Pop Culture

Don’t Play Yourself: Miley Cyrus and Bon Iver Cry Out For Attention

Also playing are Gary Johnson and Nikki from Penn State, roommate drama and all.

Welcome to another edition of Don’t Play Yourself, my weekly gathering of the highly visible and highly embarrassing, laying out their flaws and failures for analysis and reaction GIFs.  Every Friday I’ll collect the week’s players and decide how badly they played themselves this time.

This week I oblige Miley Cyrus’ and Bon Iver’s cries for attention, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson fails (even more) at foreign policy, and Nikki from Penn State gets dragged to and fro on Twitter.

Miley Cyrus

During filming earlier, you said to a contestant that not everyone can be Mariah Carey.

I’ve never really been a fan, because it’s so much about Mariah Carey. That’s part of her shtick; I can see through that. That’s part of what makes her a gay icon; like, it’s about Mimi! It’s about what she’s wearing, and it’s about her. What I make isn’t about me. It’s about sharing my story; it’s about someone being connected to what I’m saying.

I thought we were done with Miley Cyrus after she finally stopped “twerking” but then The Voice went and resurrected her. No one asked you to do that, The Voice! Now that she’s back in the limelight, she made her resurgence with an interview in Elle in which she tried to say…something about Mariah Carey. I’m confused about what it is. She doesn’t like Mariah Carey because Mariah Carey makes her music about her, I think, but what does that mean? Why is Miley sharing her story different from Mariah sharing hers? I’m very confused. I’m sure this somehow comes down to Mariah being a diva, and Miley being so down to earth while she “twerks” (what chapter of your story was that in, Destiny Hope?).

Did Miley Cyrus play herself? Yes and no. She got what she wanted, which was clearly attention (see, Miley, I’m giving it to you), but if you ask Mariah about her

mariah carey

Bon Iver

“Hopefully, people will understand that I will come and play for you, I will get to you, eventually, in your city, but when I get there hopefully we will play something more special, we won’t just play some gig, we’ll have thought about it. We won’t just be ‘Hello Cleveland-ing!’ through our lives.” This isn’t, he stresses, about ego, nor is it an exercise in rock star worthiness. Rather, it’s about wanting to halt the idiocracy. “You can never be self-righteous, but it’s okay to be a little righteous,” he says. “You have to believe in something. Like, I’d prefer Beyoncé didn’t do a Pepsi tour. Do not take two million dollars from Pepsi and be a role model for young girls. Do not do that. That stuff does anger me. And I feel like I am not afraid to talk about that stuff.”

We need people to speak out, he suggests, or otherwise we’ll find a blustering dunderhead in the White House and an idiocracy in full sail. “It is the reversal of mental aptitude,” he says. “Let’s turn it around.”

Not gonna lie, I thought Bon Iver was the dude who beat Beyoncé out for a Grammy that one time, but that’s not even him. That was Beck. I don’t really know who Beck is either (sorry, Beck), but if you’re not even Beck, what makes you think you can come for Queen Bey? But anyway, what are they drinking in white America that makes Bon Iver and Miley Cyrus think they can just say whatever they want about their betters?

Bon Iver has clearly been so busy having lunch dates with Lena Dunham and bell hooks that he’s so massively misinformed about Beyoncé. At this point it’s just a waste of time to pretend Beyoncé is just a mindless automaton with no cultural importance other than her ability to sing and dance. This is the Lemonade era, man. That shit doesn’t fly anymore, and if Bon Iver is still subscribing to that wrongness about Beyoncé being just vapid pop star (who clearly sucks because she accepts money for her work), he’s living under a rock.

And also, I just saw Bey in concert two weeks ago, and it was fantastic and yes, very special. 

Did Bon Iver play himself? Beyoncé said it herself: “When you diss me, you diss yourself.”

beyonce gif

Gary Johnson

I bet you didn’t think Gary Johnson, Libertarian presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico, would be embarrassing himself this soon after that “What is Aleppo?” mess. But joke’s on us because he proved his foreign policy incompetence further by being unable to name a single foreign leader. (He couldn’t even come up with Justin Trudeau? Everyone knows Disney prince Justin Trudeau!) If you can’t name anyone either, that’s okay. I mean you should definitely work on that, but since you’re not running for president there’s still time before you end up on this list.

Gary, however, is not so lucky. Look, he’s not alone. We’ve got a flaming hot Cheeto and a lady who thinks WiFi is dangerous to our development running for president. It’s a bad election year, okay? But when you flunked that last foreign policy quiz, Gary, why didn’t you brush up on it?

At this rate, I should be running for president.

This would have been less stupid if Johnson hadn’t tried to spin this idiocy into world leaders simply not being up to his standards (to be fair, he was asked to name a foreign leader he respects). That may have worked if he hadn’t already whittled his foolery down to an “Aleppo moment” like his woeful incompetence is fleeting and won’t play any role in his already unlikely presidency.

rolling eyes gif to gary johnson

Did Gary Johnson play himself? I say yes, because he willfully exposed himself to these questions knowing he didn’t know any of the damn answers, but it’s 2016 and people like this sort of stupid apparently. I don’t know. #HensleyforPresident

Nikki at Penn State

Oh my god, this is so college.

Lucky me, I didn’t have any bad roommates (shoutout to my super sweet roommate freshman year whom I probably annoyed). I did have an annoying suite mate sophomore year who left her alarm on when she left for the weekend (every weekend) but locked her door so it just went on all day because the RA’s refused to come turn it off so I could actually sleep), but otherwise it was cool. But I had plenty of drama, including that one time a dude I worked with called me a bitch in a group chat with other work people (for no reason!) and I had to post screenshots of that and put him on blast. Long story short, I understand Jessica (we’re petty kin) and why she posted these tweets for her roommate to find.

Why should either of you actually confront each other with your issues when you can do it like this instead? Twitter is so unpredictable it makes it fun. It can be a void, an echo chamber, or a packed theater, and you just never know what you’re gonna get. Jessica got the packed theater and the word of mouth promotion after the show, and the elusive Nikki appears only in torn printer paper and a few texts.

I do feel a little bad for Nikki. Though no one on my end of the Twitter timeline knows who she is, everyone at Penn State will know her and her (soon-to-be-ex?) roommate for these silly tweets and the tantrums and floor drama that ensued. That being said, this is absolutely hysterical. Wild college roommate stories are the best stories.

reaction gif to nikki

Did Nikki play herself? Without a doubt. You got caught tweeting about your roommate (why are you mad at the girl for having whooping cough?) and got mad. As a professor at the school of Act Out in Public, Get Called Out in Public, I can’t help you. But I must thank you, Nikki, for amusing me so thoroughly.