Oh my God, I heard the new Britney song on the radio. For those of you who do not have radios or did not know there was a new song by Britney Spears that “leaked” yesterday on the Internet (AKA how we release music now), you are living in a world where you have not come face-to-face with the monstrousness of contemporary emptiness. I say this as a person who owns Britney Spears albums! As a person who is resolutely unafraid of “oh baby, look at my butt in da club” music! But if you have previously experienced the work of Ke$ha, you may have guessed what was coming. Ke$ha’s addition to pop culture is that her studio recordings sound like someone sarcastically singing at 2 a.m. in a bathroom after losing a game of quarters. It’s all ironic lip curl with no actual irony. “With my hands up,” she sang in her big hit, “You got me now. You got that sound. Yeah, you got me.” (Ooh, go on?) And as Britney Spears’ prominence was threatenened by the monster smash popularity of Ke$ha, and her sassy attitude, so began a race to the hard-partying bottom. Here in this dark pit, what is presumably our cultural oubliette, Britney arrives with this bit of poetry, set to a pastiche of what is literally the worst and most cliched tropes of dance music from five years ago: “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me? Cause you feel like paradise. I need a vacation tonight!” It’s hard not to laugh, when it’s being played as an actual song on the actual airwaves, even on such radio stations as constantly feature the work of Usher (“honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow, honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow”) and the Far East Movement (“Ladies love my style, at my table gettin’ wild, get them bottles poppin’, we get that drip and that drop”). This is a humiliating song to have released. It makes Madonna’s vapid middle period sound like Goethe!