Walt Disney Company chiefs are likely to be concerned about the behaviour of one of their stars, children's entertainer Miley Cyrus (writes Olivia Sudden, "The Dirty Dish Who Really Dishes The Dirt That Won't Wash Even In The Dishwasher").
Cyrus, 17 - who became famous for her role as anodyne bimbette Hannah Montana in the Disney Channel TV show about cool, cute AND excellent role modelette Hannah Montana - has raised media eyebrows and temperatures with her increasingly-risque antics.
The metamorphosis has not been quite as instantaneous as that of Gregor Samsa, the character in Franz Kafka's seminal short story Metamorphosis who changed into a giant cockroach overnight*, but the transformation has been shockingly rapid. Many commentators have expressed fears that we could be witnessing a Britney Spears or Lyndsey Lohan style slide into sleazy implosion. Some of these commentators have even been over the age of 14.
There are even some factions in the Gossip Industry who anticipate a fall from grace akin to that of Steamboat Wille, the silent movie star who became a pederast, opium addict and devotee of Ancient Egyptian god Osiris, before receiving an ultimatum from mentor Walt Disney and turning his life around by assuming the identity of loveable castrato rodent Mickey Mouse, the former eunuch to the Clam of Chowdah who escapes to America to become a cartoon icon.
"Yes, it really is that serious", an industry source told me. At least, the actor doing the voice told me, as I was speaking to a cartoon from an unspecified, non-Disney, Corporation. Nothing is straightforward when it comes to cartoons, but please bear with me. It's worth it. It really is.
The spokescartoon summarised the areas of concern. He was at pains to stress that he could not act on his own behest, being a cartoon, but was drawing on the opinions of others. Or the artist drawing him was. But let me not dwell on the complexities of dishing celebrity cartoon dirt (never again, by the way; it's strictly humans from now on).
My source close to the cutting room floor outlined the events that have threatened to dislodge Miley's squeaky-clean halo.
"It began innocently enough with the Hannah Montana toothbrush, which played her song 'Pumpin' Up The Party'. But then there was the poll, 'Disney's Top Singers'. We know Miley thought she'd win hands-down. But the top 5 was:
- Baloo The Bear
- Julie Andrews
- Dick Van Dyke
- O'Malley The Alley Cat
- Snow White
"Miley came way down at number 23, between Dumbo's Mother and Angela Lansbury & David Tomlinson. That was what drove her to what many corporate interests see as profit-threatening rebellion.
"It was a matter of days after the poll results came out that those MySpace photos of Miley in her underwear appeared. This created shockwaves, allegedly because she wasn't wearing the Pooh Bear 'Hunny' panties she was contracted to wear.
"Things spiralled, it's fair to say, from then on. Next thing you know, she's making a YouTube video dissing Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, in which she and an anonymous friend drink liquor from her dad's Country & Western Trailer and make fun of the rival girls' Merchandise.
"Hard on the heels of this indiscretion, came the appalling video in which Miley performed an erotic lapp dance (modelled on the fertility rituals of Northern Finland) in front of an elderly man resembling the film director Roman Polanski.
"Then of course there was the furore about Miley being about to release an unofficial 'bootleg' Miley Cyrus Keep It Safe Musical Condom, which plays 'Pumpin' Up The Party' for 2 minutes, in a wicked parody of the official Hannah Montana toothbrush.
"And now, though she didn't accept the offer to be the face of LifeStyles Condoms, she looks set to sign a deal with Jailbait Lifestyles Inc., which will see her record a series of songs promoting their Protect-a-Tween range of candy-flavoured rubbers. They want her to be the Mouth of Jailbait Condoms.
"Miley's many business interests are said to be livid at this increasing disregard for contractual obligations."
My source close to an out of work cartoonist also said that there will be misgivings about the route Miley Cyrus seems to be taking with her music.
"Yes. There is concern. 'Can't Be Tamed', the title track from her forthcoming album, is a worry indeed.
"The track is a moronic, robotic lust-frenzy in the style of Britney Spears, and the live performance of it at the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal has Miley cavorting in a green leotard, with disturbing indications that she has gone commando a la Lady Ga Ga. I can't stress enough the likely displeasure felt at the Disney HQ, as they witness these signs that Miley is getting older and more likely to flee the Disney stable."
So there we have it. Well, you do. I don't want it. I've enough trouble with my own daughter. A 15-year old dominatrix, anyone? (when is she available? - Ed.) Anyone would think I was a bad mother.
But there is more, dirt eaters. There is news of a possible shock parallel with the archetypal cartoon enfant terrible, Steamboat Willie.
No, Miley hasn't taken up smoking opium. What she is into, according to a source close to a vat of natron, is the cult of Osiris.
"Miley Cyrus was fooling around at home with a friend", said my source, dressed as a Nubian slave. "They were both lolling about in some old (but still good enough to webcam, should they feel the need), much-loved, non-merchandise underwear, when they stumbled across information on the web about the 1932 horror movie The Mummy starring Boris Karloff. In the movie, Karloff plays the priest Imhotep, whose mummy is discovered by archaeologists. One of the scientists accidentally brings the mummy to life by reading from the Scroll of Thoth they have also unearthed.
"The resurrected Imhotep, disguised as Egyptologist Ardath Bey, meets Helen Grosvenor, played by Zita Johann. Believing her to be the reincarnation of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon, whom he loved in Ancient Egypt, Imhotep tries to take her with him into the realm of the undead.
"Miley and her pal were fascinated by this story, and Miley has become obsessed with Zita Johann and the god Osiris, seeing herself in the role of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon as well as that of the goddess Isis. The fact that 'Osiris' rhymes with her name was a big attraction - they giggled about how she could change her name to Miley Osiris without anyone knowing. She also loved Zita Johann's costumes."
We can be sure that Miley Cyrus' corporate sponsors will not stand by and allow Miley Cyrus to pass from their realms, into the Ancient Egyptian underworld.
This is a disturbing and convoluted and tortuous tale indeed, as I'm sure you'll agree.
Perhaps this is a true reflection of one of these:
- the disturbing nature of capitalism
- the convoluted mind of Miley Cyrus
- the disturbing, convoluted and tortuous mind of yours truly
Make up your own mind, dearest reader!
* Also, in the story, Samsa the cockroach is chased by his father, who pelts him with apples. One of the apples becomes embedded in his back, causing a wound that eventually kills him. There is no evidence of which we are aware to suggest that Miley Cyrus has ever been chased by an apple-throwing father, or that she has an apple embedded in her back, though that would explain some of the moves she pulls in that green leotard. But soft - will Miley turn into a giant cockroach before Isis and Osiris can offer salvation?