1. I just watched "Britney: For the Record" on MTV and feel as if I caught something I never realized before. After discussing her meltdown, Brit says something to the effect of, "My dream is to go to some island with my boys and a man, somewhere where no one could find us." Keep in mind this is after discussing the meltdown, after she has supposedly come out on the other side stronger, even as depressed and deluded as that sounds.
It just so happened that Madonna was interviewed minutes before, and you could never imagine her saying anything like that. The main difference between her generation of pop stars (Michael Jackson, George Michael, etc.) is that they were so charismatic and driven to be in the limelight that they would do anything to not be on an island where no one could see them. In watching these interviews, it became apparent how natural Madge was versus how uncomfortable Britney was. Because Britney was a product pushed forward by handlers from the beginning, this whole atmosphere is enough to wear her down. But it's where someone like Madonna belongs. Someone like her would go crazy if people weren't watching them.
2. Musicians are dumb. The new Britney album is called Circus, as you may know. Because her life is crazy and unpredictable like a circus. It's a metaphor. So--here's where the dumb comes in--the album cover and videos and all the attendant visuals are circus-related. Elephants, three rings, top hats. So by spelling it out that way, it ceases to be a metaphor. She is just documenting the iconography of a circus as a setting. What was already a tired concept is now a pointless connection. She might as well call it Suburban Quizno's and have that be the theme of the record. If you're going to take this approach, it's just as arbitrary.