Let Me Explain: Oh, it’s tragic when you move like that

The time has come, the walrus said. Let me explain.

Did you feel the wind change this week? The air is crisper; the walk to class, brisker; and I’m lamenting the fact that I left my winter clothes at home. But, besides being affected by the weather, we’re all going about our days as usual-all because Britney Spears’ comeback never happened.

VH1 viewed Britney’s disastrous VMA performance as reason enough to haphazardly throw together a special (“All Access: Britney’s Most Shocking Year Ever”) detailing her downward spiral, so I figure that I can take time out from my “Top Chef”-obsessed life to ask, “What the hell, Britney?”

Her glassy-eyed, confused look began what was to be an embarrassing performance of her new single “Gimme More” on Sunday’s awards show, opening with her piped-in voice announcing, “It’s Britney, bitch.” She remained distant throughout her performance, every once in a while throwing out an uncomplicated dance move that she could handle in her black sequined bra and panties. Her disinterest in engaging her audience was obvious because: One, she was lip-synching, and two, she practically ran off the stage at the end of the song.

Poor Britney. Alcoholic, chain-smoking, vajayjay-flashing, baby-dropping pop stars get a tough rap in an age where we bequeath magazine covers to heiresses and their sex-tape scandals. The cherry on top of the ashen cake is that bloggers everywhere are calling the fallen singer fat.

Now, I’m all for people who have a little meat on their bones. We sometimes forget (though how we’re able to do so, what with US Weekly constantly on the custody case, is beyond me) that Britney has given birth–twice. Her body is not in the same condition it once was-nor should it be expected to be.

Haven’t we tired of making fun of her shaven alien head? Haven’t we exhausted ourselves questioning how she ever forgot to wear underoos? Will we ever really know the expletive-laced bedtime stories she reads to her children? Isn’t it a shame that K-Fed is portrayed as the stable parent in a relationship consummated in trucker hats on a pile of cigarette butts?

She’s a train wreck and we’re all tuned in to it. And yet, despite her rehab visits and bizarre trysts and a slew of other peculiar occurrences, I’m hesitant to completely dismiss her. There’s a shy, sweet Britney beneath the hardened exterior (through the smoke cloud, underneath the hair extensions, take a left at Albuquerque), a remnant of an innocent past. This is the same pop star who dated her childhood sweetheart (who looks nothing like a hobo back-up dancer and is, instead, one rather svelte Mr. Justin Timberlake) and inspired little girls the world over to gyrate to her tunes.

But that’s enough. We can suppose that she was swept up in the celebrity lifestyle at a young age and blame her erratic behavior on postpartum depression. We can conjecture that the breakup with J.T. had disastrous effects on her ability to trust again. We can speculate and imagine and assume and all sorts of synonyms but the truth is that we won’t know the truth. Her “people” (Wouldn’t it be nice to have “people”?) have thrown out dozens of excuses to protect her and throw the gossip mongrels off the scent, because the woman needs a break. She needs some time alone. She likely needs a manicurist.

And so this is the end. It’s barely even amusing to mock her anymore. Now it’s just sad. Don’t buy the gossip rags, don’t tune in to Perez Hilton’s chitchat, and let’s just forget all about Britney Spears until she’s a new person because right now, it’s just tragic to watch her peace-sign-flashing version of the high life. Oh, Britney. Get thee to a mental choreographer.