Saturday, June 09, 2007
But if Paris Hilton were named Paris Smith, she wouldn't have the money, the clothes, the hair, the make-up, the plastic surgery, the jewelry. None of it.
She wouldn't be the paparazzi favorite socialite on the red carpet.
She'd be that janky, flat-chested cashier at the Big Lots with the lazy eye.
She wouldn't be getting $100,000 per appearance to show up at parties. She'd be giving hand jobs in the 7-11 parking lot for beer money, because she blew all her salary on Nigerian email scams and home shopping.
"Famous for being famous" (FFBF) used to refer to an actor or singer or writer who achieved greater fame as a talk show or game show panelist. Kitty Carlisle, Fannie Flagg, Orson Bean, etc. But they did other things well, too.
Even Charo still performed. She did something else.
And those FFBF people were, technically, "famous for being funny and interesting on TV." They were amusing storytellers, they were quick-witted, lively conversationalists.
Paris Hilton? Not so much.
Even Princess Diana wasn't FFBF. Her entire fame derived from the fact that somebody loved her. (Again, unlike Paris Hilton, who is famously loved by no one and loves no one in return.)
And Princess Diana used her fame for charitable works. Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were so gifted and so justly famous that, when they retired, they could have merely ridden that fame forever. But instead they devoted themselves to making the world better.
Bono and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem like they would be more content to be famous for their good works than for their day jobs. Same with George Clooney.
But Paris Hilton is the only celebrity I can think of who never did anything else to become a celebrity. And no, perfumes don't count. Licensing your name is not "work." Sorry.
More important, Paris Hilton never used her celebrity to better anyone's life but her own. She bet her entire life on the idea that she would always be famous. She confused "famous" with "beloved."
She confused "rich" with "cool."
But cool people don't have breakdowns after three days in a room alone. They don't sob all the way to court, then tremble and rock during the hearing. And they don't have to be dragged from the courtroom, kicking and screaming, "Mom, mom, mom!"
That's not hot.
So now that the facade fell off and she's revealed as the squealing, helpless, pleading, psycho brat that she is, isn't it all over?
If this were a teen movie, aren't we at the scene where the Mean Girl/Heather has now humiliated herself, and now she's looking around the cafeteria at all the people she thought were her fans and friends? And they're all avoiding looking at her? Because they finally realized what a loser she is?
If you go all-in on celebrity and you lose, you gotta pay up.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Anyone who's felt unduly restrained by legal or illegal, right or wrong, all that crap, has reason to celebrate. As of today, it's official: No more laws!
We really should have known this day would come. Hell, the president got coked up and never showed up for his military service. And the first lady killed a guy.
Feel like hitting a parked car then driving away? Drinking and driving? Driving without a license while on probation? Y'know what? Jail is tough. Why don't you just crash at home for a few weeks?
Or if you're under 21, just go to clubs every night and have a hundred photographers take pictures of you having seven or eight cocktails. Then have those hundred photographers take pictures of you leaving the clubs and getting into your car and driving to the next club for a few more drinks, among other things. And then driving to the next club. You'd think that would be illegal in so many ways, but turns out it's not anymore.
Oh and you know how there are people who, for the rest of their lives, have to disclose to their neighbors that they're registered sex offenders? Some of them got that way because they were cited for indecent exposure during nude protests. If only they'd waited, because today you can get out of a car and show your vagina to every paparazzo you see and there are no consequences.
But why think small? Want to violate lobbying laws? Or violate every law governing how the Justice Department operates? Go ahead. What's the big deal?
Just because you accept money to purify drinking water for our troops doesn't mean you should have to actually do it. So what if soldiers get sick? Every day they're sick is a day they're not in combat with the substandard body armor and inferior vehicles you sold us, so it's six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?
And if you happen to find out someone is a covert CIA agent, don't keep it to yourself. There's no punishment for that anymore. (That big "CLASSIFIED" stamped on top of those papers is an in-joke, a quaint relic of another time.) Nor is there a punishment for illegal wiretaps (despite the name), unlawful detentions (despite the name), or torture.
And if someone shows you a report that someone's going to attack inside the United States, just say you never saw it. And if someone shows you a report that the "chemical weapons" plant are not any such thing, just pretend you never saw those, too. Because when it comes out that you knew all along and you lied, no one will care.
Oh, and if you lie under oath? No biggie. Even if you're caught lying three times in a single sentence, there will still be a nice pardon waiting for you. Especially if the guys you lied to protect are in the pardon business.
Oh, and I almost forgot: If you'd like to get drunk and shoot someone in the face, that's totally cool now, too.
So go for it, America! Break something, steal something, kill someone!
Obeying laws is so 9/10.
Chris Jordan's large-scale art would be exquisite if it weren't so scary. He makes statistics come to very vivid life. Cold numbers may not resonate with you, but once you see these pictures you'll never forget them.
For example, do you know how many plastic beverage bottles Americans go through every five minutes?
Here's a detail:
Similarly, here are the aluminum cans we use every thirty seconds:
And, finally, the amount the government spends on the war in Iraq. Every hour.
In hundred dollar bills.
These are large works -- Franklin is 8.5' x 10' -- and I'm sure these thumbnails don't do them justice. But you can see larger photos, and more of his remarkable works, at chrisjordan.com.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
And I hope they save some for when Cheney gets there.
"Far left intolerance is off the chart. And there is no better example than reaction to the death of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Within hours of his demise, the far left hate machine cranked up. Now there's no question Jerry Falwell was at times intolerant himself. — Condemning gays and other groups and passing judgments on behavior that earned him the hatred of many.
But even if you dislike Falwell, let his family and friends grieve for a few days, OK? There's no reason to kick his dead body. ...
The far left Oregonian newspaper in Portland, "[Falwell] built an effective political organization at least partly by appealing to people's worst instincts."
The far left Baltimore Sun: "Claiming to be morally superior is a dangerous game." Well, isn't that what you do Baltimore Sun, every day? If you don't agree with your liberal positions, you guys label people bigots and fascists or worse. Don't you?...There is such a thing as decency. And when somebody dies, you give it a few days. — Just another example of how out of control the SP far left movement in America is today.
-- Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/17/07
I've been fascinated by this screed ever since I first saw it. I can't get it out of my mind. I finally had to write about it, even though there's already too much O'Reilly here today to suit me.
First things first: Jerry Falwell was perhaps the lowest form of life on Earth. I suspect if he ever had been given the prison sentence he so richly deserved, he would have ranked somewhere below the child molesters. They would have beaten the shit out of him, if touching him didn't make them feel dirty.
If there is an afterlife, it is my sincere hope that Falwell is spending Eternity getting eaten by Idi Amin every morning, then shat out every night, only to be eaten again.
But back to Bill.
Seriously: Bill O'Reilly accused the Baltimore Sun of claiming moral superiority.
And he did so in a chiding monologue about how no one but him remembers how moral people are supposed to behave.
You see it too, right?
Bill O'Reilly. Playing the "morally superior" card.
To his credit (and my surprise), Dennis Miller spoke up for sanity later in the show:
O'REILLY: Jerry Falwell, you saw the beginning of the program. You know, he's dead for three minutes, and they're kicking the living daylights out of him. What do you think?If you're like me, you read that a few times to make sure you read it correctly: "I mean, we don't have a big far right in this country anymore."
MILLER: ...Bill, I might depart from you on this one...the newspaper things you showed didn't bother me. This man led a turbulent life. I'm not a big Reverend Falwell fan. And in the wake of a guy's departure like that, I think you're going to see some of that flotsam and jetsam come up. I didn't find what they wrote in the commentaries, at least the snippets you showed — I didn't read them in full — I didn't find that that reprehensible.
O'REILLY: All right. But they're basically saying he was an immoral man in, you know, less than 24 hours after he's dead. I don't care what they say next week. But isn't there a decorum here? Isn't there any class at all that we just let the family and the friends of Jerry Falwell have a few days?
MILLER: Well, I think you should put the guy in the ground. I think that the long knives should come out right after you put the shovels away. But not everybody thinks that way. There are people who got up on a daily basis and hate this guy's guts.
If they would boil it down to what the newspaper did, that's fine with me. At least that to me is showing a little decorum. The Marcotte thing, the Hitchens thing, yes, bad form, rude. But you know what? I don't care what anybody says about me while I'm alive much less when I'm dead, OK.
O'REILLY: But you're a different person, Dennis. You're not the mainstream guy, all right? I keep trying to explain that to you...Do you think that the far left is much more hateful than the far right? I mean, we don't have a big far right in this country anymore. But do you think — for example, you could call Falwell and his followers far right. Is the far left more hateful than they?
MILLER: Well, first off I think Falwell to some degree was a hateful guy. I got to say that.
But back to speaking ill in death of those who diminished the world in life... a.k.a. Jerry Falwell.
Bill held firm. No matter how much you dislike someone, no matter what they did, no matter how evil you may think they are, you have to wait out of respect to the family. Bill even had a length of time in mind: 2 or 3 weeks.
Yeah, that's right. No matter how evil someone was, you can't speak ill of him until two or three weeks after his death.
(Obviously, Bill showed no such restraint when it came to the Virginia Tech shooter or the Hussein family, but let's put that aside for the moment.)
In light of the above pronouncement from Mount O'Loofus, please enjoy/be repulsed by the following clip of O'Reilly kicking the freshly-dead corpse of poor Anna Nicole Smith. (And put on your official Maid of the Smug Mist slicker so you're not sprayed by moral superiority.)
Last night Keith Olbermann had an embarassment of sons-of-bitches to pick from for his Worst Person in the World.
Personally I would have given O'Reilly the edge.
On that same show he argued that Sarah Silverman's jokes at Paris Hilton's expense were unnecessarily cruel and hurtful. Yes, you read that right. Bill O'Reilly not only felt Sarah was being cruel to Paris, but saw this as typical "secular progressive" behavior on Sarah's part (presumably casting Paris in the Laura Bush role).
Needless to say Michelle the Dog-Faced Malkin agreed wholeheartedly and irritatingly with Bill. She's like Tracy Flick... if I wanted to hit Tracy Flick in the head with an axe. After shrilly squealing that Bill-O was right, Michelle resumed tonguing his asshole. Not his head, the other one.
The night before, Bill said the TB guy was also a perfect example of a "secular progressive":
"Traditional values people put others on par with themselves. That's a Judeo-Christian tenet: Love your neighbor as yourself. Secular progressives put themselves above all others. That philosophy says 'me first, then I'll worry about you.'"
Uh huh. I don't understand that, but it turns out the TB guy is very religious and I think he's a conservative, so it doesn't make sense anyway.
Also this week, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Rosie O'Donnell, John Edwards and the Governor of Illinois are also "secular progressives." Oh, and as near as I can tell, so is everyone in Vermont. I may be wrong on that, but it's really hard to tell sometimes WTF Bill is talking about.
I thought I knew what he meant by "secular progressives" but I guess I don't.
Maybe he doesn't either.
All I know is this: I used to drive with my car doors unlocked.
Until I actually saw an episode of The O'Reilly Factor.
Calling Paris Hilton's incarceration a "major step forward in the War on Terror" George W. Bush congratulated the law enforcement agencies he said were intimately involved with the ongoing investigation for some time, no matter what you might have heard.
"Make no mistake. This Paris Hilton is an important terrorist operative and bin Laden deputy, and in bringing her and her cell down we have foiled a major plot to disrupt traffic flow on Los Angeles freeways." The President continued, gravely, to a now-mostly-empty Rose Garden, "Details are sketchy but one thing we do know: She was planning to kill hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans. Let's say millions. We know this. It's a fact. She was breaking the law. That's evildoing. I don't know how much clearer I can make this. She hates our freedom."
"It is precisely because of these kinds of threats that we need the War on Terror (a unit of Viacom), and why it is imperative we have tools like the Domestic Surveillance Program, the Patriot Act, and the Private Property Elimination Declaration."
Then the President nervously asked that everyone forget he said that last one. Then he was felled by a tranquilizer dart to the neck.
Vice President Cheney then took to the podium to remind all that "we have not been attacked since 9/11, so clearly we're doing something right! Therefore, we plan to continue Operation Hide Behind Human Shield, for as long as we have thousands of troops to callously toss into harm's way. For there is nothing so sacred as American property, and nothing so disposable as someone else's life."
Cheney then donned a vest made entirely of babies and left the area.
... we do get kind of a mixed message from the media, don't'cha think?
For example, I'm leafing through a magazine and I see this:
And after a few wonderful moments I notice it's Miss Teen USA! With a capital Teen!
Can I be forgiven if "Miss Teen USA" wasn't my first-three-seconds take-away? Can we all agree that my desire to be a fine, upstanding citizen is being unnecessarily challenged here?
I don't want to feel dirty, I really don't. So I'm trying to figure this out. Really. I have been ever since I noticed that the "save the cheerleader" girl was dressed to feature her bounteous, silken cleavage.
My pants felt funny. Inappropriately so.
Now along comes Miss Teen Take Me Now USA.
I look at these pictures and all I can think is "Spank. Bone. Repeat."
If there's another way for a healthy American male to read these inkblots, please, help a brutha out!
I do not want to end up eating cookies and avoiding Chris Hansen's judgmental glare.
Monday, June 04, 2007
When it comes to Paris Hilton, I'm willing to allow waterboarding.