Tag Archives: music

Why is Britney Spears still famous?


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Britney SpearsWhy do I even know who Britney Spears IS?

I mean – I don’t listen to her music. (Shudder.)

I don’t care about her problems.

I don’t care that she shaved her head. If anything, I like her better that way.

She’s not a friend of mine.

Why do I know about her? Why is she even still famous?

Paris Hilton.

Why is SHE famous?

My 12-year-old told me yesterday: “Paris Hilton is so stupid, she tried to mow the lawn in pumps.”

Britney Spears, baldNow, that IS pretty stupid. So, what is Paris famous for? Stupidity? Because I have a fairly long list of people I’ve run into that I could funnel into the fame machine, with much funnier stories than just mowing the lawn in Manola Blahniks.

Like the time I went down to Chelsea for an interview with a printing company – and the boss, interviewing me, said with a swagger, “So what do YOU know about printing?”

I looked down at his nine fingers, and then held up my own intact ten, and replied: “More than you do.”

Now, which of us was stupider? You be the judge. Me? I was happy not to get the job.

Ashlee Simpson. It just bothers me the way she spells her name.

Ashley Tisdale? It just bothers me the way her acting style is basically a constant state of this-side-of-hysteria. I can just see her now, arguing angrily with her director. “What, that’s not funny? Fuck off. I’m hilarious, and blonde, besides.”

Brenda Song is good. She at least has got to be very smart. No one can portray stupidity as well as she does on “The Suite Life” without being extremely intelligent.

Ashton Kutcher is the same – he played a character so extremely simple on “That 70s Show” you’d wonder if brushing his teeth was a Herculean task, so you just KNEW he had to be a brilliant guy to pull it off. Now, I just dig him because he digs Demi Moore, who’s getting to be a “certain age,” and I think that’s cool, the same way I think Tim Robbins is cool for digging Susan Sarandon, who is just cool all over.

Now, Gwen Stefani? I like her. She’s turning herself into a real hegemony of a business monopoly. How many things is she selling now? Clothes, paper products, toys, excavation machines… she’s like, the Martha Stewart Omnimedia of the teeny-bopper set. Gotta admire that in a babe.

But the main thing?

Why do I even know or care at all about these people? They’re not my friends, I don’t have them over to my house for dinner or anything, and they certainly don’t give a flying fart about me.

It’s weird, this fame thing.

Now: I do performances all over the place, I write, and I’m middle-of-the-road well-known, so I get a tiny taste of what it’s like to have people come up to you who know you – but you don’t know them.

It’s weird, this fame thing.

Being a generally private person – when I’m on stage, I’m doing a show, and I’m all yours, but heck – if you’re not paying me, I’m not your entertainer, you know – I kind of get why famous people get irritated with strangers throwing themselves at them.

And I kind of get why my daughter gets frustrated with me for not caring about the famous.

I don’t know them. I like some of their work, don’t care about others.

Otherwise – I pretty much leave them alone – and remain mystified at the colossal success of the PR machines that make me aware of some people whose music, art or (questionable) talent I haven’t even heard. 

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Embarrassment? I’m Bulletproof.


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Elizabeth Williams Bushey in concertI’m a grownup. That means I can eat frosting right out of the can if I want to. (Yes, I said the CAN. Is there anyone who still makes homemade frosting? Okay, then, you probably aren’t a parent with a job. And if you ARE a parent with a job, and you still make homemade frosting, and get everything else done you’re supposed to do, then you must be my very nice, but gobmackingly perfect sister. Please forward a package of your frosting in one of your gazillion extra organizing tubs.)

I have a vehicle. I can drive to the mall anytime I please. I’ve got a cell phone, too, complete with a butterfly charm from the Icing at the Galleria. How cool am I? I have a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, and I rock with it. I even perform onstage. With a real wireless headset mike. (Testing. 1, 2, 3…) I am SOOOO AWESOME.

Oh, wait, I forgot – I’m the Dork of the Universe.

I’m someone’s mom.

Please do NOT TALK TO MY FRIENDS, MOM.

Please do NOT KISS ME, MOM.

Please DO NOT EMBARRASS ME, MOM.

Now: I, my own self, am nearly impossible to embarrass, being a rather outspoken, outgoing sort. (Anyone who sings in public doesn’t exactly have a low embarrassment threshold.) But one does have to remember what it’s like to NOT be a grownup.

We were in McDonald’s, happily enjoying our happy meals.

“Mom!” Urgency crept into my daughters’ voices – an alarm so deep I wondered for a moment if an armed gunman had entered the establishment.

I bent my head, the better to hear their agonized whispers.

“Ourfriendfromschooljustwalkedin. PLEASE DON’T EMBARRASS US.”

Okay. I don’t mind being considered a dork by my kids, even though in reality, I’m fairly cool. They’re supposed to think I’m a dork. I’m the one teaching them right from wrong, sending them to bed, etc. If they DID think I was cool, I’d be messing up.

But there I was, sitting quietly in McDonalds – a restaurant I don’t even like all that much – minding my business, not doing any of the things they generally hate, like talking to their teachers, or their friends’ parents, or performing.

I’ll admit my baser instincts got the better of me. C’mon, we all – a little bit – hate it that our kids don’t know how cool we really are, don’t we? Don’t we all wish, deep down in our black hearts, that our kids could have seen just how awesome we really are?

“You would have WANTED to be my friend when I was your age!”

Isn’t that sometimes what you want to shout? “You would have thought I was cool THEN!”

So, more than a little peeved about accusations before actions, I stood up.

“You mean, embarrass you by doing something like… dancing to no music at all?”

I began to dance. Slowly, deliberately… embarrassingly.

“Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, Mom, pleasepleaseplease sit down, I’m begging you!”

“Something like this? Is THIS what you’re afraid I might do? Or maybe…”

“MOM!”

I sat down with a smirk. “Eat your dinner. She didn’t see.” She didn’t. Naturally I was watching. I DO take care not to embarrass them. Whenever possible.

I do recall that feeling when you’re a kid. Grownups realize everyone else in the universe is so wrapped up in themselves that they’re not paying anywhere NEAR the amount of attention you once thought they were. But kids are still the center of their own universes – the heroes of their own movies, and everyone else is a cameo player.

Extreme self-consciousness is so vivid, so much a part of your life, that any hair out of place, any fold in the cloth of your shirt, any label that’s not up-to-the-minute current makes you feel like a pariah.

You know you’re a real grownup when you realize the “pariahs” – the ones who dance to their own music – are who make the world so very, very interesting.

Kids love McDonald’s because it’s predictable; it’s always exactly the same chicken nuggets, precisely four, precisely cookie-cuttered into the same eerie, unnatural shape.

We grow when we peek beyond the predictable, to investigate: who that is dancing around the corner?

Look: no, really. Look.

(photo credit: © 2006 Tom Bushey)

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How not to make deadline


The Easiest Song in the World, © Elizabeth Williams Bushey

DominoesIt’s been a day full of piling up dominoes, and knocking them down. Fruitless, but sort of fun.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had days, literally, where stacking up dominoes and knocking them down was a good, productive day – but today wasn’t one of them.

I DID re-record the above song, though.

And I redid the look of this blog. (SO very important. MMM-yeah.)

So technically, I DID get stuff done today.

Oh – and I built a table. (Well, I sanded wood down, covered it in batting and fabric… still trying to figure out the coolest way to coordinate legs for it…)

But I still have things I’m putting off doing. And a pile of junk.

I only have until June to clean 3000 square feet for Peter when he comes home. Peter is extremely tidy, and I really would like it to be better than when he left.

My friends are right when they say my life is like a movie. Today, though, it was the part when you run out for popcorn.

(photo: © Elizabeth Williams Bushey)

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