and explicitly describe bodily acts that satisfy sexual desire and treat them as its only natural and routine culmination for children who do not yet have the slightest imagination of love, marriage or family. This has a much more powerful effect than does pornography on youngsters, who have no need to watch others do grossly what they can so easily do themselves. Voyeurism is for old perverts; active sexual relations are for the young. All they need is encouragement.”
“In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.”
“The inevitable corollary of such sexual interest is rebellion against the parental authority that represses it. Selfishness thus becomes indignation and then transforms itself into morality. …Indignation is the soul’s defense against the wound of doubt about its own; it reorders the cosmos to support the justice of its cause.”
Honestly, it doesn’t matter who they were looking at. Their faces speak for us all.
“The result is nothing less than parents’ loss of control over their children’s moral education at a time when no one else is seriously concerned with it. …Yet if a student can — and this is most difficult and unusual — draw back, get a critical distance on what he clings to, come to doubt the ultimate value of what he loves, he has taken the first and most difficult step toward the philosophic conversion.”
Susan L.M. Goldberg is a writer with a Master's in Radio, Television & Film. Her writing tends towards the intersection of culture, politics and faith with the interest in starting, not stopping the discussion. Follow her on Twitter @SLMGoldberg.