I hate to say it, but when Elvis died his career was on a downward spiral. His early death saved him from eventual anonymity, with old age his earlier accomplishments would have faded into the footnotes of pop culture history if they weren't eclipsed by his strange and erratic behavior in an effort to remain current and in the Entertainment worlds headlines. Dying in his 40's created a legend and people still talk about him as if the height of his popularity was only yesterday. Dying was the best thing that could have happened in his career.
That's a pretty cruel thing for anyone to say about another human being, but that doesn't make it any less true. If what I've said so far is wrong, who was Elvis before he died? At the very least, he was a the side-show freak in the circus that's Las Vegas. People flocked to see him not because he was a great performer at the time, but because he was once a great performer... he became a caricature of him self with his flowing royal robes and capes with sewn in jewels and gems, a fleet of luxury cars and a house that mimicked or mocked a palace or The White House... The King Of Rock And Roll.
Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" has the perfect illustration of who and what "The King Of Rock And Roll" has become in our collective conscience when The Pharaoh of Egypt in this musical is an Elvis Impersonator. Make of that what you will... but I'm not taking it back.
Doubt Cast on Spears' Parenting
Troubled pop star Britney Spears' former employees have been spilling secrets about her poor parenting, insisting she often got drunk in front of her kids and hired nannies without paying attention to their childcare qualifications. The singer is currently embroiled in a bitter court battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline, who is seeking full custody of their two sons, Sean Preston, 23 months, and Jayden James, 11 months, after becoming concerned about Spears' parental skills. And he's not the only one casting doubt on her fitness to be a mum - former employees have revealed she's a mental wreck too. One tells Us Weekly, "She drinks in front of the kids. At first, the drinks would help her loosen up and not be so angry. But she'd inevitably drink too much and be out of it, at which point the nannies would take care of the kids." Another source reveals, "She'll strip down in front of staff, nannies, whomever. She'll ask, 'Do I look sexy? Do I look pretty?' She's extremely insecure." Others accuse the star of employing her workforce based on candidates' age and personality, rather than any formal qualifications or previous experience with children: "She just cares about whether they're young and fun and like to drink and party. She hires people to be her friends."
Now, as I write this, we're watching the continuing decline of The Pop Princess herself, Britney Spears. My wife seems to think that I'm obsessed with her or this story... which I am to an extent. Britney Spears is Instant Replay of The Anna Nicole Smith Show. It's just a matter of time before something awful and dreadful happens to this young woman, virtually orphaning her two sons whom she is already neglecting and mistreating. Her life is a warning and precautionary tale for anyone who wants to be an "American Idol."
On the 30th Anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, we have this from IMDB... It's simply a matter of time before we wake up with the news that this woman has either been found dead in her home, or that she's abandoned her children with her mother or ex-husband and she's now taking up a career in pornography in an effort to prove to the world that she is still the sexiest woman alive... then you'll read about her untimely death. You didn't even read it here on The Fedora Chronicles first, I'm just echoing what I've said elsewhere, as well as what I've read in other sites and publications..
Britney Spears, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Norma Jean Baker, River Phoenix and so many other Celebrities have so much in common, it's as if the same script is being used for a different movie over and over again... like "A Star Is Born," or The Real Judy Garland Story... a young girl or boy who rose to fame quickly and then gave into the hype and the stress, then the drinking and the drugs or reckless behavior, while clawing to stay on top and remain a top rated performer and competing with new up and coming performers who have the edge they used to have, while clinging to the wrong people for love and support...
[The Irony doesn't escape me that the last rant I wrote for Picture Tube was a review of Kathy Griffin's "My Life On The D-List," Season 3, which is of course about the opposite end of the popularity spectrum...]
And personally I've come with some thoughts after some soul searching, traveling and talking with other Retro's, some of whom are trying (and succeeding) in capturing the look and style of our own favorite celebrity and action hero. Chasing celebrity status, chasing that same body type along with the right clothes, with the money and the mere celebrity status is like playing Russian Roulette with a fake gun, but not knowing it's fake but dying anyway after the trigger was pulled. The key my friends and I have learned is to have fun with it, be yourself and not take your self so dam'n seriously. Don't let maintaining the image ruin your life. (Most celebrities have a lot to learn from their fans... hear what I'm saying?)
(or a cry for help a few years ago...)
This is a story about a girl named Lucky…
Early morning, she wakes up
Knock, knock, knock on the door
It's time for makeup, perfect smile
It's you they're all waiting for
"Isn't she lovely, this Hollywood girl?"
And they say…
She's so lucky, she's a star
But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart, thinking
If there's nothing missing in my life
Then why do these tears come at night
Lost in an image, in a dream
But there's no one there to wake her up
And the world is spinning, and she keeps on winning
But tell me what happens when it stops?
"Isn't she lovely, this Hollywood girl?"
And they say…
"Best actress, and the winner is…Lucky!"
"I'm Roger Johnson for Pop News standing outside the arena waiting for Lucky"
"Oh my god…here she comes!"
Isn't she lucky, this Hollywood girl?
She is so lucky, but why does she cry?
If there's nothing missing in her life
Why do tears come at night?
Is "Lucky" to Britney Spears what "Citizen Kane" was for Orson Wells; an Autobiography and foreshadowing of her life that was yet to be?)
Celebrity Status and fame is fake. When I was in Times Square with Aaron Gantt last week, we saw a crowd surround Tyra Banks while she was on a remote shoot for her show. She's one of the few celebrities I've seen in person for a while, and in the middle of the afternoon she looked as if she was one of the most exhausted, unhappy people I've ever seen in a while.
Few moments later, I joked about how I was someone famous, too... asking "where are my cameras." As if on queue people started taking pictures of me as if I really was. (All though, people have stopped me in shops like The Colony Mill in Keene New Hampshire and a Stop And Shop in Princeton New Jersey telling me they've read my work here and on The Indy Experience...) I was famous to someone I've never met before, simply because I said I was.
It's all fake... you're a celebrity if you say you are long enough and the right people hear it. What else makes one person famous and one person not? Is there is this committee out there that grants them the mantel of "Celebrity?" Is it because Entertainment Tonight does a story about you, or you've been featured in a magazine (I've been featured in two... first time was hiking with a group for a week while camping in Cranberry Lake, New York... one I've never seen about students who under-achieving kids high school and then made the Dean's List in College and if there was some "scientific explanation...") To some it comes easy, to some it comes hard, to some it never comes at all... and for too many they work themselves literally to death to keep it after they've had a taste. For some, like Britney, Lindsay Lohan, and maybe even the Olson Twins, they rose to fame long before they reached maturity. Now they're paying for it while their antics are making the papers... and since that's keeping them in the news, they have to maintain the bad behavior... and it's all fun and games before someone gets hurt as they get pulled over by the polices with the paparazzi in tow...
Some people aren't stubborn enough, or think headed enough, to handle being a celebrity and remain their own people, they aren't strong enough personalities to remain true to them selves and go half mad with trying to cater to every whim the media has. The real trick is to be yourself and be the trend setters yourself... but that's another rant.
What's The Fedora Chronicles Connection? We're all miners in the coal mine of life, celebrities serve as the Canaries in these mine shafts. They're the first to burn out and die as the latest trends and fashions die out, indicating that it's time to get out and move on. Perfect example is John Belushi's death was the end of the casual cocaine use in The United States and was the first indication that white powder was a killer.
As our societies morality runs hot and cold, celebrities serve as a barometer... with the wild behavior these younger and younger celebrities exhibit get more and more out of control, it's a sign that maybe the youth culture (out side of our Vintage Aficionados and Retro-Head Circles) is heading into stormy seas.
I've come the long way around into saying that it's just a matter of time before Britney Spears has an obituary in every Celebrity Gossip rag and major news paper. I would wager that somewhere in the offices of The Associated Press offices someone's updating it now.
Britney Spears will be dead soon if she continues on this path of self destruction and neglect. She'll do something incredibly stupid to maintain the attention level or over-dose once the camera's and her money is gone. Her record albums will soar back into the charts, there will be candle-light vigils by her fans, she'll become a symbol of someone "struck down before her time..." and media talking heads will talk about what "could have been if she lived..."
I only hope that someone can get a hold of her kids before she takes them with her. Let's just hope they don't become just like Lisa Marie Presley.
Please... I gotta tell you... I'm not interested in posting any links about Britney Spears or Elvis Presley. You can't swing a dead google around the internet with out hitting a news story about these two. I could post a link to the US Magazine story about a dude named Matt Encinias who claims he spent a twisted night with Brit-Brit... but that would just ad fuel to the fire. I'm not sure if we should congratulate, pity him, be embarrassed for him... or point him in the direction of where he can get a STD test and new publicist at one stop. Stop by the forum and let us know what you think..