Nothing at the VMAs happens without a careful reckoning of how the act will make money. It’s one of the reasons that this awards show is even more nauseating than most; it’s a stilted, bloated commercial for an industry that needs no more advertising, an industry that already is little more than a long-winded marketing ploy. For Miley Cyrus, the VMAs were her record-release party; the charmingly titled “Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz” launched online, free, as soon as the show ended. (The servers for mileycyrusandherdeadpetz.com immediately crashed, though they are also available on SoundCloud.) The album art—a video version of which was on screens during her performance—is Cyrus’ face, mouth open, smearing what looks like dirty sprinkles onto her cheek. Stains from that same substance are smeared over the rest of her mouth and inside it, too. In the video, it looks more like a dark glittery syrup.

Maybe there’s an artistic vision behind Miley Cyrus’ vomited-rainbow aesthetic—who knows? But her attitude onstage, for the seemingly interminable three-hour live broadcast, was one of not vision but stunting; look what I can do and still make money, is what it read, as she cracked jokes about eating pot brownies that her “mammy” made her. Miley Cyrus is in some ways the quintessential rock god, because she is only interested in one thing: making a scene.

In 3 words at last night’s awards show, Nicki Minaj highlighted just how prefabricated the host’s entire shtick was

Miley Cyrus has spent a lot of time trying to shed her Disney past, but she has never seemed younger than she did hosting the VMAs on Sunday night.

In interviews, Cyrus has come across as not insightful, exactly, but interesting — someone trying to figure out her art and her sexuality. (Her unfailingly terrible handling of race is another matter.) But all of that was lost at the VMAs. There is nothing so tame and boring as someone hungrily shoving their edginess in our faces, and Cyrus, with her loud, repeated mentions of her drug use, her ever-wispier costumes, and her repeated, clanking use of the word “mammy,” seemed desperate to shock. How MTV’s target audience of 16-year-olds responded to it is not something I can hope to know, but it wasn’t a good look.

Really, though, Cyrus’ flailing was in keeping with the entire night. The whole affair had never felt so pre-packaged, so much like an executive’s idea of what a scandalous evening should look like. (Tellingly, nearly every portion of the program appeared to have been auctioned off to one advertiser or another; nary a second was allowed to elapse without a corporate shoutout.)

What are we doing still watching this thing?

The question of whether or not flagship “Ghostbuster” Bill Murray would be joining in Paul Feig’s all-female reboot has dominated much of the “Ghostbusters” conversation (and completely unrelated pressers, too). After much reluctance, the legend finally decided to sign on to the project at the start of August, surprising many.

While the capacity in which Murray will be featured in the reboot remains unclear, it is rumored that it won’t be as Venkman.

Murray says that he was worried the film would get bad press if he opted out

It seems as though my happiness is contingent upon another’s. That’s why I’m so goofy and upbeat and fun to be around knowing that you’ll get a good laugh or two out of me. You’ll do more than just crack a smile. I see you and I see a new opportunity to break a piece of my life to. To do crazy celebrity impressions with. To copycat people’s funny tendencies with. To monkey around with. To do the latest jig with. To make atrocious silly faces with. To publicly embarrass myself with. It’s fairly easy to do so and I find comfort in that. My sanity is yet intact. But what if I ever encountered that one individual who doesn’t vibe with me? Or maybe I will begin to build a tolerance to my ways and become weakened by my inability to sustain myself. That’s what I’m not so sure that a wet willy or arm fart would fix..
—  question.

There are few things fans love more than celebrity friendships. Knowing that beloved cultural icons have authentic relationships that transcend the screen or recording studio — that they truly adore each other as we adore them — activates our most primal fangirl and fanboy urges, as the robust state of the Amy Poehler-Tina Fey Friendship Industrial Complex proves.

But in recent months, at least for me, the glimmer of seeing celebs karaoke-ing together and boating together and mugging together on Instagram has started to dull. I blame this largely on Taylor Swift, an all-consuming pop cultural vortex who, no longer content merely to consume the stars of her own generation, has now reached back into the ‘90s to engulf the idols of generations past. (Et tu, Alanis!?) But as annoying as Swift’s rapidly expanding #girlposse may be, it’s the overnight friendship of Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer that has convinced me that celebrity BFFdom as public spectacle has finally jumped the shark.

The latest industry power partnership disguised as a slumber party might break the Friendship Industrial Complex


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