The inspiration for this week's Friday List is the post below by guest blogger (and Discussions producer) Paul Williams, who is able to take a crucial step back from the episodic hype served here daily and make lemonade from Britney Spears's life, which -- of late -- has taken on the general dimensions of a freighter full of lemons.
Before one person decries this focus on Brit -- yet again -- consider this. Train wreck or not, Spears is the proud mama (okay, perhaps a bad choice of words) of a hit song. Spears's new single "Gimme More" -- the same song Brit killed with a rusty knife at the last month's Video Music Awards -- is the top downloaded song on iTunes. An anomaly, you say? Hardly. Her song is also comfortably perched at no. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Brit is, as they say, all the rage.
And Paul is, as they say, all over it:
I was in college when Britney Spears's "Baby One More Time" video first aired. I can remember going into the campus paper on the Sunday after it came out, and every time a guy came into the office, invariably he would say something like, "Did you see that video, the one with the girl in the schoolgirl outfit?" Not since the Farrah Fawcett poster had there been such a seismic shift in post-adolescent male culture.
Now, less than 10 years later, Britney is a national joke -- an out-of-shape hoo-ha flasher who lost custody of her children to a guy you wouldn't trust to fill up your gas tank.
Yet she still has her defenders, and it's not just Chris Crocker. Read the comments about her, grammatically challenged though they may be, on mainstream sites like US Weekly or EW or People (or even here in Celebritology, Paul. -- Liz), and you will learn that for many, Britney still rulez.
What would it take, I wonder, for Britney's most diehard defenders to give up on her? What would cause someone like Crocker to throw off the bed sheet and admit defeat?
Below, my suggestions for how Britney Spears can strategically and irreversibly drive her popularity levels into the Earth's core:
1. Get elected to Congress.
2. Be named in the BALCO steroid investigation.
3. Develop the cure for HIV, then mistakenly leave it in a public restroom.
4. Reveal that she -- not David Chase -- conceived the last, cryptic scene of "The Sopranos" finale.
5. Appear in the next Osama bin Laden video, wearing a mini-burqa.
6. In "Transformers 2" distract Optimus Prime at a crucial moment, allowing Megatron to kill him.
7. snatch a long fly ball away from Cubs center fielder Alphonso Soriano in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Yankees a deciding Game 7 World Series victory and denying the Cubs their first championships since 1908. Yankees win, y'all!
8. Become a Death Eater.
-- Paul Williams
What would seal Britney's fate for you? Share your brainstorms below.