I’m not sure I understand the glee when it comes to the resentencing and “breakdown” of Paris Hilton. Reactions I’ve seen across the Internet seem to range from joy the “bitch” is back in jail to jokes about her getting raped in prison to a (facetious, I hope) suggestion that she be driven around by OJ Simpson and Robert Blake. (So, let’s see: That’s prison, rape, and getting shot or slashed to death. Add in drowning and poisoning and she’s Rasputin.)
While it’s cool that she’s going to actually serve her time, instead of getting out early because the LA Sheriff’s Office didn’t want to deal with it, for me that’s more about fame not subverting the justice system. I don’t have anything against Paris Hilton the person. She seems worthless and boring, and I could really stand for not hearing about her anymore, but it’s not like she’s actively hurt my life in any fashion.
Is all the attention paid to Paris Hilton hurting our society? Yep. Almost everything I’ve ever seen about her makes the world feel a little more crass and meaningless. However, is that anything abnormal? She’s taking advantage of the attention economy for her own gain. E! is taking advantage of the attention economy for ratings. That’s what happens in a semi-free marketplace. It’s hard for me to muster too much venom for Paris, as a result. It would be great if she acted like a better human being, but since she doesn’t I’m not exactly surprised by her and others’ gaming of the system. At the very least, her role is limited enough so it’s hard for her to start wars or cause famines, so I’m thinking she’s not exactly topping the evil scale.
So, who do I blame for the Paris Hilton problem? I’m not really a big blame-the-consumer kind of guy. It’s why I’m not a good supporter of free markets. (“That product poisons your children? Well, eventually you’ll stop buying it.”) However, it seems pretty clear the solution to this problem is within us. We can stop paying attention.
So, I blame you. You know, the You that got named Time’s Person of the Year. Some of You, at least. I’m so disappointed in You. 😉
Actually, while writing this post I started thinking about the real societal harm that Paris supposedly does: Encouraging children to act like her. Seriously, folks, if your child is looking up to Paris Hilton as a role model, I’m thinking they’ve got deeper issues. I managed to get through growing up in the ’70s and ’80s without thinking of Michael Jackson as a role model, and he was bigger back then. I was more of a Prince guy. 🙂
Anyway, enough written about Paris Hilton in this blog. Unfortunately, I just increased her attention share by one (or two, depending on how it’s counted) search results in Google, so now I have to blame Me as well. 🙁