Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend at Britney's

I'm a big music fan, and when it comes to music consumption I'm a bit of an omnivore.  I refuse to pigeon-hole myself into any one musical genre; if I like it, I like it.  My iPod is a hodge-podge of randomness, containing tunes from every kind of artist imaginable, from speed metal to show tunes.  It's no secret that I like a lot of the terrible pop music that dominates our air waves, because fuck it -- if it's got a good beat and I can dance to it, I'm in.  I make no apologies, and I listen to enough "cool" music to appease my inner hipster and my outer critics.

Whatever that means.

At any rate, I am going on record for something today that might alienate some of my readers, but I hope not.  I'm going to admit that I not-so-secretly like Britney Spears.

I know, I know.  You don't even have to say it.  I know.

She's not a great singer (snort!) or anything like that, but I dig those manufactured club songs and her autotuned-within-an-inch-of-her-life baby voice. I credit many of her hit songs for helping me lose weight many a time by giving me something to listen to at the gym that makes me want to shake it like a Polaroid picture.  Hell, I've even been known to throw out a Brit-Brit quote while drunkenly expostulating from time to time, because say what you will, there ARE only two types of people in the world: ones that entertain, and ones that observe.

Guess which kind I am?

So I'm glad that Britney is making another comeback again, and I like both of the new songs that she has released even though I'm well-aware that they are technically absolutely terrible.  The only thing that bothers me is that Britney herself looks like she's drugged within an inch of her life as she does the heavily-controlled PR for her new album.  In fact, she's so out of it that it made me wonder, when does it become sad?

I read this great article recently that details the exact moment when Britney stopped being a pop star and started being a trained monkey controlled by "her people."  As that writer says, Britney has become much like the titular character in Weekend At Bernie's -- her people control what she says, to whom she says it, and largely, how it is interpreted.  She is carted around like a drugged-up marionette and forced to perform.  She really is a "Slave" for us.
"Even when you go to jail, y'know, there's the time when you're gonna get out. But in this situation, it's never ending," Spears said in 2008 as she prepared for the release of "Circus," her first album under the strict conservatorship that grants her father legal control over nearly all of her personal and professional affairs.

-- Caryn Ganz in Amplifier
I have no doubt in my mind that if Britney were given her 'druthers, she'd be living a quiet life off the charts somewhere, but she clearly has no real say in the matter.  She's been a media creation since she was 10 years old, and aside from a brief period when she very publicly went off the deep end, she has always been under the control of someone else, never free to live her own life or make her own decisions.

If we need further proof that Britney's heart is just not in her career anymore, check out this video comparing Britney dancing in 1999 to Britney dancing in 2011.  Sure, we're all older now than we were 10+ years ago, but this seems like more than slowing down thanks to hitting the ripe "old" age of 30-something, doesn't it?  She's going through the motions, but you can tell that she just doesn't give a shit anymore.

It's all very sad, when you think about it.  I can't get on board with limiting another person's free will, even if that person is wealthy and privileged beyond most of our comprehension.  What good is having millions in the bank if you're forced to do something that you have grown to hate, something that thrusts you into the limelight and makes you a target for people like me who want to pick on your ugly weave, your cellulite, and your horrendous life choices?

I'm starting to feel like listening to Britney Spears is a little bit like eating veal; it may be delicious, but morally it gives you pause because you know in your heart that it's wrong. Someone suffered for your enjoyment... but then I see pics of her vacationing in exotic places and I think maybe she's okay with being exploited, so why should I care?  I just don't know.

What do you think?


Frank Irwin said...

Good post, Bev!

In the video, not only did her dancing change, but the "then" music had so much more energy than the "now"music.

Frank Irwin said...

Oh...Does "titular" mean that she has spectacular tits? Because, if so, she's assular, too.

PorkStar said...

Wow you have some speed metal on your ipod? We should trade tunes Bevers!.

I've never been into this chic. I don't like her music, her videos, her voice, her dances, etc etc. She has great appeal, but to me she's a toned down version of Charlie Sheen.

But her ass is so nice, though.

Bev said...

Thanks, Frank! I think you're right... they probably made the music slower to accommodate her new "slow-mo" dancing style. ;)

And yes, her bum is quite fun. Or, was? Still is, I think!

Porky - She's not for everyone, so I understand. At least we can all agree that she has nice assets.

onebadmamajama said...

I do kinda feel sorry for her. I think she's probably so doped up she barely knows what planet she's on, much less able to remember complex dance moves. I can so see her turning into another Anna Nicole Smith.

As for the video..that's sad. I would guess that she isn't physically able to dance like she did in 1999. I doubt that she is in top form these days.

rosi said...

Nice article, Bev. Lots of people have little sympathy for her, but she made her choices (or had them made for her)so young that you have to feel for her. I'd hate to not have privacy. Lots of her former music was infectious; I'm still waiting for something new to grab me, though Ellie is already on board, of course.

Anonymous said...

I've always respected Brittany because she's a mother with uber stress and stress relief delivered at her door. There but for the grace of God. . .
(P.S. Bev should write for Rolling Stone!)

Samsmama said...

I think that veal is absolutely delicious and I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt eating it, or any other animal. Wait, what are we commenting on?

Bev said...

OBMJ - YES - the Anna Nicole comparison is a great one. She was another sad case.

Rosi - you, Ellie, and I need to have a dance party. Srsly. :D

Anon - Awww. That's very sweet. As soon as I stop laughing, I'll have your payment delivered. ;)

Samsmama - Yeah, I feel guilty about lots of things that I do regularly, so... yeah.

Elliott said...

I will admit to liking old (ahem - young) Britney, but I got a good chuckle at 1:05 - reminded me of this:

And yes, I know, I'm not embedding the code into a clicky. Call me lazy.

Cary said...

Can't stand her. Or her "music."