Jewish World Review
Feb. 28, 2000 /22 Adar I, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- BRITNEY SPEARS is a paragon -- of adolescent American insipidity and shamelessness. In case you haven't yet had the misfortune of being introduced, Britney is the teen pop star with a tinny-thin voice, shiny blonde tresses, chronically exposed navel, and an IQ that roughly equals her much-discussed chest size.
Britney's debut album (which includes such lyrical masterpieces as "E-Mail My Heart," "Deep in my Heart," and "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart") has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. A former Mickey Mouse Club member, she catapulted to MTV fame by dressing up in a soft-core schoolgirl uniform two sizes too small and warbling: "When I'm not with you I lose my mind; give me a sign; hit me, bayh-bee, one more time."
This teen harlot-in-training, admired by your young daughters and nieces and granddaughters, takes her leading role in the pedophilia chic movement seriously. The director of Britney's latest music video is a well-known pornographer. Rolling Stone lauded her as a "''growling jailbait dynamo." Reacting to conservatives who criticized the magazine's Lolita-like photo layout of the young entertainer in bra and hot pants, Britney griped: "When I saw the cover, I thought, 'wow, this is hot,' but I guess other people thought it was too sexy."
Not sexy. Just vulgar. Tasteless. Downright trashy. Where were Britney's parents? Probably tooling around in the new Mercedes their daughter paid for with her 110 pounds of overexposed flesh.
Countless interviews with tabloid and fashion magazines center around the 18-year-old's penetrating thoughts on her hair, hemline, lipstick, diet, clothes, and, yes, her nascent songwriting skills. She has just completed an opus titled "Dear Diary," which she says is "a personal song ... about a girl who's interested in this guy, and she comes in every night and she writes about him." Profound.
On Wednesday night, bummed-out Britney failed to turn any of her eight - eight! -- Grammy nominations into gold. No matter. Her staggering commercial success has spawned a generation of belly-baring clones (Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, and Christina Aguilera, the last of whom beat out Spears for "Best New Artist"). The wannabes strive mightily to be ever blonder, bubblier, and bolder than their prototype.
Aguilera's award-winning single, "Genie in a Bottle," for example, invites her paramour to "come and rub me the right way."
The dumbing down and sexing up of young American idols is nothing new. But with the proliferation of cable, Internet, and other multimedia outlets, the rise and influence of teen bimbos is faster, wider, and more unbearably
As gaggles of young blonde airheads babble and shimmy their way onto the U.S. music charts, I wonder why we have no homegrown Charlotte Church to call our own. The 14-year-old soprano from Wales is a truly talented breath of fresh, clean air whose two albums of classical and contemporary hits have sold millions. While Britney lip-synced at the MTV music award gala last fall clad only in small scraps of tight black leather, Charlotte sang a capella in a simple velvet dress, covered from neck to toe.
Charlotte's signature piece is Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu." (No, Britney, it's not a dessert. It's Latin for "Blessed Jesus.") Her favorite popular tunes are "Summertime" from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess;" "Amazing Grace;" and "Danny Boy." In addition to English and Latin, Charlotte sings in Italian, French, and Welsh. She is a good student, witty, humble, and well-mannered, and her favorite keepsake is a rosary blessed by the Pope.
Do the beloved young girl in your life a favor: Put Britney's "music" in
the trash where it belongs and buy her one of Charlotte's albums instead.
Sing her Brahm's "Lullaby." Learn the words to "O Mio Babbino Caro"
together. And show her, please, that not all teen-age role models are
vapid strumpets ready to sell their bodies and their dignity for a
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