Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The sins of Paris Hilton

I think the good news about the Paris Hilton case is that at the very least, she's now making headlines for something that is relevant and a hell of a lot more interesting than when she was making national headlines for absolutely nothing. Paris is a person but one of no significance whatsoever on any artistic level. She's a celebrity who's famous for....honestly, I can't even remember what she was originally famous for. Can anyone else? The truth is that Paris Hilton has always been a media construction. She's famous only because the media says she's famous and even the very debate over whether she deserves to be famous benefited her because it fed into the publicity machine and negative publicity is superior than the realization that there's nothing to be famous about.

But with this whole prison ordeal, things are a-changing. The debate surrounding Paris Hilton is now about far more interesting stuff: the conditions in the prison system, who should pay for prison, whether celebrities are above the law, etc. It's also possible that young teens are getting an education on public health from reading about Paris' disorders.

So whatever you feel about the Paris Hilton case, I call it an improvement. I think the one problem is that people are unwilling to give credit when it's due to Paris, the person. I'm not saying that Paris Hilton neccessarily deserves credit (for the record, I do think she deserves some credit for holding her head up high and accepting the sentence as best she can) but I don't think Paris the person has a fighting chance anymore to prove to the public that she's grown as a person. At this point, she's no match for her own public image and while Paris, the person, is capable of growth, the Paris that the media is used to seeing isn't.

Besides, people are unwilling to forgive Paris for being such a nuissance in our collective culture all these years. My opinion: The angry mob of people who want to see Paris remain in prison aren't really mad at Paris. As I said before, Paris Hilton was never really anything but a media construction. How can you be mad at someone who's nothing? I think the anger that we are showing with this is really directed at ourselves for allowing Paris Hilton to become famous in the first place. I think the anger at Paris is probably misdirected by parents who are mad at their daughters for buying copies of US Weekly and indulging the craze of these celebrities.