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ALL THINGS PARISIAN
10 June 2007
Ned told me that he's been waiting for me to weigh in on the Paris Hilton circus.
I told him that's why I had left up the "Paris in the Springtime" video, so I wouldn't have to write about it.
But what the heck. Everybody else is talking about it.
I'm wondering if there is an epidemic of "nervous breakdown" sweeping through the L.A. jail at the moment. 'Cause we've now seen that this is a valid reason for early release, right?
I'm actually uneasy about discussing this case. I'm obviously delighted that one of the spoiled dumb blonde Hollywood princesses is finally being held accountable for her actions. They all run together in my mind Lindsay-Brittney-Paris-Nicole. All blonde, all clueless about proper behavior, all in legal trouble at one time or another, all seemingly incapable of rational thought, or of keeping their private parts private.
But on the other hand, I also actually found myself feeling sorry for the poor little rich girl as she was taken back to jail yesterday. Maybe it's because in all of the hoopla, I discovered that we were both born February 17 and she is the first famous person I've ever heard of born on my birthday.
I've always wondered how you learn to behave when you grow up in a bubble. There are child stars who seem to turn out OK (Shirley Temple comes to mind), but the vast majority of them go through their wild, out of control periods. When all you know is people catering to your every whim, when you grow up in the spotlight, when you have more money than most normal Americans and especially if your parents have never given you limits -- how do you learn?
There are lots of jokes that can be made at Ms. Hilton's expense, but I remembered how irate I had been at similar jokes made at Rosie O'Donnell's expense when I felt that the situations had been distorted for the sake of a joke. Knowing nothing but what I see in the media about what happened in or out of the courtroom, what happened in the jail, what was said to whom, it doesn't seem fair to perpetuate the circus.
It bothers me that with no first-hand knowledge of anything, I read a survey yesterday asking whether people were glad Paris Hilton was being returned to jail. I've seen lots of polls before, but never such an overwhelming majority. 87% of those polled at the time I checked it, were glad that she was going back to jail.
That was when I felt sad for Ms. Hilton and decided that I would not make comments about things I only know from rumor and speculation.
But, there is no derth of rumor and speculation around! My word...nothing has caused such a media feeding frenzy since Anna Nicole Smith died. And in the interest of gathering information for this entry, I did keep MSNBC most of the day yesterday.
From noon to 2 p.m., there was nothing but information about Paris Hilton. Rerunning tapes endlessly, interviews with people who, like me, can only speculate, guess, assume, and then offer expert opinion.
Finally at 3 p.m., the news show ended and Chris Matthews started. Hardball, right? The guy who asks the hard-hitting questions of all the major politicians. The first half of his show was devoted to Paris Hilton. His panel included Al Sharpton and (was it attorney Roy Black?). This discussion centered around the special treatment for celebrities, Sharpton upset that Hilton would be released so quickly, Black arguing that it was because she was a celebrity and there had been such public outcry, that she was returned to jail.
(I heard that Sharpton had scheduled a press conference for later in the day, but somehow I missed that.)
In Keith Olbermann's "Countdown," the Paris Hilton story was #1 and when it ended, Scarborough Country began with the lead story--guess what!
I heard nothing about Iraq, about the G-8 summit, about the Gonzalez hearings, about health care or education or the Marine who had his honorable discharge taken away for protesting the war, or about anything of real import in this country. All that anybody wanted to talk about was this spoiled heiress and the fact that she might be having a nervous breakdown about having to spend a couple of weeks in jail.
You know what? Sometimes I think we deserve a president like George Bush.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Doing a revival of "Women in Chains"
This is entry #2629