If Miley Cyrus' Bangerz is just giving America an overdose of what we want, surely "what we want" is being measured in clicks and shares rather than any more, um, holistic expression of human desire. Nowhere, then, is the pop singer's relentless reign more apparent than when it goes viral, whether twerking at the MTV Video Music Awards, sending up the government shutdown on Saturday Night Live, or bizarrely beefing with Sinead O'Connor. To mark an appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Cyrus came up with a viral video that may represent the culmination of all Internet activity. The virus has gone terminal. Shut it down, everyone.
See, host Jimmy Fallon and the Roots have already mastered one trick for breathing new Web traffic into songs that are already everywhere: Just add children's instruments. They did that for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," and it was pretty cute. They did it again for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," and it may go down in history as the song's peak, complete with a verse from the Roots' Black Thought. They couldn't just do the same thing again for Miley. This is Miley. So they arranged their faces in a square grid and sang "We Can't Stop" a cappella. No twerking, only a bit of a tongue, and a cappella, well, that's something everybody understands. Questlove, in particular, hams it up with some charming faces. Cubicles and dorms across the land will be buzzing with this, and Cyrus will maintain her steely grip on the charts.
Cyrus also performed "Wrecking Ball" on Fallon, sat down for an interview, and debated both arms and tattoos with her host. Those clips were less contagious. Catch them below at your own risk. She did refer to herself in a joking way as "bipolar," which is unlikely to endear her to O'Connor, who has written another epic open letter — this time asking Cyrus to apologize for her comments about mental health. Do it, Rockapella.