a friend emailed me last night, commenting on the latest installment in the never-ending odyssey that is justin timberlake’s douche-baggery. her email ended with this: britney is driving again.
in 2007, britney spears shaved her head. in 2008, she ‘was removed from her home strapped to a gurney after a standoff with police in which she allegedly used her two young sons as hostages.’ she’s now been in a conservatorship, an extreme legal measure typically reserved for elderly people with dementia, for FIVE YEARS. (forbes has a good article on that HERE.)
with the new year, she ended her engagement, left the x-factor, and is apparently signing on to perform in vegas. i read this and my heart sank. if you know anything at all about the life of elvis presley, it reads hauntingly familiar. file under: people who are not well being signed up for long-running vegas gigs for which they do not have the stamina.
lainey details the signs and then asks: ‘What would it be like if we could all just let her go?’ i was tempted to rephrase this as ‘what would it be like if SHE could let us go?’ but then that’s not the right question either. in britney’s case, i don’t think she even has that choice, as there are clearly other people overseeing what she can and cannot do.
but, in the larger sense, the star/fan dynamic does give us, as fans, more power. we need stars for our entertainment. stars need us for their livelihood and for their lives (ie. i’m a writer and i can’t not write, even though i get paid very little for it. being a performer, i’m assuming, it would be just as impossible to refrain from performance, particularly if it were one’s only job experience. right?)
i want britney to be well. i want her to be happy. i want her not to appear, in all of her public appearances, as though she is gritting her teeth.
britney is driving again. there’s absolutely nothing i can do about it, but still it breaks my heart.