As a cogent and mindful people we are faced, once again, with the inappropriate disparity between rich and famous and the poor and unknown. I call this disconnect: The Celebrity Semiotic.

The Celebrity Semiotic speaks to us in crass and brazen images perpetuated throughout the infected minds of our mainstream memes: Blogs, Newspapers, Magazines, The Evening News and The Office Water Cooler. When we are confronted — assaulted, really — with these explosive Celebrity Semiotics, we need to wonder within what is wrong with us and what empty need within us as a society requires filling from empty vessels.

The Paris Hilton saga is a drama with no end. Do we really think this is the last time she’ll feel the cold slam of a jail cell? As we watched her story play out before us — unrepentant, irresponsible and clueless — we tend to blame the body instead of the missing mindful parent. Where are Paris Hilton’s values? How did Paris Hilton grow to be attractive on the outside but without a moral compass inside? Paris Hilton, in her young life, has already starred in a sex tape and a jail cell. What’s next for her? Is an O.J. end in the offing?

The problem with Paris Hilton is the problem of bad parenting. Her youth was sacrificed, by her parents, to the streets of Los Angeles and to a soft lifestyle where substance and celebrity was valued over hard work and doing the right thing.

When I look at Paris Hilton and see her vapid and vacant eyes not staring back at me — I wonder about her education and her mindset
— as well as her want to lead a life of passion and magnitude and not one of convenience and conveyance.

I blame Paris’ parents for her lack of human discretion and for a lost wondering into the illumination of the living.

Is Paris Hilton’s life her own?

Should we pity her purchase in life?

Is one capable of ever making good decisions if parents indulge every want and excuse every behavior?

47 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    “Is one capable of ever making good decisions if parents indulge every want and excuse every behavior?”
    Possibly, but there will be a long delay in development.
    I went to college with a guy, Dan (not his real name).
    It took Dan almost 7 years to graduate with a general business degree. He never worked, basically partied his way through. His parents were always there to bail him out of trouble– once he got caught with marijuana and his parents got him off.
    Although not wealthy, they bought him a new car every couple of years. He had trouble finding a job when he finally graduated. On one interview, when asked if he worked his way through college (I guess the interviewer noted how long it took him to graduate), he said “No, I never had to work. My parents paid for everything.” Needless to say this did not impress the interviewer.
    He finally moved back in with his parents after college. His mom made him pancakes every morning and “laid out his clothes” on the bed for any job interviews she had helped arrange.
    He married a couple of years later, and his parents bought property for him, built him a nice lakefront home, complete with boat and dock.
    Once his mom joked “We’re only going to support Dan until he’s 35.”
    He was in his late thirties when he finally secured a steady job. I have since lost touch with him and his “steamroller parents.”
    Just incredible.
    Donna

  2. That’s an interesting story, Donna.
    I wonder if those who seek celebrity — and who want to be role models even though they have bad behavior and have nothing real or of substance to offer — somehow corrupt themselves in their want to become a Celebrity Semiotic?

  3. Hi David,
    Do you think Paris wants to be a role model? Has she said so? Or, has the media, by virtue of her looks and wealth, made her a role model?
    I would think she would be content to bask in the “slimelight” of media play without the responsibility that comes with being a role model.
    Donna

  4. David,
    The “role models” young girls have to choose from today are an insult to those girls and humanity in general:
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/02/05/the-definition-of-a-prostitot/
    Paris Hilton proves that all the wealth, fame and affluent upbringing a person can have will never negate the damage done by rotten and/or absent parents. You cannot buy morals or character any more than you can buy true happiness. You can hide behind your sparkling jewels, your privileged lifestyle and your laundry list of elite friends, but we can still smell your rotten, nasty core.

  5. Emily —
    Our culture has degraded into nothingness where children adore and model Paris instead of their parents. I realize many parents don’t want to be bothered with the values teaching and the morality instillation of their children — they want the public schools to do that for them.
    I’m not sure if Paris thinks her core stinks — if she did, she wouldn’t be parading it around for imitation. I think she thinks she’s beautiful and talented and smart and worthy of all the attention lavished upon her and if you don’t see it in her then you’re the nasty one, not her.

  6. Emily —
    Yes! The only way to disabuse her of that notion is to ignore her and ostracize her. I doubt that will happen because too many sad and lonely people yearn for her lifestyle and will live their life through hers.

  7. Hi David,
    I saw a show on VH1 last night about bad celebrity kids who believe the only way to get attention in Hollywood — without resorting to having to work on developing skills that would make them attractive — is to drink a lot and get into fights with the paparazzi or other rich brats.
    One kid who was mentioned on the show had a reality show that I missed. Maybe it ran an episode or two and was yanked because nobody wants to invite those brats into their house — even in a virtual way.
    Another guy was given the paparazzi nickname of Greasy Bear because every picture of the dude showed him sweating heavily after leaving night clubs. The only reason Greasy Bear is famous, writes TMZ, is because the rich kid was caught ranting about Lindsay Lohan while hanging out with Paris Hilton.
    Of course, being a bad boy or girl is never a wise move, as the paparazzi folks explained on the show because it is their sport to build up someone in the press, the tear them down when it becomes obvious that the celebtant has nothing more to offer.
    Tara Reid is the poster child for the once A-list stars who are now denied entry into the posh clubs because they’ve become caricatures. Of course, there was video of Tara being denied entry into a posh club, while bouncers admit Paris Hilton and a new crop of green peas.
    As I write this, CNN is showing pictures of Paris Hilton crying as she rides away in a LA County Sheriff’s squad car.

  8. Hi David,
    Here’s the latest news, according to TMZ: A sheriff’s deputy dragged Paris Hilton out of the courtroom back to jail as Paris screamed for her mom after the judge ordered her back into the county jail facility.

  9. Hi Chris!
    TMZ is definitely a great website for celebrity gossip and it’s owned by Time/Warner/AOL! Now that’s a mainstream media boondoggle, eh? 😀
    The absolute worst show I ever saw starring rich kids was something on VH1, I think, and it was a series about rich kids doing a cattle drive while living on a working ranch. It was stunning to see those kids had no skills or appetite for learning. All they wanted to do was sit around and complain. The kids were pretty famous, too — Pat Benatar’s kid, Terry Semel’s kid, Anthony Quinn’s kid, and so on and all rotten to the core!

  10. Hi David,
    Remember when CNN was reporting about the “Terror Threat In Boston” that was caused by the AquaTeen street team people putting up LED lights on tunnels and other crazy places? AquaTeen airs on another Time/Warner/AOL property — Cartoon Network. The news network was speculating on what the “devices” could be while officials were cordoning off the area trying to figure out what was going on while their sister network was the entity that was the cause of all the fuss.

  11. Hi David,
    I need to start my entertainment blogging again since even blogging about minor celebrities was very profitable. I’ve been slacking lately, but when Antonella Barba was hot, it was insane the money that must have been made by internet advertising companies. (I know my small percentage of the pie was pretty insane for a couple of days — I doubted that there were Pro Bloggers making $100K/year, but if the trend had kept up and I had enough “keywords” in my blogs …)
    TMZ and X19 and all of those other places must be raking in huge amounts of money if they are paying $1500 for a shot of Paris walking down the street or offering $1 million for a picture of her inside the jail.

  12. Chris!
    Oh, celebrities are big! People need some kind of protection and escape from the realities of their everyday life.
    I am convinced few standlone bloggers makes big money on ads unless they’re part of a larger media company. There just isn’t a lot of money to be made serving ads and Antonella is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. 😀
    I think they only pay big money like that for world exclusives. The images we’re seeing today of Paris in the police car are probably very cheap because you have probably 500 shots to choose from…

  13. Hi David,
    Some corrections officer right now is calculating that she can afford to lose her job in exchange for $1 million for the exclusive shot of Paris Hilton locked behind bars.
    You’re right about the need to develop networks. When I was doing my entertainment blogs that were niche focused, I always traded links with other similarly focused sites because the traffic exchange between the sites was beneficial, plus it helped the site with Google. I don’t know if you could pop out on your own and be able to make it unless you reached out to others who were doing similar things. Sort of like CNN pointing people to TMZ and vice versa. 🙂

  14. Hi David,
    I meant was I seeing things or did Fox create some kinda publicity stunt?
    I guess they really did dress her wax figure, then. Anything goes!
    Donna

  15. Donna —
    Yes. LOATHE! I’m so glad the Democrats refused to appear on their air. Finally they’re getting smart. Why let yourself get setup by false self-interests?
    Heh. Yes. The real Paris often looks as if she’s melting. 😀

  16. Hi David,
    Throw some water on her and she probably would. I heard that even though she showed up for the judge in sweats, she was late because it took so long to do her hair and makeup.
    Your melting, Paris, Your mellllllting! 😀
    Donna

  17. Hi David,
    Watching Larry King as we speak and feeling like a total “media minion,” to borrow one of your favorite words.
    Media Minion. Yes, that’s what I am. Why do I care about Paris? Curiosity? It killed the cat and it may do me in, as well. I feel like I’m watching a soap opera. I know it’s garbage, but I’m totally addicted.
    HELP!
    Donna

  18. Ha!
    I’m watching the UFC on Spike TV to get away from Paris for awhile. The UFC used to repulse me but once you get over the blood and gore you become numb to the violence. Sad, isn’t it? I’ll have to see what Larry is up to…

  19. Hi David,
    Your question about how long make up lasts in prison made me think that poor Ms. Hilton will have to be cavity searched and de-loused again when she is taken into custody to make sure she isn’t carrying any contraband or parasites.
    Ouch!