The music video for Britney Spears’ “Work, Bitch” dropped yesterday and was received by the citizens of the world with the applause Lady Gaga is still waiting for. It’s filled with glitzy clubs, tight outfits, late-night parties, and some incredible dance moves to remind us all that Brit’s still got it. It’s also a searing condemnation of the world’s poor. As her Republican perm-and-pressed slogan goes, Brit Brit wants everyone to “WORK, BITCH.”
Britney doesn’t begin “Work, Bitch” with anything shocking. She’s simply dawdling in a vanity chair, posing in a swimsuit, and dancing by the pool with her personal BLACK BAT GIRLS! It’s like what Miley’s been doing except Brit’s props don’t twerk and really are faceless! Britney also cleverly dresses her Black Bat Girls in all leather to make it clear to the world that her faceless back-up dancers aren’t from just any gang of ratchetness. They work (for her), bitch.
Britney begins to reveal her socio-economic beliefs about the poor once the dance moves pick up, as if she sincerely wishes to stomp it and pop-lock-and-drop it on the face of every person in the world who isn’t working hard enough. She assembles her back-up dancers in the middle of a desert to symbolize how poor people don’t have much. To add insult to injury, Britney performs on a blank Twister board to vividly illustrate how poor people cannot afford dots. The dots will remain an elusive presence in the poisonous brew of poverty until the poor die with unhappy lives and families and friends. Britney quickly creates this dichotomy–pools with bat girls vs. a desert of broken board games–in order to establish the foundation for the all-out class-war that will comprise the rest of her video.
Poor people get Shark Week once a year. Rich people like Britney get Shark Week every day.
Delicately slipped into “Work, Bitch” is a moment when several mannequins are taken into the middle of the desert and collectively destroyed by an explosive device. It’s a beautiful and simplistic firework display. It’s also a huge red flag, because Britney’s true intent is to let the world know that if the idle bitches of the world don’t start working, then mass extermination may become a viable option.
Alternatively, slavery isn’t completely off the table either. After all, Britney Bitch needs some people to drag along her giant futuristic triangle vehicle that she owns and doesn’t need to report to the IRS or explain to anyone at all because she deserves it and worked long, hard, unfulfilling hours at whatever shitty, low-paying jobs she could get with only the pains of failure, anonymity, and poverty to comfort her, making the viewer of “Work, Bitch” seriously consider discussing how capitalism lethally works in the world worked, bitch!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 3, 2013