I agree with you, and you put it very well, much better than I could have. And we can't help watching her - it's like rubbernecking at a car accident. We know we shouldn't watch, but we can't make ourselves *not* watch.
I feel sorry for her. Like Judy Garland, like Michael Jackson, she never had a childhood. She doesn't know what "normal" life is like.
I think people buy the album because it's the Lie. Scandalous lifestyles and trainwreck behavior always sell better than sobriety and forbearance.
She does all the things we dare not do on our behalf.
I'm not angry; I simply do not care about Britney. It's gotten SO bad, that if she's on the news, I'll change the channel. I have a LOT better things to do with my time than worry about someone who clearly cares so little for herself.
That being said, this is an interesting comment: "We'll buy it because the brand is so powerful but at the same time our consciousness of the disjunction between image and reality breeds rage."
We probably get fed less Britney than you do. We have our own celebs to chew over. Amy Winehouse for example, Pete Docherty and Kate Moss (all reasonably talented people). And lots and lots of reality TV "stars" and soap "stars" who- for very good reasons- you'll never have heard of.
our consciousness of the disjunction between image and reality breeds rage
I'm not sure why you're letting this get to you. I don't fee any rage about her at all. Then again, I know virtually nothing about Britney. I don't read the tabloid press and I don't buy her records therefore she really doesn't impinge on my life at all.
I find it interesting. It's something that's going on in our society and I want to try and understand it.
I want to try and understand it
Ah, now there's a job and a half. :)
I think I've given up trying to do that.
It keeps me off the streets. :)
Sorry, fresh out of outrage on this one. The story, insomuch as it involves the wreck and ruin of a nominally adult human being and at least two innocents, is tragic, obviously. She was shamelessly exploited by Disney, the music industry, the press, and the more tragic the story becomes, the more incentive they all have - Britney included - to mine what little profit remains. Sure it's outrageous, but it tells me nothing about our voyeuristic culture I hadn't already known.
We're supposed to marvel that Disney's other animatronic creations are merely latex and clever engineering, yet why should we be so shocked that Britney was just so much teenage flesh and raw ambition? I don't doubt that there are scores of other exotic dancers out there that can and do perform as well or better as Ms Spears and have done so throughout their careers with far more class and poise. The difference is that their expressions of l'art érotique never enjoyed society's seal of approval, let alone Disney's.
We create these monsters- Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Britney- and then we destroy them. There's a mythic dimension to the story.
And as I was writing this I suddenly had a vision of Boris Karloff running for the old mill with a baying mob at his heels.
We create these monsters- Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Britney- and then we destroy them.
I don't know that I believe that.
She was a factory effort, tightly controlled by a team of wranglers who wrote her music, taught her how to gyrate for the masses and gasp provocatively, and I think even she bought into the idea that she was an artist.
But then adulthood hits, and the team reluctantly pulls back because adulthood means responsibility, and now the package is falling apart because she was never an artist in control of the final product--she simply was the final product.
Interesting article recently suggested that Britney was marketed from the very start not as talented but as sexual; she was a teen tease, not a singer. A couple of kids, a few too many nights partying, and she's still trying to sell us the same story but it no longer fits, so she's just a bit of a nostalgic spectacle now.
For someone once proclaimed Madonna's heir (yay qos!), she is remarkably inept at reinventing herself.
Yeah, she's talentless- or pretty much so- and that makes it even sadder. Because she has no resources to fall back on. The media pursuit of her is like a blood sport.
Madonna was always in control. She's a monster too, but a divine monster- largely self-created- and capable of trading punch for punch.
It sounds sad - but I've no idea who she is or what has happened to her
You're not missing anything of value. :)
2007-10-07 03:44 pm (UTC)
I want you to know, my friend, that you're one of the few people who could get me to discuss Britney at all.
Personally, I think that the continual Britney fascination has its roots in our society's ongoing dysfunction about how we perceive and judge and market female sexuality. If I remember, part of the original Britney sensation (and I have not paid much attention over the years) is that she was this pretty young teenager who (like many before her) had been packaged as being more sexually mature -- and avalable for fantasy -- than she was or should have been. Her early repeated statements of "I'm still a virgin!" only added to the focus on her sexuality rather than what talent she did or did not have.
When she was no longer to make that claim, it was news. When Madonna -- the mistress of sexual presentation (but a lot more in control of herself and her career than Britney) -- named her an heir apparent, it was news. It's always been about sex.
Now she's married and has kids and she's news because the Pure(?) Young Sweetheart who was groomed, packaged, manipulated, sold, bought, and put on display has no maturity or coping skills --- and is gasp! A Bad Mother.
And of course there is no greater crime for a woman than to be A Bad Mother.
The fact that the life she's lived to this point hasn't prepared her for that kind of responsibility, and that those who are riveted to her tragedy were part of the machine that's consumed her, perhaps only adds to the interest for some. They got to consume her and now they can act superior and point fingers at her and shake their heads and reinforce how good and responsible they are. Britney had everything but she's a mess and A Bad Mother. We're so superior to her.
I think I read somewhere that she entered show-biz at the age of 3. She has one of those howlingly ambitious, show-biz mothers.
She never had the chance of a "normal" childhood.
I agree with all you say. She was used, exploited, hung out to dry. There are people in her past who should probably be arraigned for child abuse- only of course it doesn't work like that.
I love what Britney represents: both innocent schoolgirl, earthmother, and drug-addicted sexual hedonist, both postmodern cultural icon and confused, deluded child. The late 90s was the best of all possible worlds.
Finally, someone prepared to speak up for the poor, wee mite. It makes a lovely change.