Iron Maiden: Where Others Gloss over the Horrors of Celebrity Culture, Britney Spears Lets It All Hang out, Writes Alice O'Keeffe

By O'Keeffe, Alice | New Statesman (1996), December 10, 2007 | Go to article overview

Iron Maiden: Where Others Gloss over the Horrors of Celebrity Culture, Britney Spears Lets It All Hang out, Writes Alice O'Keeffe


O'Keeffe, Alice, New Statesman (1996)


"It's Britney, bitch." Thus begins the latest album by Britney Spears, marking her metamorphosis from teen sweetheart into the most terrifying woman in contemporary pop. Even when she was cavorting around in a school uniform, there was a hint of steel in Spears's megawatt smile (and in her early announcement--admittedly soon abandoned--that she would remain a virgin until she married). Now, after two children, divorce, a custody battle, bereavement and alleged problems with drugs, she looks cold and glassy but apparently indestructible, like a kind of popstress-terminator.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Out of the well-documented wreckage of her personal life has emerged Blackout, a feisty and, at times, brilliant pop record. It could also serve as a morality tale for anyone who believes that being famous might be fun. It is de rigueur for stars to complain about the pressures of celebrity, but few have made it sound as unequivocally hellish as Spears. On "Piece of Me", her robotic-sounding voice intones wearily over a knockout punch of a bassline: "I'm Miss American Dream since I was 17 ... /Miss Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous/Miss Oh My God that Britney's Shameless/Miss Extra! Extra! This just in/Miss she's too big now she's too thin." At times, the exasperation is barely contained: "I'm most likely to get on TV for slipping on the street when I'm out getting groceries ... /No wonder there's panic in the industry/I mean, please."

The griping is a bit rich, coming from somebody who, when she first married the dancer Kevin Federline (who had left his eight-months pregnant partner for Spears), signed up for a reality TV show called Britney and Kevin: Chaotic. But that tension is what gives the album its claustrophobic power--Spears evidently knows that she is being devoured by her own fame, and yet she still craves it. The thumping first single from Blackout, and Spears's biggest hit in several years, is appropriately entitled "Gimme More"; her dazed, stumbling performance of the song at an MTV awards ceremony in September indicated that more was the last thing she needed.

Elsewhere, the songs on Blackout sound like the voracious cries of a sex-crazed cyberwoman--in a good way. On the best song on the album, the stupidly bouncy "Hot As Ice", Spears professes to being "just a girl with the ability to drive men crazy". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Iron Maiden: Where Others Gloss over the Horrors of Celebrity Culture, Britney Spears Lets It All Hang out, Writes Alice O'Keeffe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.