Monday, January 5, 2004

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A very important post about... Britney Spears


I'm sorry, I just haven't been able to focus today because of Britney Spears' marriage/annulment. What could explain this sort of tabloid celebrity behavior by such a... celebrity?

I think it was that Christina Aguilera. According to the Associated Press:

[Spears] relates a story about seeing Aguilera, her former friend and fellow Mouseketeer, for the first time in two years: "She comes up to me in a club in front of all these people and tries to put her tongue down my throat!

"I say, 'It's good to see you,' and she goes, 'Well, you're not being real with me.' I was like, 'Well, Christina, what's your definition of real? Going up to girls and kissing them after you haven't seen them for two years?'

That and a liplock from Madonna? You can witness the bad morals spreading from mouth to mouth!

More seriously, Entertainment Weekly (subscription required) had a great November cover story -- that's the cover above -- that chronicled the beginning of Mariah Carey-like behavior. One section:

[E]ver since her breakup last year with first love Justin Timberlake (who later cast a Britney look-alike in a none-too-flattering role for his ''Cry Me a River'' video), and that much-publicized but never-materialized yearlong hiatus she promised to take, there have been plenty of highly visible symptoms. Like her tear earlier this year through virtually half the nightclubs in New York (where she couldn't even light up a cigarette without tabloids making a huge fuss). Those rumors of a fling with the balding 32-year-old Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst were pretty shocking too. (Durst went on ''Howard Stern'' and gallantly described Spears' pubic region to millions of listeners.) Add to all that the legitimate anxiety over her musical staying power.

And throw in all the other stresses and strains of being the world's most scrutinized 21-year-old pop star -- the grueling video shoots, the countless interviews, the big-dollar endorsements, the endless grind of disrobing for magazine covers, not to mention the hurtful backlash from conservative Brit-haters like Kendel Ehrlich, the governor of Maryland's wife, who announced her desire to ''shoot'' Spears (while speaking at a domestic-violence conference, of all places) -- and it's easy to see why the poor girl got the flu.

''She probably needs to get laid,'' Spears says, rolling her eyes, when asked about that trigger-happy governor's wife. ''These parents, they think I'm a role model for their kids, that their kids look at me as some sort of idol. But it's the parents' job to make sure their kids don't turn out that shallow. It's the parents who should be teaching their kids how to behave. That's not my responsibility. I'm not responsible for your kid.''

Even more seriously, Andrew Sullivan notes:

[C]an you not see how something like Britney Spears' insta-marriage in Las Vegas might infuriate long-committed gay couples who, even now, don't have a shred of the rights Ms Spears enjoyed for a few days? It is one thing for people to declare their commitment to traditional marriage - i.e. procreative, life-long, heterosexual. It is another thing when that ideal has almost no relationship to civil marriage as it now exists for straights; and when it is nevertheless used to deny gay people access to the institution. Over the holidays, I found myself watching all those VH1 list shows, and happened across the top ten or twenty (I forget which) shortest Hollywood marriages in history. Ha ha ha. We live a world in which Britney Spears just engaged in something "sacred" (in the president's words), where instant and joke hetero marriages and divorces are a subject of titillation, and where a decades-long monogamous lesbian marriage is a threat to civilization as we know it. Please.

I wonder if Britney is still Karl Rove's dream voter.

UPDATE: Scrappleface has more. And since Instapundit says this is "the only Britney Spears wedding post you need to read," I'll also link to the Smoking Gun, which has Spears' annulment papers.

posted by Dan on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM


“I'm sorry, I just haven't been able to focus today because of Britney Spears' marriage/annulment. What could explain this sort of tabloid celebrity behavior by such a... celebrity?”

Britney Spears is nowhere near as talented as Madonna. She became famous for her Lolita like behavior. Sigh, she is now a 21 year old woman and has to find a new marketable persona---and that’s not likely to happen. The Humpert Humperts of the world want nothing more to do with her. Britney is a has been who must do anything to attract attention. I expect her to do a full frontal for Play Boy sometime this year. Britney will soon be forced to do nostalgia tours.

posted by: David Thomson on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I understand Andrew's point -- and it's well taken -- but that's exactly what conservatives fear. That marriage will become a joke, that gays will do to marriage what Hollywood has done to it. What the "liberal culture" has done to it. That it will be the death of marriage.

They also don't want to walk around with a ring on their finger, and have people say: "Married, eh? Man or woman?"

posted by: Jettison on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I simply fail to understand Andrew Sullivan’s advocacy of gays marrying in the traditional sense. It’s my understanding that Sullivan believes that gay married couples should have “open” relationships. Am I confused on this point?

A constitutional amendment banning gay marriages will never get approved. However, I strongly believe that a secular society must restrict marriage to males and females. Gay couples might be willing to raise children---but this will never be the norm. Marriage must primarily be about raising the children who will become tomorrows adults. We are obligated to cut gays a lot of slack. They should have all the rights up to marriage. Wow, does anyone remember the time when my views would have been considered avant-garde?

posted by: David Thomson on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Is there any truth to the rumor that Brittney filed a Workman's Compensation claim for an oral fungal infection caused by Madonna's kiss?

Didn't think so but the story just sounded so.... plausible.

posted by: Whitehall on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I don't recall ever hearing anything specific one way or another, but based on what I've read of Sullivan's writings, I would tend to assume he doesn't expect gay marriages to be open relationships. But I don't know for certain one way or another.

On the subject of the post, I just wanted to note that I saw parts of a VH1 show this weekend that presented a Britney-Christina "face off", with such categories as "Who's a more outrageous dresser?", "Who does Carson Daly like more?", and "Who got the better kiss from Madonna?" To my surprise, Christina outpointed Britney 8-7. (Of course, the quality of their music never came up, or Christina would have won much more decisively, as "some" is greatly superior to "none". Even if you think they're both awful, Britney's awfuller.)

posted by: Devin McCullen on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I'm just glad that we live in a country where we have free access to essential information like this. And I hope that Britney has finally "hit bottom"

posted by: Scott Ott on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

More seriously, Entertainment Weekly (subscription required) had a great November cover story -- that's the cover above -- that chronicled the beginning of Mariah Carey-like behavior.

You can't call it a November cover story on a magazine called Entertainment Weekly! November is a month, silly!

posted by: Patrick on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Who's Britney Spears?

posted by: Mike G on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I agree with Glenn Reynolds. This IS the only post about Ms. Spears I need to read. Thanks, Daniel, for wading through EW for me.

posted by: AST on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Britney Spears pulls off a stunt marriage and Andrew Sullivan manages to relate it to gay marriage?!? Who'd have thunk it?

posted by: Dodd on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I simply fail to understand David Thomson's opposition to gay marriage. Does he really believe marriage is restricted to those who want to raise children?

Does he really not understand Sullivan's point that those who oppose gay marriage based on some lofty notion of sanctity are trying to protect an institution that doesn't exist? And they're maintaining their delusions at the expense of committed gay couples--which they have no right to do.

posted by: Ignatius Byrd on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Karl Rove's dream voter? As a dirty old man I can relate to that.

Scott Ott Posting on Dan's blog.

We're not worthy!

posted by: Robert Schwartz on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"... What the "liberal culture" has done to it. That it will be the death of marriage."

Sorry, Jettison, but this "sacred" institution has been suffering blows ever since its inception, from Henry VIII to Samuel Pepys to Alexander Hamilton, adultery and generally swine-like behavior have been with us all along, having nothing to do with "liberal" culture and everything to do with de natura hominis. We pernicious and puerile and prurient gays are not out to destroy your way of life (not most of us anyway). We're just out to perhaps make sure you in your righteousness don't destroy ours.

Thanks for the funny post, Dan.

posted by: Walsingham on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Brititney Spears makes my tummy warm and curdley

I bought a commemorative plate

posted by: heeby jaco on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Defending "marriage," the word or the institution, is pointless and silly. There are plenty of committed same-sex couples (with children, mind you) who have better relationships than most straight "married" people I know, including my own mom and pop. Marriage, the word and institution, is just a bunch (a thousand actually) of legal benefits and responsibilities given by the state and country, currently only to couples that are of two sexes. You don't have to be married to have kids. You don't have to stay married if you have kids. You don't have to be happy if you're married. And if you're Britney Spears, you join a long line of idiot heterosexuals that flaunt the ability to get married when there is nothing behind it. This, I believe, is what Sullivan is referring to -- that any immature *straight* prankster can get married, including a drunken frenzied Britney Spears, but a committed gay couple that has been together for decades cannot.

posted by: D on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Wouldn't joke marriages by straights be an argument for getting rid of state-sanctioned marriage rather than extending it to gays? In almost any other situation, if the government is giving a privilege to one group but not to another, and the first group is abusing their privilege, one wouldn't expect for people to agrue in favor of extending the privilege to the second group.

My theory about the annulment: Britney realized only after the wedding that she wasn't marrying George Costanza.

posted by: Hei Lun Chan on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Britney Spears is nowhere near as talented as Madonna."

That's like saying Dolph Lundgren is nowhere near as talented as Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's true, but not the way you mean it. Arnold is about as good an actor as Dolph, and Madonna is about as talented a singer as Britney. But Arnold and Madonna are pure geniuses at managing their careers.

On a side note, you're dramatically unplaying the role that raunchy behavior played in Madonna's early career. Come on, she posed for Penthouse and married Sean "I beat the shit out of photographers" Penn. I can't walk into a 7-11 and buy full frontal nude photos of Britney; I could for Madonna. Madonna VERY much played the "bad girl" role -- the only reason she didn't try the "Lolita" routine is because she was too old for it when she finally achieved success.

posted by: Dan on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

1. Britney is precisely, METAPHYSICALLY as talented as Madonna. Same gig, different generation. As Treacher put it, "C'meer and give Granny a hug!"

2. I wish Sullivan had made some demonstration of his concern for the sanctity of het marriage BEFORE he started petitioning to join the club.

3. I think a bogus, momentary marriage does much to take the heat of Britney. She shows every sign of being Cher... She might be wickedly famous for a very long time. With every reader of People and every younger member of Falwell's congregation thinking her maidenhead carries special powers to represent the will of a generation, this is just the thing to give her a little breathing room romantically. She might well be crazy like a fox.

posted by: Crid on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Marriage must primarily be about raising the children who will become tomorrows adults

So adults beyond child bearing years and couples that don't wish to have children have no right to get married?

posted by: T on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Oh goodness!

Did somebody say that Madonna had more talent than Britney? If you ask me, it seems that Britney would rank on top. If we took a look at her income statement, I'm sure we would see her far surpassing Madonna's attempts of stardom at 21.

Look, I hate them both, okay?

Musically, they offer little to the world. They both rely heavily on the likes of artists who are incredibly exploited. After all, when you're bobbing your head up and down to Britney and Madonna's songs, are you reacting to those entracing lyrics sung by a virtually talent-free "diva," or is it the kick-ass baseline designed by an unknown European? And if it's their fashion sensibilities that attract, then pursue the artists who advise them to look that way!

Madonna is a business woman and belongs on the cover of Forbes, not RollingStone or Spin. Again, talented? Okay, Madonna cannot act her way out of a paper bag. Just take a peek at her poor box office performances.

They're both horrible contributions to society, and they both should be cast to the wastelands of reality television.

Let's remember what music is about, people.

posted by: Andrew Baird on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"...and Madonna is about as talented a singer as Britney."

Am I missing something? I’m sorry but I consider Madonna a vastly better singer. Britney only has an average voice. She tries to make up for it with her energy, but I can’t see her career lasting another two years before the nostalgia tours begin. The frontal nude shots will be taken before the end of the year. I would be very surprised if my prediction fails to materialize. Britney needs to constantly attract attention. Therefore, this chick is going to get a lot crazier. We probably haven’t see anything yet. How good is your imagination? I hope nobody loans her any of Peter Singer’s works questioning whether humans should continue to shy away from having sex with animals!

posted by: David Thomson on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Being a resident of a state which finds itself the butt of many jokes, at least I can be grateful that Britney is not from Louisiana.

What? She is?!!

OH NO!!!!

---Tom Nally, New Orleans

posted by: Tomas Nally on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

You need more Salma Hayek content.

posted by: Carlos on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

That fantastic magazine cover is enough on its own to make it worth my while to visit this site. Baby! I'm glad someone understands the necessity of balancing the reading of IR literature with some... enjoyment.

posted by: clinton on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Isn't it clear by now? Britney is repositioning herself as a country singer ...

posted by: Stephen Karlson on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Its mad cow time for Britney Steers.

posted by: Skeej on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"I understand Andrew's point -- and it's well taken -- but that's exactly what conservatives fear. That marriage will become a joke, that gays will do to marriage what Hollywood has done to it. What the "liberal culture" has done to it. That it will be the death of marriage."

I think this dilemma fairly captures the conservatives' sincerity to the ideals of marriage and the unrighteousness of that sincerity, unfortunately, to gay men and women who actually idealize marriage. I can believe in the good intentions of a vigorous defense of traditional marriage, even though I believe those intentions are wrong. I can also believe that those intentions, however misguided they are to me, can in fact be separate from a wish to kill homosexuals, even though I can easily see why someone who hates homosexuals may also want to deny them the right to marry.

Simply speaking, assuming "gays will do to marriage what Hollywood has done to it", denying gays the right to do to marriage what Hollywood already does to it is merely a simple way of saying everybody can destroy marriage except gays. Aside from the contestable assumptions of those defending traditional marriage, the issue really boils down to a question of civil rights - equal right for homosexuals to destroy or defend marriage the way heterosexuals do.

posted by: pok on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Am I missing something? I’m sorry but I consider Madonna a vastly better singer. Britney only has an average voice."

Madonna is arguably a more skilled singer, now, than Britney is, now. However, the Madonna who sang "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin" -- ie, the Britney-age Madonna -- was no better than the average teenaged girl singing in the shower. She's had twenty years to practice since then, but practice isn't the same as talent.

"Britney needs to constantly attract attention."

And Madonna doesn't? Come on -- she didn't publish "Sex" for its artistic merits. The life of a semi-talented pop idol is a rough one.

But Britney is already, at age 20-whatever (21?), more popular than Madonna has ever been. Madonna needed "shock" tactics to distinguish herself from the other early-80s pop-music chicks. I don't think Britney Spears does; everyone in her target audience already knows who she is.

posted by: Dan on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I looked at the copy of her marriage license application on Smoking Gun, and I have to say, the fact that she was born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana tells me all I ever needed to know.

And I'm allowed to say that because I'm from Tennessee. :)

posted by: Anne Haight on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

From the strictly Catholic point of view, marriage can be contracted without benefit of clergy or a civil contract. Different states have established minimum standards for a marriage contract as a form of quality control, e.g. age, license, health tests, etc. Civil marriage attracts those who want to meet this state standard because it means something to them, like joining a club whose membership one covets. I have no definite opinion on gay marriage, but from the purely formal perspective, one must ask, where does it stop? If admission to marriage is indefinitely extended, then the very things that attracted people like Andrew Sullivan to it in the first place would cease to exist. We recognize the absurdity of Britney Spear's "marriage" precisely because of this implicit expectation. But if a club can be joined by anyone, is it still a club?

posted by: wretchard on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

With every reader of People and every younger member of Falwell's congregation thinking her maidenhead carries special powers to represent the will of a generation .

i thought she already admitted to giving that away

posted by: l.j. on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

sorry - forgot the quotes on the first part

posted by: l.j. on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Both Madonna and Britney are entertainers, not artists. I don't care for either one (just as I don't care for most of today's so-called entertainment). The best that may be said of either one is that they are the product of the industry they represent, a brand, if you please, but nothing more. To argue which one is better is to engage in an utter futility; there is very little talent there to argue about. They work hard. I'll give them that.

As for the sanctity of marriage: I'll take the sanctity of the relationship of my Aunt Alice and her partner, Barbara, which has lasted for 45 years now, over the "sanctified" marriages -- all four of them -- of my mother. The fact is that my mother enjoyed the civil benefits of all of her marriages: the tax benefits, the ability to determine medical treatment for two of her husbands when required, etc. Aunt Alice and Barbara were allowed none of these things. Since a stable relationship is most important for the rearing of children, I'd say I'd have had a better chance with Aunt Alice.

Fact is, you can't generalize about such things. I imagine we'd see just as many divorces from gay couples as we see in traditional marriages -- and just as many successful unions, as well.

Finally, I will say that I disagree with Andrew Sullivan. To use Britney Spear's little jaunt down the aisle and straight to divorce court as an example of anything but the childish and pathetic behavior of human beings who have little grip on reality is useless. Such behavior doesn't even require a youthful offender (see Liza). Surely Mr. Sullivan doesn't mean to use this as an argument FOR extending the privilege. To sniff at others who say that marriage is sacred, give Ms. Spear's sad tale as an example that it ISN'T sacred, and then say that you want the same silliness for yourself doesn't make sense. This isn't an argument he ought to make for his posiion.

posted by: Saltydog on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Of course Britney will be around.I mean after all ABC has managed to dig up Rudy from the Cosby show

posted by: Terry on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

The albums aint selling and the movie career bombed so now lil Titney joins Carmen,Anna and Pammy trying to stay in the papers any way you can

posted by: Joey on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Madonna needed "shock" tactics to distinguish herself from the other early-80s pop-music chicks. I don't think Britney Spears does;

She doesn't? If she had kept her clothes on she'd be Debbie Gibson by now.She sure aint around for her music or acting skills

posted by: joey on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Has Britney "jumped the shark" with this marriage/annulment?

posted by: Rollerball on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Madonna has ALWAYS been about the shock value. She has stated this again and again. Brittany and the rest are just following the path Madonna trod before them.

As for marriage, My wife and I are not legally married and we plan on not having children, yet we will be getting married this next sept. Why? the civil benefits.
I like what Dolly Pardon said:"Of course I'm for gay marriage. Why shouldn't gays suffer like the rest of us!"
Now, I'm not a big fan of Ms Dolly or country music in general. My mom (rest in peace) was, but if you want to see a really talented women you have to but look no further.A 40 year career in music. She has written over 3000 (!!!) songs. She did a cover of STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN on her last album. She has her own theme park (beat THAT Ms. Richie) and a Dinner theater (not really sure you can call it that but I dont know what else to call it) in Mrytle Beach SC, and she can ACT!
Not to mention a rack that has inspired generations of young men to flirt with blindness.

posted by: Paul Gaddis on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Your comment of Kendall Erlich should be clarified or put in context. It may have been hurtful, but she was clearly joking. She has since apologized, unlike so many people who make these types of comments. Then again, given that Ms. Erlich was talking about the lousy example Britney sets for tennage girls, maybe she will retract her apology after the latest stunt.

By the way, isn't it amazing how much energy is being invested in one of the stupidest things possible?

posted by: Blackdog on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

A few things (not dealing with Ms. Spears or Madonna):

To Wretchard's point, who asks that if a club is open to all then is it really a club? Well, I was under the impression that clubs which admit people based on their identity are going the way of the Dodo (see: Augusta National and Shoal Creek). And to compare marriage to a club is pretty weak in my mind. Do you feel that your marriage is undermined by the high divorce rate? By people who get married at midnight in Las Vegas? Then why would it be undermined by allowing gays to marry?

To David Thomson's point, saying marriage is an institution for raising children: If this was true I would agree that in most cases marriage should be limited to people raising or intending to raise children, but without any new laws this is clearly no longer the case. Many people are married and don't have kids or intend to. I think it is pretty easy to extend rights to people raising children that don't require dealing with the term married. In fact a good portion of children in America are raised outside of traditional, married families. We should worry more about giving these parents and other families special rights (as Clark proposed yesterday) than the special rights that might be shared if gays were allowed to get married.

And finally to Salty Dog's point: I think you are completely missing the point of Andrew Sullivan's argument. He is holding Spears up as everything that marriage should NOT be. The point is that when it is already so different in many cases from the idealized notion of two people marrying, raising a family, and growing old together then what is the logic of denying the priviledge to gays? Sullivan would probably agree that if you want to limit marriage to people who have waited 24 hours after filing papers that is OK, but to limit it based on the sex of two people in love with each other doesn't make sense to him.

posted by: Rich on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

C'mon, now, be honest... Homosexuals cannot marry, as marriage is a word that has a definitive definition. The very nature of the arguement proves that marriage is a specially recognized relationship between a man and a woman. Whether there are children, or whether adultery occurs, or whether divorce happens, this does not change the definition.

What the homosexuals are trying to do is alter the very language we use, to accommodate their own perverse (Def- Literally, turned aside; hence, distorted from the right.) actions, much as they have hijacked the word that originally meant "jovial; sportive; frolicksome".

You wanna live in a monogamous relationship with a person of the same sex? Call it whatever you want, but it will never be marriage in the true sense of the words.

posted by: gaw on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Saltydog, I think you missed Andrew's point. The point of holding up Britney Spears' mock-wedding against the best of gay relationships isn't to cast heterosexual and homosexual seriousness under two extreme examples, but to contrast the extent of heterosexual license to experiment and the dearth of that license in homosexual lives. Indeed, Andrew's point was to show the absurdity of the church and state's formal, serious defense of marriage against their formal and serious cooperation to Britney's mocking assualt on traditional marriage while the church and the state shriek in fright from serious and unserious gay-relationships alike.

Gay marriages may or may not save marriages - but that's not the point. The institution of marriage shouldn't look up to gays as its messiah. The point of gay marriage is to experience both the virtues and the vices of heterosexual life. Without a doubt, gays will divorce just like heteros. They will cheat just like heteros. But the point remains that divorces and cheating and all the other dangers that gay-marriage supposedly pose to traditional marriage pre-exist gay marriage. But the most important of all, the virtues of the best traditional marriages already co-exist in the best of gay relationships. The fight for marriage isn't merely extending Britney's right to be a fool to gays fools. It is also about ensuring that the best of relationships - straight or gay - can pursue marriage.

posted by: pok on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Ooops, I married a man.
Take 2.

posted by: benaflick on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Andrew's point was to show the absurdity of the church and state's formal, serious defense of marriage against their formal and serious cooperation to Britney's mocking assualt on traditional marriage..."

Excuse me, but "the Church" Andrew Sullivan speaks of is the Catholic Church, and it neither condones nor cooperates with Britney's mocking assualt on traditional marriage. Sure there are inequities in the marriage laws of the Universal Church, such as the ability to purchase an annulment, it is a human institution after all, but the overriding quest of the church is to promote the permanent union of a man and a woman, through good times and bad. To learn to love and be patient in your journey through life together toward the greater reward that Jehova and Jesus have prepared.

posted by: Esbiem on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Even more seriously, Andrew Sullivan notes: "

Sullivan can't be taken seriously when at every turn of events possible he looses some kind of flaming pot shot at socially conservative positions. Who gives a damn what a couple of old queens think about the phony marriage of some slut with a fan club? Sullivan isn't a conservative he's a homosexual. He's homosexual first and last and his friends like the "conservative" poser Glen Reynolds with his snide remarks concerning marriage being about procreation remind me that there's always a wolf trying to get in the back door. Just because they carry M-16's and are dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood doesn't mean they're fooling anyone.

posted by: NC3 on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Looking at the Smoking Gun copy of Britney's annulment complaint, the grounds for annulment struck me as strange. But, it seems, there's a very good reason why they are how they are - beware, all you Vegas marriage tourists!

posted by: John Smith on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

gaw said it pretty well.

I am for civil unions; that is, let gay people have all the rights of straight people.


"marriage" has a meaning. If we let the government redefine our language underneath us as it will, we are seriously inviting a 1984 scenario, where freedom means slavery and slavery means freedom.

Yes, I really think it's that important. And please notice what I said about about rights.

I think the best solution is for the government to offer only "civil unions" for everyone, gay or straight.

posted by: Deoxy on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Britney needs to constantly attract attention. Therefore, this chick is going to get a lot crazier."

Amen. Anyone who thinks her "marriage" was anything other than a calculated attention-getter is smoking better dope than she is.

posted by: HotJavaJack on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

The amazing thing is that so many posters actualy take this seriously, as though it were something that mattered. Get a life.

posted by: Hucklebuck on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"Get a life" is as moronic and meaningless as the people who use it.

posted by: Chris Arabia on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

And yet, Hucklebuck, you have taken the trouble not only to read the posts and to be annoyed by them, but to add a post of your own in reply! What does that say about *your* life? You have me confused.

posted by: Jane on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Not sure if NC3 is entirely correct, but I do notice that Dan doesn't have a header box labeled "sexuality". Which *is* a change from his temp gig of a few days back...

Then again, neither does Glenn - regardless his level of conservatism.

posted by: TommyG on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Good for you Jane... Those are always the best retorts to some ol' sour-puss...

posted by: TommyG on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

OH. MY. God...


Just got back from the "Karl Rove's Dream Voter" link.

In the name of all that is good, keep thee away.

Said someone else:

"Mister Drezner...Tear. down. this. link."

posted by: TommyG on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

What's Andrew Sullivan's problem with gays not being able to get married at the Elvis Chapel? They can get married/annulled any time they like.

Just not to anyone of the same sex.

I mean, Duh!

posted by: SkipKent on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

You know what...this does matter. Perhaps not Britney's marriage, but the status of gays in society does. It matters to the lifelong partners who are seperated because of immigration laws, who are denied visitation rights at a hospital, who need a lawyer everytime they make a major purchase.

To respond to Gaw and Deoxy point about civil unions: I really don't care about gay "marriage", I care about legal rights. If you want to have some institution be exclusive to heterosexual couples then that is fine, just don't attach legal rights to it. Marriage has been a legal contract for a long time (at least since the first justice of the peace performed a ceremony). Probably that was when the sanctity of marriage was violated. Now that married couples are conferred so many legal rights I think it is wrong to put sexual boundaries on it.

Instead of messing with the law maybe you should change your institution. Why not have your church (or whatever private organization you feel provides the rights of marriage) create a new category of couple? This can be a marriage and more. I will leave it to you to create a name...heck you can call it "no queers allowed" for all I care.

That is essentially all a civil union classification would do. It would transfer all the legal rights of marriage to a new institution while merely leaving your view of marriage with symbolic value. But that seems a lot more difficult and complicated to have the state create a new category than to have private insitutions create their new category and labels.

posted by: Rich on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I'm of the liberal persuasion myself, but I have to agree with DT that marriage should be limited to partners of different sexes.

I have a bunch of gay and lesbian friends, and I want them to have all the rights they deserve, but as one lesbian friend said upon reading this, "That's stupid. My parents were straight -- had they been two guys or two ladies I'd be one fucked up individual."

To me that's a ringing endorsement. consider that she's a psycologist and it carries even more weight.

She continued, "Besides, humans are the only animals that exhibit a conscious choice to be strictly homosexual. Obviously, if we can make that decision we have to accept the responsibilites that come with it -- such as not being able to get married. You don't hear cleptomaniacs arguing that they should be able to steal without penalty."

I asked her if she thought that meant other animals should be able to get married as long as they're straight, and then we got into quite a long absurd discussion. I also asked about the difference between cleptomania being a clinical compulsive disorder as opposed to homosexuality, and she debunked it rather thoroughly (she wants it known that she didn't "choose" to be a lesbian -- for those of you that would nitpick).

As for keeping this on topic... Spears is no different than any other celebrity. The mere fact this is being discussed by intelligent people is sickening. The fact that it's being used to garner attention to homosexual marriages is a disgrace to all people who advocate such things based on what they believe is right or wrong rather than just saying, "well, THEY do it." The world needs more conservative homosexuals (like my previously mentioned friend) to get its collective head out of its collective ass and bring matters to attention which are worth the attention.

posted by: a_stupid_box on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Oh, for God's sake, it's show business! I expect to be entertained on and off stage/camera by my celebrities, and the more outre the behaviour the more I like it. Can we get back to trashing again, please?

posted by: leah on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

"The albums aint selling and the movie career bombed"

"Crossroads" -- the only movie Britney Spears has ever starred in -- cost $12 million to make and made around $50 million in domestic and foreign box office revenue.

Her last album sold more than four million copies.

A quadruple-platinum album and a thus-far entirely profitable movie career cannot reasonably be described as "the albums ain't selling and the movie career bombed". Maybe you're thinking of Mariah Carey?

Yes, her album sales are slipping, and people aren't lining up to cast her in films, but it's far too soon to declare her career to be in a state of drastic decline. Hell, U2 released that "Rattle and Hum" bomb and still went on to subject us to another decade or more of bizarrely-successful albums.

posted by: Dan on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

I'm making this an unusually (for me) short comment because Britney Spears doesn't rate more.

Her seeingly obsessive need to be the highlight of the week alludes to a very fragile psyche, and, I'm afraid, the early stages of a public and personal meltdown.

This latest publicity stunt involving a 55 hour marriage is indicative of what I am claiming. Silly, common people do these kinds of things..not "cultural icons". Married on Saturday, annullment by Monday is stupid business. Too bad these "marriages" don't have to be resolved in divorce court. Reminds me a little of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett's little escapade a while back.

I worked in California with a woman who went to Reno on friday night, after work, and notified us Monday morning that she met a guy and had gotten married. Tuesday, she admitted that she was filing for an annullment. Demon Rum had worked it's magic on another fool.

posted by: Marcel Perez on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Thank you for your sour and salty acerbity, Hucklebuck. What you say is absolutely right. Come to think of it, why have *I* been reading this dreck for the past 30 minutes, anyway?? Shame on me!!

BTW, I agree that "get a life" is moronic. I never use that expression myself.

posted by: Karst on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Hei Lun Chan

". . . state-sanctioned marriage rather than extending it to gays? . . . the government is giving a privilege"

Marriage is a privilege? Clearly anyone who can say that has not been married for long. Excuse me I have to go now and take oput the trash.

posted by: Robert Schwartz on 01.05.04 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

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