That feels like the score surrounding stuff I’ve read here and there about Paris Hilton: a million méchant assholes to three people who get what this is really all about: Karen DeCoster, Christopher Hitchens, and of course me (here and here).
But Hitch is in a category all his own. I’m typing with my thumbs and working through a lobotomy by comparison.
…Not content with seeing her undressed and variously penetrated, it
seems to be assumed that we need to watch her being punished and
humiliated as well. The supposedly "broad-minded" culture turns out to
be as prurient and salacious as the elders in The Scarlet Letter.
Hilton is legally an adult but the treatment she is receiving
stinks—indeed it reeks—of whatever horrible, buried, vicarious impulse
underlies kiddie porn and child abuse.
I cannot imagine what it
might be like, while awaiting a prison sentence for a tiny infraction,
to see dumb-ass TV-addicted crowds howling with easy, complicit
laughter as Sarah Silverman (a culpably unfunny person) describes your
cell bars being painted to look like penises and jokes heavily about
your teeth being at risk because you might gnaw on them. And this on
prime time, and unrebuked. Lynching parties used to be fiestas, as we
have no right to forget, and the ugly coincidence of sexual
nastiness—obscenity is the right name for it—and vengefulness is what
seems to lend the savor to the Saturnalia. There must be more than one
"gossip" writer who has already rehearsed for the day that Paris Hilton
takes a despairing overdose. And what a glorious day of wall-to-wall
coverage that will be!
Stuck in my own trap of writing about a
nonsubject, I think I can defend my own self-respect, and also the
integrity of a lost girl, by saying two things. First, the trivial
doings of Paris Hilton are of no importance to me, or anyone else, and
I should not be forced to contemplate them. Second, she should be left
alone to lead such a life as has been left to her. If this seems
paradoxical, then very well.