Ah, Britney Spears, the story that will not die.

Maybe you heard that last week she was involved in some kind of heated custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline, locked herself in a bathroom with her young son and was finally whisked out of her home on a gurney and taken to Cedars Sinai Hospital, allegedly under the influence of some unknown substance.

Please, make it stop!

I shudder to think that seven years ago, Britney was my ultimate celebrity crush. Boy, how the mighty have fallen!

Above all, though, I must reiterate my point and ask that Ms. Spears please go quietly into the limelight. Her time is up, her career is dead, she’s a national joke and clearly a desperate individual.

Now, when I say desperate, I’m referring to her constant craving for attention. She clearly loves having the spotlight shone upon her and will make sure it’s cast in her general direction, no matter what ill-tempered stunt she must pull off.

Maybe if the national media stopped following her every move, Spears would be a little more inclined to go the way of the dodo. After all, aren’t there bigger issues facing this country and world like, oh, I don’t know, a war, a presidential election, global warming, the economy, a record number of foreclosures? I’m just throwing those out there.

Spears’ time as a celebrity has long since vanished. She’s now nothing more than a cautionary tale and, quite frankly, an exceptionally bad parent and role model.

It’s depressing to realize there are still young children out there who continue to look up to her. Nice example she’s set for them.

To these youngsters, might I suggest a new role model ... this “Hannah Montana” kid (a.ka. “Achy Breaky Heart’s” offspring)? I saw her on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and she seems like a nice, approachable young lady.

But enough with the Britney. I just can’t take it anymore.

And as long as I’m on this celebrity bashing kick, what is up with all these stars getting arrested for DUI? You mean to tell me that, with all their millions, they can’t hire someone to drive them around barhopping? Yes, I’m talking to you, Jack Bauer!

From personal experience, I can tell you that I was in a cab just two weeks ago and the fares are not outrageous. I’m just saying.

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On a side note, I hope the first week of 2008 has been a good one for all you readers out there and that you’re sticking to your guns regarding those resolutions.

The most common one year in and year out is to lose weight. Well, I’m here to offer my services in helping to ensure this goal is met.

Folks, all you’ve got to do is get a stomach flu!

Yes, those holiday pounds will melt away in the blink of an eye, not to mention a few that probably shouldn’t go anywhere. Since I first became gripped in this virus’ grasp starting New Year’s Day (that gives you an idea of how 2008 has thus far gone for me), I lost six pounds, as well as an appetite and a general will to live!

Thankfully, as of Sunday, I’m back to eating solid foods (Jell-O, you and I will never be friends again!) and back to the grind at the GDT, happy to be up doing something again, as opposed to lying flat on my back watching football, college basketball and “The Lord of the Rings” (actually, that part wasn’t too bad).

Plus, I’m now back to my ideal weight. See, resolutions don’t have to be broken if the right viral infection comes along!

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Finally, I’d like to send birthday greetings to my sister Sara, who turns 23 today. Happy birthday, “Louie”!

Brad Dickerson is a staff writer for the Daily Times. He can reached by e-mail at bdickerson@glasgowdailytimes.com

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