Opinion

#FreeBritney — the movement for our times

07 March 2021 - 00:00

There was a time in the previous decade in newsrooms around SA when the daily news conference would start with one burning question: what are Juju and Britney doing today? Juju was engaged in flagrant demagogy (and nothing has changed on that front); Britney was falling apart. Every day. The news cycle is a vicious thing. It feeds on the car crashes of society. Like those slug-like creatures on the beach that emerge rapidly from the sand with their carapace of protective shell to suck the life from a dying jelly fish, the media slows down to ponder the morality tales unfolding before us and society tut-tuts in unison.

In 2007 Britney crashed and burned — by which I mean she created a feeding frenzy in a nondescript California hair salon. She buzz-cut her hair, cueing an immediate visual shorthand for a woman in a very particular type of personal peril...

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