01 February 2008

The Mediacide of Britney Spears

I'm sure that some of the Romans who went to the Coliseum actually felt sorry for the Christians or rooted for the gladiators not to be killed or injured. Even the folks now rooting for Britney Spears may actually be playing a part in the drama her life has become.

It seems to me that we're about to witness a mediacide, a murder by media. I'm tempted to say that it'll be the first time that the media has hounded some fragile soul to death, but Britney Spears' precarious plight is Marilyn Monroe-like.

We've turned our media into the modern coliseum, a place where celebrities can be made and then destroyed. I remember finding that viral video so odd - the one with the poor guy crying that we should, "Just leave Britney alone!" Suddenly, the man's words seem prophetic.

Should the poor little thing actually take the route of Marilyn, perhaps the greatest tragedy is that not only will her persecutors escape prosecution - but they will actually benefit from the flurry of interest in her demise. Britney may have become famous by singing fairly banal pop songs, but at this point, her life has become a tragic opera.

About a year ago, Craig Ferguson spoke eloquently about the fact that even our icons are real people, and Britney in particular. His words are still worth considering.

7 comments:

ThomasLB said...

She's lucky that she's rich and famous. Otherwise, she'd just be The Crazy Lady that sleeps under the overpass and pushes a shopping cart full of bags.

cce said...

thomas, I'm not sure it's a lucky thing, her celebrity all mixed up with her insanity and substance abuse. It's a lot harder to see you've got a life threatening problem when you're still driving a $100,000 car and live in manse. Rock bottom is harder to find when sleeping on a temper-pedic mattress.
Thanks for the Craig Ferguson link, Ron. That was truly a great rant. I can't decide whether or not to feel sorry for Britney. Part of me feels that the down side of celebrity is the media mess and there's some satisfaction in all that for the rest of us nobodies. But then, there's the point that Ferguson makes which is that we're all just people, rich, famous or otherwise, with families, kids and sometimes addiction and mental illness. If the media cared to follow my brother around they'd be utterly amused - it ain't fancy but it's arresting and horrifying. But Britney gives the paparazzi everything: glamour, glitz and the fatal flaws. It's just better than any fiction that Hollywood could conjure. It's the most bizarre and arresting iteration of reality television. It's a shame.

Ron Davison said...

thomas,
good point - lots of people suffer outside the spot light of fame. I guess the point I was trying to make was that Britney seems to be suffering from the spotlight.

cce,
you put it that way and it is inevitable, isn't it? Britney is, sadly, the perfect package for paparazzi.

ThomasLB said...

This is picky, but wouldn't "mediacide" be the killing of the media? I think the right word here is "celebricide."

And I agree with you, the spotlight hasn't done her any favors.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Well said, Ron.

A couple of days ago I encountered this quote:

“When you have the paparazzi hiding in the bushes outside your home, the only thing you can control is how you respond publicly.” ~ Portia de Rossi

Ron Davison said...

Thomas,
Oops! I think that you're right. Celebicide by media? I did (do) so like the sound of mediacide, though.

SS Nick,
Portia's quote is true, I guess, simply because at that point anything done is public.

David said...

I think Britney bears some personal responsibility for her plight. I'd say about 99%.