MILEY! Music!

Surely one of the one percent, Miley Cyrus has released a remixed video of “It’s a Liberty Walk,” dedicated to “the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in.”  While the dedication praises sincerity and commitment more than any claims, the video is edited to support the protesters.  Miley’s video shows Occupy as a global movement, marching–and sitting–to a disco beat.

I assume Miley was inspired by the movement to direct some of her talents to reinforce and publicize the activists and the issues they care about–and that she wanted to show her support.

Absent thoughtful and sincere commitment to the issues and the movement, a celebrity may have other motivations for signing on–or singing on.  Occupy is supported by a large, young–but not tween–audience, that might develop an appreciation for other music Miley might make.  The risk is obvious: Miley might offend the tween or country audiences she previously delighted.  We’ll wait to see if Taylor Swift or Miranda Cosgrove follow suit.

Meanwhile, professionals don’t own the artistic process.  Thanks to Pat Coy for sending another disco-inspired Occupy video, “I’ll Occupy.”  With new lyrics and protest pictures set to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s 1970s, it’s a paean to the movement, but with a little bit of a snarky sense of self-deprecating humor.

I first was pepper sprayed
Just standing on the side
But it took me being blinded
to open up up my eyes
Cause I’d read the daily news,
and not responded actively
and I realized then and there
this revolution needed me

So, the movement is developing an indigenous arts culture and generating responses from the larger culture.  This is how movements work.

Watch as Occupy moves into workplace humor, television sitcoms, and mainstream politics.

About David S. Meyer

Author and professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine
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