Sunday, November 02, 2003

The Whore of Britneylon

An appropriately demonic Media Gadfly column for Halloween.
Burn, Britney, Burn

Britney Spears is going to hell.

But she didn’t get her reservations in Perdition for D-grade musical stylings, her vapid personality or her contamination of American young women with her whorish fashion sense.

I wouldn’t have ever expected I would write a column about the most needlessly overexposed media muffin surging through airwaves today. But several hangovers ago, I spent the morning parked on the couch watching a VH1 special on “South Park” that segued into another special called “The Fabulous Life of Britney Spears.” Normally, I avoid anything with the words “Britney Spears” or “fabulous” in the title. Too beat from the previous night to reach for the remote or leave the room, I reluctantly watched the documentary of Spears’ superstar extravagance.

If any celebrity deserved to spend her afterlife writhing in the bowels of hell, her ass stuffed to its hair-lined rim with burning-hot coals, it’s Spears. She is the epitome of the evil celebrity, a phony American princess with a plastic crown and a kingdom of excess and hedonism.

Spears, one of the wealthiest 21-year-olds on the planet, has what VH1 refers to as “a seemingly unending cash flow.” This money, according to the creators of the “Fabulous Life of…” series, purchases designer dresses, animal skin purses and underwear made from tulle. Spears stops at no expense to pamper herself. Like some James Bond supervillain, she even pays several yeti-sized thugs to flank her every move and protect her from the rabid fan base she has built.

The most disgusting of Spears’ indulgences involves her use of a private jet, the fuel for which costs $5,000. Major celebrities often need their own jets to skip around the globe and make all their necessary appearances. Spears, however, uses her jet for runs to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a West Coast-only franchise that apparently makes magic coffee that keeps Spears’ boobs from rotting.

We’ve got a Coffee Bean on State Street. The thought of Spears wasting thousands of dollars to bring coffee from our area back to her home in Cousinfucker, La. makes me angry. The money that pays for the jet fuel for one coffee run could easily turn another year of destitution for some poor family somewhere in the world into a chance at a better life.

Yet Spears continues to live like royalty. One must assume she either has selfishly nixed any thoughts of using her considerable financial resources to help others, or is simply too bubbleheaded to consider the idea. The bulk of the charity work Spears has done is limited to an admittedly admirable $1 million donation in 2001 to orphans of the 9/11 attacks and the Britney Spears Camp for the Performing Arts, a summer program that offers “deserving youth” a chance at cracking into the glitter-dipped show business that made Spears famous. This isn’t enough.

Celebrities with faces as recognizable and pockets as deep as Britney’s have an obligation to the world that made them famous. Their pull could make changes that average Joes like me never could. For example, Pamela Anderson, arguably Spears’ equal in terms of fame and singing talent, has spearheaded a boycott of Kentucky Fried Chicken because she feels their treatment of chickens in inhumane. Anderson even used her famous body in advertisements, posing in a lettuce leaf bikini for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Sure, it’d be great if Anderson helped out people as well as chickens, but she uses her celebrity effectively nonetheless.

Celebrities as indulgently hell bound as Spears - and yes, there are others - should mend their ways, or else they’ll have a lot to answer for, both when they meet the disadvantaged fans they could have somehow helped and in the moment of soulful introspection when they realize they could have made the world a better place, but instead bought a $5,000 soy macchiato.

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