Toronto Star

Pop star’s life isn’t the only one at stake

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Re Britney: Oops, she’s done it again. Should we care? Jan. 5

As is usually the case, the truth of the matter probably lies somewhere between the views of Judy Gerstel and Malene Arpe. Gerstel seems to feel that the response to Britney Spear’s train wreck of a life has a feminist angle, as well as a mental-health angle (i.e. it’s inappropri­ate to demean those who are ill or weak).

Arpe obviously doesn’t agree and uses the rather unsettling phrase “this very entertaini­ng piece of absurd theatre.” She may speak for the majority who can’t get enough of the antics of celebritie­s, but from my perspectiv­e, it is akin to those who slow down to look at accidents and their victims. (Isn’t it awful, but it would never happen to me.)

Whether it was her early fame or the treatment she received from the media, it would appear to untrained eyes that Spears is suffering from mental-health issues. Arpe makes it sound as though all of the recently reported antics are coldly calculated because other celebritie­s have handled their lot better. Who can explain why some people who suffer stressful circumstan­ces survive and others don’t?

If Arpe doesn’t feel sad for Spears’ downfall, then she should for her two ill-begotten children. I’m sure we’ll be reading about them in the news in the not-too-distant future. Ann Sullivan, Peterborou­gh, Ont.

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