To the Point with Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan

How many of you out there know who Britney Spears is?

I am sure that most of you just answered, “me!” Well, that is not entirely true now, is it? You know what she looks like; you know what she does for a living. You know moments of her life here and there that are captured by paparazzi, you know what you are told. But, you don’t really know who she is.

I will admit it. I have no idea who Britney Spears is. That is why I choose not to judge the woman. But, I am part if a vast minority. I don’t have any idea who she is beyond the music, the image, and the stress.

Why, then, do the majority of us insist on judging her? And, judging her a tad too harshly at that?

Looking at all of the “incidents” that have been well documented over the past few months and years, I can say that she looks like a woman in trouble. She looks like she really needs help with some pretty serious problems, but does that make her a “slut,” a “whore,” or “typical white trash,” as I have heard her called time and again.

I don’t really think so. I am pretty sure it makes her human, just like the rest of us. I am pretty sure it makes her a vulnerable woman who seems to be on the verge of something pretty serious, a woman in need of some kind of assistance, not harsh judgment.

My guess is that it is all just the darker side of human nature. (Or an emblem of the decline of Western Civilization. -ed.) Many of us are jealous of Britney, envious of the things she has that we do not. And, so, we lash out at her. We find whatever faults we can and we attack them. The old “kick-them-while-they-are-down” mentality.

It is pretty sad, really. Rather than following her every move and laughing at her mistakes, we could be showing a little compassion for another human being in need. But, no, we can’t do that, can we?

Instead, we attack. We smell blood and we are churned up into a frenzy of immaturity. Like the man getting hit in the crotch with a wiffle ball bat on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” we find some kind of twisted enjoyment in the misfortune of others.

The only difference is that we know that man who is hit in the crotch is okay in the end, he may have been in some significant pain and undergone a whole heap of embarrassment, but he is still sitting in the audience, doing alright. Britney is a different story. While we sit here and laugh at her, while we ridicule exploit after exploit, she is slipping away. She is a woman in trouble and we should help her out, not push her further down the slope.