Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Snorting With The Stars

by Dick Mac

Or, snorting at the stars.

I would love to have a cocktail with Dorothy Parker today and talk about American pop stars in the 21st Century. In Parker's time, a heyday for the cult of personality, most of the pop stars were actors.

During my childhood, politicians were added to the list of daily pop-ism, and I witnessed the explosion of Andy Warhol-ism starting in the late 60s and continuing on today.

"In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes," Warhol told the world, and his prediction has come to fruition.

Local access and cable television, the 24-hour news cycle, digital media, affordable fashion, and access to credit have made pretty much all middle-class Americans (and some impoverished Americans) "millionaires," "playboys," and "superstars."

One real millionaire and one politician's child are the superstars this morning, and their presence on the pages of the press points to the depressing state of superstardom.

I have always been enamoured of the notion that some people are famous just for being famous, and Jackie Kennedy comes to mind. Sure, she was the First Lady; but scores of other women have been first ladies and none of them are as famous as Jackie.

Today, we get Paris Hilton. She's turned anal sex and texting into news. She is, ostensibly, a singer and I find myself tapping my toe to her single "Stars Are Blind." She is wealthy beyond imagination, an heir to the Hilton Hotel fortune. She is very Hollywood and looks like an actress. She uses drugs.

Recently, she got caught with a baggie of cocaine in her purse, was convicted of the crime, fined, put on probation, and received a suspended prison sentence. If she gets arrested in Nevada in the next few years, she will have to serve the prison term.

She embarked on a world tour recently, bringing her singing prowess to the masses. Yesterday she arrived in Tokyo to begin the Asian leg of the tour. She failed to apply for a visa ahead of time, and when the customs officials noted that she had just been convicted of a drug offense, she was denied entry into the country. Her Asian tour has been cancelled.

Kazuo Kashihara, an immigration official at Narita International Airport, said if Hilton had applied for an entry permit farther ahead of her arrival, there might have been a chance for Japan's justice minister to consider an exception in her case. "She just showed up the day after (pleading guilty)," he said.
See, Japan Denies Paris Hilton Entry

The other superstar in the news today is Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is famous for having been nominated as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008. The glare of the spotlight excited her, so she resigned her job as the Governor of Alaska to spread her message of abstinence, morality, and weaponry across the country. When her unmarried daughter, Bristol, became pregnant (so much for the abstinence rallies), the media applauded her as a little girl not afraid to have a baby. Palin's political circles generally condemn young women (especially brown-skinned young women) who have children out-of-wedlock. Bristol, however, got the star/victim treatment.

Ahh, yes, "victims"! Victims are another new category of superstars that I'm sure Dorothy Parker would have an opinion about.

Well, poor, victimized Bristol became a star for getting knocked-up (the standards of stardom, as you can see, have been lowered substantially in conservative America). This stardom garnered her an invitation to star on the television show "Dancing With The Stars."

I admit right now that last season I tuned-in to DWTS to watch Macy Gray, my favorite mentally-ill pop singer. It's a tedious show hosted by tedious people, with a panel of tedious experts passing judgment on the dancing ability of the stars.

Last night, poor Bristol made her debut, and cut a rug with a talented young dancer named Mark Ballas. The routine started with Palin dressed like her Mother, then doing what conservative girls do best: a strip-tease! Her strip routine revealed a red, fringed dress that moved very nicely during the couple's cha-cha to "Mama Told Me Not To Come."

The best part of the segment, the judges held-up their scoring cards and each of the three awarded Palin and Ballas a six, making her score 666.

Yes: 666! The perfect number for a good chaste Christian girl like Bristol.

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