Even if Betty weren't currently engrossed in a four-hour PBS doc about Andy Warhol, she'd still disagree with Chuck Klosterman's new anti-analysis of Britney Spears' ongoing public meltdown.
Of Britney's inner life, Klosterman writes:
Think of the dumbest, goofiest, richest 25-year-old woman you've ever known: Did her day-to-day decision-making process reflect anything about her ambition, her self-awareness, or her ability to deal with reality? I am guessing the answer to that question is, "Nay." I'm guessing that person's day-to-day decisions were illogical extensions of her own boredom. And it's hard to imagine a life that would be duller than that of Britney Spears. What, exactly, is the "interesting" part of her existence? Recording records that nobody over the age of 15 respects? Earning money she can't possibly appreciate? Re-buying all the crap she never needed in the first place? Partying with bimbos who snort the same drugs she was offered seven years ago? Being simultaneously despised and envied by idiots who have nothing better to do than worry about her haircut?
Klosterman makes a couple of good points here, but why does he disregard the mammoth difference between Britney and everybody else in the world: her unshakable and certainly lonely Britneyness?? Britney's fame, established nearly a decade ago, caused, or at least perfectly intersected, with, some rupture or revolution in celebrity culture that we are only now just beginning to understand, and she's still living inside it. Surely this lends her actions a gravity of knowingly being seen and picked apart that goes beyond that of other goofy 25 year olds such as the author of this post.
Betty loves Klosterman's books, and even got to speak to him once after a very terrible public reading he did, at which he constantly stopped to remind the audience how much he was sucking and not enjoying himself or pleasing us. Despite this social awkwardness, or perhaps because of it, Chuck Klosterman is a very smart and funny writer who shares many of Betty's interests and preoccupations. But he is dead wrong to disregard fame in this new piece. He's much closer to hitting his mark in this interview from the good old days.
As that first interview demonstrates, Esquire seems to really let their interviewers go free-form, and with Britney the results can be highly original, if not penetrating, reflections of the girl's funny, fractured soul.