Not My Usual; But When You’re Right, You’re Right
A few months ago, Britney Spears was photographed holding her infant son in her lap while driving her car. The paparazzi had to drive right next to her car, leaning out of windows at high speed to photograph her and her son inside of it. Supposedly, Ms. Spears was frightened and protective of her son, and decided to grab him out of his car seat in order to get him away from these intrusive idiots.
Many in the punditocracy took this opportunity to make fun of Ms. Spears. Apparently, they excuse harassment of those who like to drive their cars in public with their kids in the back seat.
Look at her lack of concern for safety, they said! She’s endangering her child! Yes, the act of lifting your child out of their seat and placing him into your lap to protect him from jackals and lunatics is to place him in danger, rather than remove him from it. Or so we are told.
All of these pundits are part of the media. The media in general promotes chasing celebrities all around in order to get pictures of them, and their newborn babies, that they can exploit in order to drive up their advertising revenue, by selling more newspapers and generating higher TV ratings. In the process of all this, they stalk these celebrities: their houses, their trips to restaurants and shopping malls, literally, their every move in public, all in hopes of catching pictures of them that can be exploited to sell advertising.
They view this as normal. Normal people view it as ridiculous.
And then, the cherry on top of the sundae, they can put her on their newsmagazine shows, where she can rip them:
“I did it with my dad. I’d sit on his lap and I drive,” the Louisiana native said. “We’re country.”
The singer said she feels like a target. Asked what she would say to the paparazzi as individuals, she says: “You have a life. And if you don’t, you have to realize that we’re people and that we … just need privacy and we need our respect. And those are things that you have to have as a human being.”
And she’s absolutely right of course.
Admittedly, celebrities can often take some blame in all this, by encouraging the very celebrity status that they later regret.
But Britney Spears has done nothing of the kind. She has basically dropped out of celebrity-hood, gotten married young, had one kid and has another on the way. She’s already been world-famous, made hundreds of millions of dollars, and wants to just be a mom now. She doesn’t troll around looking for publicity, and in fact seems to hate it, now that she’s a mom. By all appearances, she wants to be left alone now. But the media is having none of it. They need her to sell stuff, so they can generate profits. And so it goes.
And as for the “danger” involved in her lifting her child out of his car seat for a short time, please. Anybody over the age of 40 grew up riding in cars full of sharp metal things pointing directly at their eyeballs. With no seat belts. I find it hard to get jazzed about the risks of taking a baby out of a car seat for a little bit, when compared with the risks of a bunch of idiot paparazzi chasing me around in my car, flashbulbs popping in my eyes of my baby . Yeah, I’m a rebel that way.
She’s “country”. As a young child, she sat on her dad’s lap and drove around. It brings back fond memories for her, and she instinctively did the same with her own child when she felt danger.
But we are supposed to believe that the real danger here, rather than paparazzi chasing her car and leaning out to grab pictures, is that she lifted her child out and drove with him in her lap for a short while. They don’t want you to think about the inconvenient fact that her baby would have stayed all snug and secure in his car seat, had the paparazzi not been harassing them.
No paparazzi, no problem.