Sunday, June 17, 2007

Paris Hilton, The Death Penalty, And World Peace
Some say the world will end in fire,
some say say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
Paris Hilton would suffice.
(My apologies to Robert Frost.) A lot went down this past week or two. America kick-started the Cold War with Russia, taking up right where other drama series previously left off, one with the anti-anti-missile-missiles, the other with annexing Czechoslovakia and Poland. As a bonus, while America's favorite Preznit keeps stoking the nuclear fallout hopes in Europe and Russia, he also managed to insult the largest, oldest Christian denomination by being the first world leader to ever address a Catholic Pope with the greeting: "Yo, Bo-Peep Dude!" Syria and the United Arab Emirates stopped pegging their currencies to the US dollar, Pakistan and Palestine attacked themselves, and in Iraq, white people keep on thinking that a Christian occupation of a Muslim land can create stability rather than a butcher's banquet. Yet all these disturbances in The Force were inconsequential compared to the irreparable rend in the fabric of reality itself, a rend which widens by the day and betokens a permanent shift of astrological significance: Paris Hilton went back to jail.

Some people think that Paris Hilton is a dumb, grasping glamor-gal, and it's hard to deny that's much of what she is. When it comes to fame, however, this young woman has the genius of the ages. She's Madame du Pompadour, better known as Louis the XV's favorite mistress and closest advisor (pictured above) combined with Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese observer of human nature. From a very young age, she has displayed a deep, apparently effortless and ruthless insight for what it takes to lead. Think I'm stretching it too far? Ok, let's start with the small stuff. Her self-earned income was $7 million last year. She can't sing; she has an album. She can't act; she had her own TV show and is now in the movies. She can't dance; and is the queen of dance clubs. She never completed high school; she runs a highly successful business. Girls and grown women dress like her and try to look like her. Now she's rich, she's in jail, she's self-aware, and she's moving on to bigger things.

I'd like this to be satirical, but I can't honestly foretell how high she'll go or how much she'll do. I only know this: Paris Hilton has the ability to read social intent, to pre-empt it, and indeed to nudge it so she can dictate its terms. Being in jail will prove to be the best thing that ever happened to her because she'll use the adversity to elevate her fame and her game, and she's on a collision course with power. She adds a ton of blond gravitas to her repetoire at the bargain price of three weeks in the clink.

Speaking of prison and the death penalty: if the state can murder people, the overall effect of saying it's ok to kill who you don't like might just out-do the benefits of any possible deterrent effect by somewhere between 10 or 100 to one. The death penalty further cheapens the lives of the victims with yet more death, and takes the prerogative of the most solemn decisions of revenge away from those aggrieved and places them in the hands of the state. Ending the practice of executions moves countries one step closer to world peace.

When Paris Hilton's beauty starts to fade, she will stay in power through her innate intelligence. It's in there, and it's coming to a fame-o-mometer close to you.

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