Because I Can’t Read Harry Potter Every Waking Second

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was listening to Britney Spears’ latest faux-apocalyptic dance hit today, which I actually enjoy in the way that it’s possible to enjoy anything that indicates the things you used to love have gotten older, flashed their junk, and gone to Promises. Since all I’m really doing these days is listening to pop radio & reading the Harry Potter books, suddenly feeling feelings about things for a second seemed like a bloggable anomaly.

In college, I used to watch Britney’s “Toxic” on repeat. I’d actually downloaded it to my computer because I wasn’t using YouTube then the way we all use it now. It’s possible to make the argument that I dated one of my college boyfriends because he could drop it like it’s hot the way she does in the video. At this point, pointing out the ways in which Britney’s no longer Britney is like yelling at your Totinos Party Pizza for being one; you bought it, you baked it, & you were pretty sure no matter how delicious & cheap it was, it was going to be a lousy parent. But when I see Britney now, I can’t help but feel a little responsible for how sad she is to watch, for having been a little bit too in love with the freak show, for telling myself, maybe wrongly, that feeling in any way complicated about her superstardom was wasted energy because she wanted it every bit as much as we did & knowing that she was going to end up a self-destructive spectacle was just part of what she’d signed up for so my signing off on it didn’t matter.

So, I don’t know. I love pop music, & spend a ton of time both loving it & loving how much fun it is to love it—because that’s got to be part of why we consume this stuff—but thinking in any real way about how hard the fame industry is on its products, self-destructive or no, makes me want to indulge more in the dance pop I can enjoy guiltlessly, that isn’t so involved with the rollercoastery rise & fall of its personalities.

This is really all just an excuse to talk about how ballin’ Robyn is. She’s insanely talented, energetic, ambitious, & has been working at this shit tirelessly forever. When I saw her here in February there was no way to leave that room without thinking about how much she seems to love what she does. Her studio recordings are as euphoric as her personal life is without scandal. And I like her music so much more than I like Britney’s, when all is said & done, that I’m sure it’s stupid to compare them, but really, is there a reason we can’t hear more of this amazing lady on the radio? Or should I just suck it up & get XM so I can start trawling for Swedish pop stations?

From the show I saw here, at Warehouse Live:

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. Maybe it’s that I love Robyn, & I love Britney, & I’d love to hear them both on the radio & feel great in my car forever. Maybe it’s that fetishizing those things we call our “guilty pleasures” can seem like the realest, most honest fun but it actually gets a little in the way of us spending more time with other things we enjoy & would support, without hesitation, & so maybe be able to enjoy all the more.


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