Vol. 3, Issue #4 February 22nd - March 6th, 2008

Tiger Bear From Hell at NONzine.com

By: Wilhelm Murg

Oops! ...Finally Something of Britney

“They say your world crash landed in a blaze of magazines all opened to the page that describes you best…” - Chris Connelly, “Blonde Exodus” (2000)

In and of herself, Britney Spears is one of the dullest subject matters on the planet right now; she doesn’t seem that bright, talented, or sane, her music is cookie cutter pop, and even if she is beautiful, so are millions of other young women. The only thing special about Britney is that she has become the victim of answered prayers (to borrow a Capote phrase.) However, what originally seemed like some stupid publicity stunt is now starting to feel like the early stages of a full-on tragedy; the poor woman has finally cracked from the pressure of being so famous that every second of her life is examined and photographed. Yet, the real story here is not so much the stone goddess as the reaction of the people who come to look at it.

First, I should note that I don’t watch tabloid television nor do I read tabloid papers; the story has become so big that I have to hear about it hourly on CNN and the headlines are all over Yahoo news - the two sources I use for what we used to call “real” news. Every time Britney farts it becomes a worldwide event; it’s worse than the reports on Hanna Montana ticket sales - whoever Hanna Montana is. The brutal irony is the crazier Britney gets, the more interest she generates in this story about a woman going crazy from too much fame. When she was released from the crazy house, Anderson Cooper (The closest thing to Walter Cronkite or Ted Koppel this generation will know) showed footage of photographers swarming her car and denounced them. Yet, he never chided his own photographers for being a part of the overall circus because, by God, they were reporting “the news.”

Maybe I’m heartless, I couldn’t care less about Britney - she seemed like a sad person who needs some peace so she can get her life together. I have known many young women who have had mental problems pop up around their college years, and it’s always tragic, but usually they can get through it fairly unscathed.

What is fascinating about Britney’s situation is the ancient Roman energy one gets from the crowd. No one is watching this hoping she’ll get better, everyone is waiting for the big crash, like those who watch car racing just waiting for the twenty car pile-up. We don’t want mental wellness; we are waiting for the pop culture gods to take their next sacrifice. It’s a grand tradition starting with Marilyn Monroe. We’re waiting for another blonde meltdown.

Of course, Britney’s redneck family isn’t helping, as they did what most rednecks would do; they called in Dr. Phil. I guess it was between Phil or going on the Jerry Springer show and beating one another with chairs while they ripped their clothes off in front of the camera - but then isn’t Springer so 1990s? Of course Dr. Phil didn’t help matters when he showed up at her hospital ready to do a live remote.

One should also not forget how dark all of this is in reality. There is a profound cynicism in the photographers who shamelessly harass Britney, knowing it is not conducive to her mental health; you know each one is thinking about how he or she could live on easy street if they could just get exclusive photos of her remains after the suicide. Yet an even higher cynicism is in the tabloid press and websites that buy their pictures, but in the end, the ultimate cynicism are in those of us who hit these websites and keep this nonsense alive.

I suppose it’s somewhat amusing to hear the attempts at some of the newscasters who take a high tone and pretend they are reporting on Britney’s life for moral reasons - that would be the same assholes who were “shocked” over Britney kissing Madonna. The warped part of it all is that you know every one of those reporters would give their right arm to exchange places with Britney, regardless of the consequences (and Madonna‘s age). It’s like that Simpson’s episode where Bart sees a future where he’s a disaffected rock star with a drug problem, and snaps out of his daydream saying “Cool!” In the traffic jam we call contemporary media everyone is yelling to be heard, but all the attention is on the one person who can’t handle it.

Right now Britney has three roads before her; getting well and being forgotten, getting well and becoming the next Madonna (whose about to become the next Cher,) or suicide. I don’t care which path she takes, as I’m sure she’ll never do anything I will listen to, I just wish the next shoe would drop so we can get over this hump in the road. Not having to hear about Anna Nicole Smith over the last few months has been a blessing, and it’s not that I had any ill will toward Anna. When such nonsense gets reported hourly while we have a nearly invisible war going on, it’s hard not to wonder whether all of this crap is one big diversion to keep our minds off the important stuff. “Trillions of dollars? See if you can find another blonde to throw out there while we take a vote!”

Tiger Beat From Hell Main Page

©2006-2008 NONCO Media, L.L.C.