Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Defending the Great and Powerful Spears

I currently have the Britney Spears hit "Baby One More Time" stuck in my head. It's a really good song. It's a really great song actually.

The rhythm is tailor-made for slow snaky swivelly hip moves - not that epileptic attack that attention depraved Shakira tries to cram down the throat of our eyes every time she's on camera ("Hey! Hey guys! Look at me! I'm shaking my hips! LOOK AT ME! I HAVE HIPS!").

Oh I hear you..."What about Britney? Isn't she the biggest attention whore of all?" Not really actually; there's a difference. Shakira I could care less about, but Britney? We've shared so much together and you try growing up surrounded by wolves with only your little red hoodie as a shield.

Why I'm writing this is because whenever I used to have this song stuck in my head (usually during mundane filing tasks...which is what I'm supposed to be doing), I'd picture the video - and you know what the video looks like. It's the one that launched a thousand atomic clocks counting down to Britney's 18th birthday featuring a choreographed dance number in a Catholic school hallway. It was cute, sexy, adorable, cheeky and most importantly - it wasn't just set decoration trying to hide a shitty song. The song stood out. The song is good!

Just now, there I was filing away humming it in my head when it struck me that the only thing I can picture these days is Britney drunk at her house, alone and putting on a show for her living room furniture in the dark. I pictured her running through past routines and falling over a chair. Her wig falls off. It's very sad.

I really hope that she is able to come back in a big way and I mean that.

The cynic, record snob and hater of celebrity gossip in me would chalk this up to "Not my problem" a few years ago, but once you get past a certain point in your thirties, you just want to see people doing well. I especially want to see women doing well; especially the ones who had something sweet and light within them until they were raped out of a childhood. Thanks Disney.

Sure, she has dug her own bed and now she has to make her own home in the mud-hut and she should be kissing the statue of Walt guarding the entrance to Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Anaheim, but as I think of what I did in my twenties it scares me. No - terrifies me. The horrible decisions, poor judgement and lack of 'common sense' which I considered extremely glamorous were (at times) moments when I escaped serious danger by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. I would answer a breezy: "Sure, why not?" to any suggestion (no matter how cringe-inducing) which is exactly what every doomed person says before they die or lose an arm in any 1960's education film short with titles like "Shake Hands with Danger!" and "Don't Do That!".

I think Britney is a "Sure why not?" girl. And I think that's okay; she should be given a chance to escape her twenties knowing that when she gets into her thirties, she may end up doing her best work yet with redefined confidence and a smarter set of guidelines for herself. Just adding a decade to your age is an amazing thing and can do wonders. Wonders!

She'll fall a few more times. She might decide to buy a frilled-necked lizard thinking how exotic that would be and then regret it the minute she realises that she can't walk past the kitchen without it lunging at her from the chair it never leaves, mouth agape and hissing. She may be squandering her "Onyx Hotel Tour" cash right now on two million cases of pudding to make Pudding Town. She might take a few more frat boys home and hang upside down from a Chateau Marmont balcony but I have a feeling that she'll pull through it all.

Some of these will be: "That was fun and I don't regret doing that" and others will be: "What was I thinking?" Everyone has experienced both, but not in front of the whole world. I used to see the giant neon sign pointing every time to the thing that wasn't good for me, but that didn't stop me from running toward the impulse decision, arms outstretched knowing full well that I would pay for it later. Britney's not stupid. She sang herself: "I'm addicted to you / Don't you know that you're toxic?". She knows what's happening. All I can say is, I'm glad The World didn't see me the night I shaved off my eyebrows.

What about 'the kids'? I know Britney has kids, but please. Please. I was born in 1968. My dad was in advertising at its most debauched period. I have stood next to other five year-olds in 1973 past 10PM, while we watched our dads jump from the roof into the swimming pool, holding tumblers of whiskey and shouting "Geronimo!" Britney has made some outright stupid decisions regarding their safety, but maybe one day they will look back on it like we kids of the 70's look back on the days when the car seat belt was a parents' arm suddenly stretching out in front of us while they said (cigarette dangling from the mouth): "Hold on, honey. Sorry about the ash!"

Britney has screwed up and I think she needs to be forgiven. I screwed up a lot. I still screw up with the simplest concepts all the time (i.e. turning a load of whites bright pink just by adding a red dress). My husband Ted calls me Monkey. For the longest time I thought it was a sweet term of endearment, but I'm seriously starting to wonder if it's because my thought process sometimes resembles that of a real live chimp. My guesswork and estimating skills pertaining to math, bills , how money works, how logic works, knowing to not touch the still broken off part of a light bulb when it's in the live socket is as reliable as one of Ellie May Clampett's pies tasting like poo. I'm sure she has sent Jethro to the hospital a few times.

I find great comfort in that I don't do the big screw-ups anymore. I don't skip through the worst neighborhood in San Francisco waving sweetly at the hard-core heroin addicts on my way to the 24-hour Double Rainbow ice cream shop at 3AM. I don't stop in the alley to tell them: "I was going there anyway, so what's your poison? You look like a mint-chip kind of people". No sir, I haven't done that in years.

Britney will never read this but there's going to be a day when she'll Hit Us Baby One More Time and she'll thrive. She will turn thirty, and start the ass-kicking again. She will get to toss her knit cap in the air and "make it after all".

And just so you know, I'll be there to watch her catch it. And I'll be cheering on the sidelines in my fucked-up laundered pink clothes.


At 5:32 PM, Blogger Biz and/or Jordi said...

best line: "especially the ones who had something sweet and light within them until they were raped out of a childhood. Thanks Disney."

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Livia Scott said...


You have articulated what I'm feeling about all of this splendidly. Well done. You are a truly gifted writer, and a magnificent person.

Britney Spears, as much as she has been "made" by an industry, is a human being. A real person, with real feelings. And like any human being, is worthy of compassion, consideration and respect.

She looked MISERABLE on the VMA's. It wasn't that she SUCKED, it was that she just wasn't into it. What a f*king crime!!!

She probably doesn't have a single real friend in the whole world. I'll bet you everything I own that every single person in her life is a bloodsucker who's main objective is to get everything they can out of her for themselves, be it money or fame, or connections that lead to money and fame.

People say shit like "OhmyGOD, how can she look so FAT? Why is she so trashy??? Why is she such a train wreck?!?! What a stupid whore!" Well, she obviously doesn't have anyone in her life to guide her correctly, dipshit.

And don't act like you don't love it. In your secret heart, you are thankful that Britney and Lindsey and whoever other WOMAN the corporate media conglomerates have decided to destroy today are there to give you a safe topic of conversation so that you don't feel guilty for not voicing your concerns about how the Bush administration is overturing Roe Vs. Wade, shredding our constitution while recklessly murdering and torturing innocent people every day- approved by all of us by our silence.


So let's trash Britney Spears. Let's trash women, and get women hating on other women as much as possible.

Divide and conquer.
Superbad rules.
No fat chicks.

Peace Out.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Livia...

THAT being said...Britney has kids now. Time to get her shit together.

I'm not against women and I highly resent you whitewashing me because I happen to think this one PERSON is now not only fucking up her own life, but the life of two totally innocent children.

My father was horribly & brutally abused as a child (physically and mentally) and was on his way down a path of alcoholism and oblivion. But then, y'know what happened? He had kids. And that man, with no guidance from anyone but himself, DECIDED he wasn't going to be his father. He made the choice to clean himself up and be the best dad he could be. And, it turns out he was.

People are responsible for their own actions. To blame all of Britney's HORRIBLE life decisions on a corporation or the media is ignorant and kneejerk.

I don't know what "men" did to make you so angry towards them, but you might want to take a look at fixing that...just like Britney.

I don't hate women. I just hate Britney. And I really have every reason to.

(I do still like her music though.)


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