As MTV was quick to remind viewers every 10 seconds or so last night, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! WOOOOOOOOOO!" But while that line (along with the acompanying hollow, endless, echoing "Woooo!") is the city's official slogan, it doesn't truly capture the hideously awful spirit of the place.
Britney Spears' opening "comeback" VMA performance, however, did a pretty good job of showing everyone what Vegas is all about, namely: downfalls, embarrassment, excruciatingly lazy karaoke, and catatonic strippers mirthlessly dancing in spangled bikinis and sad, tired fishnets:
In watching Britney Spears' performance at the VMAs, it's helpful to think of it not as a sincere effort at launching a musical comeback, but rather as a piece of performance art–a comment, perhaps, about the corrosive effects of fame.
Either that, or someone woke her up 20 minutes before the show, put her in a glitter bra, and shoved her on stage to wobble her way through a song she's never heard before. How else can we explain her inability to even lipsynch properly?
Other lessons learned from watching last night's VMAs:
Justin Timberlake still exists, singer side projects–like Beyonce's House of Dereon–are worthy of awards now, covers of George Michael's "Freedom '90" get people really excited, and Dr. Dre looks surprisingly convincing in an inflatable muscle t-shirt.