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Miley Cyrus does an Occupy Wall Street video. Don’t mock her, thank her.

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Gustavo Miguel Fernandes /
Teen pop star and actress Miley Cyrus has done a video supporting Occupy Wall Street (below).  While some of my friends and colleagues have privately proclaimed this "the end" of OWS, I think it's a new beginning, and in fact quite a big deal.  I just watched this video.  It freaking rocks.

Never, never, never underestimate the positive (and the negative) impact of culture on politics.  The far right has always understood that culture wars matter. It's why they reiterate the same lies over and over for years and years.  They're not just trying to change legislation directly/immediately, they're trying to change the way people think so that their legislative goals become simply inevitable.  And just because the right does it in a bad way, through deception, doesn't mean that we can't use cultural change for good.  And we do.  At least some of us do.  I've always believed in trying to change the culture at large, and I think on gay rights issues we have. If anything, American culture has far surpassed Washington, DC legislation.

You can mock Miley Cyrus, but it's like mocking the National Enquirer (bear with me).  Mock them for their substance if you want, but they reach millions of eyeballs.  They matter.  Just like late night comedians matter (many surveys show a significant number of people get their "news" from late night comics, and even mores in the age of Stewart and Colbert).  And if we have them on our side, there's a chance we can get their eyeballs on our side.  And that is always a good thing.

Millions of kids worldwide are either being introduced to, or positively reinforced about, the Occupy Wall Street movement by this video, and more generally, about organizing for positive social change.  That's never a bad thing.  What Miley Cyrus did here is good for OWS, and good for progressive politics more generally.  She's always been a good ally on other issues we care about, and this is no exception.

Don't mock her, thank her.

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