Britney & Kevin: Chaotic
Upon watching Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, the latest addition to the peeping Tom genre, one of the finest uses for television ever in my opinion. I was struck by how this was the crowning jewel of the celeb watch. I have a soft spot for Jessica Simpson, because I think she's funny in a natural way, and smarter than you think, (and I caught a glimpse of her in the Abercrombie and Fitch at the mall here in town when she was here filming "Dukes of Hazzard", so we have a connection, ya know) and Ozzy Osbourne is one of the better paternal role models on TV since Homer Simpson. Both obviously, glaringly flawed, but engaged with their kids in an actual way that no sitcom dad in recent memory has been, not even the 7th Heaven dad. And forget that cipher of a show with the boring drummer from Blink 182: there is the usual reality of celebrity - they are boring and have money and spend it on boring things - wheeeeee!
Chaotic on its premier episode hold promise in that you see both sides of America's ex-girlfriend-they-still-talk-about-all-the-time Britney Spears. We see the completely detached from reality Britney, with the patently unattractive stage-ware and the wait-where-are-her-nipples-anyway cleavage in her interview segments and the manic wielding of the camcorder, interrupting any possible response to the mildly embarrassing questions she poses with turning it on herself to capture her panicked laughter. On the other hand, you do get a taste of the goofy girl in the gilded cage who despite having the world at her fingertips still chooses to make her own fun.
Now for Kevin. He is like Britney in that people love to tsk tsk like Baptists when their names are mentioned. "How dare he leave his pregnant girlfriend for Britney?" we pretend to ask the cosmos, shaking our little fists, but really, we know that guy. He was most likely going to leave her for no one at all, for a friend's couch and an XBOX. Add in the fact that Britney Fucking Spears, someone so out of his league socially that she is a merely a hyperbolic metaphor for out-of-his-league wants to take him around the world and fuck him a bunch of times a day in hotel suites bigger than the apartment in which he was going to ditch his baby and baby mama: well, seems like a no brainer even for a no brainer. And that baby is actually going to be taken care of financially now, if only by some underlayer of Britney's financial empire, but in better shape than if he'd stayed.
The priceless moments in the show are his soliloquies on love to the camera, trying all he can to look serious and not bust out laughing. he is perfectly aware of his situation of being a kept man, a cultural punchline, but his hazy bong hit stare relays the message back "Sweeeeet..." he knows its probably not going to last, but he knows he can ride the aftermath for quite some time. The hush money at the demise of their relationship will be more than any of us would know what to do with.
What I'm getting at here is that out of all the reality celeb business going on, I feel I can relate to them more than the others. Are they "trashy?" Perhaps, but I'd honestly say I would be the most gloriously trashy person on the planet if I had that kind of money. I'd have a solid gold Eddie Bauer special edition Double-wide with platinum rims on the freaking moon. And I'd take my reconditioned Russian shuttle down to Taco Bell and get one of everything. Four-star restaurants? What-everrrrr, lets listen to the Eminem tape and take the double size Expedition to the place with the best Bar-b-Que on the continent (which is Gate's BBQ in Kansas City, by the way. One of the only saving graces of that torpid toad of a city). Its an abuse of power I can really appreciate in understand. She's a lot like Bill Clinton, lambasted for not living up to an imaginary standard of restraint and civility when the world is their eager playground, but I'd have to say, if I had the personal force they had to become that huge, I'd be right up there wallowing in my excesses with them.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
Memories are Now, is a bold and inventive collection from Jesca Hoop who says each new record begins with a musical identity crisis