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Paris Hilton: Celebrity Culture Superhero?

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It would be simplistic and unimaginative to call Paris Hilton a publicity whore. She really is so much more. And through her own weird and bizarre genius, she maintains a stranglehold on our collective psyche.

Most adults over the age of 30 just don’t understand her, nor the power she wields over celebrity culture. But make no mistake: her demigod status is a collaborative effort driven by her, her handlers, the media and the public.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Surprise! Now there is yet another lastest tidal wave of evidence illustrating the depths of stupidity, depravity, life of excess, and an ineffable lack of inhibition that is Paris Hilton: this time, in the guise of a website called ParisExposed.com.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The story here isn’t the contents of the site or even the endless amateur footage of Paris Hilton being Paris Hilton. Most of America saw quite enough of the “private Paris” with her first sex video with ex-boyfriend Rick Solomon creatively titled, One Night In Paris. Even if you haven’t seen the video, which certainly most of us haven’t, no one can deny the “scandal” of that tape and the media frenzy surrounding it made Paris Hilton a household name. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting No, the real story here is how and why the purveyors of the ParisExposed.com site came to obtain these very personal items of Ms. Hilton’s.

The men behind the site are Bardia Persa and David Hans Schmitt (the sleazebag who peddled One Night In Paris), and the contents in questions are from a 6,000 square foot storage unit containing Paris Hilton’s personal items of a varied and bizarre nature. The manner in which these “gentlemen” obtained Hilton’s belongings was quite startlingly easy and cheap (insert Paris joke); so easy in fact, it would seem as though they met the kind of resistance one meets when they are being aided by the victim themselves.

As the story goes, while moving from one posh residence to another, Hilton put her items in storage. A “third party” failed to pay the storage bill and after repeated attempts to collect on the debt, the storage facility, as is their right, auctioned off Ms. Hilton’s items. Suffice it to say, there were probably some unethical shenanigans going on in terms of privacy and the like, but essentially this stuff happens all the time to regular folks who don’t pay their bills.

So, what kind of famous person allows so many squirmingly personal and damaging items to fall into the hands of avaricious ne’er-do-wells? A person with a pathological need to maintain her place in the public eye at most any cost – that’s who. Even if you lost track of your items through innocent means, surely a reasonable person with loads of cash and influence at her disposal would go to whatever means necessary to retrieve said embarrassing items.

Unless of course, you WANT these items to fall into the “wrong” hands.

The contents of this storage unit weren’t the glamorous goods one might see at a Christie’s auction, but rather the kinds of things a sweet young lass might keep in her cedar hope chest: a private collection of “home videos” (and we aren’t talking about cherished Christmas memories here); discarded prescription bottles for medications like Hydrocodone (a narcotic painkiller), Ambien (a sleep aid), and Valtrex (herpes medication); and receipts, including one from a LA clinic for a “miscarriage” in 2003 for a woman name “Amber Taylor,” love letters received, love letters never sent, fake ID cards, official papers, personal journals, diaries and endless scraps of paper containing endless checklists of “to-dos.”

This is the stuff of paparazzi/tabloid dreams. I can almost picture these men as they poured over the treasure trove of goodies, like Captain Jack and his cursed Aztec gold. Titillating, incriminating, and utterly none of anyone’s business.

Lest I remind you, this isn’t just anyone, this is Paris Hilton.

The amazing thing about Paris Hilton — and hate or love her, she is amazing — is her utter unflappability, which turns the most negative, damaging, tawdry, grotesque coverage into pure celebrity-status gold. She can’t be damaged and shamed, because she is so damaged and has no shame. As long as she is in the headlines, no matter the reason, she is right where she wants to be.

I am almost willing to believe it mostly occurs on a subconscious level. Her publicist, Elliot Mintz, states that despite the Groundhog Day-like repetition of finding herself again and again defending her image, she is once again “incredibly upset and angry” and feels “victimized” by the blatant invasion of her privacy.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I am sure initially, on the surface, this is true. But it’s all part of Paris’ game: portraying herself as hurt and victimized while secretly enjoying the delicious, salacious attention it all brings. Much like the role model Paris claims to fashion herself after, Marilyn Monroe, Hilton seems to find herself most comfortable playing the pained victim, while coquettishly batting her eyes at the adoring public, “Poor me, all my dirty little secrets are secret no more, feel sorry for me, but look at how hot I am.”

And she’s right, she is hot. But not in a Marilyn Monroe sort of way. Paris Hilton is hot in an impervious to humiliation, embarrassment and shame sort of way. It’s like she’s a superhuman, superslut, celebrity culture superhero, whose ability to glamorize STD’s, illegal drug use, promiscuity and vapidity challenge the very fabric of time and space.

Can no one stop her? Someone better call the Justice League, stat.

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About Dawn Olsen

  • http://www.noface4film.com Kaonashi

    Wow. This website is like the Holy Grail of tabloid fodder. Every gossip rag (online and paper) will subscribe to this website. These two guys are genuises.

    As for whether or not Paris purposely left her stuff behind, I kind of doubt it. I think that her dumb ass just forgot, and she could care less.

  • Mat Brewster

    I embarassingly and sadly must admit I watched some of the videos (no I didn’t pay for it, quickly after the pay site came out the video made it to free places.) At first I felt like you Dawn, thinking this was another stupid Paris stunt. And certainly there seems to be some of that in the videos (some seem to edit out the really naughty bits – and Paris does her share of posing.)

    But then I just felt kind of sad about the whole thing. There are several videos shown, and they all have the man taking full advantage of the situation. One shot has some dude trying to pull the covers away from Paris, while she tries desperately to stay at least partially covered. Another one has some dude filming Paris in the bath.

    Each time Paris at times seems to pose for the camera and look absolutely appalled. It’s like she is incapable of telling this jackass to turn the f’ing camera off like any normal person would do being filmed in the tub.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    This isn’t new, Dawn, we all saw her storage unit in the first sex tape.

  • Dawn

    I wish you both were right, as it would restore my faith in humanity, but what we must keep in mind is that Paris has had this happen to her before in glorious detail, therefore she can’t use the “ignorance is bliss” defense.

    She was well aware that these people had her stuff. Any normal person would have approached them and either tried to buy it back (which surely she is both capable of and they would be willing to do) or at the very least take some legal action – like other famous people have done when some sleazebag pops up out of the woodwork looking to profit off them.

    Paris is quite equally responsible for this invasion and I feel strongly that in the end, realizes it just furthers her ultimate goal to become as famous/infamous as she can. Really, what else does she have to live for, she has no discernible talent or skills other than selling herself in exchange for profit and notority.

    yes it’s sad, but I have very little sympathy for someone who makes no real effort to protect their image and she seems quite willing to go to great lengths to participate in her own smear campaign.

  • Dawn

    Yes Matt, but we now know what she was storing in there. And who knew it was so roomy? Except perhaps half a million or so people.

  • Mat Brewster

    I’ll totally agree with you Dawn. She certainly could have told those boys to turn off the videos, destroyed the tapes when it was over and -hello- yeah, paid the freaking rent on the storage bin.

    But still she looked so incredibly awful, and I aint talking physically. It was like you could see into her soul, and see nothing. Here is a woman who has the money and resources to do so much, and yet her entire goal seems to simply be famous.

    Of course, what does it say about me spending my time watching the stupid thing?

  • James

    This is just complete moronic fabrication….You should be a novelist not a journalist. The world as I make up as I go…beats doing research…Adds nothing, just uses Hilton name like the other scumbags…

  • http://www.my.opera.com/juanro5001 Juan

    Paris is very nice and a sharp woman.But I guess she needs take a large vacation at a some Caribean island.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Are you suggesting that the poor little dear brought this upon herself? Heavens, how cynical.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    “a superhuman, superslut, celebrity culture superhero, whose ability to glamorize STD’s, illegal drug use, promiscuity and vapidity challenge the very fabric of time and space.” What exactly is wrong with that? STDs, drug use, promiscuity and vapidity are all a vital part of being young and growing up.

    The only thing that puzzles me about Paris Hilton is the common misperception that she’s good-looking. I think she’s pretty ugly, not coyote ugly but not far from it!

  • Dawn

    I assume you are being sarcastic Christopher, as I can’t imagine any normal person would advocate her lifestyle as a wise choice for anyone.

    As for my moronic fabrication – I think we have a misunderstanding of terms here. My post may have contained a bit of speculation based on Paris’ past behavior, but I certainly didn’t fabricate any of it and I find your use of the term moronic quite idiotic James.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    No ma’am, I think it’s good to be a bit wild when you’re young.

  • Dawn

    Well then you clearly aren’t a parent and if you are, well I will reserve my feelings on your parental outlook.

    Having fun is one thing, being irresponsible and doing regrettable things is another. STD’s and copious amounts of illegal substances have real and lasting affects on one’s life. Tsk, tsk, tsk..

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Technically, Ma’am, STDs and illegals can or may have real and lasting consequences but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

    As for being irresponsible and doing regrettable things, are you saying you’ve never..?

  • http://prblognews.com Mark Rose

    Thank you for that really well written analysis of the phenom we call Paris. I must admit that I am an addict of all things Britney/Lindsay/Paris. It is really difficult to add anything new to the discussion but you have managed to. Paris is a girl, a Barbie doll, with impulses we all had at that age, and the means and the courage to live it out to the hilt. It is part the youthful conceit of invincibility, and a quest for some inner life that obviously is not there. Will she follow Lindsay into rehab? My sesne is that this latest episode will not hurt her career.

  • Dawn

    Chris, my point is that while it may be the standard course of action to be irresponsible as a young person, we as a society shouldn’t be celebrating someone who has yet to mature in any sense of the imagination over the course of the last few years since she emerged on the spotlight. 25 is not the same as 19, and Paris seems stunted in her maturity, and now this “celebration” is spilling over into all areas of celebrity culture. Look at Britney Spears – she and Paris are almost the same age but she has two small children and had a once promising career. Would you say her current regression into tweenhood is a positive thing for her children, her life and her position as a role model?

    People are supposed to become more refined and dignified with age, not simply stay stuck in some permanent adolesence. Few would suggest that is a normal and healthy course.

    Mark, thank you, I appreciate your exceptionally intelligent thoughts on my post ;)

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    But isn’t the fact that society is so fascinated with her goings on an entirely separate and, indeed, more serious issue than Ms Hilton’s behaviour?

    Part of my experience of being young was believing, at age 16, that life was essentially over when one got to be 20; what point could there be to living beyond such an advanced age? When the time came, I was forced to accept that there was life after 20 after all.

    Oddly, my body didn’t fully mature until I was around 25 and I now tend to believe that this is about the age when puberty finally ends.

    I try hard not to look at Britney Spears whenever possible as I find her repulsive, particularly these days and her “art”, possibly her debut single excepted, has never appealed to me. There are so many far more talented singers around after all.

    The whole role model thing is quite a tricky subject. Is it a role people seek or one that is foist upon them? I suspect both go on. Personally I’d prefer someone who had a bit of wild in them rather than bland conformism.

  • Dawn

    I can appreciate the “wild” sentiment, as long as it is tempered with growth and maturity.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dawn, I promise to exhibit growth and maturity eventually. Meanwhile here’s a quote from one of my fave comedy shows:-

    Little Girl: Ewww! Your breath smells like kitty litter!

    Stewie Griffin: I was curious!

  • Mayank Austen Soofi

    This was a smashing piece of writing, long and yet did not lose its racy momentum. Wao!

  • Dawn

    Muchos Gracias Mayank!!!

    Chris, I will joyously await your growth and maturity ;)

  • stacey

    What I’d like to know is who gets a 6000 square foot storage unit for $200?!?!? A. do they even make them that big? and B. I pay $80 for my little 10×10 unit!

  • coalharbourqt

    Dawn – thanks for the great article – couldn’t have said it better myself. There is a disturbing trend in our culture at the moment that celebrates the prolongation of puberty to an irresponsible level.

    Stacey – good point! The whole thing smells fishy to me and I would not be at all surprised to learn that Little Miss Parisite is behind it all. Her infiltration of the web started with Perez Hilton’s site and continues – she’s a bad virus that Valtrex cannot keep at bay.

  • M

    Very well written and insightful. Her publicist portrayed her as a victim repeatedly and now again. I wonder if they planned on her being thrown back in jail? Doesn’t matter really as she is playing the victim once again. I used to not care about her, now I LOATHE her and am sick of every so called news channel reporting on her to the point it is impossible to avoid having it shoved in your face unless you are willing to not listen to the radio, watch TV or read the paper. Try and catch up on the news and THIS is what you get?

  • sr

    The reason all the networks talk about Paris is It’s what America wants to hear. Like I said before, we could be getting nuked and the media would be talking about Paris.

  • http://www.rickrockhill.blogspot.com Palm Springs Savant

    For a bit of Paris humor, I wrote a fun post on my blog about Paris Hilton …stop by and check it out

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    hhhmmm…Look, I really have nothing against Paris. In certain ways I admire her (all things considered). Thru my lifetime the type of women that have gravitated my interests are the Princess Caroline, Caroline Kennedy, Brooke Shields, Cahterine Oxenberg, Mira Sorvino (yeah, she counts!). Lady Diana also.

    And so, as you can see by my blue-blood/faux blue blood tastes, Paris Hilton is one. I mean, come on! Notice her stature as she walks the carpet or anywhere. She holds her posture and grace quite well. The gal is a thoroughbred.

    In a weird way she is a gal born into the life of pomp and circumstance yet dragged through the scum of pop culture. Jeez, the things that some kids have to go through these days. Kind of an extension of the child actor syndrome.

    Anyway, Paris is alright in my book. Given a chance to hang out and get down and real with her, I bet she does have something to say on an intrgueing level.

    best,
    DM