And Then They Came For Britney

This blog has declined to take a side in the Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry feud. We weren’t ready to face the world’s ugliness, head-on. As punishment for our negligence, we’ve paid an unimaginable price.

Katy Perry is on the cover of Elle‘s March issue. Elle is apparently interviewing and featuring all kinds of people these days. When asked about the being a pop “star”, Katy Perry replied:

“It is a hundred times harder a dream than the dream that I dreamt when I was nine…You think you signed up for one thing, but you automatically sign up for a hundred others. And that is why you see people shaving their fucking heads.”

Katy, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your job be harder than you imagined it would be when you were nine. I’m sure that’s awful and you have my sympathies. But Katy, you don’t need to worry about why people shave their fucking heads. I understand fame. I’ve performed in three professional melodramas in a small gambling town in Colorado. I’ve had my chicken fingers bought for me in a casino, unsolicited. But you don’t hear me telling Elle “that is why you see people marrying David fucking Gest.” Because you see, Katy, people like us can’t understand the motivations of superstars.

No one but the greats can understand why some things happen.

This was bigger than you or I could comprehend.

People  who shave their fucking heads were the most memorable part of a Superbowl performance that also included Aerosmith and N’Sync at a time when people still wanted to have sex with all the members of both bands*. People who shave their fucking heads danced their goddamn faces off and were more compelling than a million silver tiger/lion puppet things**. People who shave their fucking heads are known as the “Princess of Pop” not the “Gallagher of Pop.”

Learn from his subtlety.

Learn from his subtlety.

Because, for real Katy, you and Taylor Swift can fight through songs and Twitter and left shark attacks all day long. Go nuts. Have John Mayer throw shade and complain about how you’ve been cast as the mean girl while lesser DJs fight your battles for you. But leave Britney Spears out of it. She is a national goddamn treasure and we’ll be listening to “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” long after people can’t remember that “Firework” and “White Horse” existed. Hell, we’ll be listening to “Mmmm Papi” that long. Don’t worry about why people shave their heads. That’s never going to be your concern.

Britney Superbowl

Treasure.

*Mostly.

**Seriously great to see the War Horse people working though.

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They Say It’s A Man’s World

Everyone knows I’m the biggest proponent of the totally non-sarcastic, totally genuine slow clap. It’s just who I am. And today, I’d like to devote that heart-felt slow clap to stereotype shattering Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries. The activist believes offering XL and XXL sizes for women would encourage losers to shop at his store, while saying that parallel sizes for men must be included for athletes. Some people choose to dwell on what a sexist piece of crap Mike Jeffries is or how everyone should be able to wear a bunch of poor quality, sweat shop-produced, logo-ridden baby-tees, regardless of race, sex, or creed, if they so choose. They climb onto their soap boxes to talk about how size doesn’t make you cool or uncool, and that manufacturers of teen-focused clothing lines should be especially conscious of this. Now they all have egg all over their faces; Mike Jeffries is a homosexual.omg

Mike Jeffries truly is an inspiration as a gay CEO. Unfortunately, Corporate America is not the most progressive place. We rarely see anyone but white, straight males running large companies. And how wonderful that Jeffries, who is different than many of his peers, chooses to use his power to totally exclude and shame a portion of the population. It’s just like the time that Gretchen Wieners decided that Regina George couldn’t sit at the table with the rest of the plastics because she was wearing sweatpants. I wish more powerful people would act like the shallowest high school characters in movies.1

Mike Jeffries continues to shatter stereotypes of gay men with his incredibly poor taste. If you watched Behind the Candelabra this weekend (I was watching Arrested Development: Season 4, so no spoilers!), have ever seen Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, or have lived in the world, you know that gay men have a notorious flare for fashion. Not Mike Jeffries, whose company sells the most generic items of clothing known to man. How refreshing to find a gay man who literally runs from good taste. Now you don’t have to be a character on Happy Endings to show that not everyone is the same.orig-17113441

CrazyBritney

Lastly, and most importantly, Mike Jeffries is breaking down the cruelest stricture of society’s expectations: the natural alliance between gay men and zaftig women (see Lauren Manzo and friend Greg on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Ricky Lake and John Waters, me and every male friend I had in high school). Thank God Mike Jeffries has the courage to look at this alliance with total disdain. We all know that chunky girls get enough positive reinforcement without the comfort that some glorious gay friend is going to find her funny and great regardless of her BMI. What do we want, for heavy young ladies to enjoy high self-esteem? Then where would we be? That’s a world that I, and thankfully, Mike Jeffries never want to see.

You Must Not Know About Me

In the first visible sign that I’ve never accidentally consumed water from a fountain of youth, I have a skunk stripe. I don’t hate it, but I do not love it. My mom, on the other hand, thinks it’s awesome. Whenever I lament it, she says, “It lets people know your color is real,” which is hilarious because no one but my mom has ever asked if I color my hair and because of how much time and money I spend to enhance my “real features” in so many other ways. I don’t care if anyone thinks this is my natural eyebrow shape*, but I like the idea of being like “Look how good this thing I have is. You can tell it’s really mine because there’s one thing that makes it less than perfect.”glamour
I haven’t written anything about the Beyonce lip-synch scandal, mostly because I can’t find a single fuck to give about it. Sixteen years ago, when I was a new singer full of all the ego and self-righteousness of a person who has discovered a talent, I refused to listen to Britney Spears because I found out she didn’t sing live. Slowly, I learned that boycotting singers who lip-synch (or “mime” as our more sophisticated British friends say) is like boycotting clothing stores that exploit cheap labor to make their clothes. You will find yourself naked and in silence.
But people will not let Lip Synch Gate** die. It’s crappy that singers lip synch. We should hold them to a higher standard. But instead of wanting the best, most talented singers, we culturally gravitate towards the best looking people or the ones with the most charisma. I dropped my Britney boycott over a decade ago and learned that though she is no Maria Callas, she is a fascinating performer who puts out fun music. Beyonce is a superstar, and her voice is beautiful, but she relies heavily on vocal tricks rather than natural talent and strong technique. Had she fucked up the National Anthem, which is a rangy and difficult song, that is all anyone would be talking about. Instead, she played it safe, which doesn’t make her unique in the entertainment industry in the slightest.

Stuff like this does.

Stuff like this does.

Allow me to assuage your anxiety over whether she will have backing tracks during the Superbowl; she will. It is a multi-million dollar production. There will be backing tracks for her backing tracks. Get the fuck over it. It would be awesome to hear someone sing totally live for an entire production, knowing that any imperfections just made the performance all the more theirs. But no one is going to take that risk at such a big event, least of all someone who has built an empire on flawlessness at any cost.

 

 

*For the record, it is not. Simply making them two separate entities destroys what nature intended to occupy my face.

**For the second record the leader of America’s swearing in and Inaugural speech were more important to me personally than Beyonce’s performance.

Say Hello To The Girl That I Am

Like always, Britney Spears and I are experiencing similar life changes. We’re both changing jobs. Britney is leaving the X-Factor. I just left my administrative position at a hedge fund. There are all sorts of rumors for both of our departures flying around. I’ll keep them neutral to protect both of our privacies: “She didn’t like sitting on the trading floor.” “She didn’t like having so much national scrutiny considering she’s still learning to cope after a very public, and recent, breakdown.” “She wanted more time with my kids.” “There was too much filing involved.” “She felt unheard.” “Not enough cheese grits on site.” “She wants to focus on her music.”

I feel like a lot of people have this gripe.

I feel like a lot of people have this gripe.

Longtime readers of the site know that, though I don’t like to name drop, Britney and I are very close. I wouldn’t say she’s my BEST FRIEND, a slot occupied by the Awesome Opossum, but I would say that she is up there. We have a lot in common: we both love her music, are from the South, and we both know who Britney Spears is. And it’s like, I get that she has to do what’s best for her, but I do feel a little like she’s copying me. Like, I’m always like, “Oh Britney, I’m leaving my job to go back to my old company,” and then she’s like, “Oh, um, me too! I’m leaving my $15 million contract with Fox to go back to making music.” It just feels a little like she’s copying me. Like, I know she’s leaving hers, but it was my idea to take a break from being professional musicians and get desk jobs. And like, in 2006 I broke up with this college football player I was seeing for three weeks in Colorado and then she got divorced from Kevin Federline. And then, like, in 2007 I totally forgot to go in for my hosting shift at my new fancy restaurant job and almost got fired, which totally freaked me out. And she had to go and shave her head and whack cars with umbrellas and hang out with Paris Hilton, and it’s like, Brits, can’t I just have this one thing?Ugh

But, benefit of the doubt, neither of us was that happy at our job. Britney was meant to spread joy and hip beats, not shatter the dreams of people who are also too fragile to probably be on national television. I am meant to file less often. In the end, we’re both happier, which is just going to make our friendship stronger.

America’s Ding-Dongs

Strike or no strike, if Americans had such a voracious appetite for Hostess products earlier, the company would not have had to close.

Meme Mondays are proof that anyone can master technology but that many people don’t understand how purchasing a brand works. These products will be back on the shelves long before the 18,500 now unemployed workers get new jobs or the people at the top of the brand suffer any economic consequences.