Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Highly esteemed sociological researcher and cultural anthropologist Rush Limbaugh has weighed in on Miley Cyrus’ bizarre MTV VMA performance, calling it “pure, unadulterated rot.”
Referring to her former life as Disney character Hannah Montana, Limbaugh — a man who thinks Sandra Fluke should make sex tapes — said that “it was just this side of on-stage pornography.”
Indeed, Cyrus aimed to shock the audience, and, with aid of a foam finger, a twerking routine and lots of flashing tongue, she overwhelmingly succeeded. But as usual, Limbaugh misses the point with the backlash against Cyrus: that her “Minstrel Show,” as Jody Rosen explains in Vulture, was couched in racism:
Cyrus’s twerk act gives minstrelsy a postmodern careerist spin. Cyrus is annexing working-class black “ratchet” culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies, to the cause of her reinvention: her transformation from squeaky-clean Disney-pop poster girl to grown-up hipster-provocateur. (Want to wipe away the sickly-sweet scent of the Magic Kingdom? Go slumming in a black strip club.) Cyrus may indeed feel a cosmic connection to Lil’ Kim and the music of “the hood.” But the reason that these affinities are coming out now, at the VMAs and elsewhere, is because it’s good for business.
Cyrus has every right to release herself from the virginal imagery associated with her “previous life,” so to speak. But a very backward attempt to imitate Lil Kim is probably not the best way to do it.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.