Sufjan Stevens’ Open Letter to Miley Cyrus Needs to Be the Last Open Letter to Miley CyrusBy: Josh Wolford - October 14, 2013
Miley Cyrus is probably tired of getting open letters. Actually, I know she is. I’m tired of people writing open letters to Miley Cyrus too. I’m sure you’re tired of Miley Cyrus, open letters, open letters to Miley Cyrus, and probably letters in general. If I could give up letters altogether and simply speak this to you, I would. Trust me.
So this should be the last one. Let’s end the open letter-writing season on a high note.
Singer-songwriter and Andrew Jackson entreater Sufjan Stevens has written the only open letter to Miley Cyrus that matters. Unlike others, Stevens doesn’t go after her for her recent choices – the twerking and such. Not at all, in fact (great song, great message, great body, he says). No, Sufjan has a bigger bone to pick with Miley. And it’s grammatical.
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
Laying/Lying is a tricky one, I’ll give her that. But he’s right. YOU’VE BEEN LAYING WHAT, MILEY?
Now, can we all stop this open letter bullshit?