Tag: imbecilic serenity

Survival Is the Apocalypse: Britney Spears, Bataille, and the Phantom Zone

by on Mar.13, 2011

Aside from the iconic “…Baby One More Time” and Christina’s “Genie in a Bottle”, I really can’t handle the late ‘90s / early ‘00s incarnation of pop associated with Lou Pearlman. It all feels like a bad hangover from the late ‘80s, with the early ‘90s as the blackout at the end of the night. But while the stars of Christina and Timberlake have since spiraled in opposite trajectories (with Pearlman sentenced to 25 years for being a total asshole), Britney Spears has (de)stabilized into something of an anomaly within the pop constellation. More electron than star, she occupies a kind of probability distribution rather than a specific nodal point, manifesting as this or that image whenever an observation takes place, and only then. I’m an unapologetic fan of late career Spears, which at this point comprises just two albums, Blackout and Circus, and is about to include a third, Femme Fatale. But Blackout had the misfortune of being released during the apex of Spears’ extended public/personal meltdown, culminating in her disastrous performance of “Gimme More” at the MTV VMAs in 2007:

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