With a brief announcement by pop-sensation Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana the television show comes to an end. The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus says that she is quitting the show after the current season.

Miley Cyrus Hannah Montana


I will not be comparing Miley Cyrus with Democrat Senators Byron Dorgan and Christopher Dodd, who both quit their senate seats because of the unpopularity of their party’s president. They would have loved to keep their jobs. In the case of Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana remains the most influential teenage personality on television today, while the actress herself is the most sought after teen performer in show business. Unlike disreputable politicians who voted for policies against the American people’s interests, she remains popular and all too American apple pie.

My boys, 6 and 5, naturally prefer to play with trucks and baseballs. And yet even these little guys will take in an occasional Hannah Montana episode when the parents aren’t paying attention. We even took them to the last Miley Cyrus movie on our last seaside vacation in a small town which only had one theater, our version of roughing it in the McCain household.

As a marketing powerhouse the show is brilliant, perhaps the only one that pre-teenagers actually like to watch and parents sort of approve. In a sanctimonious way we are of course unsure that saying “dang” and “dude” are the best ideas for our children’s virgin ears, but we notice with approval that the principal at Hannah Montana’s school is not passing out free condoms to all comers. Besides. we think to ourselves, we might have uttered those 4-letter D words ourselves back in the day. The reasons for our approval of Miley Cyrus suggests that we are parental hypocrites who have lost our perspective in a few short years.

We also notice that the sex theme is missing from the show, making Hannah Montana a robot of sorts programmed in in a faux image we have of teenagers who we never were ourselves. She just doesn’t think it, ever, and neither do any of her friends. What’s a joint? Parents are strangely comforted but we sure knew differently back then. Of course I remember smarty pants Ernie with his Pepsi bottle glasses in the front row of math class, but the rest of us were talking about girls. And most of us were trying to get under their shirts, something that happens today to varying degrees of success and with no long term ill effects. It’s part of growing up. And no, they won’t tell you what is happening and neither did we.

What teenagers like about the show is that she sort of talks like them and wears cool clothing. She is a rock star too and that goes very far in teen land. So we have a jet setting rock star who doesn’t drink or think about the opposite sex, ever. Comforting for parents and tolerable for teens making for a huge Disney money making machine.

My problem with Miley Cyrus isn’t so much the warm cheer in her message, but that the message itself is demonstrably phony for 98% of the population. Who among us did not touch a drop of booze before age 21? Who thinks that is really a great idea for teenagers who need to experience life to find wisdom? Who hung out with those kids in high school, and would we really want those dorks hanging out with our kids?

Reader comments are invited as always. What do you think of Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, and this preposterous albeit warm-hearted presentation of American innocence on our television sets?