Is Britney Spears Worth $15m a Year?

News broke this morning that Britney Spears is ready to sign on to the X Factor as a judge and sitting next to Simon Cowell.  She will reportedly be paid $15 million for her services:

Britney Spears appears close to bumping knees with Simon Cowell as a judge on Fox’ “The X Factor” — and getting $15 million to do it.

Speculation swirled Wednesday that Spears was “thisclose” or closer to a deal to join the Fox program, which would be a major step in her ongoing career rehabilitation.

If a deal is done, she’d fill one of the two seats left open after Cowell cut loose judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger after the first season.

I actually find this sad news.

Britney Spears is being brought to the X Factor so she can become the next laughingstock — the next “Paula Abdul” — and the producers clearly hope audiences will tune into every week to see how odd and ill-mannered Britney is and how quickly she will fail.

I’ve seen Britney on television many times and she really has no personality or cogent thoughts or interesting asides when she contemporaneously speaks.  She’s an automaton on autopilot.  I can’t imagine her having anything constructive or interesting to say on the X Factor unless it is written for her by someone else.

When you hire someone just so you can mock them and make fun of them on television — all while winking at the audience that you’re pretending to take that person “seriously” — it creates tremendous cultural crassness and cynicism.  The joke is on Britney, of course, but she doesn’t know it, and the audience loves it that she doesn’t know it.

$15 million dollars is a lot of money for allowing the purchase of your self-esteem, but I’m sure the Spears camp will delight in having that financial infusion, but what of Ms. Spears’ soul?  Is she so unreal as to not comprehend how the world will view her failures on the X Factor?  What escape does she have from her million dollar prison that encourages star chamber rapture but not human responsibility?

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