Friday, September 23, 2005


I know, it has been a trillion years since I posted anything. Poor FF, shouldering the Fluffy Dollars burden all by herself. I seem to have developed blog laryngitis over the past couple weeks. I worry that it will give my blog writing a trashy raspy voice like that Bush twin or Alex M from
Laguna Beach. I will try to post more often these next couple of days to try to get my blogging chopz sharpened. Okay. I think this is going to go well. Deep breaths.

I love the new Britney Spears TV ads for her perfume "Fantasy" !!! It features Brit and a K-Fed klone running through the forest, with Brit providing a voice-over about a goddess and a hunter, which ends with her saying "so the hunter decided to do something kind of crazy" while the camera tracks an arrow from Fakekayfed's quiver nailing Britney in the back. Then Brit says, "everyone has a fantasy" and you learn that she is shilling perfume. Brilliant!

Things I like about this ad:

1) The production values are terrible. There is a cheezy Ted Turner colorization/technicolor patina to the whole thing which reminds me of the disturbing and nauseating fairy-tale perversities of avant filmmakers Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley.

2) I marvel at the sublime cluelessness inherent in Brit's mainstreaming of the rape fantasies (the presumed missing "something crazy" filled in by the arrow attack) central to the literary genre of "fantasy": you know, the bodice-rippers and the books with Fabio on the cover and novels where R2D2 is the main character. Unlike Madonna's Sex, which gentrified lots of putatively "transgressive" sexual fantasies with a knowing wink, Britney's "Fantasy" ad serves not to make "weird" desires seem normal and healthy, but to make the most banal of fantasy scenarios (the enchanted forest, the goddess, the pectorally-endowed love interest) seem sick and twisted. Is this because the perverse underbelly of the fantasy, what Lacanians call the kernel of the real, as revealed in Brit and K-Fed's Chaotic, is so horrifying?

3) I love Brit's formulation, "eveybody has a fantasy." First, we leap to the most absurd possible meaning-- that everybody has only one fantasy. You can dream of hitting the links with Arnold Palmer, playing glockenspiel with the Cleveland Symphony Pops tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, or sharing a romantic getaway weekend with Benazir Bhutto. But not all three! Not even two. Just one, buddy. Now get back to work!

But as Marxists, we should go beyond this to the idea of "fantasy" as the symbolic masking of the real relations of production. We should probably spell it with a "ph," because this makes ordinary words that start with "f" into magically cooler words that begin with "ph." But we won't.

Anyhoo, in this sense, everybody does have one and only one fantasy: that as consumers we are engaged in an activity totally separate from the messy wold of work and factories and misery. When we purchase commodities (like Brit's perfume) which in fact represent certain fixed amounts of stored-up dead labor, with cash, which also represents a fixed amount of stored-up dead labor, we seal the symbolic deal. And when we seek to fulfill all of our pleasures, assert our identities and pursue our thrills in the world of commodities, it can be said that the inverse of Brit's insight is in fact true: "a fantasy has everybody."

Whoa. Despair! No. We must ask, as Lenin did, "will this hat really convince anybody that I am not bald, but have a full head of hair that I choose to cover with a hat because I think it looks cooler that way, even though hatless I would still look pretty good?" No, no. That was Jeremy Piven. We must ask, as Brit bravely queried Kevin in Chaotic: "Can you handle my truth?" CAN YOU?!!!!!


mzn said...

Nice to see you again, SB. I don't know if I can handle YOUR truth. But as Ben Stein said, I shall do my best.

femme feral said...

the website for fantasy is AMAZING!

Emily said...

Wandered over from Jenny's World and quite enjoyed this post; almost as much as I enjoyed reveling in the sheer horror that was Chaotic.

I must say, though, I think what Lennon actually said was "I am the Walrus".

And, given the incisiveness of your post, I have to believe you will know what I'm talking about.

the sad billionaire said...

Hey Emily,

Thankx for your nice comments! We hope you will come visit us often! Do you have a blog we can visit?
BTW: Awesome "Big Lebowski" ref. Fantastique!

Elka said...

Oh man, BRILLIANT!! I laughed out loud. It's funny because it's true!!