Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Page 2 [Print without images]

Friday, November 21, 2003
At the crossroads with Britney

Page 2 staff

EDITOR'S NOTE: If we haven't reached it yet, we're perilously close to it.

Critical Britney Mass, that is.

Britney
Everywhere we look lately, we see Britney. Is she overexposed, and should Page 2 be contributing?

She is everywhere. She gets more ABC air time than Peter Jennings. She's in more supermarket checkout lines than Snickers and Milky Way, combined. She's on stage more often than Tom Jones. In the last month alone, she's racked up enough publicity for us to fill four pages with photos. Easily.

We here at Page 2 are concerned. We have Spears Fears that she's overexposed, that we've reached Britney Burnout, that our Dear Readers might ... gasp! ... be tired of looking at her.

So we need to know. Should we try to remedy the situation by taking the bold step of refusing to cover Britney in the future? Or should we continue to run every salacious picture we can find?

We've asked three of our top Britney-philes to investigate. Interestingly enough, they came to dramatically different conclusions. Read on. Decide for yourself. And then tell us what to do by voting in the poll at the right.

Enough, already!

By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2

No mas. Or, in the spirit of Madonna's brief, pre-faux English accent flirtation with the Southern Hemisphere, no mas ... esta chica.

Britney Spears
Was Britney selling a soft drink last year ... or sex? The NFL should distance itself from such exploitation.
No. More. Britney.

Tedium, thy name is Spears. The coquettish pop princess is as subtle as a punch in the nose, nuanced as a nipple in the eye. Now she's a girl. Now she's a woman. Now she's giggling. Now she's grinding. Now she's innocent. Now she's "in the zone."

Really -- is anyone over the age of 16 still intrigued by the whole virgin/whore thing? Or by a clockwork-predictable career arc built on cheesy double-entendres and the promise of budding sexuality?

(And "In the Zone"? Seriously? Are we talking auto parts here? Or target heart rates? Attention, album-titlers of the world: We can do better. We need to do better.)

If her recent appearances at the NFL kickoff party, on network TV and before the U.N. Security Council are any indication -- heck, if her recent appearance is any indication -- Spears will do just about anything to prop up her flagging album sales. With good reason. Her shtick is played out. You may not know it, yet. Then again, you might be giving out copies of "Mr. Peabody's Apples" for the holidays, too.

To put it another way: A "shocking" stage kiss with the Material, er, Mom? C'mon. Shocking would have been a chaste handshake.

Also -- and the importance of this cannot be understated -- Spears isn't all that hot. Not model hot, to be sure. Not even hotter than the average 21-year-old kickboxing devotee you see at your local gym. (Yeah, like you're really there to work on your "core" strength.)

Speaking of looking: '80s pop tart Tiffany recently cashed in by posing for Playboy. Spears would undoubtedly command a far heftier sum by allowing the magazine to tastefully expose the approximately 11.4 square inches of her body that we haven't already seen. My advice to Britney? Take the money, before it's too late. Then run. Far, far away. Find yourself an island somewhere. La isla bonita, even.

Oh, and if you do manage to stay relevant for another 20 years, do us all a favor: No children's books.

Please.

Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at phrub@yahoo.com.


More, More, More

By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

(Britney, baby) Needs More Time
Sung to the tune of "(Hit Me Baby) One More Time")

Britney Spears
Are you ready for some ... provocatively dressed 21-year-olds?
Oh, Britney, Britney:
How were we supposed to know:
Your name would 'cause such hatin'?

Oh, Britney, Britney:
Your critics will eat some crow:
You're still so captivatin'!

Page 2:
How our readers love you!
So it's not true:
That your Page 2 bounce is overdue!

Our Brit-less-ness would bother me!
(And I!)
I must confess, I still believe:
(Still believe!)
If you're not with us,
we'll lose our mind
You're our lifeline!

Britney, baby, needs more time!

Oh, Britney, Britney:
Your comeback is such a thrill:
You were mackin' with Madonna!

Oh, Britney, Britney:
You're always so dressed to kill:
Pose in Playboy? (If you wanna!)

The Kiss
Imagine Britney making out with one of the Eagles cheerleaders ...
Ban you?
None others worthy in lieu!
What a snafu:
If your value we misconstrue!

Our Brit-less-ness would bother me!
(And I!)
I must confess, I still believe:
(Still believe!)
If you're not with us,
we'll lose our mind
You're our lifeline!

Britney, baby, needs more time!

We must confess!
If we're Britney-less:
Our traffic goes down ...
Don't you know we still believe:
Her photos we cheer,
The brackets are clear,
So much left in her prime ...

Britney, baby, needs more time!

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday.


Just a barn, baby

By Eric Neel
Page 2

There's a scene in Don DeLillo's great novel "White Noise" where people come from all over to photograph a barn near the side of the road. There's nothing remarkable about the barn; no one famous ever owned it or worked in it, no immaculate little baby was ever born in it. It's attractive enough as barns go, but in the end, it's just a barn. Except for one thing: through some fluke of circumstance, habit, and human nature, it's become the world's most photographed barn.

And now the word is out, and now people know this barn not as a barn but as a phenomenon. Now they pack up their kids and drive from sun-up to sun-down to take a picture of the barn, to be near the barn, to soak up its aura. They don't do it because they have any special feeling for the barn. They don't do it because the barn in any way speaks to them, inspires them, or moves them. They do it because it's what's being done. They do it to say they've done it.

Britney is cute enough, I guess. But she's a barn. We don't need any more pictures of her.

Eric Neel is a staff writer for Page 2.

Click here to see Page 2's photographic evidence of Britney's overexposure