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Five Songs For Britney

List Of The Day

Loyal readers of this blog know that we often belittle the efforts of others in futile attempts to make ourselves feel better. But we do have a heart. And we don't like to see anyone go completely loco. People with problems--even people richer, prettier, more successful and more privileged than ourselves--deserve to have those problems treated.

This Britney Spears character has really been doing a number on herself, hasn't she? It's as if she's in a race with Amy Winehouse and Lindsay Lohan to see who can bump into Heath Ledger first. This is NOT a club you want to join. The dues are too high and the entrance exam is a killer--literally. Join the Weblos! Join the Cub Scouts! Join 4-H! Take up jogging! Save a horse, ride a cowboy! Turn on your iPod and smile!

"Institutionalized"--Suicidal Tendencies: This mid-'80s punk classic told it how it was from the viewpoint of a kid who was being locked up against his will but who still had the wherewithal (love people with the wherewithal!) to argue with his parents that it was their schools and their churches and their rules that led to his problems. All the kid wanted was a Pepsi. Considering the communication gap here, imagine what would have transpired had he asked for "New Coke." And you think you've got pronoun problems?

"Hospital"--Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: One of the tenderest songs on the block. "When you get out of the hospital, let me back into your life," sung in that schlepy voice that indicates this guy got a wedgie on a daily basis. That and the admission that he goes to bakeries all day long because "there's a lack of sweetness in my life." Well, maybe if you bought something at the bakery, this would change!

"A Cry For Help In A World Gone Mad"--Agent Orange: Everyone at some time feels they live in a world gone mad. Heck, it's an Election Year and Tax Time is coming up. If that doesn't make you crazy, you obviously don't file taxes. Throw in a tendency towards mental instability and anything can tip you off. But, remember, it's ok to cry. It's not OK to acquire weaponry and head down to the local mall for target practice. The innocent bystander you harm probably is just as miserable as anyone else. They're just dealing with it by buying flat-screen TVs and fancy cosmetics. Love your neighbor. They might love you back.

"Nervous Breakdown"--Black Flag: Everything Black Flag has ever recorded sounds as if they're kidding. I mean, the more "upset" they try to sound, the more ridiculous it becomes. They don't really sound like they're having a nervous breakdown here but rather suffering an unpleasant headache that's made band practice more annoying than usual because if you've ever been in a band there's one thing that no musician ever does: and that's turn themselves down because they're too loud.

"In My Hour Of Darkness"--Gram Parsons: Threw this in for a surprise. Not a song about going crazy but a song about asking for the inner strength to carry on. I could've chosen "My Heart Will Go On" or whatever that Celine Dion song is, but we have rules around here about that stuff. Besides, it's always better when you're issuing a cautionary tale to use someone who died as your warning. Hopefully, it creeps out the person you're warning--as in: If you don't listen, you could end up like this person and not be here for next year's Super Bowl or whatever it is that you like to do! Us here at List Of The Day just enjoy speaking in plurals. It allows us to lead double lives. Which can be fun, too. But you gotta be careful and look both ways before crossing the street. Twice.

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