Lately, Sinead O’Connor, the most controversial pop star of 1993, has been writing a ton of open letters to Miley Cyrus, the most controversial pop star of 2013, mostly conveying sentiments like this: “You will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped.” It’s been a whole thing. Cyrus has been somewhat dismissive in her replies, O’Connor has threatened lawsuits against Cyrus, and the whole thing became squalid almost from the moment it started. And now another upright, highly-regarded musical figure has joined the fray. Sufjan Stevens has written an open letter to Miley Cyrus. Deep breath. Here we go.
Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan
(via Sufjan’s Tumblr)
Oh. Uh. Well. That wasn’t so bad. Let’s all live brightly before our fires fade into total darkness for the rest of the day.