A couple of days ago, my friend Flood and I were discussing politics, as we are wont to do, and the conversation gravitated towards image. Having grown up on a farm in the boonies I find it funny that the president claims to like to build fences and clear brush on his Crawford ranch while on vacation. Barbed-wire fences suck, and briars and grapevines suck even more than fences. I think the whole ranch-hand thing’s more theater than anything else (Flood’s not as cynical).
Even if the president actually likes to do those things, I don’t think anyone would argue with me that people in locations of power tend to assume a humble and down-to-earth public persona, despite how totally not-humble they are in real life. Bush likes for people to believe that despite his Ivy League education and his privileged up-bringing that he’s just a good ‘ole boy who shoots from the hip. And I’m not picking on Bush (maybe a little), because most presidents tend to construct a false history to blur and soften their lives of privilege.
As Americans, we really, really distrust wealth and power. We like to believe in the “American Dream;” the notion of the self-made man appeals to all of us, and any dynastic wealth tends to upend that American mythology. Personally, I think it’s residual hatred of anything that resembles the aristocracy left over from the American Revolution. Our politicians don’t overtly claim a right to power based on title, but with Bush in the White House and Hillary gunning for the same position, I don’t think it’s such a stretch to claim that many politicians feel a familial entitlement to positions of power.
Which leads me to Britney Spears.
Hang on…stick with me.
There’s been some really awful stuff written about her online (I do my part to contribute), and I think I know why. People made fun of her when she was still performing regularly, but nowhere near as aggressively as they do now. Granted, her behavior’s become more erratic, but I don’t think that’s it. As a culture we’re willing to overlook a lot of nonsense from celebrities as long as they’re still artistically productive (R. Kelly, I’m lookin’ at you).
No, I think the reason people are being so mean toward her is because we resent the fact that she’s not really productive any more, and frankly, she’s only famous because she’s famous. Same with Paris Hilton or Tommy Lee, or any other celebretard. They’re like spoiled aristocrats, running amongst us, flaunting their wealth and mocking our mundane lives. They don’t even have the courtesy to pretend to be every-day folk.
So we laugh at them. We attack them and we disparage them. Because deep down we don’t think they deserve their wealth and we despise their sense of entitlement.
If Britney wants to erase all the animosity towards her then she needs to forget about elaborate “come back” albums, or heavily choreographed dance routines, or stints in rehab. No, she needs to take a cue from politicians. She needs to do some manual labor for “fun.” Maybe she could swing a hammer on a Habit for Humanity house. Or she could clear brush on a local farm. If she asked me, and she hasn’t, I’d recommend shoveling cow shit out of a corral.
Not that I think shoveling cow manure would redeem her career…I’d just like to see Britney covered in cow shit.