To think, I almost found myself agreeing with John Mayer.
His response to the simmering Britney Spears lip-synching scandal -- mocking those who expressed outrage at the fact Spears was faking it during her concert in Perth, Australia last weekend -- would appear to be dead-on. One could even take this train of thought a step further and opine that getting conned out of $1,300 (for some seats) might be considered getting off lightly for those who continue to refer to whatever it is that Spears does as "music," but far be it from me to take the low road.
And sure, the righteous indignation that always accompanies these stories was somewhat understandable back in 1989, when the world was awash in the optimism that only comes with the victory of trickle-down economics over godless Communism. It therefore came as a crushing blow to the country's confidence when Milli Vanilli, MTV darlings and near-permanent fixture at my little sister's slumber parties, were exposed as frauds by a skipping CD player. Our great nation reeled from the shock. After all, these were no mere flashes-in-the-pan, they were Best New Artist Grammy winners. Forget Watergate or the Kennedy assassination, 1989 was the year America truly lost its innocence.
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Since then, more and more frauds have been turned out, but we've become too jaded and disillusioned to care. Enrique Iglesias, Ashley Simpson, 50 Cent, Sarah Brightman, R. Kelly...and these are just the ones who've been caught. But while Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan were forced to give back their Grammy and their record label deleted the masters of their album (Girl You Know It's True), an action more suited to the Commies we punked in the Cold War, the worst thing today's offenders can expect is a snide blog entry or two on TMZ, which only ends up helping them move a few extra units on iTunes.
As for the Britney Incident, this is hardly her first rodeo. All of her VMA apperances were canned, especially the famous 2007 "comeback" performance, in which she appeared to be on the same tranquilizers they give Bevo to make sure he doesn't gore anybody during Texas games. She's repeatedly demonstrated that there is nothing remotely authentic about her...product, and we continue to reward her with gold albums and sold-out shows.
But it seems unfair to fault the Australians for their apparent naivete. This is, after all, a nation of convicts and INXS fans...mere children, really. Instead of making fun of those who felt betrayed that they were robbed of the full "If You See Kay" experience, we should offer them the benefit of our decades of hard-won knowledge. And so, on behalf of my country, let me reassure our Down Under brothers and sisters.
You've taken your first step into a frightening, yet ultimately more liberating world.