Whenever I hear Britney Spears on the radio these days, I can’t help but think of her as some sort of non-entity; a quivering mound of protoplasm in a halter top and platform sandals that bleats out lyrics every few months on command when it notices it has been placed in a recording studio.  Those lyrics are then autotuned and overproduced into the familiar, record-selling sound we’ve come to expect from Britney, which is then set to a pounding house beat and released gently into its number-one slot on the billboard charts.

This train of thought led me to recall those legendary brainless, soulless chicken-substitutes that are grown in laboratories across the country and served to unsuspecting (or suspecting) patrons at KFC– which as we all know can no longer be called ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’, as it no longer actually serves actual chickens.

Those depressing, zombie-chicken caricatures of living flesh, despite their unsavory origins, produce appealing enough fried drumsticks and meaty breaded breasts of the kind we’ve come to expect from KFC.  They’re tender and juicy and utterly regulated.  Superficially delicious and satisfying, they’re enjoyable in part because of their predictable sameness and dependability.  They have, after all, been precisely engineered to meet our criteria for a fast, fried, chicken-y dinner of adequate taste and quality.  But think too long about their origins, and you’re bound to feel a little queasy.

In a way, those sad, brainless laboratory chickens remind me of our current crop of celebrities, pop stars and prize athletes. They’ve been hand-selected by the same greedy, shadowy boards to meet our exact standards for dazzling celebrity sex appeal. Young and tender, sexy and shiny-haired yet pleasantly homogenous; while they weren’t exactly grown in laboratories, we know that they’re not naturally made, either. We know that what they say and do and the way they perform is not the genuine article. The legacies they create weren’t born of a natural wellspring of passion, creativity, or intellect. But we eat them up and follow their antics mindlessly, because they’re what we’ve come to expect, to demand. We think they’re no better than what we deserve.

Well, I’ve about had my fill of these KFcelebrities.  I’m ready to bestow  my interest, envy and admiration on genuine artists, writers, and other public figures who grew into fame in their own ways, in their own terms.  People with real meat on their bones!

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