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i just got a little more stupid September 7, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media.

By even putting the name “Paris Hilton” on my blog, I am surely lowering the quality of content of my blog, albeit certainly garnering more hits than usual. The tragedy of this character is nothing to do with herself, but with the idea of who she is and what she represents. The criticisms against her existence on this planet are numerous and at times, just plain mean. She is the poster child for the flawed American dream, and she enjoys it. Why wouldn’t she? Last night Paris got a wee bit tipsy and was arrested on a DUI charge. Unfortunately, we actually care. Hilton, a socialite who has nothing better to do than party and rub in our noses that we actually have to work to live, was arrested because of a 0.08 blood alcohol content. I’ve already heard people ranting and raving about Hilton “getting off easy” because she is famous. Apparently these people do not really know what the standard is for a first time DUI offence.

Of course any mention of Paris Hilton begs the question that by even reporting the actions of the crazed heiress, are we perpetuating her undeserved fame? Without a doubt. Personally, I do not care much about fame, but I do find infamy intriguing. The people that buy into Hilton-mania are generally limited to the same people who were obsessed with the Britney Spears-craze of the late 1990’s: pre-teen girls and those who still thought they were pre-teen girls. Hilton, however, as an extra target audience. Those who watch her because she is blatantly “stupid”. I suppose it might make people feel better about themselves.

What I find the most interesting about this latest incident is that it comes a week after anarchist graffitti-legend “Banksy” pulled 500 of Hilton’s albums off the shelves of 48 record stores across the UK (including HMV, Virgin, and independents) and replaced them with doctored versions of the album. The replaced albums were complete with a mix CD by Banksy and, of course, new album art. One might argue that Hilton’s latest piece of news might be an attempted diversion from Banksy’s attack, but I somehow doubt it. Hilton versus Banksy on a basis of publicity? I doubt the Banksy incident registers too much on Hilton’s “mind”. What I do have an issue with, however, is that this public figure offers no apologies or regrets for her actions. In response to her DUI incident: “It was nothing”.

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