Part of the grand Paris Hilton news paradox is that the fact that she merits no news and makes the news is news in itself. You wanna read that again? The fact that she merits no news and makes the news is news in itself. Even though I respect the intentions of Mika Brzezinski and the AP, who recently instituted a weeklong ban on Paris Hilton (which failed), you can’t help but view the attempts as futile. The more people that grow sick of seeing Paris on the news, the more people there are who agree with these actions. And the more press these actions receive, the more press Paris Hilton receives – repeat formula ad infinitum. Yes, in the clearest sense of the phrase, regarding Paris Hilton – resistance is futile.
Paris is celebrity in its purest form. Celebrity for celebrity’s sake. Celebrity comes from the Old French word celebrité which means “solemn rite or ceremony”. Paris Hilton is a totem in which our society manifests its aggression and disgust for itself projected onto a vapid, smiling blonde. Her powerful presence of aloofness was a major force is the creation of the ritual. Somewhere early in her career, one of her handlers or agents must have given her the simple advice of: “no matter what, keep a confident air on yourself at all times”. So her career began as a mockery of the obsolete position of debutante and the people felt less than shameful about the parallel adoration and desecration of her character (character in the dramatic sense).
Her celebrity was, in the truest sense of the etymology, birthed as a ritual – a rite of sadism, however unsolemn. Society hated and loved her and treated her as the masochist in an abusive relationship. The problem was, she never gave in. She never showed her pain. So like any responsible sadist, we increased the abuse. She didn’t give in. Finally, society demanded what any S&M sadist demands: restraint. For the masochist (or totem, because what really is the difference? Just look at Jesus Christ…) it might be ropes, chains, straps (a cross). For the iconic figure it was prison. Finally came the zenith (climax?) of her career, her celebrity: the moment when she cried and asked for her mommy while being sentenced. Society and the media went crazy. We loved it. This was the release we demanded. A moment where we could wash our personal pain in the tears of Paris Hilton. The completion of the ritual. This is not to say that we are finished with Paris. The ritual just completed a cycle. Most likely we will continue until she commits suicide. Dark? I know, but it’s the truth. Just look at Anna Nicole Smith, who documented her fall from grace in a TV show, which we all watched to feel better about ourselves.
I’ve personally never viewed Paris as attractive, I’ve never viewed her as unattractive. She just is. The irony present in the clearest view into her personal life, her sex tape (which I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit I’ve watched), is that behind the cameras, smoke, and mirrors… she’s really just some chick. She doesn’t say anything offensive, belittle the poor and unfamous, she doesn’t act conceited, she doesn’t really do or say anything at all that’s interesting, well aside from, um… the sex. She is American Girl X who happens to be wildly rich and famous, which is pretty much what every celebrity really is. Celebrities are our Gods and whipping boys. Some would argue that our Gods are our whipping boys.
One thing I know. Any attempts to flee the cycle of emotional deliverance that the Paris Hilton ritual affords us, the more aggressive and public the flight the better, will only serve to add flame to the fire. Maybe it’s better just to enjoy the ride. Hop on the Paris train! The destination? Well, her eventual public death most likely. But the ride promises to be full of lots of ups and downs!