Hot damn! Tom
finds a surprisingly astute Salon article
on the Britney phenomenon. A lot of this has been covered before: Britney as sexpot, Britney as victim, Britney as a little girl, Britney as the manipulated manipulator. What this guy seizes on that the other journalists haven't is exactly why it's so captivating.
Check this quote: "Odd as it may sound, whenever " ... Baby" started up -- complete with its sounds of a man's hard inhaling and exhaling, seemingly literally breathing down our teen dreamgirl's neck -- or when the whip-cracking effects on another song, "Crazy," hit, I began having uncomfortable visions. I began, in fact, in some murky part of my mind, to have inescapably awkward and then downright ugly pictures in my head of what was going on in these songs. They sounded, after a while, like sounds emanating from elaborate S&M dens, or from lands of sexual purgatory and destruction -- or, at the very least, from places where everything's so fine and perfect that it's indelibly fucked (both literally and figuratively) up."
Of course, this is exactly why I love Britney. Then again, maybe being a carefree, amoral (highly promiscuous, loud mouthed, "fuck the establishment") teenager, I can't quite understand how Britney offers up "uncomfortable truths". After all, they're truths, aren't they? Just like evil multinational corporations are full of people-with-jobs who go home, have dinner with the kids and get fed their own advertising propaganda and capitalist lies, the media is also jampacked with people who have had their own moral ambiguities and crises, have had their lives and life choices manipulated by popular culture. Why then, does it find it so difficult to come to terms with someone like Britney?
Well, I suppose I don't know these people, or anyone but myself, so I'll simply share with you my own private maxim...
Capitalism, pop, life: corrupted and loving it.