I do not know how much money Britney Spears earned last year. However, I do know that it’s not enough for me to want her life, were I given the option to have it. Every day, random people use Britney’s existence as currency; they talk about her public failures and her lack of talent as a way to fill the emptiness of their own normalcy. She - along with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and all those androids from The Hills - are the unifying entities within this meta era. In a splintered society, they are the means through which people devoid of creativity communicate with each other. They allow Americans to understand who they are and who they are not; they allow Americans to unilaterally agree on something they never needed to consciously consider. A person like Britney Spears surrenders her privacy and her integrity and the rights to her own persona, and in exchange we give her huge sums of money. But she still doesn’t earn a fraction of what she warrants in a free-trade economy. If Britney Spears were paid $1 every time a self-loathing stranger used her as a surrogate for his own failure, she would out earn Warren Buffet in three months. This is why entertainers (and athletes) make so much revenue but are still wildly underpaid: We use them for things that are worth more than money. It’s a new kind of dehumanizing slavery - not as awful as the literal variety, but dehumanizing nonetheless.
— Chuck Klosterman, Eating the Dinosaur (via xlmeowmixlx)