Britney Spears VS Eminem for the Title of "Ruler of the Universe!"
Weighing in corner number one at just a hundred pounds: the dance pop avenger, Britney Spears!
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I had the strangest dream last night. In my dream I was sitting in a movie theater watching what I assumed to be the latest in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series. (Ever see Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, featuring a then unknown Matthew McConaughey as a demonic hillbilly?) The film was going along as would be expected; Leatherface and his inbred cronies were chasing a nubile and naked young nymph around an empty swimming pool. At first nothing jumped out at me from the visage of buzzing chainsaw blades and spurting blood. But, as I looked closer I realized that the part of the victimized female was being played by none other than Britney Spears. (Dream logic me informed that this was her cinematic acting debut.) And there was something about the angst of her performance, the fear in her voice that prevented me from seeing her as simple chainsaw fodder. I became… frightened, and the dream morphed into a nightmare. Sweet, innocent, blood spattered Britney (her nakedness exposing a shaved nether-region!?!) being chased by these maniacal serial killers… it was too much to take and I awoke to a dark Seattle night. So I lay there, and I began to ponder my cloudy visit to Morpheus’ realm. What was Britney Spears doing in my dream, being cast as this poor, pillaged angel? To be honest, I was a bit surprised. I really didn’t think my conscious mind had given more than two minutes worth of time to the subject of Ms. Spears. I had admired her ABBA inspired "Baby, One More Time," with its almost baroque chord progression and Swedish funk, but soon it had leapt off my finely tuned cultural radar. A few months later, she caused another blip, showcasing her miserable lack of acting ability on an episode of Saturday Night Live. But that was it. Gone from sight. Until she showed up in my dream, being chased by Leatherface and his white trash brethren. Freud would have a field day with this one.
And in corner number two, the fire breathing patron-saint of cock-rap, Eminem!
Eminem, however, is a different story. I’ve been fascinated by the devilish, pasty rapper since he debuted with his randy, misanthropic album, "Slim Shadey LP." With its odes to women hating, violent murder and general mayhem, this was an album that made even me a little uncomfortable. (No small feat, as I’ve been know to fall asleep during Ed Gein documentaries, and thought the Notorious B.I.G. was a big ol’ fuzzball.) While most of gangsta’ rap’s practitioners embedded their stories of gang rapes and drive by shootings with enough of a sense of humor that you had to chuckle despite yourself, Eminem’s vitriol seemed a little too… real. As if he really could snap one day and serve pieces of his wife’s severed head to their daughter, hidden in Rice Krispies’ Treats. Eminem, like the sociopathic killer Brad Pitt played in Kalifornia, had a loner quality about him. NWA may have sung songs about gangland executions, but the acts seemed so outlandish that they took on the quality of urban folklore. Those guys were pure Al Capone and the James brothers. Eminem was more John Wayne Gacy and Henry Lee Lucas.
So how does my Britney Spears dream fit into all of this? Well, take a look at the cover of the new SOURCE magazine and you’ll see Eminem photographed in the guise of, what else, a chainsaw wielding maniac. When I saw that, it all started to make sense. God was sending me a message, and he was doing it, as he often does, via a dream featuring characters from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His message was a call to action. We’ve become accustomed to seeing pop music as passive, vapid and devoid of meaning, but the battle of good versus evil is being played out before us in the theater of teenage pop. Britney is the Angel of Good, a shining light of banal, painfully positive love ballads and breast augmentation surgery. (Like the best angels, Britney has a bit of a whore in her, and she’s "not that innocent.") Eminem is the Angel of Darkness, brash, malevolent, snuffing out innocence with his rapid fire delivery of misogynist, gay bashing, hip hop venom. Britney uses her lyrics to deflect meaning, Eminem uses them to shove his meaning down our throats. You know that ultimately Britney is a good person, but she's just so… boring. Eminem is an asshole, but part of you ends up rooting for him. Because he shows you that there is someone more fucked up, more evil, than you. Britney Spears may be our guilty pleasure, but Eminem is our guilt.
Wil Forbis is a
well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending
chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the
world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy,
he is making the world safe for democracy. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.
Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.