THE COST OF POP STAR MAINTENANCE

To a large extent, we must get the world we create. Our culture is obsessed with celebrity. I am as guilty as anyone. I love to talk, joke and watch vicariously as these sad car pop art car wrecks roam about our world. I think some how it is easier and much more fun to digest than the real news of our world.

News like the fact that if you read between the lines of mainstream media translates to the fact that our president’s administration is leading a war that is far worse than any level of terrorism. Actually, the United States might as well be considered a terrorist.

When I look at the news or think about the state of things for us in the United States I just get tired. From this tragic war to the state of poverty to poor health care to the glass ceiling that is next to impossible to break thru unless you happen to be a wealthy white man. It just makes me tired.

Yesterday a person with a sign asked me if I supported our troops. I wanted to cop a line from Sandra Bernhard and say, “Yes, I support our troops. I support them so much I want them to come the fuck home!” I do not support this war in any way. But, I ignored her and allowed my mind to get soaked up by the pop music streaming from my iPod to block this war monger out. I also decided she probably was a right-wing anti-choice person. But, I didn’t really know that. Of course she was persistent. She followed me and screamed, “Do you ever thank our troops for what they do and sacrifice?” I so wanted to turn and say, “No. I will not thank them. I am sorry for them. But, how can I thank someone for being a part of something that is so wrong? And, why would I thank them for sacrificing themselves to tear up a country for more power, oil and greed?”

But, I was far too apathetic to respond. Not enough energy.

I recently saw a picture which was a part of an art exhibition where individuals had been given a piece of paper and were instructed to write a thought about the current war we wage. One of the people had a piece of paper upon which she wrote something like, “Why is it that the Red States think differently from everyone else in the entire world?”

Of course I know that this post will generate very little discussion. In fact, I will be able to note that it will receive very few visits as my other posts — nearly all of which are about my misadventures or pop star obsessions. And, I understand. I’d rather read something witty about Britney Spears’ sad and fucked-up life. In fact, I am addicted to that sick site run by Perez Hilton. Early this morning a dozen LAPD cop cars escorted an ambulance containing the pop mess that is Britney to a hospital where she is to be committed for the next 72 hours for observation. Word is that Britney hasn’t slept in three days and is mentally ill as a result. Of course, I can’t even get Kaiser to provide me with a therapist much less an escort.

Anyway, as I read this bit of useless and very private information about this very wealthy and unstable pop star — I had to wonder: How much does it cost me as a California tax payer to maintain Ms. Spears? All this constant need for the LAPD time and man power. Shouldn’t Ms. Spears be billed for the LAPD time vs. the cost being charged to me? But, then, maybe I should pay. Perhaps this only a fraction of the price one pays for apathy, and entertainment which provides such great fodder for “the water cooler” and my blog. Tax dollars well spent to maintain a pop train wreck waiting to happen.

So, I roll over and press “play”

“It’s Britney, bitch.
Everytime they turn the lights down
Just wanna go that extra mile for you
(Pu- Pu-) Public display of affection
Feel’s like no one else in the room but you

We can get down like there’s no-one around
We keep on rockin’
We keep on rockin’

Cameras are flashing my way
dirty dance
And they keep watchin’
Keep watchin
Feels like the crowd is saying

[CHORUS]
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme (Uh)
Gimme gimme more…”

Yeah, give me some more. I guess. Ignore the rest. Paying the price…

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January 31, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized.

10 Comments

  1. pakipoptart replied:

    You’ve got a lot on your mind Matty! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is a lot going on in this post, but I will just comment on a few things. The Britney meltdown is painful to watch, but like a car wreck on the side of the highway I can’t turn away.

    What is most painful though is how mental illness is portrayed in the popular media. The notion I interpret is that there is something wrong with Britney–oh she is crazy, she needs a shrink. It upsets me so much when I see/read this type of stuff. People who struggle with mental illness of some form don’t just get their problems over night and then through the miracle of a psychiatrist are automatically cured. These people struggle their whole lives to overcome challenges that they may never be able to solve. They may be shunned by friends and family who don’t understand and wonder “why can’t you just shake yourself out of it?”

    These are serious problems in our society and rather than to start a dialogue about them, we use them to mock other people, particularly famous people. I say make fun of her clothes, her redneck background, her awful music–but Leave Brittany’s Psych issues ALONE!

    As for the war–the debate about supporting the troops is such a non issue as far as i’m concerned. You should tell that woman to do something more constructive with her time. You know what doesn’t make sense to me is the election for president. For two successive elections my candidate lost miserably. First Ralph Nader, and then Howard Dean. Why is it the people that make the most sense to me–don’t do the same for the majority of our country? I have the same interest in Ron Paul now (even though he is a Republican). But he is barely making a dent in the polls.

    Also why isn’t the war more of an election topic? We just keep hearing about all the change these candidates want to do but never what kind of change. I’m no longer interested in the voting process. I really don’t feel like my say will make any difference at all. Sorry I know your post wasn’t even about the election.

  2. hot-lunch replied:

    Fight The Real Enemy!!! *rips up photo of Paris Hilton*

  3. Pants replied:

    The war is so incredibly depressing and overwhelming, it hurts me too much to think about it…so I normally don’t. But you’re right, Gdubb has created a supremely fucked situation. Ugh. At least he’s almost out…hopefully whoever comes next will be able to try and pick up the pieces left by him and his tyrannical rule.

    I’m also guilty of following celebrity “news”. After reading/watching coverage of Britney online I feel really sad for her. True that celebrity coverage is different now than it was in the early days of Hollywood, I don’t think that necessarily makes it right. I’ve lived through my own mental health issues, I can’t imagine how horrific it would be to have the douchebags on Fox news speculating about your mental health status. What a nightmare. It’s hard enough to try and keep your head on straight without people watching your every move. Which leads me to a gripe I probably shouldn’t start…how the hell are we the only advanced country without universal health care? Oh yeah, that’s right, we’re too busy pumping all of our money into fucking power, money and oil.

    Whoa, I had no idea I had that much to say.

  4. Daniel replied:

    Well, considering how much money Ms Britney pumps into the economy, I think we shouldn’t begrudge her a little
    R-n-R in the hospital.

    I’ve found that arguing the war doesn’t change anyones mind. Most people make up their minds on an emotional basis.

  5. ing replied:

    I don’t follow Britney’s situation (honest!), partly because it reminds me of someone I loved very much & who became lost in his frightening notions. I suppose I resent that she will get the best treatment and care while most mentally ill people get ignored, shoved aside, and (so often) come to a very sad end very early. Still, though, from what I’ve observed, public scrutiny is magnified a zillion times to the victim of certain mental illnesses, and for a famous person, I imagine that media coverage is absolute torture as it seems to confirm every fear.

    The war is a form of widespread insanity and I’m sure it’s driving the soldiers and their families and loved ones over the edge. Our modern mode of living is completely insane. We spend most of our lives at work, doing things that go against our natures (sometimes), just so we can have a roof and some meals and a little time on the weekends. I’m just glad I’m not working for the military.

    Sympathy. Is that a kind of support? The word support has become this catch-phrase and I’m not exactly sure what your yelling woman meant by it. I am sad that in order to get a college education or to escape a minimum-wage nothing, kids who likely didn’t have the capacity (yet) to know what they were signing up for accepted the worst job in hell.

  6. matty03 replied:

    Pakipoptart! Yeah, this post was all over the neighborhood. I think I was sort of venting away and not worrying too much about where it took me.

    I agree about Britney. If I were dealing with what I’m dealing while the media and world were watching and commenting on my every move I would go to the “crazy” real fast. What frustrates me on this particular matter is her failure to just get the help she needs. Maybe the drug addiction (which I don’t have) took her too far over. Sad. But, it also seems somehow incorrect and correct that she should be costing California tax payers this much. Maybe the cost should be shared by the entire US. I don’t know.

    And, yes, more and more the candidates who make it are the ones who’ve learned to be dishonest, take the bribes and work that double speak — oh, and secure the all-important celebrity endorsements! Britney is for George, by the way. lol! Ugh.

    I always vote, but I’m no loner confident that it means much.

    I think the woman with the sign was more unstable than Britney and has no access to good health care like me.

    I loved your comment!

  7. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! …Perez Hilton or Paris Hilton? I get them mixed up sometimes.

  8. matty03 replied:

    Pants! If this were some sort of meeting house I’d be stomping after reading both your and pakipoptarts’ posts and screaming “Amen!” “Say it again, baby!”

    I’m so embarrassed by our country — that were I too be able to travel to England (my dream!) I would just say I was Canadian. I don’t want to own the shame that has become US. Is that enough to get me deported yet? I know George was workin’ on that! Please?

  9. matty03 replied:

    Daniel – True. I think the saddest thing is that none of us really have the power to make any effective change anymore. At least that is how it feels. It feels like we could have a billion man/woman march to end the war and secure better tax laws and copy the Canadian health care model on a national level and we would just be ignored and pushed back to page 6 so that there would be 5 pages left for Britney, Oprah and the candidates to talk about “effective change” without any real resolved to changing anything.

    I’m not sure a revolution could even turn us back. However, I’m told I’m depressed.

  10. matty03 replied:

    Ing, Yes and again yes. Thanks for the comment.

    And, I so agree with thoughts on “support” and the sad plight of the kids who get lost into the arms of the army.

    Amen.

    Actually, sometimes the only thing I can think to do is pray. The real problem is that I’m not sure to whom I pray. Maybe this is my form of yoga. Stretching toward the Divine.

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