You go away for such a short time, but the news keeps breaking without you. Feigned surprise: some people are shocked, shocked that Britney Spears lost custody of her children the same week that her new single hit Billboard number 3. Haven’t we all figured out by now that these occurrences are directly linked? There’s no unintended consequence of controversy, no irony, no who’d a thunk it. Two kids and a little bit of dignity are a devil’s bargain if the promise is eternal pop success. Especially, and this assumes no undisclosed back room haggling, she gets to keep her soul at the end. This probably explains her terminal wastedness. If you bought yourself that unchinkable Dorian Gray armor, wouldn’t you be drunk all the time?
It’s worth remembering in this context that Britney’s first movie was called Crossroads (2002, flop). And while that movie was ostensibly about sexual awakening, as it is everywhere in Britney’s narrative, it serves to show how successfully she converted her virginity into direct currency. It’s just the price of learning the blues guitar, baby.