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Them and Us
What Britney means
by Andrew Kiraly | posted January 7, 2014
What?! The manufactured queen of manufactured pop has kicked off a residency in the manufactured fantasia of Las Vegas? Whoa, it's getting all kinds of meta up in here. But before Britney Spears' new gig, "Piece of Me," has even had its proper launch (Jan. 29 at Planet Hollywood), popcult commentators are already huffing brainily about What Britney Means. In one corner, we've got Daniel D'Addario at Salon. He wonders whether the Coming of Britney is less that stereotypical story about Vegas being the go-to site for the slow euthanization of an entertainment career, and more about -- da dum! -- contemporary capitalist child mind-slavery!
But over at The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky rises to Britney's defense -- as both a woman in possession of her own mind and prospects, and as a committed entertainer, a serious professional dedicated to craft and career, in the storied vein of just-keep-going rockers like ... The Rolling Stones? Okay! Why, to think otherwise implies a sexist double standard!
Whether she's a pop robotrix stuck on perma-play or just a hard-working, unpretentious entertainer grunting in the trenches against the dying of the light, it's making rich fodder for pop commentators. But perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of commentary shows up in the comments section (!) of The Atlantic piece. A commenter identified as "dtechba" writes:
Britney as unwitting champion of Las Vegas as a city where stable and rewarding work contribute to familial harmony? We'll take it!
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