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Britney, you slut 

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That girl/woman Britney Spears blew through town the other night, flashing skin and romping through a Las Vegas-style show that would make Madonna envious, to the rave of young fans from 7 to 17. The younger set, particularly girls, are way into Britney.

The Britney phenomenon is the essence of show business—with an emphasis on business. It’s the CDs, the shows, the videos, the HBO special and on and on. The clothing and lingerie line can’t be far behind if they aren’t out already. Think about it: The Britney Bra.

That Britney is selling sex is not lost on the parents of her fans. For their fathers, she gives the term “sex kitten” new and frightening meaning. And therein lies with rub, if you will. Some parents are less than thrilled by clothing styles reflected in Britney’s shows, CD covers and official website. Bare midriffs and plunging necklines are giving conniptions to junior high school girls’ parents, who fear a look that an older generation might call slutty.

Recently, the Jordan Board of Education sounded the alarm again, saying something must be done to keep the girls’ belly buttons covered up. Belly buttons have already been banned in the Davis and Ogden districts. Oh, the shame of it.

For her part, Britney is tired of the criticism. In a Deseret News story, the girl/woman was quoted as telling the audience she wanted to “get something off my chest.” That might sound ironic to those who believe she’s had augmentation surgery. But she doesn’t want to take it any more. “I’ve received a lot of flak for what I wear, what I say and what I do … I’m experiencing my wildest dreams and I want to tell you, don’t give up on your dreams.” Or your hip-huggers.

• Speaking of hip-huggers and the Deseret News, the afternoon paper recently profiled Mayor Rocky Anderson under the headline “A day in the life of Mr. Nice Guy.” The Rockster had apparently invited reporter Diane Urbani to spend a day with him to dispel rumors that he is an ogre and impossible to work for. The flattering piece has the mayor quoting such luminaries as the Dalai Lama and LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley. Not only isn’t the mayor an ogre, he’s a saint, for goodness sake. Quick, somebody call former staffers Dave Owen and Mike Melendez.

And finally from our First Amendment-file, this: The new Gateway retail development has been much ballyhooed as the hottest thing to come down the pike since Deedee Corradini’s red jump suit, but it is as restrictive on free speech as the LDS church is on its new plaza. The ACLU has sued Salt Lake City for the lack of free speech on the LDS plaza that was formerly Main Street. But at The Gateway, where the municipality still holds an easement, there is no picketing, no skateboarding, no smoking, no sunbathing, and no ogling. At least at Temple Square you can still ogle. Where’s the First Amendment when you need it?

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