Sing Unto the Lord

Britney Spears and the shock of reality
March 19, 2008, 9:03 am
Filed under: Everything else

Every now and then I pop into the news agency and grab some mags. Yesterday I picked up Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is good because not only does it give cd and movie reviews it also has some good articles on pop culture and politics.

I bought this months issue purely for the cover article. It was titled ‘The Tragedy of Britney Spears’. I thought it was a pretty good article with some profound insights. It paints the story of Britney growing up and the pressure that was put on her to fulfill a role as a nineties innocent lolita when in reality she was trying to grow up. It describes the way that she found her release from the pressure in numerous men starting with Justin Timberlake (who it seems was the best man she has been with) and then going through her various partners since then. It shows the way that she has rebelled against what was thrust upon her and has indulged in excess through drugs and materialism. She no longer cares much about what anyone thinks of her on a surface level and yet it is people’s opinions of her that sustain her. Last year 20% of all money made by the papparazzi the world over was made on Britney. Everything she does is news. The writer finishes the whole article with a brilliant paragraph…

A world without Britney, where she is set aside in rehab or a psychiatric center, is hard to contemplate: She’s the canary in the coal mine of our culture, the most vivid representation of the excess of the past decade. She didn’t think there was a tomorrow worth saving for, and neither did we. After blaming everyone else for her problems, Britney’s finally starting to realize the degree to which she’s messed up, but her sense of entitlement keeps her from admitting it to herself, or to anyone who is trying to help her. We want her to survive and thrive, to evolve into someone who can make us proud again. Or maybe, we just don’t want the show to end.

I agree. Britney is the tangible metaphor for what is happening in our society. My generation cares little about the future or consequences. They care only for the now. I think this goes hand in hand with a move into a post-christian world. There is no sense of eternity around us, only marketing that aims at getting my generation further and further into credit debt.

We need to preach a different gospel. We need to help people see the blinkers that have been put on them by the culture we live in. They need to recognise their fragility and their standing before an eternal, holy God. Jesus holds promise for Generation Y. In Jesus we find the comfort that so many of us are searching for in stuff. We can see that in him we have life with meaning and life without end. We see our lives as part of his salvation history and we see his glory as the purpose of all things. Keep preaching to our culture. We need Jesus.


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