PERSONALLY, I do my best to avoid the more blatantly manufactured spectacles of pop culture. With someone like Britney Spears, who's currently riding the crest of the mass media fame machine, it's hard not to see the basics: she's an all-American pop star, she sings and dances, she's popular with many, many preteens. It wasn't until the night a perfectly good punk band was playing in my basement and I witnessed three of my "friends" running in the opposite direction to a television upstairs with shouts of "Britney's on MTV!" that I thought a little deeper about Britney. All of them were far beyond their adolescence. I cornered one of them to ask what was the fucking deal.

What is it about Britney that you like?

"I like that she represents a very American pop millennium culture. It's so over-the-top and gluttonous."

So you have an ironic appreciation of her?

"I don't know if it's ironic. I have her CDs. I'm going to see her in concert. I like watching her perform. If it were ironic it would mean I only like her because it's kind of funny. I think she's talented. Musically, she might not be talented, but she's talented because of the product she's made herself. She's a good dancer and she's a good performer. She has made herself a teen idol and I think that's cool."

Do you think becoming a product is the pinnacle of pop stardom?

"It's always been that way. It doesn't have as much to do with skill as with selling yourself. I don't mean selling out, I mean being able to sell yourself as something people want. That doesn't necessarily mean selling out to me."

Do you think the show will be worth the price of admission?

"One hundred percent. It's going to be like a Broadway production. There's no improv in the show. It starts and ends the same way every time. She has the same costume changes, the same dance routines. It's very, very produced."

As an indie fan, why is that appealing to you?

"It's just different. I like those things in a different way. I wouldn't like to see Sonic Youth if they had a produced show. If Britney Spears had an improv show, I probably wouldn't like that, either. What she's good at is the dancing, the outfits and the flair."

You're always talking about how she has no friends. How do you know that stuff?

"I know she has no friends because I saw a video where they asked her about her dancers. She said they're kind of like having friends. She's a little sad because she doesn't really have time for friends. Maybe she's gotten over that, but in the beginning she was lonely because her only friends were people she hired."

Do you think she's in total control of herself and the product she's selling?

"Somewhere in between. It's like being a teenager and having access to whatever you want to wear, whomever you want to talk to, wherever you want to go. She gets to do all of that. She's a teenager; that's the ultimate time of your life, when you have all these fantasies. She is the fantasy."