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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
 
My sister recently read a magazine article that published a poem written by Britney Spears. As you know, Ms. Spears is an accomplished and versatile singer and dancer (and when I say "accomplished and versatile", I of course mean "overpraised and vapid"). However, she has not been known for her songwriting. According to my sister, this poem was proof as to why.

Apparently, she does not have the songwriting skills of Bob Dylan. Hell, she doesn't even have the songwriting skills of Bob Vila. And yet, here she is a published poet. Her poem (which rhymed, by the way, because all good poems rhyme) was about all of the things she does in a day. It wasn't a message about the hectic life of a pop star, or an examination at the simultaneously frustrating and rewarding aspects of fame. Just a list. There's a line about her assistant doing something, a line about her makeup, etc.

This was what Britney Spears so desperately had to tell us. She doesn't get to express her true feelings through her songs, and so they stay bottled up. So finally she puts pen to paper, opening a portal into her inner most workings and feelings. And what does she give us? A to do list.

When my sister told me this, I was reminded of a time at my high school library (NERD ALERT!) where, for a laugh, I picked up Kathie Lee Gifford's autobiography. The first page I turned to had - you'll never guess - a poem! This one had a message to it, and that message was basically "My new son is a treat!" It was basically talking about having a new baby, and how lovely he is. Not a bad idea for a poem, but...Actually, yeah, that is a bad idea for any poem that isn't on a greeting card.

But Jeremy, you may ask, did the poem rhyme? And to that I answer your question with a question. If you were Kathie Lee Gifford and you were going to write a poem about your newly born son, do you think you would actually be able to stop yourself from making it rhyme? I didn't think so.

Now while it's good that they are trying to broaden their horizons, I think that they should keep the poems to themselves until they accelerate past the eighth grade level. Just like how I'd object to Alex Trebek dropping a hip-hop album or Hilary Duff performing surgery on me ("Unless it was ORAL surgery! Huh huh huh! Ow, yeah!" This frat boy moment was brought to you by Mattel).

A different example of this is at Disneyland. In one Main Street shop, they sell train whistles. On the whistle is the following quote from Walt Disney himself: "I've always had a love of trains."

I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be seeing that in "The Quotable Walt Disney" any time soon. More likely in the "Quotes Walt Disney Said In Meaningless Conversations And Magazine Interviews" volume. Disney was a pretty decent philosopher who had many insightful things to say in his lifetime. That was not of them. And yet it is treated with some sort of importance.

I know that I talk a lot about the insane amounts of praise that celebrities get, but it never ceases to amaze me. Britney Spears and Kathie Lee Gifford are probably the worst published poets to graduate from high school, and a passing train endorsement from a great man gets stamped on a product.

It makes me wonder if it's possible for an A-list celebrity to say something stupid. I don't mean controversial, just dumb. Besides the celebrities that are notorious for saying dumb things (Jessica Simpson and our President come immediately to mind), I can't think of people talking about that really dumb thing that one big celebrity said. I'd be willing to bet that if Brad Pitt said, "I never learned how to read, nor did I ever WANT to learn how to read," people would respond with "How brave he is."

I do like the idea of becoming a famous actor and writer. However, I never want to get famous to the point where I say "I love spaghetti" and then see it printed on a box of Barilla. In fact, I wrote a poem about it:

Tell me why does Britney Spears
Print poems for all to see?
Does she not know that they are bad?
It's baffling to me.

So she is now a famous poet
Because she's in show biz.
And yet most people do not know
Who Billy Collins is.

I bet if Britney wrote a script
They'd take it to Broadway.
And yet few people went to see
My superhero play.

Disney says that he likes trains.
They put that on a whistle.
Yet no one cares that I like trains.
It makes my back hairs bristle.

If I wrote something meaningless,
A blurb bursting with brevity,
Would that be all I'd need to do
To be the next celebrity?

Also, on a not-really-related note, they are playing Christmas music at my work right now. Now, I like Christmas music probably more than I should (since I don't have a religion. I'm the Hypocritical Agnostic!), but I object to playing music based around one specific holiday in stores, restaurants and other public places (especially holidays that have that religion's central figure in the name). I think it's rude to those who do not celebrate Christmas. As if to say "Sorry Jewish/African/Atheist guy, but our religion kicks your religion's ass!"

Am I the only one who feels this way?

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