I don't care about Miley Cyrus' naked back.
Not even a little. Not at all.
I couldn't care less that pictures of her naked back are in Vanity Fair. I couldn't care less that Miley is supposedly now "embarrassed" by these picture of her naked back. I couldn't care less that Disney now thinks Vanity Fair was trying to "deliberately manipulate" her into taking pictures of her naked back.
I don't care because Miley Cyrus' naked back is not important.
Never miss a local story.
This is not to say that the sexualization of teenage girls in our culture is not important. That is important and a real problem. It's also really gross.
But this is just another WMD, a weapon of mass distraction.
When we pick things to get upset about, sometimes our options are so broad, so important, so overwhelming, we pick the easiest thing.
A teenager showed her naked back in a magazine. I'm mad!
OK. So, why exactly?
This is a 15-year-old girl who comes from a show-business family, who has been in the media spotlight since she was 13, who made $18.2 million last year, whose show is watched by an average 10.7 million viewers, who sold out every stop on her tour and whose tickets scalped for more than $1,000.
I hardly think Miley came into her portrait session with acclaimed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz as some easily manipulated, unsuspecting teenage rube.
And I hardly think Annie lured Miley into the portrait session by promising her she'd give her some candy and make her a model if only she'd step into the back seat of her van.
Plus, her famous papa, Billy Ray "Achy Breaky" Cyrus, was there the entire time. Heck, he is even in the pictures.
Yet after the photos came out, out came the backtracking.
"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," Miley said in a statement. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans, who I care so deeply about."
OK. So, why exactly?
While covering myself with a big satin sheet and staring at a camera over my bare shoulder isn't exactly going to be the pose for my next Christmas card, there's nothing so salacious about it that it should take up days' worth of news cycles.
Isn't there a presidential election going on? Or a war?
Perhaps it's our reaction to this whole SexyBack Scandal that's the most telling.
We are schizophrenic about our youth-obsessed culture. On the one hand, we want our young teen idols to be pillars of virtue. On the other hand, we can't get enough when they tumble off their pillars.
So many people wanted to see and be outraged/titillated by Miley's naked back that the Vanity Fair Web site crashed.
I'm mad! Let's see that again!
Disney, that Magic Kingdom of purity, seemed to be most outraged of all.
The company's statement reads: "Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines."
Oh, please. The Mouse just doesn't want its moneymaker damaged. She is Disney's 15-year-old girl to manipulate, thank you very much.
Look, parents have every right and a real responsibility to monitor what their children watch and whom they idolize.
So if parents don't want their children to watch "Hannah Montana" anymore because of Miley Cyrus' naked back, that is entirely their prerogative.
But this national outrage at Miley Cyrus' naked back is just silly. But more than silly, it's simply not important.
If only we could all just turn our back on it, so to speak.
Elsewhere around the Scene:
Anthem is having a CD-release party and everyone is invited. The band's self-titled, 10-track release was produced by Mike Klooster, keyboardist for Smash Mouth. The free, all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. today at the Modesto Queen Bean. ...
Take "Hard Candy" from Madonna as the Brave Bull hosts a release party in honor of her new CD on Sunday night. The Warner Bros. Records-approved event will include giveaways, raffles and a drag show hosted by Miss Gay 2007, Miss Anjali. No cover, show at 10 p.m. ...
Sign up now to treat your mom to Mothers' Day Tea at the Mansion. Reserve a space for one of two elegant tea services at the McHenry Mansion on May 10. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children. Call 578-1524.
And finally, this week is so awash in great live music, I couldn't fit it all in. For more, visit my blog SceneIt, thehive.modbee.com/sceneit.
Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2284.