Folks of my generation (officially known as Old Fogeys) can recall the uproar Elvis ignited when he came out on stage and started gyrating his pelvis.
My Aunt Maude said it was the worst public display of a pelvis she'd ever seen.
I thought about Aunt Maude the other night when I saw some video clips of Miley Cyrus' antics during a recent concert. Elvis' pelvis was nothing, compared to Miley's booty-grinding.
It's called twerking. A story that accompanied the video explained that Miley's fans have come to expect a good bit of it during her performances.
I looked up "twerking" and found several slightly-varying definitions, but a general consensus: "A bent-over, suggestive shaking of the buttocks."
Miley was definitely bent over, and was, without question, shaking her buttocks. I suppose it was suggestive, although I guess twerking is in the eye of the beholder.
Most of us have been twerked by a plumber when he bent over to work on a leaky drain trap. We just never knew what to call it.
A newspaper review of Miley's concert said she warmed up the crowd by shouting, "I wanna hear some (expletive) noise!"
Right then Aunt Maude would have stormed on stage and washed Miss Miley's mouth out with soap.
The concert featured, and I quote, "a three-story inflatable dog with glowing eyes" and a "flying hot dog that Cyrus rode like a bucking bronco."
Who said the arts are dead?
Miley eventually climbed off her flying wiener and wrapped up the show with a public-service announcement to the throng of squealing teeny-boppers:
"School starts back tomorrow, so don't get too drunk tonight."
Whatever happened to "Study hard and obey your mom and dad?"
After every Miley Cyrus concert there is some parent who claims to be "shocked and alarmed" by what their kid saw. I'm surprised that they're surprised. Surely by now Miley's reputation precedes her.
Anybody who buys a ticket to a Miley Cyrus concert knows they aren't going to get Mel Torme singing "Moon River." Instead, they're going to get mooned.
One of Miss Cyrus' more popular music videos shows her naked, astraddle a giant wrecking ball, licking a sledge hammer. Thank goodness Kate Smith never thought of that.
The thing that makes Miley's raunchy stage antics especially shocking is that she got her show biz start as the innocent, fresh-faced Hannah Montana.
The transformation is stunning. It's like bringing home a cute little tail-wagging puppy and suddenly she turns into Cujo. And she's wagging her tail in an entirely different way.
I suppose it's just a goofy phase, and Miley will eventually grow out of it -- although we're still saying the same thing about Willie Nelson, Madonna and Joe Biden.
It will be interesting to see how Miley deals with her own kids and grandkids when the time comes for her to lay down the law for proper behavior. What's a formerly-twerking granny to say? "Hey! Put on some clothes and get off that wrecking ball right this minute!"