"How to Rewrite Your Obit, Britney Spears"
Sing. Take a vow of silence.
Win some Grammys. Guest star on The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Move to Louisiana. Move to Lusitania.
Stay in Malibu. Brake for pets and paparazzi.
Outlast all the hangers-on who would commandeer the cable news shows in the event of your untimely demise.
Live so long that the only one Pat O'Brien Jr. can go to for a reaction to your passing is Milton Berle, who just so happens to be dead, too.
Live so long that you not so much erase the events of 2007-2008 -- that'll never happen -- but push down them down a few lines by the sheer weight and perhaps triumph of your later years.
Live until you become Britney Spears, "the pop star who overcame well-documented personal troubles to [INSERT SALVATION OF CHOICE HERE]."
Live until your obituary languishes in the Associated Press' system longer than Elizabeth Taylor's.
Above all, live.
Because Marilyn Monroe never got to see all those refrigerator magnets.
Because you've already been a refrigerator magnet, and, honestly, how enriching was that?
Because it's the only way you get to be Madonna.
Because, even now, it'll be the most subversive thing you ever do.
That'll show us.
(Originally published by Joal Ryan on March 26, 2008.)
c. Joal Ryan