Miley Cyrus

English: Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus on the...

English: Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus on the stage of Hannah Montana Tour Français : Hannah Montana alias Miley Cyrus sur la scéne de la tournée de Hannah Montana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several birthdays ago, Dee received one of those Hanna Montana barbie-like dolls. She was probably at the zenith of her Hanna love. She wore Hanna to school and to bed. She watched Hanna. She wondered “what would Hanna do”.

To be clear, she understood that Hanna was a fictional character and could distinguish her from Miley Cyrus, who she has never shown the slightest interest in. Dee just loved the idea of an “ordinary” girl with a secret identity that just happened to be completely outside the realm of what could possibly be considered normal. And she’s a sucker for slap-stick.

But, as is the fate of most dolls in our house, Hanna was rarely – if ever – played with. After her initial new novelty wore off, she was sentenced to life in the box of forgotten dolls.

Until this last Saturday.

Dee’s new BFF, Pai, was invited to sleep-over. Like most of Dee’s friends, past and present, she is enamoured of the dollhouse that Rob (aka Santa Claus) crafted for her several Christmas’s ago. It is a house of beauty, and it’s massive. Dee and her friends are only just able to see over it and it takes up a good deal of bedroom floor real estate.

In addition to the doll mansion, Dee’s amassed quite the impressive collection of Barbies and paraphernalia. The latter in no small part is thanks to Edie and Mick, who bequeathed her their late 80’s/early 90’s accessories of which many would be completely new and novel to Dee’s friends. Naturally, they all want to play Barbies, and it’s about the only time Dee herself will sit and play with her collection for literally hours on end. Dee is a cardboard box, scissors and Scotch tape kind of kid. Barbies don’t make her top ten list of ways to pass time. Unless her friends want to play.

At some point in the late afternoon, Hanna Montana was discovered and one of them noted that she seemed evil and perhaps even – alive with evil.

Thus came plan A. To catch Evil Hanna in the act of animation. And to this end, Steve Jobs came to the rescue.

Both girls are nearly as welded to their iPods as the average teen’s eyeballs and thumbs are ensnared by their smart phones. Hanna was left on the lower bunk caught in the cross-hairs of two lens with video rolling. If she moved, they would know.

But, both iPods mysteriously stopped filming after 12 seconds.

“There is no way that could have happened,” Dee told me later.

And Hanna, again quite mysteriously but certainly with sinister intent, flipped from her back to her tummy.

“She moved,” Pai said solemnly.

“She did,” was Dee’s saucer eyed concurrence.

Plan B was clearly needed, and this involved “caging” a now trussed up with ribbons Hanna in a mesh pop-up hamper. Surveillance was once again employed, and the girls went about their merry way.

Fast-forward to bed-time and despite the wicked Hanna’s lack of obvious escape attempts, neither girl felt able to sleep in security as long as the malevolent hunk of plastic molded by underpaid Chinese  was in the room.

A defcon level plan C was hatched on the fly and Rob and I, who were showering off the day’s asphalt roofing material, heard the patter and scurry of feet down the basement stairs. Mood killer that it was, I dried off, donned robe and went to assess.

I found the two of them in Dee’s play area and Pai was attempting to tie a cloth belt from an old swimsuit of mine around the play dishwasher while Dee perched on the mini-trampoline, clutching the stuffed bison she picked up in Yellowstone last summer holiday. A thin cloth ribbon tied around her wrist was looped around Pai’s waist.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

They both looked at me as though it should be plainly obvious to all but the most mentally defective.

“We can’t sleep with Hanna in the room,” Dee said. “So we are caging her down here.”

“I see,” I said, “and you are tied together why?”

“Stuffies will protect you from evil,” Dee explained. “So I am holding Bice and Pai is protected as long as she is tied to me.”

Which is what best friends do, selflessly risk corruption by unspeakably evil Mattel products while you have their backs.

“It won’t tie,” Pai piped up.

“Let me help,” I said.

Which is what Moms do, we humor children who have needlessly hyped themselves up to irrational levels of imaginary fear.

After Hanna was secured, I ushered the children back up to Dee’s bedroom and told them I’d check back when I came back up to bed for the night.

By this time, Rob was out of the shower and upstairs and I updated him of the latest in Hanna control to which he rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“At least we have proof that they actually have imaginations,” he sighed as if that were the only lemonade that could be squeezed out of this mushroom cloud of escalating terror.

Before bed, I peeked in Dee’s room again to find both girls in the top bunk, ringed in by every stuffie Dee owned.

And, of course, I had to ask.

“Stuffies can be used as a force field,” Dee said.

“This way,” Pai continued, “if Hanna gets loose, she can’t get to us.”

“Good thinking. But if Hanna gets loose, tomorrow we are going to have Dad chop her up with the hatchet and burn her in the fire pit,” and with that I wished them pleasant non-Hanna dreams and went to bed.

I was reading when Rob slipped into the room, closing the door behind him and grinning like an evil Hanna Montana doll.

“What’s funny?” I asked.

“You should have seen the looks on their faces when I asked them why Hanna Montana was sitting in the hallway.”

“Way to give them nightmares, Baby,” I told him. “I told them if the doll got loose in the night, you’d chop it up tomorrow.”

“What did they say to that?”

“Pai asked if she could chop the head off.”

The next morning found Hanna still secure and the girls decided that more permanent measures for her ultimate containment were in order. Armed with stuffies, they retrieved evil incarnate from the dishwasher and with only YouTube vids as their guide, they constructed a cage out of old pizza boxes and a drink carrier from A&W. An hour and a half, water-colours, and tape later, the Hanna was neutralized for good.

“We taped her arms and legs together and then taped her to the bottom of the cage,” Dee said. “She narrowed her eyes at us, but she can’t get out.”

Last night, Dee slept soundly, even though Hanna-bot was under the bed.

“I have Bice and as long as he is touching me I have a thin force field around me for protection.”

And so, once again, the power of little girls, stuffies and arts/crafts has vanquished the sinister forces of the world. Rest easy.

All sixteen years of it, begging to be immortalized in black on a white pages.

I shouldn’t poke fun except at the lunacy behind the notion that a 16-year-old teen idol with a combover has anything to add to life’s discourse that he couldn’t just croon to little girls who will outgrow his feminine-tinged attractiveness soon enough.

Dee expressed mild interest in Justin “Beaver” recently. Her best friend, Tina, let her listen to the collection of Bieber tunes on her iPod.

“The other kids on the bus make fun of her and say that Beaver sucks,” Dee commented.

We were watching a clip of the boy on You Tube. He is very young and not the least bit masculine in the way of most teen idols. I remember a distinct preference for slightly girly boys myself when I was young – longish hair, trendy dress, no facial or chest hair. My, how I have grown up.

“Well,” I said, “what do you think?”

“I think his music is okay,” she said.  She did not comment on the boy himself. This past year she has abandoned her chatter about boyfriends and husbands and even babies.  She is “just friends” with boys because she is “too young to date” and anyway “I am never getting married or having babies.  I will have a dog instead. Only after you are gone, Mom, because of your allergies.”

I didn’t query about where I might be going.

“You don’t have to like the music that other kids like,” I said. “If you like his music, then don’t worry about what other kids think.”

“Oh, ” she said, “I don’t. That’s just what kids tell Tina. That Justin Beaver sucks.”

Dee begged for Miley Cyrus‘s autobiography, which interestingly was written when she was sixteen as well. A milestone year for the too famous/too early crowd. I don’t think she’ll be asking Santa for the Life of Bieber for Christmas though.

Miley Cyrus is a 15 year old singer and actress who is making Uncle Walt and Mickey some of the easiest money since they began pimping the Disney Princesses for all they are worth. She is the star of a hit tweeny-bopper show on the Disney Channel, that coincidentally co-stars her Achy Breaky Dad, Billy Ray, as – surprise – her dad. Her fans cover the gamut of girls from preschool to high school and her recent tour sold out in something like a nano-second, I’ve read. Last week I was not surprised to hear that the reigning nice girl pop princess was offered a seven figure advance to write (herself probably – the kid is just that talented) an autobiography of her life. At fifteen. Sounds plausible to me. You? Okay, I think it might read something like this:

I was born to a one-ish hit wonder country star known for his mullet and tight jeans. By the time he’d played that song for all the money he could wring from it and his acting career on the WB panned out, I was finally old enough and miraculously blessed with a bit of talent myself (and most importantly wasn’t fat or facially challenged) to be pimped groomed for a career in the business.

or something like that.

Today my husband tells me that the acrid taste of presidential politics, with all it’s racial and gender slurring fun, has been displaced by a scandal involving the next Britney Spears tweener cross over to female singer/actor/writing star – our own sweet, innocent Miley. It happens. Annie Leibowitz is a camera toting siren that has led many a celebrity into the twisted world of art cleverly disguised as slutty photos to help prevent the middle class from infiltrating the the ranks of the nouveau hipsters. She’s just a kid despite her talent and fame and money and stage parents and predictable future as a deeply troubled and in need of many, many years of therapy. It happens to a lot of very young celebrities only a generation or two out of the trailer park.

And the pictures? Run of the mill pseudo-suggestive. The kind any parent could order up at the JCPenney Photo Studio. I have seen the ad:

Bring the kid and too old for them attire and we point, click and photoshop. Pictures with inappropriately dressed father (or mom/son) are entirely optional. REALLY. No pressure from us at all.

Miley Cyrus is probably a nice kid. Her folks are probably good parents. The photos are, inappropriate, but not much more so than the senior photos I saw during my last two years as a high school teacher. The big question is why? When so many teen stars implode at ever younger ages, why would you take the chance with your daughter? She’s fifteen. There is time for the adult career when she is an adult and if she is truly talented, she will make it. Why push? Why risk her reputation and yours as a good parent?