This just came in via our "Obvious Observations" desk - I'm a better parent then the woman who was once named by Forbs magazine as the most powerful woman in The Entertainment Industry. Just goes to show that money can't buy happiness, security, love or respect.
I have two sons, ages 5 and 3. These kids are everything to me: they're my off-spring, They're also my side-kicks and companions, since I take them everywhere and I try to do everything with them. They're also part of the bond between me and my wife and soul mate. If something were to happen that would separate me from my boys, I would fight like hungry lion (or change my inappropriate behavior) to get them back.
I admit that I go to an extreme with these kids, take them hiking, camping and even to special events and functions that are supposed to be grown-ups only like wedding receptions. (I've noticed that we don't get invitations to these things any more... what's up with that?) I also go to the other extreme, I flatly refused to go see "Revenge Of The Sith" in the theaters because Coppertop couldn't go. I stood my ground - If he couldn't go, I wouldn't go. [People who knew me while growing up in Vermont are now flipping through the bible to see if this is one of the many signs of The Apocalypse and the beginning of the Seven Year Tribulation...]
As I started writing this, I just got back from chaperoning my son's first school field trip, it was a great day to a local Apple Orchard... so great that I think that for my wife's birthday this Friday we'll go again. I want to include my kids in almost everything, I want to be included in what ever my kids do and I want to indoctrinate my son into "The Dead Poet's Society" and teach them about the concept of being extraordinary people who "suck the marrow" out of life. Teach them about "Carpe Diem" and how lives that are ordinary or half lived aren't lives worth living at all. I want them to have a passion for travel, history and experiencing new things. I want to teach them what one of my mentors taught me, that you can be "Safe" and "Sorry." I want to teach them how to actually live, not just exist and consume resources.
Going back morning of Coppertop's first day of school left me feeling melancholy, sad that the first phase of his life was over and another one was beginning. Did I do enough for him? Did I do enough with him? That time in his life is over and I can't ever give it back. I prayed a little - God, I'll let you have the last 5 good years of my life if I could just relive and redo the last 5 just past. A parent that doesn't feel that way has no business being a parent. And just as I'm sure that I'm writing a new article for the best site for Vintage Aficionados and Retro-Centrics, I'm as sure that Britney Spears doesn't feel the same about her sons. How can I be so sure?
After the birth of my second son, I quit a lot of bad habits, and some of the ones I REALLY liked. I haven't bought a bottle of scotch for myself, I been watching what I eat... and there are a few others. I've slipped up but for the most part I'm no longer living the 'Earnest Hemingway" style of living... I quit before I got the part to where I married a shot gun and kissed the bride. The reason is simple - I don't want to look back at these years and wonder if I could have done better... I don't want to look back at these regrets, guilt and horror.
That said, I can't imagine what Britney Spears is going through this week, since she had to turn over custody of her two sons that she had with Kevin Federline. And to some extent, I'm a bit cold and unconcerned about her right now. I'm past the point of being bitter. If anything, I'm almost glad and gleeful that she's suffering a sense of loss and pain (if she's sober enough) because she'll wake up out of this funk and get her life together. Or, the other extreme and only other choice she has is to drink, party, drug and fornicate herself into an oblivion and wake up in purgatory next to Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nichole. One would hope that this pain that she could be experiencing would shake her up and jar her into getting her act together...
None of these things she's done, to the best of my knowledge. She has yet to give up on the drinking, the late-night clubbing and the reckless behavior. If anything, her behavior seems to be more erratic and more unbalanced, trying to hang on to her last bit of popularity and celebrity status. What has Britney Spears done for her children? What has she given up for them, how has she changed her life to suit her new roll as a parent? Does she even know what "age-appropriate behavior" means?
It's pretty clear to me, someone this far a way and this remote can tell that she just doesn't care for her kids the way a normal parent should. To her, they seem to be more like props then anything else, almost as if she's already a has-been turned stage-mom and living vicariously through her kids that she's pushing into performing and entertainment. Some of the public experiences with her kids gives me the impression that these children are mere props, since she's playing the character of a former Teen-Pop princess playing the roll of a mom, but not actually being one since her priority now is going out late at night and partying... and forgetting to put her panties on.
Worst of all, Britney Spears was ordered by the court to turn over her children on Wednesday night, but did so after mere hours after the court order was handed down. As if she couldn't get her kids out of her life fast enough so she could continue with her her meteoric decline to her final destination towards rock-bottom.
The Opera of Britney Spears is important in this regard - she's a barometer for the feminine side of our culture. She's not everything that's wrong with young women these days, she's the proverbial Canary in The Mine Shaft. Seeing Britney Spears self-destruct is mostly her doing while her failing popularity is the light at the end of the tunnel for our society. That light isn't just her candle burning at both ends, it's the light-bulb going off in our collective minds say "Know what, we're not going to allow you to phone in your phony performances. We're not going to allow your behavior to be a negative example and corrupt our daughters and sisters." The backlash she's experiencing now is society saying "No more, we're not going to take it any longer."
Other media outlets are also getting the picture for this newly minted has-been. Ironically or just poetic justice... late yesterday afternoon I found a bunch of links to a news story was released circa September 22nd; Playboy Magazine (famous for publishing nudes of female celebrities on the rise or on the decline...) rejected the offer for her to do a photo-shoot for a later issue. When you were once named the most desirable woman in the world (soon after being named as one of the most powerful and influential in Hollywood...) and Hugh Hefner doesn't want you any more, Rock-bottom is with in reach. With her failed performance at The MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks back, the last thing she needs now is to see the sales of her next album that's due out shortly to tank. I predict there will be one for me in the mail box for me to review. (If I do get one, and it suck... you'll just see a picture of the disk being used as a coaster under my Fedora Chronicles Aviation Coffee Mug. I DARE her label to send me a disk. Double dog dare... )
This would be a great time for Ms. Spears to get her act together and focus on two important things, and in this order - getting her kids back and raise them better then her mother raised her, and to focus on her career. And when I say this work on her career, I'm not talking about being getting attention by being a public train wreck and the poster child for under-education over paid white trash... I'm talking about producing an album that's successful with out relying too much on over-dubbing and folks will actually be able to listen to.
Sadly - at this rate this is never going to happen. Just as I'm getting ready to put this article to bed - another story crossed the wire: Britney Spears failed to show up for her drug test this week. I actually hope she does go to jail - and when she does, I'll be sure to send her a copy of Audrey Hepburn's biography. She'll have plenty of time to read while behind bars if she's not to busy singing "Jailhouse Rock." Spears needs to learn what it means to be a performer AND a lady who cares.
BloggingStocks: Britney Spears in Playboy, Vanessa Hudgens nude: How naked stars earn money -- even when they're not
"TransWorldNews (press release), GA - Sep 22, 2007: "Britney Spears Turned Down by Playboy." Hefner may be doing Britney Spears a huge favor by underbidding as a deal with Playboy might not be in the “Toxic” singer’s best interests if she wants to ...
Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand: "Playboy turns down nude Britney shoot." - Sep 23, 2007
ShortNews.com, Germany - Oct 2, 2007 - "Playboy Rejects Britney - Playboy has declined to do a nude photo shoot of embattled pop star Britney spears after no middle ground could be found between Hugh Hefner's offer..."
New York Post: "Britney Spears: Oops, missed my drug test!" BY NANCY DILLON - DAILY NEWS WEST COAST BUREAU CHIEF