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I'm With Stupid: Unleash the Kraken (or at Least Her Terrifying Voice)

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I don't know if you've noticed, but apparently Britney Spears is a thing again. No, really; she's been all over the news lately. She's been making international headlines -- not in a good way, of course; she is still Britney Spears, after all.

But as they say, "There's no such thing as embarrassing publicity."

First there was a video making its way around the Internet of Britney performing in front of live audiences. She was lip-syncing, naturally, but she was still singing, and the video isolated her actual vocal tracks as she sang. Let's just say it was a good thing she was lip-syncing. I know some people think that's lame, but trust me: You don't want to hear Britney's real voice.

I don't know what people expect from Britney when they complain about her lip-syncing in the first place. Did you really think she was singing those songs that perfectly while vigorously dry-humping her backup singers? You try singing along at your next Speed Jazzercize class, and see how good you sound.

People don't go to Britney's concerts for the singing, anyway; they go to see how much a mentally troubled, 32-year-old mother of two is willing to degrade herself to prove she's edgier than Miley Cyrus. If you told Britney's fans when and where a train was going to derail, they'd go to that, too.

Of course, frenzied grinding doesn't excuse the portions of the video where Britney is standing still and not panting between each syllable. Unfortunately for Britney, that's when she sounds the worst. I sing better when I'm rocking "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in the shower. Seriously, I do, and I don't sound good.

The international headlines being generated by Britney emanated from Somalia, of all places, after it was reported that "an international organization of maritime security companies" has started using Britney's music in the fight against Somali pirates.

How has the organization been using Britney's music, you ask? Exactly the way you think they have. According to a representative, "Ships blaring the music to ward off an impending attack found their security workers rarely had to use their guns."

Talk about toxic! (That's an inside joke for Britney fans.)

The representative went on to say the pirates "go to any length to overcome the music" before he dropped the best one-liner of the year when he said, "I'd imagine using Justin Bieber would be a great crime against humanity."

Oh, snap!

I disagree, however -- not about Bieber being a crime against humanity; as far as I can tell, that's spot-on. But about Bieber being an effective weapon against piracy. The pirates, being violent and Somali, could belong to any number of religions that hate Western culture, and they certainly would despise Bieber for that reason and the overall suckiness of his music. But since Bieber is a boy, I don't think those pirates could ever muster the same hatred for him that they could for a woman.

Again, I don't want to cast aspersions against any particular religion, as I imagine there are plenty of religions in the Horn of Africa that adamantly refuse to allow women any rights whatsoever. I'm assuming the pirates belong to one of those religions, and it must kill them to hear a woman singing, particularly a woman who is rich, has a career and isn't dressed head to toe -- or even chest to crotch, for that matter -- in a drab shroud.

So make whatever jokes you want about Britney's music being awful enough to repel pirates. That's fine. But know that it could just as easily have been Sheryl Crow or Rihanna or Lady Gaga or any other talentless female pop star whose unlistenable songs could have done the job. I'm sure the pirates don't care that the crap inflicted on them was "Oops, I Did it Again" instead of "Poker Face."

And for poor Britney, whom I actually do feel kind of sorry for, I wouldn't look on this as necessarily a bad thing. OK, fine; even desperate, starving pirates can't endure her music. Big deal. She shouldn't look at it like that.

Britney should instead be proud that her music, bad as it may be, is being put to good use in the global fight against terrorism and the struggle to establish justice and peace in our troubled world.

I realize that's probably not going to help Britney's comeback, but hopefully it'll give her some solace the next time she crashes and burns.

Todd Hartley was the other guy in Wham! To read more or leave a comment, please visit