According to some pervy economist, we’re all going to continue consuming Goya products, canned Vienna sausages, and Netflix for another three years. Some of us may do so while wandering around our downtown dwellings with obtrusive wall decorations that may or may not recall the female anatomy, high on a party platter of trendy club drugs. Others will scamper around less glamorous, outer-borough digs, swatting at cockroaches with a stray stiletto we probably pilfered from a drag queen, high on Nyquil. But in this New Depression, no one has it harder than celebrities. Beacons of hope, inspiration, and virtue, their crotch-shots and cat-fights have kept the seams of our despairing world from unraveling entirely. So it makes sense to take time out and honor a few of the many who, like us, are toiling through their own fiscal hardships — even turning over a palm of gold when they can.
Britney Spears fires drug-using dancers. It appears the execs currently commandeering Britney Inc. have fired a trio of dancers who they suspect of drug use. Apparently it all has to do with the astronomical insurance rates that cover the singer’s tour. And while a nasty four-letter word like insurance wouldn’t faze past superstars who could do such things as bite off bat heads or be Marilyn Manson, in these dire times, even Britneycorp is looking to come out with some profits at the end of the circus. Although who knows if her insurance also covers full disclosure.
Nadya Suleman caves in to charity. Sure, her celebrity is debatable, but the Octo-Mom has managed to make something marginally relevant out of that waste of hypertext that’s the new Radar. And after turning down offers for free childcare and working litigious issues out by promising to come on air for Dr. Phil, she’s managed to string together a series of five-figure deals to net herself not only 24/7 childcare, but also a large house for her baker’s dozen-plus-one. The frayed string attached responsible for tugging Octo-Mom’s heart? Reality television! Now there’s an investment for the future. And she didn’t even need the expensive help of flacks, agents, or other middlemen.
Lady Gaga offers a recessionomic Róisín Murphy clone. Lady Gaga’s story is one that all of us upper-middle class creative spirits can yearn to mimic in our own way. But no matter how much we all love hearing “Poker Face” bleating through the headphones of the chongalicious cocktail waitress from Flushing while boarding a train at Times Square, something about Gaga’s style doesn’t mesh. It smacks too obviously of the avant-garde wardrobe decisions that Murphy has carefully tailored to fit her music. But where Murphy offers similarly avant-garde pop songs and emanates Gucci, Gaga offers accessible Top 40 hits and ends up exuding Forever 21. Which has apparently worked wonders, as she embarks on on a tour soon.
Chris Brown uses Rihanna to wipe up scandal, shame. And perhaps because he’s already got America’s supply of celebrity-handling flacks working overtime (thanks Nadya!) to repair his battered reputation and hasn’t the green to afford the handlers who maintain the image of our oligarchic politicos, Chris Brown is attempting to leverage Rihanna — who may not only be staying by his side for emotional reasons, but because single resident occupancy can get expensive these days — in a duet to convince us, the unwitting public, that they are truly in love and that he will never lay a finger on her again. And we, the unwitting public, will probably wonder what song can they cover, as creativity is expensive these days, and send out in lieu of a well-crafted press release. And then, still unwitting but now venomously cynical, the public will suggest everything from Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” to Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” because we are just so defeated by Rihanna’s complicity.