October 19, 2000
7:50 AM   Subscribe

Am I the only one who finds this disturbing? It's the "official britney spears website" and the intro flash is quite illuminating. Different parts of Ms. Spears' body get highlighted during the opening flash animation while areas of the site are displayed. When her breasts get illuminated, "Your Stuff" is the area that gets shown. (Her breasts are also used to showcase the "tour info", which may say more about the flash designers than anything else.)
posted by bison (39 comments total)
I find it disturbing that anyone would want to go to her site, official or otherwise ;-)
I don't think the highlighting was intentional though, if it hadn't been pointed out I'd not have thought anything of it.
posted by Markb at 8:21 AM on October 19, 2000

i think bison might've spent a bit too much time watching that intro... like markb, i never would have noticed, and besides, it's not her breasts that get illuminated, so much as her upper chest, shoulders... if anything, i'd chalk it up to bored flash guys... think i'll go watch it again actually.
posted by Niccola Six at 8:36 AM on October 19, 2000

And again and again...

This is like The Clam Bake Orgy, isn't it?
posted by solistrato at 8:37 AM on October 19, 2000

Very well organized; took about 30 sec to find the best picture on the site! Quick, someone, write a more witty comment!
posted by EngineBeak at 8:42 AM on October 19, 2000

clam bake orgy?
solistrato... do tell?
posted by Niccola Six at 8:42 AM on October 19, 2000

I heard today (and have failed unsuccessfully to find a link) that the company responsible for designing britney's site is filing a complaint for not receiving the proper funding for her online campaign. Which can't be costing *too* much, as the whole thing looks like a photoshop/eye candy filter free-for-all.

As for my stance on britney spears...the lifesize cutout of her standing in my cube, selflessly given to me by a gracious soul in the music productions dept, speaks for itself.
posted by Hankins at 8:46 AM on October 19, 2000

And when part of her head is highlighted it says “News”! How dare they!

Oh, hey, are you a pop star running sex appeal? Here I thought Oops was a startling reaction to gender inequity in an age Lacanesque self-denial.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 8:51 AM on October 19, 2000

I'm so goddamn sick of all these record company-spawned groups. I've ripped all my CDs onto my laptop and listen solely to those or my favorite NPR station.

What happened to the musicians who create music for the love of it? The singer-songwriters who write awesome ballads from the heart and then play with the same emotion? You won't catch me listening to that Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera-98 Degree-InSync-Backstreet crap.
posted by bkdelong at 9:12 AM on October 19, 2000

"I heard today (and have failed unsuccessfully to find a link)"

Here's a little on it from "Salon" It's towards the end of the goss-fest, so scroll down:


posted by lucien at 9:18 AM on October 19, 2000

>What happened to the musicians who create music for the love of it?

They didn't get record contracts.

Also, this kinda wears thin after awhile. They're out there. They're probably in your town right now. How supportive are you being of them? Also, if that's all people are interested in are bands/artists that do their thing solely for the love of doing it, then a lot more bands at mp3.com would have gotten serious attention.

I'm not trashing you when I say this, bkdelong, but I notice the bands that complain about the "crap on the radio today" rarely if ever submit material to A&R departments.

As much as I hate commercial crap being passed off as "good music" (like Possum Dixon), my take on such bands is this: Imagine YOU are an A&R rep having to listen to hours of demo tapes a week. I can only imagine that stuff we consider to be "crap" sounded pretty good relative to what else was submitted.

Britney and NSync (etc) are exempt from this, because just like the Meaty Cheesy Boys, they are creations of the entertainment industry.

Bottom line: The creators of the craft may be in it for the love, but the business is in it for the money.
posted by ethmar at 9:24 AM on October 19, 2000

I dunno...the site woke me up more than my morning coffee did.
posted by schlomo at 9:31 AM on October 19, 2000

ethmar - I hear what you're saying and I support many of the locals when I can. The problem with them running out and getting record contracts is that they basically sign their life over.

I can't help but keep going back to Courtney Love's speech at the Digital Hollywood online entertainment conference about how many artists rarely see the full amount of money their wares actually make. Why would anyone want to get a record contract after that?
posted by bkdelong at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2000

>Why would anyone want to get a record contract after that?

Probably for the same reason that people get publishing deals. And audition for plays. And go to casting calls for movies.

I'm not so sure that Courtney Love is the most legit spokesperson for artists "getting screwed" by record companies.
posted by ethmar at 9:45 AM on October 19, 2000

ethmar - read the speech she gave, if you haven't already. I never liked her, 'til I read that - it's impressive.

As for the artists who are in it for the love of it - they're out there, and they're using the 'net to empower their independence from record companies. My favorite? Jane Siberry.
posted by dnash at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2000

Thank you. The complaints from the "culture elite" gets annoying after awhile. IMHO, if those bands were so "great" they would have found some form of mass appeal...
posted by owillis at 10:38 AM on October 19, 2000

IMHO, if those bands were so "great" they would have found some form of mass appeal...

owillis: don't we all wish that were the truth... unfortunately, even being great and getting some form of mass appeal isn't enough, as my favourite semi-indie-band example, October Project, demonstrates...

posted by Mars Saxman at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2000

Niccola: The Clam Bake Orgy was a book by a man named Wilson Brian Key, who claimed that subliminal messages were all around us. While his previous works skirted with respectability, and might have been somewhat based in reality, with Orgy he went full-scale nuts. The title comes from a Howard Johnson's ad for their fried clam platter, in which Key claimed to find so many sexual subliminal images that it constituted an orgy.

Yes, sexual subliminal images in a plate of fried clams.

The Brit-Brit site might have been doing a bit of subliminal stuff there. Or it might have been a joke - I'm leaning towards that.

But Wilson Brian Key was a grade-A nutball.
posted by solistrato at 11:14 AM on October 19, 2000

when i was just a snot-nosed kid hangin' around burning ants in the school yard, there was always some kid that wanted to know what music you liked. and inevitably, no matter what you said "michael jackson", "prince", "madonna", "dokken"... that person would call you a "fag" for not liking the same music as them... now that i'm a grown up that loves jurassic 5, radiohead, fiona apple and yes, even the odd bsb or ms. spears tune, there's always someone who wants to call you a "fag" or at least an uncultured twit with no taste... c'mon people! tell you what bkdelong, you listen to the barra mcneils, i'll listen to *nsync, and we'll both be happy and not belittle the other okay?
posted by Niccola Six at 11:16 AM on October 19, 2000

Thanks solistrato! i have heard of this fellow... something about a ritz cracker... mmmm....
posted by Niccola Six at 11:18 AM on October 19, 2000

I noted mostly that "our stuff" wasn't as big as it used to be.

Anyone left who still thinks she got implants?
posted by baylink at 11:20 AM on October 19, 2000

there is a lot of great music to be found locally if you look, and there is a lot of great music on mp3. I've been listening to shoegazer radio for days now...

the demographics the major labels sell to LIKES the music they pump out. I don't think it is snobbery to not like it...i just don't. A local band where i live just got a major label deal...and they aren't the best, but they already sound exactly like everything else on the radio, and they will sell. ITs business. ITs all about money. I thought everyone was used to that by now?
posted by th3ph17 at 11:35 AM on October 19, 2000

IMHO, if those bands were so "great" they would have found some form of mass appeal...

So mass appeal equals greatness? I suppose by that logic we should all be worshipping Miss Spears. I mean for her talent, not her physical attributes.

The fact is, some of our best artists, musicians, and writers were unappreciated in their day. Stephen Crane wrote The Red Badge of Courage. Wanna know how much money he made off of it in his lifetime?

One hundred dollars. Not a lot of mass appeal at the time. Now according to your logic, owillis, that would indicate that Crane was a lousy writer. I think most of my English professors would have to disagree with you there. So would I.

Lemme let you in on another little secret, owillis. One of these days, you're going to wake up and realize that most of what you see on TV, most of what you hear on the radio, and all of what you eat at McDonalds -- in spite of all its mass appeal -- is crap.
posted by ratbastard at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2000

Actually, I take some of that back. The hash browns at McDonalds are really delightful.
posted by ratbastard at 1:10 PM on October 19, 2000

OK, I'll be the jerk and say this regarding "mass appeal":

Should I eat shit just because a million flies can't be wrong?
posted by ethmar at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2000

Look, a lot of things that the masses like is crap. But to automatically dismiss something as crap just because the masses like it is stupid too, and something I see a lot of the "elitists" doing.
posted by owillis at 2:14 PM on October 19, 2000

Don't get me wrong, owillis. I don't dismiss Britney as crap because of her mass appeal. I dismiss her because...well, because she's crap.

My point is: just because an artist lacks mass appeal doesn't mean they lack talent.

That's not elitism. That's common sense.
posted by ratbastard at 2:26 PM on October 19, 2000

owillis - do you really think Britney Spears has a talent other than that of any other actor?
Look at this lot, ever heard of them? Thought not, but they have had more number 1 hits in the UK than the Beatles. Are they more talented? Well, talent is of course a subjective matter, but I seriously doubt if anyone will be paying a kings ransom for the piano their songwriter wrote anything they've ever released on. Britney is crap, manufactured crap designed specifically to get into your head and the charts - that does not make her either good or talented, except where you measure talent in chart position.
posted by Markb at 3:05 PM on October 19, 2000

And I really object to the accusation I'm some sort of 'cultural elite' - I just don't fall for marketing bullshit. Bah!
posted by Markb at 3:09 PM on October 19, 2000

Markb - my contention with the majority of you "elitists" (and you are) is that you guys have a knee-jerk reaction to Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, etc. because they're not "indie". If Britney Spears was an angsty "GenX" waif she'd be the toast of indieland. But because she isn't she's a "sell-out" and the "elite" are doing their god-given duty educating the masses. Gimme a break.

(We all live in a yellow submarine. How profound.)
posted by owillis at 3:15 PM on October 19, 2000

This is a very old argument, isn't it? Phil Spector rather cynically put together girl bands like they were made out of lincoln logs. It doesn't mean they were untalented or didn't make any good songs, but I don't think it was anyone's idea of the best way to produce "art."

The British Invasion of the sixties gave us such upstanding artistic juggernauts as 1910 Fruitgum Co., The Archies, The Monkees, etc. It didn't seem to slow down Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, et al too much. Or do you think of "Sugar Sugar" when the decade is mentioned?

The Seventies? The Bee Gees, Sex Pistols, Skynyrd, Eagles, Zep, and Yes all stood in there pretty well. I'll leave it to you to separate the (arguable) wheat from the (arguable) chaff.

Same as it ever was, as Mr. Byrne would have it. I could go on and on. It doesn't seem to me that--Ms. Spears aside--popular success is not an instant bar to talent or art. Nor is the converse true. A lot of "popular" music will always, always, suck. Some of it will be very good. Most will fall somewhere in between.

And often, tragically, some of our favorites will linger unnoticed. (:::Cough::: Magnetic Fields :::Cough:::)
posted by Skot at 3:53 PM on October 19, 2000

Magnetic Fields is a great example of extremely good music that will never sell to the mainstream. But if it happened...i would still love the music.

I don't disregard anything just because it is popular, or on a major label, or appears to be another contrived band....i only disregard it if i think it sucks, thats being opinionated, and if that means i'm elite, then i have no problem with that title. I have heard a lot of Dido lately, who gets heavy radio play where i live, and i don't dislike her music just because it is popular. I like it.
blah blah. This place is so addictive.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:07 PM on October 19, 2000

Britney is lame but Destiny's Child rock my world... they're both overproduced popstars, but one is da bomb and one sux.
posted by s10pen at 4:09 PM on October 19, 2000

owillis - why am I an elitist becacuse I don't like Britney Spears? I don't like Britney, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, Take That or any other manufacturered band because I don't see any creativity - there's no knee jerk reaction.
I'm not 'indie' - theres a different definition of the genre in my country and yours anyway - I simply like a well crafted tune and lyrics I can associate with (or a good dance music track - but I suspect cultural and national definitions blur this description too) - that is my definition of good music - why does that make me elitist? I just happen to think Britney is manufactured crap, no feeling, no emotion, not even a heartfelt opinion. Just greed, commercialism and a catchy tune - I think it's shit music - end of story, if you think thats elitist then you don't understand the difference between elitism and opinion.

posted by Markb at 4:27 PM on October 19, 2000

I think it's elitist to automatically dismiss something because its "manufactured". I believe more in sampling something regardless of its origin and liking or disliking it on its individual merits. Have you listened to Britney Spears, then decided that you didn't like it? If not...
posted by owillis at 5:18 PM on October 19, 2000

We are the sum of our experiences somewhat...and for myself, years--about 17years since i become hyper-aware of music--of listening to "manufactured" bands makes me wary of them, but in the end, if the music makes me feel something then i like it. I have owned dance-mix singles of bands that i considered to be manufactured Crap, but that one mix was something i liked a lot. Being opinionated though...it only takes about 25-40 seconds of a song to like it or no...Perhaps i am Elitist because i choose too fast?
posted by th3ph17 at 5:38 PM on October 19, 2000

ohhhhwillis.....How dizzy you must be traveling the circumfrence of this ontological circle.... In defence of those you have accused of being elitist..... unless I am mistaken and they have eluded to a lynching in honor of Ms. Spears due to her inferiority, I believe they were merely stating that she offers nothing to their musical preferences......and it is actually more elitist of you to accuse them or anybody of not being able to appreciate her music......even if you do....... So look at her website all you want...and listen to her music....but don't claim to be offended when you should have known what to expect...given that every instance of her public appearance is embraced by her breasts and stomach...even on the Disney Channel????......and then defend her and your own pseudo-elitism.....
posted by sibylline at 10:21 PM on October 19, 2000

Indeed, owillis. I've seen a couple of posters now say that regardless of whether they think Brit Brit is "manufactured", they just don't like her music. I tend to dislike all of it myself, with one exception. I don't even necessarily think it's *bad* -- it's well produced, pretty decently arranged, and would be well performed, if that "fuck me" groan was coming from a 25 year old...

*I* just don't like it.
posted by baylink at 8:17 AM on October 20, 2000

Dismissing the Back Street Boys makes one "elitist?"

Just want to be sure I'm getting all this.
posted by Zeldman at 8:38 AM on October 20, 2000

So what if Britney doesn't write her own music? Neither did Elvis.

You have to give the girl, and all the rest of the "manufactured crap" folk a little credit. They can perform wich is an art in itself.

And what about those who write or produce the Britneys songs? The writers create songs that instantly, with assistance from a bunch of very professional producers, hits the charts. An achievment which earns them my respect.
posted by geir at 9:39 AM on October 21, 2000

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