Aug 07, 2020
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Britney’s Bungles

I WAS HOPING THAT someone in Britney Spears’ camp might have sent her a copy of my open-letter article addressed to her last semester.

Alas, with her string of recent erratic kookiness, it would seem as though my words went on unheeded, and her spiral into pop cultural oblivion is a non-stop destination. Unfortunately for her career, nobody else wants to jump on board with her.

Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to give her another chance, which is why her behavior both on – and off – stage the past couple of weeks have cemented her as a lost cause in my overly dismissive eyes.

Her performance at the VMAs two Sundays ago still gives me cooties, and I so desperately wish I hadn’t re-watched the disaster over and over again on YouTube.

It was bad enough witnessing her slither around the first time with hooker boots and spray-on abs. Her dancing and missteps seemed bona fide coma-induced.
Was her sleepy, vacant gaze a product of a Valium trip to the moon and back?

Britney wasn’t attempting a comeback so much as she was trying to be the star of her very own “Valley of the Dolls.”

As of Monday, she was dropped by both her lawyer and her manager, and reports were circulating that Kevin Federline was going to be granted full-custody (temporarily) of both of their children.

Yikes.

Perhaps the easiest change I encouraged her to make in her life was the use of underwear when being photographed getting out of a car, and yet again, the paparazzi have more photos to add to their arsenal of celebrity genitals unleashed.

To her credit, at least she’s consistent.

At this juncture, she’s become a public mockery as well as an unfit parent.

The irony of all of this is that in spite of poor choices followed by increasingly poor choices, she’s still topical.

People are still buying magazines with her on the covers. Pseudo-opinion columnists still feel compelled to write about her mismatched hair weave. We still care more about her costume choices, as opposed to her mental well-being.

She will perpetually be seen as a spectacle, and not as a person.

Her status as a celebrity is never called into question; the same cannot be said about her talent, motives or sanity though. But in a culture that cycles through pretty faces faster than it takes to spot a Hummer in Clovis, Britney has managed to revive the meaning of infamy, and this above all is what I find most fascinating about her career.

Even at her most popular, selling millions of albums and having a full head of hair, she was never a topic of concern.

The public trusted her (or her management team) to make choices for her. Instead, she has subverted the whole notion of what it takes to mature in the industry.

Britney has made an even bigger star of herself by means of her own arrested development.

Sure, people will say she’s setting a bad example. That she’s crazy. That she’s a no-talent hack.

I’m not here to affirm or deny any of it because it’s pretty irrelevant. Britney doesn’t have to care about fans, or responsibility, and that’s what makes it all the more fun to watch.

When you have nothing left to lose, at what point can you turn said loss into a commodity?

The answer, my friends, is when you can live with yourself even though your goodies are on display all over the Internet.

Britney Spears is a shining example of everything that is terribly wrong and thoroughly enjoyable about American culture.

As angry as I want to be for sitting through the three-and-a-half minutes of her crappy performance, I’m filled with a sense of wonder — that this poor girl can continue shocking her audience and mocking herself is more precious than all of the oil in the Middle East.

Andrew Corcostegui is a graduate student at Fresno State getting his master’s degree in literature.

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