November 17, 2003

Not Yet A Good Role Model, Either

WE HAVE LEARNED THIS EVENING, by way of Allison Barnes' excellent site, that pop musician Britney Spears considers herself a role model for youth. Ms Barnes, we think, has summed up the matter well: "This I don't dispute. She is a role model, but perhaps not a good one."

Ms Barnes also takes note of the key quote in the Associated Press story which she references:

"In a radio interview to be broadcast Monday, the 21-year-old pop star said parents should not be worried if their children want to copy her.

"I probably have more older fans than the younger ones, but I think the reason why everyone talks about the younger fans so much is because the parents are concerned," Spears was quoted as saying. "And in the end they shouldn't be concerned because they should trust their kids and believe in their kids."

We here at The Rant do not have any children. However, we can assure Ms Spears that we have every intention of trusting and believing in our children when we have them. The only caveat is that they will have had to reach the age of majority. Based on the experiences of our own youth, in which we were sullen and passive-aggressive, we have no intention of trusting our children during their adolescent years.

Now, we fully admit that we may very well trust our eventual children at that time, as there is always the possibility that they will be good as gold. However, despite our best efforts in the matter, we consider this possibility a slim one. As such, we fully intend to be watchful parents. We can further say that if our teenaged daughter(s) were ever to dress like Ms Spears does for her concerts, we would have a Conniption Fit, the likes of which not seen since Senator Kefauver grilled the Mafia:

DAUGHTER (in doorway of study): Hi, Daddy!

ME (typing away at computer): Hello! No.


ME: No. Just a pre-emptive thing, really.

DAUGHTER: I haven't even asked you anything yet!

ME: Oh, I know! However, I know that you're going to ask if you can borrow my car. Hence the No. When YOU get older and YOU start paying your own bills and YOU sell a book, YOU can spend the proceeds on an outlandishly-expensive automobile symbolizing your own mid-life crisis. Until then, however, the answer is No.

DAUGHTER: That's not even what I came to talk to you about!

ME: Oh! Carry on.

DAUGHTER: I just wanted to let you know I'm going out with Rick, and ...

ME: Oh, OK. Wait a minute. Who's Rick? Have I met Rick? Is this Rick a Humphrey Bogart-like Rick or an ominous be-mulleted Eighties-era rocker-type Rick?

DAUGHTER: Oh, he's the musician at ...


DAUGHTER: Daddy, he's ...

ME: He had BEST not have blue hair!

DAUGHTER: ... he's going to be here in fifteen minutes, so you can meet him! He's in a swing band!

ME: Oh, well, that's different then! I always knew you had top choice in the fellows. Now, let's ... (turning away from machine) ... SWEET MERCIFUL GOD ALMIGHTY!


ME: What! What do you mean, 'What?' You know very well what -- you're half-dressed for the occasion, that's what! Good God. You're dressing like Britney Spears during a concert, for Heaven's sake!


ME: Never mind. Now, sweetie, you know you ought not dress like that. You and I and your Mother had this discussion already, didn't we? Now that I think of it, we also discussed the importance of choosing high-quality guys with which to date, to say nothing of the safety issues. This musician of yours is undoubtedly a Casanova of dubious chivalric qualities, and ...

DAUGHTER: Rick's parents are writers.

ME: Oh. Well, good Lord! Why didn't you say so before?

And so the story closes, with our future self content knowing that our daughter is going out with the clearly well-mannered scion of fellow writers. Hey, they may be crazy, but at least we'll know where we stand. We also hope that Ms Spears will rest easy knowing that we will trust and believe in our kids. Provided we have an awful lot of verification to go with that.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 17, 2003 07:09 PM | TrackBack

Ben -

You may be interested in this quote from Spears in regards to role models which you can read by pasting the below into your address bar.


John V

Posted by: John Venlet at November 18, 2003 07:20 AM


And in that she would be right -- parents are responsible for their children. A pity she didn't stick with that line in this latest interview, as it actually made sense.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at November 18, 2003 09:02 AM

Um, what is wrong with musicians and writers :p

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at November 18, 2003 12:06 PM