What is reality, Paris

Listening to Steve Wright’s BBC podcast, I heard some gems in an interview with Paris Hilton, who was flogging her new record and is promising to become a hotel magnate — not just heiress — in her own right with a chain of new hotels under the brand Paris.

* On reality: “I’m playing a character. That’s not really how I am in real life. I’m playing like a dumb blonde and just act stupid and say stupid things…. It is a reality show so I can understand people thinking it’s real.”

* On fame: “I’ve built my name right. I don’t even need my last name.”

* On culture: “I’m really good friends with James Blunt. He’s my favorite singer. He’s cool.” Oh, that figures. Pap stars.

* On media: “There’s too many gossip magazines.” For Paris, I’d think there can never be enough.

* On nature: “I have like a zookeeper, a lady who lives at my house, because I have so many animals. I have monkeys and ferrets and cats.” Yes, she is turning into Michael Jackson before our very eyes. But without the talent.

  • Ed Rusch

    for someone who gave the world Entertainment Weekly, it’s rather unseemly for you to be criticizing someone who took advantage of the new media world you built. Why are you such a hater, Jeffy? All we hear from you these days is bitching about how stupid other people are.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    If you read any evolutionary psychology, you’ll see that we have mechanisms in us that, in our “evolutionarily novel” environment, make us extremely interested in the lives of celebrities. In the Pleistocene, when we evolved into the humans we are today (we still have very old psychology, as it takes hundreds or thousands of years for an adaptation to take hold [Don Symons]), it helped one’s survival to pay close attention to others in one’s small band. We think we know celebrities and this same mechanism goes into effect.

    I love celebrity and entertainment magazines. Pop culture is a major part of our culture, so to be all snob about it is to be cut out of what the world is about. I also read anthropology journals, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, numerous other national and local daily and weekly newspapers, and Reason magazine, among others. If celebrity rags are all you read, you’re an ass. The same goes for chocolate cake. I eat a a half slice for dessert sometimes; I don’t eat the whole cake.

    People are stupid. They’re uneducated. They don’t read. They don’t think. That isn’t Jeff’s fault, and I lament it as much as he does. You’re the one brimming with contempt for no apparent reason. Somebody run over your cat?

  • http://leatherpenguin.com Staen Island guy

    wait… stop me….

    You’re now declaiming your role inventing this arm of the media?

    Look, CUNY is cute, but don’t you dare try to wipe the Conde Nast dirt from your boots. Before your current “go-to” status, you ran an operation that gave a total pass to that Si guy.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Ed and Guy-who-can’t-spell-his-island:

    Oh, come on, it’s now unPC to think that Paris Hilton is dumb and useless? What kind of world are we living in? Not yours, I hope.

  • http://leatherpenguin.com Staen Island guy

    Dude, your from Jersey. I figured a misspelling something Conde Nastie would make you feel more at home.

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    Jeff,

    You know I have respect for your opinions, but I have to agree that this was a pretty poor post. Maybe in context those quotes seemed dumb, but they aren’t necessarily dumb. The first quote correctly points out that reality shows are scripted and fake. The second quote correctly points out that she has managed to sculpt a profitable brand out of her inheritance; something the vast majority of the “lucky sperm club” has never done. I work in finance and a lot of my friends I have made through work are finance people; Paris works as a celebrity and a lot of her friends are celebrities… why is this something to mock?

    I could continue defending her quotes, but that’s not even my point. My point is that intelligent people have better things to do than mock silly, innocent kids. Who is she hurting? Who is she decieving? Why does she even matter? For all the criticism I heap on the NY Times, I’ve never seen them attack and insult a young woman on their cover for kicks.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Michael,
    I stand by my opinion. Paris is a dweeb.
    Staen:
    That’s “you’re”.

  • Ed Rusch

    “People are stupid. They’re uneducated. They don’t read. They don’t think.”

    People are stupid, but the stupid ones are you and Jeffy, the elitists who need to scorn others to make themselves feel good. People do read and think, and just because they don’t share your view of the world doesn’t mean they are stupid.

    There’s nothing new about the entertainment culture: when Harry Thaw was on trial for shooting Stanny White, the trial wasn’t notable because White was a great architect: it was notable because of the celebrities involved. A mass media has always relied on celebrities of some sort or another.

  • qdpsteve

    WRIGHT: “So, what is reality, Paris?”

    (*squeals of desperation, panic and bewilderment, followed by the sound of Paris’ head exploding*)

    WRIGHT: “Ewwwww!!”

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    Is there a difference between bullies picking on the physically weak for fun and bloggers picking on the mentally weak for fun? Go read a book, Steve.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    “People are stupid, but the stupid ones are you and Jeffy, the elitists who need to scorn others to make themselves feel good. People do read and think, and just because they don’t share your view of the world doesn’t mean they are stupid.”

    I like being called an elitist, because it makes me sound like I grew up on the east coast and went to boarding school, instead of growing up middle class in an ugly neighborhood in suburban Detroit, which, unfortunately, is the case.

    I earn my living writing a syndicated advice column (banned from the Los Angeles Times, but in over 100 papers across the country). I get letters and e-mails from all across America, and trust me, it isn’t due to some snooty-wooty world view on my part that I find people illiterate, unthinking, and stupid.

  • Ed Rusch

    “I get letters and e-mails from all across America, and trust me, it isn’t due to some snooty-wooty world view on my part that I find people illiterate, unthinking, and stupid.”

    Funny, it’s blog comments like yours that convinces me people named Amy Alkon are unthinking and stupid.

    Your post, btw, was pretty much the definition of an elitist post: you pulled rank (i.e., I write a syndicated column) in order to make a sweeping generalization. Guess what, I can do you better: I work with a set of websites with six million viewers a day — which surely is a larger sampling than your handful of letters — and I don’t find people illiterate, unthinking, and stupid. I find snobs like you unthinking and stupid.

  • Colin G.

    I guess I’m not sure where all of the acrimony is coming from over this little blurb. First, it’s just a blog post meant (I’m guessing) for humorous purposes, not to make a multimillionaire feel bad. Paris is a big girl who actively puts herself in the public eye. This relatively innocuous little post isn’t gonna hurt her even if by some great happenstance she actually reads it. Check out Defamer some time and compare and contrast the hatefulness there with this silly little post. I think folks are making much ado about nothing.

    That said, I would disagree with those that contend our culture is no more obsessed with celebrity now than at any other time. I do not have any statistics to back up my opinion, only personal observation but I would point out how our television news now gives undue import to celebrity stories. Can you imagine a time where Cronkite covered a story about a celeb’s personal life outside of an obituary or an international incident? I can’t. But now, we have network news stories on the personal lives of people like Angelina Jolie. Is this because they are important to US foreign policy? No, it’s because it brings in viewers in a cultural climate that worships fame. Of course, I could be wrong.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    Sorry, correction to my previous post – it’s hundreds or thousands of generations Symons said it takes for an adaptation to take hold.

  • bill

    leave paris alone! shes a nice person!