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With every thing that is going on in the news these days.... the WikiLeaks stories, the tax bill, two wars and so on, it is telling that one of the dominant scoops in the American media is a video clip of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong at her eighteenth birthday party.

Oh. My. God. Say it ain't so!

Why in the world this is supposed to be such shocking and distressing news, I have no idea. And yet we have her father, Billy Ray Cyrus (the only guy who ever actually looked pretty good in a mullet) tweeting to his Twitter friends "sorry, guys!" (Apparently this is what celebrity parents of world famous children do when those children act like teenagers... publicly apologize to their Twitter friends.) Honestly, if Billy Ray was gonna apologize about something, I would hope it would be for singing Achy Breaky Heart. But then, we don't live in a perfect world.

When ex-Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler heard the horrible news about Miley, he suggested that she call him. Of course, he did it very publicly, on the set of American Idol. Honestly, if I was Miley's dad, I'd be a lot more concerned about her hanging out with Steven Tyler than I would with her taking a couple of bong hits on her eighteenth birthday.

Lest you think I'm totally lax about such things, I'm not. I have three sons who are in their twenties now, and I guarantee you that each of them knew one end of a bong from the other by the time they were eighteen. This is just the world we live in.

I, of course, didn't smoke bongs when I was eighteen. Because.... well, they hadn't invented the bong yet. Or if they had, it hadn't made its way to Colorado. We had to make do with rolling papers, pipes, and the occasional improvised toilet paper roll with punctured tin foil. I suppose that's the current version of the old "I walked three miles to school barefoot in the snow" story that parents feel obligated to tell. Each generation suffers and sacrifices in their own way.

To add to the absurdity of it all, the bong that young Miley was smoking was apparently loaded with salvia, which is a totally legal substance in the state of California. Which is where she was smoking the bong. So she wasn't even breaking a law. Of course, it's so upsetting to see Hannah Montana whoofin' on a bong that there is now a movement to make salvia illegal. Apparently we don't have enough stupid drug laws. So let's make some more.

I don't believe there was salvia available when I was eighteen. If there was, I'm pretty sure I would've smoked some. Lord knows we smoked everything else we could cram in a pipe. Maybe I thought they said saliva, and I just passed on it.

I hope Miley's okay. I really do. And I am worried about her. Because I know how messed up my life has been. I mean, I've been married for twenty seven years and have helped raise three children. My wife and I own a cool old house in a great neighborhood right next to the mountains that we have somehow managed to hang onto and hopefully will be able to hang onto in the future. I have somehow managed to work in a creative field that I really enjoy. I've had numerous great adventures, and hope to have many more, Lord willin' and the crick don't rise. And.... well, you get the picture. My life is in ruins. Run, Miley! Run!

All this false sanctimoniousness (if that's even a word) is far more troubling than the actual act itself. You just wanna say lighten up, people. If she lights up, she lights up. Hannah Montana grows up and becomes an eighteen year old Miley Cyrus tokin' a bong at a party. Life goes on. The world still turns. As Bob Marley said so succinctly, "everything is gonna be all right".

Please excuse me now.

I have to go weep.

Say it ain't so, Miley. Say it ain't so...

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Comment by wiffledust on December 13, 2010 at 3:50pm

to all the parents who say "but she's a hero to young people", i say YOU BE THE HERO to your young people! she is a corporate product. she is NOT your kid's preacher.

Comment by Jodie Ann Christiansen on December 12, 2010 at 2:48pm

 Mr. Vidal,  gotta stop  smirking  and see if I can get little Miley  into a hollywood rehab  facility  ASAP.  I plant slavia   and its' various  colors  are brilliant, like your writing !

Comment by wiffledust on December 12, 2010 at 1:01am

you always make me giggle, david.i've missed reading your writings, and i thank you for posting this. i didn't even know what miley was up to.it's not very disney like. other than that, i remain opinionless. the girl and her activities doesn't move me. nor does a kid doing some experimenting .  but i do enjoy the way you portray the stuff!!!

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