The MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) just took place this past Sunday, and all anyone can talk about is Miley Cyrus and her #twerking. This got me thinking about what her lack of respect for music can teach us about today’s youth and their lack of care for the automobile.

Miley Cyrus is a household name, whether to disgusted adults who remember her as Hannah Montana, or to horny teens who see her as a role model for how their parents just don’t get it. Either way, she’s become an icon to a group of people in this world who can’t even control the complexion of their face, much less understand why her brand of, well, whatever, isn’t really music nor talent.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), a motor vehicle is the cause of 35% of all teen deaths. That’s compared to 16% for homicide, 12% for suicide, and 37% for “everything else”.

So pretty much any time a teenager gets behind the wheel of a car they’re more likely to get injured than if they were to walk in front of traffic, it seems. Yes, kids are idiots these days. There’s no need to sugar coat, because we all know the truth. Everyone wants to say how smart and great their child is, but most likely your kid’s a statistic in some way or another. I can say that my 17-year-old niece and 16-year-old nephew aren’t great drivers. They’re good, and getting better, but they take it very seriously. They’re smart about it, but they still have plenty of room to grow. And yes, they’ll probably get into an accident; I pray that no one gets hurt.

Sadly all of this is due to a lack of respect for the automobile. Just like Miley Cyrus and her brand of “music” and “dancing”, teens and 20-somethings don’t care about their cars anymore. It’s about finally getting away from your parents and doing what you want. That’s Miley’s issue. She grew up a Christian Disney star. That’s just asking for whoredom right there, in my opinion. You can only be the good child for so long, before one day you snap and want to try and make your mark on the world. Hell, even Billy Ray Cyrus was afraid to say anything real in his tweet after the performance:

“Thanking God for so many blessings tonight. Continue to pray for world peace. More love …less hate”

I’m not sure whether he’s making his case on the growing tensions with Russia, or in Syria? To me, it sounds like a man who’s afraid to say anything to his daughter, because at this point, she probably pays his bills. Keep on milkin’ that cash cow of a daughter, Mr. Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus isn’t cool, guys. I’m sorry, but she isn’t. She doesn’t stand for a rebellious nature or freedom of speech. Instead she stands for dollar signs. She’s using your stupidity to make her millions. You think she cares about all the negative publicity she’s getting? No! Because for every negative comment from an adult, that’s $1.29+ spent on said adult’s credit card from their son or daughter’s iPhone or iPod.

The automobile used to stand for being a rebel and free. I remember the days when a V8 was what every teenager wanted under their hood. It didn’t even matter if it had 190 horsepower. No, it was a V8, baby. I remember a friend arguing with me in high school that an SL 600 Mercedes-Benz was faster than a C5 Corvette Z06 because the Benz had 12 cylinders to the ‘Vette’s 8. It didn’t matter to him that the SL weighed 5,000 lbs or so, and the Z06 only weighed about 3,100…

This is all part of my point. Cars are a freedom of your speech. You put loud exhaust, performance modifications, paint jobs, wings, whatever, on the car to make it yours. That’s not to say you have any taste. It just means you’re expressing who you are. Your car makes you a rebel without a cause. I don’t know where I’m going, but it doesn’t matter, because I’ve got a radio with my music, and the windows down to feel the speeding air rush through my hair and face.

We used to have respect and love for something that was engineered and created. A tangible object that gave us a means to finding our destiny. These days it’s an awards show from a network that doesn’t play music videos for longer than 30-seconds. My how the mighty hath fallen.

It used to be parents preaching about the dangers of Rock & Roll. That Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley’s hips! Those damn Beatles thinking they’re more popular than Jesus! But it was also those crazy nuts in their 454 Chevys, and their 302 Fords.

Now it’s those dumb teenagers in an old Toyota Camry with a convoluted iPod adapter. There are 14 of them per crappy car screaming to the same song, not paying attention to the road, while they shake their heads and bodies all over the place.

When I got my license I felt so thrilled to be able to take my 1996 BMW 328iS over to my girlfriend’s house and drive around with her alone. Just us, cruising and listening to music. But unfortunately the percentage of teens actually getting their licenses is dropping faster than our national debt can rise. Now that’s a bombshell.

We can help fix this, though. Let’s teach our society to drive better; encourage kids to drive manual transmission cars, for God’s sake. Safer driving will lower the cost of insurance so it’s not a nightmare for parents to help their kids get a car and insured.

[Source: NHTSA, AAA via The Washington Post]