She was crazy to begin with.
I've been saying it for years. Every so often she does something I like musically, but let's face it, not very often. "Toxic" and the one she did with the Neptunes, maybe something else. But if you turn the sound off and view Britney as a movie star in the genre of fashion and dance video - which is what any pop star really is - then the number of things I like her in skyrockets. Her music is frequently terrible, but her videos are awesome.
Her insanity, for me, has always been part of her appeal. When she was at her apex, she was working out six hours a day, every day. Can anyone doubt that this is insanity? I have professional training in hypnosis, extensive training, and the most I can manage to do at the gym is an hour and a half a day. That's with a ton of deliberate brainwashing. That's with professional training in brainwashing and deliberate effort to wash my own brain. She was doing four times that much without the benefit of any hypnosis that I'm aware of. She was going on pure unadulterated madness.
And it worked.
For me the moral of the story with Britney Spears has always been that sometimes insanity works. She hit her apex of fame around the same time as I hit the worst starving artist phase of my life, where I just couldn't even bring myself to do anything but creative work I believed in, and yet I couldn't get anybody to take the slightest commercial interest in anything I did. For various complicated reasons I was living in the middle of nowhere with no access to pop culture except MTV. It was a time of immense frustration, and here was this chick who was totally hot, appeared to have all the money in the world, made this terrible music with these awesome videos, and appeared to have absolutely no idea that her music was awful. Britney became totally fascinating to me. Was she a fortunate fool? Was she a crafty shark? How did Britney Spears happen?
One thing I learned was that she was touring shopping malls, playing shows for free, when she was fourteen years old. She tried to get paying concert venues but failed. She tried to get free concert venues, but failed. Eventually she (and her mother) got a series of shopping malls in an area of I think two or three states to host her free singing tour. Can there be any doubt that this is madness too? A free tour of shopping malls? Can you imagine how hard you'd have laughed at any of your friends if they tried to do that when you were fourteen?
I can imagine how hard my mom would have laughed at me if I had tried to get her to book me a singing tour of shopping malls when I was fourteen.
If through some implausible freak occurence Britney Spears is reading this blog, here's what I have to say to you: go crazier. Quit the drugs, but keep the shaved head. Better yet, turn it into a mohawk. Who cares? It's your prerogative.