A Letter To Miley Cyrus (With Love From The Mentally Ill)
(read out via megaphone outside her L.A home because she was too scared to open the door to us. I sort of knew she wouldn’t read our letter if we just posted it. Or if she did read it, she’d just tweet mean things about our illnesses and refuse to engage with the issues raised. *)
Wow. A busy time for the mailman, eh?
So I know you’re wondering what a big crowd of good looking and eccentrically dressed people are doing standing outside your L.A home. Don’t worry – we just want to talk to you for a minute – your recent tweets have upset us somewhat and we want to get our view across.
I know you’re in there – I can see you through the letter box. ( I can see too much of you, in fact.)
You’re not frightened of us are you? Don’t be silly – we’re as nice as pie! We’re only tearing up pictures of you because we’re really bored.
As someone who’s been sectioned more times than I’d like to share and has survived all sorts of wackjobiness – I try to imagine what show-business would have been like for me at my most mentally fragile. The amount of wrong turns I would have made! Perhaps I would have got my cock out at the Brits or masturbated an emu during the opening credits of my rockumentary or proclaimed myself as Lord of the Bees during a guitar solo. To put it simply – the music business is a tawdry shit-machine, and to be mentally unwell and yet still survive it is a miracle that should be respected and revered.
Sinead O Connor, despite being bipolar and a woman, survived the music industry and also managed to:
- maintain her creative integrity
- make a stance against the things she opposed
- retain her sexuality without descending into tawdry pornographic nonsense with no context
- make one of the most iconic music videos of all time despite having a shaved head, no makeup and wearing a trenchcoat.
You see Miley, Sinead O’Connor is a fucking star – so when Sinead O’Connor writes you a heartfelt letter about the music industry, you respect it. If you agree with her sentiments, that’s grand, if you don’t – maybe write your own letter, explaining that you’re mature enough not to be exploited, but thanks awfully for the concern. Start a dialogue, have opinions, stick up for yourself, or simply ignore Sinead’s letter and get on with your life. All of these things would have been perfectly valid responses.
But whatever you do – don’t take to Twitter to rip the piss out of Sinead O’Connor’s bipolar disorder or Amanda Byne’s psychosis. Seriously, Miley. You’re going to piss a lot of lunatics off if you do a thing like that, and us lunatics are brilliant at writing letters. (We’re also quite good at shouting over megaphones – but you probably know that by now.)
I know you’re young, but you must understand something. One in four people are mentally ill. In your entourage of dancers and hangers-on, there are probably a handful of people just waiting to fall apart. A huge percentage of your Twitter followers will be battling some form of mental health issue or will know and love someone who’s been in the throes. Perhaps they’ll feel a little crushed that their idol thinks so little of them, and mocks their illness in the most publicly spiteful way? If Sinead O’Connor had been a cancer sufferer – would you have gone down the same route? Because, as my psychiatrist pointed out to me a long time ago, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are cancers of the mind. They warp and maim and cheat and kill. And they can happen to you. You’re only twenty, right? So there’s still plenty of time for a psychotic break to drag you to a hell where you don’t know what’s real or what isn’t, there’s oodles of time for depression to strip you of everything you hold dear; your sex drive exchanged for death drive, every atom of you an oblivion-seeking missile with no-where to go but down. You’re not immune. No one is.
To drag up old tweets that Sinead O’Connor posted when she was suicidal and helpless is the most selfishly cruel thing I’ve seen in a long while. What did you hope to achieve with this? Did you think reminding us of her illness would somehow make her opinions null and void? As a sufferer myself, I know how it feels to have people ignore my voice, misconstrue my actions and downgrade me as a human being because of a brain chemistry issue that I have zero control over. And it doesn’t matter how stable a sufferer is right now, there will always be someone willing to remind them of that dumb thing they did five years ago, or the time they said something (or even wore something) bizarre. And that’s who you’ve become Miley – a person who hits a vulnerable person right where it fucking hurts, just because you can. A person who makes light of killer diseases.
Two weeks ago I thought that you were simply a hammer snogging idiot who liked to bore us all with pornography-lite, and I even toyed with the idea that you were mature enough to handle the business you’re in. But you’ve sort of shat all over that now, proving yourself to be far from a mature young woman – you’re an ignorant child who doesn’t understand rather simple concepts like decency, compassion or empathy.
So maybe keep that tongue in your mouth for a bit eh? In more ways than one.
A. Mareship and his Band of Mentally Ill Brethren
( please open the door, it’s hot and we’re thirsty and you sort of owe us.)
* not literally read out via megaphone outside Miley’s house. Pure imagination.