All posts by Johnny Loftus

A Fan of Goatee’d Svengalies Transliterating Swedish Pop into English

Well, it looks like I’m in the Jake camp on this one. Given my 02/06/01 comments about Britney and her tube sock wristbands, I can only be called what I am: A fan. Fan of what? Goatee’d svengalies transliterating Swedish pop into english so Britney, Mandy, Christina, or Jessica can rake in some t-shirt and Official Program sales down at local arena? By suggesting that there is a sliver of entertainment value extracted from listening to “Stronger” or “Baby One More Time,” am I admitting that I had a Roxette poster over my bed in 1989, and that I don’t like pop music unless there’s a shady impresario in a fire-lit chamber somewhere in the Swedish hill country, smoking cigars made of Swedish C-Notes, and laughing as he eats his meat and swills Bayerskt from a flagon?

No, man. I just think that Britney kid puts me in a good mood when I see her. All that singin’, dancin’, and jiggling flesh HAS to turn that frown upside down!


Jennifer Lopez Tops the Charts

Internationally-renowned “singer” and “actress” Jennifer Lopez recently topped the charts in both music and film, her chosen artforms. After knocking a little known English quartet called The Beatles from their perch at number one, Lopez was quoted as saying “I just want to make everyone dance and have a good time without all that other deep crap.”

This triumph of marketing over substance will undoubtedly find J.Lo’s faithful servants playing on glad tambourines and waving about palm fronds as their queen settles her prodigious ass on her gilded throne. But the rest of us are falling on our swords out on the battlefield, because shit man, there’s just less and less left to live for. The dumbing down of America starts in Dubya’s office and cuts a wide swath in those amber waves of grain.

I bet Puff’s real proud of his main bitch.


Britney. What are we going to do with you?

Sure, you wore sweat sock wrist bands at the Super Bowl, accessorizing wonderfully with football pants and —shocker!— a tight halter top. Your blonde mane undulated as you tough-talked your way across the stage, doing the tube sock boogie with Aerosmith and those jackasses in N*Sync. What can we say? You played your role and got the hell out. There isn’t much more we can ask of a teen pop sensation who happens to embody the sexual frustration of a nation’s males.

That’s what’s intrigued us about you from the beginning, girl. Your first record’s cover art featured you, doe-eyed and pig-tailed, gaping at the camera with sugar plums and fairies dancing in your baby blues. “My, what big eyes you have,” you said as you stared back at us, head cocked unsuredly to the side. How could we have known? Who could have predicted that you’d be anything more than a female Bobby Sherman, a new generation’s Tiffany?

Then came THE VIDEO.

The head was cocked at the same angle, and the pig-tails were there. But something had gone terribly wrong. Mascara? Pouting lips? Talk about blonde ambition. The girl on TV had done a Daisy Duke on her shirt, rolled up the tartan, and thrown her bra in the trash. She was a vision out of your average “Pentouse: Forum”, and Jenna Jameson was in the wings saying “you go, girl!” Wake up late, honey put on your clothes, and take the credit car to the liquor store. That’s what your doe-eyes were doing for us, now…

A lot has changed since 1998, and I don’t mean trading pig-tails for a blood red catsuit. Britney has emerged not simply as a sex fantasy wrapped up in sugary teen clothes, but as a revenue-creating brand for Jive Entertainment, and in a larger sense The Machine of the music industry. At an MTV-sponsored halftime show, why wouldn’t they tap their most recognizable and bankable brands, Britney and N*Sync, as major players? That’s good business. After all, it really is all about the benjamins.

Britney isn’t the next Tiffany, or the same as Richie Valens, The Ohio Express, or any other music industry product before her. Because the music she performs is an afterthought in a larger entertainment aura, I believe it’s no big thing to like that music. Listening to “Stronger” by Britney Spears (off of her latest opus, “…Oops, I Did It Again”) for me is sort of like reading Entertainment Weekly, or watching a re-run of “Wings.” I don’t seek out doing either, but when it’s there I might enjoy it for a minute, on a sort of entertainment-static level. The value-add of the Britney brand is that she’s in 3-D and isn’t named Steven Weber.