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Britney Overload: How Much is Too Much?

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In media, saturation is key. This weekend in Los Angeles, there are two storms wrecking their havoc on our city; one of them involves buckets of rain, and the other involves Britney Spears. Both of them are causing different kinds of deluges.

Rainfall totals aside, Britney's most recent series of very high profile breakdown-ing, meltdown-ing, custody losing, and hospital admitting actions has caused a media frenzy, which probably doesn't come as much surprise to most. The internet's most loved gossip troll, Perez Hilton, proudly boasted Brit-Brit's server-overloading impact on his site today, declaring:

You guys really care about Britney Spears - a lot! Friday was the busiest day we've ever had on PerezHilton.com.

Over the course of 24 hours, we had over 10 million page views. 10,089,428 to be exact.

That's insane!

Thanks, Britney.

Get well soon!

So what gives? Do we really like Britney Spears all that much? Here on LAist, we work hard to share with our fellow city dwellers the stories that resonate on the local level (even if they take place somewhere else at times), and when helicopters are swirling above our heads in the East Valley as a substance-enhanced Ms. Spears barricades herself with one of her babies in her Studio City bedroom, it becomes local news. Popular sites like Google and Yahoo!'s news sections are saturated with the onetime pop diva's name and headlines from around the world sharing takes on her tales of scandal and woe. And the hits fall like, well...rain.This leaves us to ask:
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Why does Britney matter? Is it the tumultuous lives of her young sons that tug at heartstrings and have us act as watchdogs for their well-being? Spears--the girl who once caused a collective gasp by locking lips with Madonna on MTV--lost her role model status quite some time ago, and has seemed for some time to not be concerned with its redemption, nor with the quality of her musical offerings, which have been in rapid decline since probably her sophomore album. We as a society are as addicted to Britney's bad behavior as she is to whatever drug of choice she imposes on her system as well as the paparazzi attention she claims to shun. Like the proverbial car crash we can't help but rubberneck, Britney's fall from grace down the rabbit hole of her own creation (and perpetuation), is something we can't help but gawk at. She's more than just a sexy poster on a teenager's wall (circa 2002, admittedly)--she's schadenfreude in action.

So Perez, how sincere is your wish for Britney to "get well soon?" I think we like her exactly where she is. And Los Angeles, right now she's ours.