Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Night In The Suburbs Of Paris, Ontario

Riddle me this, Batman: if I was to list the following characteristics, who might I be referring to?
1. Dirty rotten plastic hair?
2. Questionable bathing suits worn as outerwear?
3. A direct gaze made unsettling by a wonky eye?
4. Tippy, cross-one-leg-over-the-other-and-learn-waaaay-back poses?
5. Legendary slutting around?

Ghandi. I'd be talking about Ghandi, you dopes. Who else could I possibly be referring to?

Sigh. Paris Hilton. Thankfully, your star seems to be waning: DListed hasn't mentioned you in, like, a month. Unlike K-Fed, who was repulsive and cheery, you were repulsive and horrible. You never made me laugh. Your sexual escapades were tawdry and, unfortunately, everywhere. You got more famous when you went to jail. (You, along with Nicole Richie, actually have really pretty mug shots, but the fact that you have a mug shot at all is troubling.) You got more famous for making friends, which, in the style of the toddler you truly are at heart, were probably imaginary.

Paris Hilton, who shot to stardom after a pointless 2000 Vanity Fair article, was once renowned for taking the barometric pressure of America's relationship with the seamy side of things: arrested for DWI, producer of her own pornography, and legendary for dressing up in basically what amounts to lingerie at black tie events. It was like she got to live out all of our middle-school fantasies. As in, "Wouldn't in be awesome if we drank this whole bottle of fruit wine and then listened to music really loud! Maybe we can dance on the couch, too! Whoaaao!" As the daughter a fancy-pants hotelier and a sibling of a (sigh) handbag designer, she's one of those gals who, if she wants a pony, she's getting a pony.

But P. Hilt has become irrelevant. I'm not sure when it happened, but slowly, other pointless celebs started making inroads in her carefully promoted persona. Maybe it was the recession - she's been pretty quiet since the Big Holy Shit Thing of 2008. Paris's place in the collective consciousness relies on our willingness to consume things. She produced a mind-boggling array of products, including perfume, clothes, a book (who knew she could read?), an album, the aforementioned fake hair, and a maddeningly ungrammatical catchphrase. But buying those things, and buying into her party-all-the-time pose, required gobs of cash.

In a way, her hedonism was just part of what we do. Flashy celebrities have a long and inglorious history in our culture - just look at Loni Anderson. Hell, look at Elizabeth Taylor. She was all different kinds of messy, starting with the child-star label and ending with the with multiple marriages. Weirdly, Liz Taylor was once joined in holy matrimony with...wait for it...Nicky Hilton. No, not Paris's sister, smart guy - her great-uncle. But while Liz Taylor went on to win Oscars, Paris Hilton went on to star in films like The Hottie & The Nottie.

Maybe I'm a little behind the times in proclaiming her flame to be extinguished. After all, it's not like there are millions of people who wake up every morning wondering what the star of Pledge This! has been up to lately. Still, I'll mark this momentous non-occasion in my own special way. I'm thinking fake hair and a bite to eat.

No comments:

Post a Comment