January 04, 2004

Let me not to the marriage of true mindlessness admit impediments

Pop princess Britney Spears was married in a Vegas chapel yesterday morning and is apparently "already making plans to annul the marriage".

Here at invisibleadjunct.com, we often raise questions and concerns about the current and future state of higher education in America. But I'd like to suggest that the case of Ms. Spears serves as a timely reminder of the enormous value of higher ed: can anyone deny that this young woman would have benefitted from a college education?

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at January 4, 2004 01:10 PM

Heck, I suspect she could benefit from retaking high school.

Posted by: PZ Myers at January 4, 2004 01:44 PM

It it bothersome that anything Britney says in passing today will reach more people than the lifetime scholarly output of any of us?

Or perhaps its the awareness that Britney will earn more money in the next hour than any of will in the next year?

Lots of potential for an irritating Harper's Index.

Posted by: THB at January 4, 2004 03:14 PM

Hey, she's keeping the buzz going. This marriage / annulment is strategic -- you have to look at the big picture. When Paris Hilton's not-so-good wax job got sent out on the internet, that was a smart career move for her. This is the new milennium, you know.

Posted by: zizka at January 4, 2004 04:43 PM

Not to irritate our gracious hostess, but I must strongly disagree. I have seen just as much stupidity from people in school and who have successfully finished school to believe that affairs of the heart are affected by education that much. College might have prevented some of the stupid things celebrities do, but then again it might have just provided more opportunities for our entertainment at their expense. (Or maybe its a publicity stunt to get just this sort of discussion going. Who knows, and how much does it really matter?)

Posted by: Aramis Martinez at January 4, 2004 05:48 PM

I have a couple of course suggestions for Britney's freshman year:

Business Management 122: How Not to Squander Your Wealth, Instructor -- MC Hammer

History 321: Pop Stars and Their 15 Minutes, Instructors -- Donnie Osmand and Leif Garrett

Posted by: Laura at January 4, 2004 06:34 PM

You may be right, but I'm a bit sceptical. Are her agents and handlers enthusiastic about this latest move, or are they already worrying about damage control? Sure, this keeps up the buzz. But it's also the kind of stunt that can help demote a star from A-list celebrity to B-list used-to-be-celebrated-now-famous-for-having-been-famous tabloid fodder (think Lisa Marie Presley).

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at January 4, 2004 06:43 PM

Well, Britney had that innocuous image to get rid of. Mouseketeers have a lot of trouble carrying their fame through puberty. She's doing pretty well.

If she's really smart she knows that she'll never have to work again with the money she has already, so her future career is a matter of complete indifference to her. She probably isn't really smart, though.

Posted by: zizka at January 4, 2004 07:01 PM

I know, in a vaguely aware way, that Britney Spears is some sort of a singer. This I know mostly from the South Park Movie because the babysitter says she wants to listen to her Britney Spears albums. (The South Park Movie is also how I know Satan's gay and just got out of an abusive relationship with Saddam. Perhaps I should not be getting my cultural information from the South Park Movie...)

I have never, to the best of my knowledge, ever heard anything Britney Spears has sung. She does, however, appear in a variety of cheesecake shots on a series of web pages about semiconductor physics. See here: http://britneyspears.ac/lasers.htm. I find this entirely too amusing.

Posted by: teep at January 4, 2004 10:14 PM

This is true...as noted yesterday, college is all about getting the cheap sex without having to rush into a marriage first.

Posted by: Brian Ulrich at January 5, 2004 12:36 AM

I see the snobby 'Well, I've never heard of her!' procession has begun!

I mean, really.

Also, it's worth noting that it's likely she has far more money than MC Hammer ever had, easily reaching critical mass, and her time on the spotlight (and ability to obtain #1 records) has already lasted longer than Leif and Donny's heydays combined...

That said, the writing is on the wall- her recent #1 album, like Kid A, was largely sold on the shifting sands of great expectations, and she ain't got the chops of Radiohead to put out her own Hail to the Thief.

Posted by: Nathan Lundblad at January 5, 2004 10:05 AM

I deny it. A college education would not have benefited her. Take a close look at her career some time: this is a woman who has obsessively honed her performing skills since she was five. Regardless of our estimation of her success in developing her skill, she isn't the girl next door, no matter what her publicity people say. Furthermore, since she has long known what she wanted to do, and what she wanted to do wasn't something where academic knowledge matters more than practical experience, it made plenty of sense for her to forgo college.

Look at her decision on its merits: she made a stupidly large amount of money skipping it. Even if you want to argue that college makes you a better human being (a proposition I find dubious), having lots of money gives you lots of second (and third, and fourth) chances. She can afford to learn from experience. And hell, people mostly use college as a chance to try and find solid personal relationships through experimentation, rather than through solemn contemplation of the Nicomachean Ethics.

Posted by: at January 5, 2004 01:12 PM

Bunches o' blog folk are talking about Ms. Spears. Keiran thinks her behavior is a threat to the institution of marriage.

I'm guessing too much champagne or other intoxicants.

And no, dear AP, I don't think any sort of education would have penetrated Ms. Spears' consciousness. It's all about the money and the fame.

I think I'm going to take a little vow of silence, here, and not discuss Ms. Spears, Mr. Jackson, or Mr. Irwin, his wife or baby.

Posted by: Liz at January 5, 2004 01:33 PM

Oh, please. I *have* heard of Britney Spears. I just don't know what her music sounds like. I could say the same for The Hansons, N'Sync, and a stunning array of other musical acts that constitute the pop music of a generation that I don't belong to.

It's not a crime to be ignorant of current pop music when you're not in that demographic any more than it is a crime to be ignorant of the intricacies of Bob the Builder or Blue's Clues when you are neither a small child nor a parent of one.

Posted by: teep at January 5, 2004 01:53 PM

Keiran thinks her behavior is a threat to the institution of marriage.

Heh. If hitting a Vega$ wedding chapel with an old or new 'friend' at 5am after a few bottles o' bubbly is a threat to the institution, I could hardly imagine how the institution has survived the last fifty years...

Posted by: Nathan Lundblad at January 5, 2004 02:10 PM

What could she have possibly learned in college? How many times has Noman Mailer been married and unmarried? And to paraphrase a Woody Allen movie "you just think you don't know what her music sounds like!"

Posted by: Kate at January 6, 2004 11:45 AM

why should she go to school? she has way more money than my school's endowment!

we should encourage Britney and other wealthy stars to found colleges so we can work at them.

I'd be proud to have the "Distinguished Justin Timberlake Professor, Spears University" on my letterhead. Or to represent Spears U. at the AHA and ask job candidates, "Do you believe in distance education? Will you be willing to participate in dance routines on video? How do you feel about Christina?"

Posted by: better left nameless at January 6, 2004 12:45 PM

God. It'd be wonderful if we could encourage these Pop stars to set up university scholarships. I know I'd be first in line for one.

I think a lot of people would benefit from not getting a college education. The universities in my country are over crowded and underfunded because it has become almost a mark of social shame not to go. Kids are spending thousands of pounds on academic education when a lot of them would be much better off setting up as skilled craftsmen (plumbers, electricians etc.)

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