Katy Perry, performing at Mandalay Bay, cashes in with musical formula for success

A new numerical system would have to be invented in order to fully count the ways in which Katy Perry is better than you.

She’s the first female artist to ever notch five No. 1 singles from a single album, 2010’s "Teenage Dream." She has more than 3 million Twitter followers. Her boobs shoot explosives (see the video for "Firework"). And she’s married to a dude, Russell Brand, who’s so damn cool, he’s like hypothermia with facial hair.

How does Perry do it?

Well, with the singer coming to town this weekend, let’s follow her lead in order to better our lives.

Here are some important lessons that we can learn from her career:

IGNORE YOUR PARENTS

Seeing as how they’re both preachers, Katy Perry’s parents prefer thumpin’ Bibles to thumpin’ beats.

Moms, in particular, is not down with some of her daughter’s repertoire.

She’s like a camel with a hump full of Haterade.

According to U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail, she labeled Perry’s hit "I Kissed a Girl" "shameful and disgusting" because it promotes homosexuality in her eyes.

Damn.

The iceberg that sunk the Titanic thinks ol’ ma is a buzz kill.

Nevertheless, Perry has carried on, unbowed, doing her own thing and has had great success

So what can we take away from all this?

Never, ever heed anything your parents tell you.

And so now, we’re going to make up for lost time and go swimming minutes after eating lunch, share our ChapStick with strangers and totally leave the refrigerator door open and let all the cold air out.

STAKE OUT THE MIDDLE GROUND

Pop music has become increasingly partisan, like Congress, only with less wrinkly old white dudes (those are the record company executives).

On this side of the aisle, there’s the squeaky-clean discharge from the loins of Nickelodeon (Miranda Cosgrove, Selena Gomez) who are so devoid of edge, they may as well have been manufactured by Nerf.

And then there are oversexed and undressed starlets like Britney, Rihanna and Ke$ha, girls who delight in portraying themselves as filthy dirty as a hippie fight in a truck stop men’s room.

Perry, though, occupies the middle ground between the two, thus appealing to everyone, a brilliant marketing move.

Yeah, she drops the occasional F-bomb and sings of the joys of group whoopee, but, more tellingly, she dresses like a Disney character and flaunts her spirituality as much as her curves.

Basically, Katy Perry is the near-beer of pop stars: She has the faint whiff of debauchery, but ultimately, it’s just the appearance of as much, like doing keg stands of O’Doul’s.

She’s just wild enough to appeal to the party girls, and yet sufficiently sweet to get the OK from parents — you know, those except her own.

FORGET THE HIPSTERS

Perry knows that dudes in Vampire Weekend T-shirts are always going to turn their noses up at her like she just broke wind in a confined space.

If you can name the lead singer of the Decemberists, have mutton chops the size of a putting green, majored in something pointless like Russian art studies in college or have ever consumed Pabst Blue Ribbon on purpose, then you’re going to take Perry about as seriously as she does the rules of grammar on her hipster-baiting hit "Ur so Gay."

"You don’t eat meat and drive electric cars. You’re so indie rock, it’s almost an art. You need SPF 45 just to stay alive," she mocks on the song.

Ouch.

That stings almost as much as the news of R.E.M.’s recent breakup, doesn’t it, cupcake? We can see the lens of your chunky black plastic glasses getting all blurry with tears all the way from here.

Seriously, though, we’re siding with Perry on this one.

After all, irony-free, featherweight pop music is a lot like the art of self-stimulation: Everyone enjoys it, it’s just that no one wants to admit it in public.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

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