Friday, January 2, 2015

Britney Spears As Seen Through The Oggy Light

My brother has asked me to write 3000 words about Britney Spears circa 1999. He must be smoking crack because there's no other explanation. Oh, wait, I get it. I can type fast and throw some fancy words around and spin some bullshit people are amused by so he thinks I'll be able to work my magic with America's Own Mouseke-Whore, make people see her in a different light, and he's right, but the problem is that the world isn't ready for what I have to say about Britney Spears. It's too soon and since I'm not Ludwig Van Beethoven, I don't like writing for the future. She's still alive, breeding more hillbillies, maybe recording some trashy song written by a bearded suicidal gay guy about some boy crush he had in 1992, and farts some repetitive Katy Perry melody onto the lyrics about "boys and hit me in my love button" kind of bullshit. Add some techno beats and he is able to pay his rent for another self-loathing month. But what the hell, Ok. Let's have some fun. Let's see what happens. I got nothing to lose.

Hit Me Baby One More Time.

It's crazy, but Britney is only 10 years younger than me. I feel like an ancient fucking monster so that makes Britney almost an ancient monster. Outside of Madonna and some Country derivatives there are very few solo female pop acts over 30 years old. Belinda Carlisle's best recordings ended when she was 30. It pains me to compare Belinda Carlisle with Britney because Belinda actually can sing. Beyonce is 2 months older than Britney and still reigns in the Kingdom of Bootyshake. It's hard to say if career momentum/pity is responsible for either one of them having any income or if they do connect with a viable audience. I don't know the answer. I see the attraction of a codependent stripper/catholic school girl, but what about a twice divorced mother of two who toys with the idea of being committed to a state mental hospital? Not even desperate Oggy wants a part of that.
Totally Gratuitous Crane Shot From the abominable "Work Bitch" Video. They actually had to tow a man lift into the desert for this shot.
If an artist is not careful, her later work will cause one to reflect negatively on her earlier work. (I'm thinking of you Paul McCartney.) Joni Mitchell, for example went her own path in her later career with jazzy, orchestrated arrangements, meandering, odd tempo songs...she plays a coveted Parker Fly midi guitar, which is about as far from her humble hippie mountain dulcimer origins as you can get, and definitely stretched the limits of folk music in a musical evolution that makes one appreciate even more the simplicity of her early albums. Joni has depth. Britney Spears, on the other hand, releases hyper-produced trash like Work Bitch from her 2013 album Britney Jean and I'm not sure it's even meant to be marketed to people who know who Britney Spears is. The music is soulless, mechanical, false, unintelligible. "You wanna hot body? You better work bitch." Anybody could perform this shit. It's basically proof that Spears doesn't have and never had any kind of social consciousness. She now has children and that did not prevent her from sexualizing her own image in the pursuit of marketability, because unbalanced single moms are so hot! So, I must think back on "Baby One More Time" and conclude she merely looked good wearing makeup and digital technology had caught up with her inferior singing voice to make it palatable enough for impressionable ears. She did not have depth then nor does she have depth now. The fact that she's regurgitating almost identical music 16 years after she debuted is proof her career is an aberration, she's famous because people needed someone charismatic to be famous and she was in the right place at the right time. 16 years after the generic but titillating "Baby One More Time" was released her 2013 offering "It Should Be Easy" is complete junk, something I'd expect from a 6th grade nerd at a digital arts summer camp. It's an annoying autotune nightmare that only the most tweaking, twerking, stoned, lollipop freak in Lycra bike shorts crawling across a London dance floor with glow sticks in her ass would tolerate. So, either music in general has gotten worse in the last 16 years (arguably true) or Britney Spears had no instinct for music from the beginning and prospered merely because she has a good work ethic, didn't get pregnant, and showed up on time.

Let's talk about the beginning: 1999. One year before Y2K. Oggy was studying obscure John Cage compositions in his music theory class on the northern coast of California so he was off the map. The Internet existed and I used it exclusively to download chord charts and lyrics to songs I'd been trying to learn for years. Online porn wasn't yet free or feasible. These days I'll bet you receive all your news from the Internet or maybe the radio while you are driving. Television is almost obsolete as Internet allows you to stream television programs commercial-free merely one day after they air originally. So if you pause for one day then you will never be interrupted by breaking news about, for example, Bill Clinton escaping the clutches of impeachment for having his intern suck his cock. You get all your media from the internet today. But in 1999 you got all your media from television. Well, I didn't have a television from 1989 until 2006 and then I only had it for 2 years while I futilely wrote sit-com scripts on spec. So, in 1999 I didn't have any access to media and Humboldt County is so far away from everything that I didn't care. We had farmer's markets, goat farms, the Redwood National Park, fog. I was surrounded by the purest marijuana in the nation and I never smoked any of it. Humboldt is the kind of place everyone will flock to when the apocalypse happens but currently it's almost uninhabited.

So, The European Union adopted the Euro as their currency in 1999 and it quickly demonstrated how weak the phony US dollar is. One of the worst television shows imaginable, Family Guy, debuted with the attitude that The Simpsons had paved the way to ratings heaven with fart jokes and overindulgent parodies so why not dumb it down even further and have a talking dog and a pathological baby...yes, a dog and a baby who talk to each other and joke about farts and fratricide. Wicked phakin' phunny! 16 years later those two are still proving the American audience is populated mostly by dumb cunts with a toothless smile catching flies every time the dog licks his asshole. That right there is enough to tell you what kind of culture Britney Spears was preparing to entertain. It wasn't yet at the bottom of the barrel because American Idol was 3 years from debuting, The Real World on MTV was the only established Reality based series as Survivor, at least in the United States was one year from its debut, and the Housewives of Dirtbag County reality deluge was barely on the horizon. People didn't yet need their reality spoon fed like culture junkies. We actually thought shows like Family Guy were the future. Hahahaha. I see now that Family Guy was the last attempt to draw blood from the rock stupid writers, stoned and slumbering in Echo Park and Van Nuys, waiting for Tom Cruise to buy their action script. And it was only after Reality show concepts and the writer's strike combined to poison the waters in that hellish city, only then did innocent Oggy arrive with his own dreams of script writing, landing into the least fertile climate any writer has ever landed in. That was when I began to smoke as much pot as possible.

Other notable events in 1999 were crimes like Enron engaging in energy wars in order to spike the price of electricity. The loathsome Lou Pai and Jeff Skilling and Kenneth Lay all perpetrated a most disgusting plot that makes me sick to write about. These cowards did not actually provide anything. I can't stress that enough. They were not even as productive as a $5 prostitute at the $3.99 Casino Royale Las Vegas BBQ chicken wing buffet. They are scum. Dirt. Fucking shitwads. They were brokers of stock (phantom promises) involving energy. That's about as important in my mind as a junkie who describes a hand job you're getting in a North Beach strip club. I mean they are fucking low life scum and 1999 was their premium year of greed when they had convinced Fortune Magazine that they actually were making money by selling stocks with inflated value. A reporter asked Skilling bluntly, "What do you do?" and he evaded the question because he's a fucking lying cunt and to tell the truth he would've said, "I pretend to be involved in energy when really I have infiltrated the energy distribution market so I manipulate energy prices to make money to fund Lou Pai's hooker addiction and my desire to have ice statues piss champagne. My service is purely in my own interest and I'm a plague on anyone I do business with. Any more questions?" He fooled everyone in 1999. This is a national blindness that might have some culpability for Britney Spears rocketing to success as a teen stripper with good teeth. I don't want to let Enron off easily because in 1999 they were diverting energy allocated to California cities and sending it to uninhabited places in Nevada. This created a threat of blackout which spiked the price of energy and it just so happened Enron sold stock, and since they knew when they would force it to spike and dip they could direct investors to buy and sell, and somehow dig into the profits California was wasting on overpriced energy. The double evil involved the amount of educators in California who had their investments embedded in the "Fortune certified safe" Enron and would lose every penny 2 years later when it was revealed that the cunts Skilling and Lay and Pai had NEVER PRODUCED ANYTHING, and were actually shills for imaginary toilet paper and had fooled everyone. The bigger the fucking lie, the better the uniforms look.
Twin Robber Barons: The Real Phantom Menaces of 1999

There was also this guy named Osama Bin Laden who was making wild threats against the United States at the same time as Skilling was ruthlessly stealing millions from California educators. Well, not enough people took Bin Laden seriously and everyone thought Skilling was a financial hero so 1999 wasn't a great year for clear thinking in America.

Another notable event in 1999 came in the Spring Semester when a professor came into our Altruism and Pro-Social Behavior class and said reports were coming in from Columbine, Colorado that suggested some students had gone Commando in their school. I really hung my head when that happened, those two kids were pure bred American and were completely in their own pain-filled universe. They thought it would be interesting to kill their classmates, it would be a break in the monotony of life. 12 years of public school had failed to either instil some social empathy or expose them as murderous. If you can't do some good in 12 years then, I felt, why bother? Let kids learn algebra from their parents. Close the fucking schools. You either manufactured these monsters or you were too blind to realize they were right in front of your face. Either way, you had your chance. Close today.

Shortly after that, The Phantom Menace was released, which is a pre-sequel. It's Episode #1 in the Star Wars series but it's the 4th movie of the series and the first in 16 years, proving it's never too late to tell the whole story of a fictional universe. As I've said, It was not Darth Vader who was waiting in the shadows, but Jeffery Skilling, Kenneth Lay and Lou Pai. There were actual menaces in 1999 and none of them were on a movie screen.

The world wide web's most practical application, Napster, arrived in 1999. Before that we had to do the incredibly stupid act of buying an album we wanted to hear.

1999 was a year with Y2K doomsday talk, like all the computers would go haywire when the first digit changed from 1 to 2 since original programming didn't accommodate changes in the first digit. The actual doomsday was two years away, suggesting American soothsayers were in the ballpark with their predictions, but slightly off. The dual Phantom Menaces of Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling were pillaging retirement funds with impunity, their employees actually recorded laughing about their power to manufacture profits with energy manipulations, while the amount of skin Britney Spears was showing around her tits was causing all kinds of scandal. Her cheerleader pics were the kind that got my dick hard but they could never get me off. Spears seems to have been born with the soul of a street-smart hooker; she sold the idea of fucking her, but kept her snatch shut.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.