I read Steve Dennis’s ‘Inside the Dream’ aka the Britney Spears biography, and I’m feeling no shame at all. Maybe just a little, tiny bit. I wouldn’t have felt the need to say that I have no shame in reading Britney Spears’s biography if I hadn’t sensed a bit of heckling in the tone of certain friends who maybe thought that reading Britney’s biography is an affront to all that is tasteful in the world. They shall not worry because it must be known that sometimes I read the occasional David Foster Wallace, which is truly for me the height of highbrow, ahem.
As a matter of undeniable fact I’m just really the kind of person who would read a Britney Spears biography. If the opportunity presents itself I wouldn’t think twice about the Sharon Stone biography and the Lindsay Lohan and the Jeff Buckley. It is wholly non-uncharacteristic of me to be reading those.
You should know that reading Britney’s biography gives you deeper appreciation for and life lessons from the international superstar kind of life, not that you will ever have an immediate need for those. I haven’t read that many pop star biographies but I’m guessing there’s not much to find in lesser stars’s biographies that I wouldn’t already read about in Brit’s, no? But as I’ve said, no lowly, ‘unartistic’ book is beneath me, so that maybe if I see Natalie Imbruglia’s or any of the All Saints girls’ memoir in Book Sale, maybe I can find it in my indiscriminate heart to grab and pick valuable superstar lessons from.
Predictably, the Britney biography begins with her humble beginnings in a small Louisiana town. As you know, humble beginnings are almost all the same even if you’re Britney Spears. If I wasn’t so patient I would have skipped this part altogether because I already know all about superstar humble beginnings via the one and only Vondie Curtis Hall classic, Glitter.
The thing to remember when reading about superstars, I now realize is, it is imperative to separate your non-famous self’s circumstance from the superstars’ because the worlds you and the superstar inhabit are not and never will be the same. With that mindset, you will be ready to accept the fact that being hounded by paparazzi while you get out of your Mercedez, underperforming your latest hit single in the MTV Video Music Awards, and getting into child custody battles with hot ex-husbands are things worthy of the common man’s sympathy.
So Britney went through tough times in her life because her family, like yours and mine, wasn’t all that together, just like any other dysfunctional family in the world. In fact Britney’s family was so dysfunctional her mom had to write two books about it. I went through those obligatory chapters to get to the meatier parts fast. And the meaty parts are indeed meaty. Or maybe I’m just starved for celebrity scandals and our lack of E! and The Biography channels needs serious addressing.
In all honesty (as opposed to ‘In all dishonesty’) there is not much you will read here that you will not have already read, heard or seen elsewhere. What makes Steve Dennis’ rendering of the Britney kind of life special is it’s coherent although occasionally factually erroneous telling of the rise and fall and rise and fall of Britney.
I’m not a fan of Britney’s but she’s compelling in a way that the likes of Willa Ford, Nicole Scherzinger, Cheryl Cole, Gwen Stefani and other pop starlets are not. Plus I like her songs and I have no shame in that, too. Precisely five years ago, during the Circus era, I could never understand why Britney Spears is consistently Yahoo search’s #1 topic. I could never truly appreciate Britney’s popularity that people would always go searching for her latest escapades. Maybe she’s less relevant in Google search? Maybe it’s because she really is the Marilyn Monroe/Princess Diana figure of our time? Whatever, the answer does not lie in this biography. The answer is in the intro of ‘Gimme More’. It’s simply because ‘It’s Britney, bitch.’