“From now on, I’m going to pay complete attention to everything.” That’s what Paris Hilton told the judge, as he sentenced her to 45 days in jail. Unfamiliar accomodations, for the spoiled rich kid named after one of her family’s classy hotels.
Paris got her license suspended for drinking and driving, then went ahead and drove anyway.
Seeing celebrities and the “idle rich” get away with things the rest of us couldn’t, seems to give a lot of people satisfaction; so does seeing them punished when their selfish or thoughtless behavior hurts others, or just plain goes too far.
“Let’s give ’em somethin’ to talk about,” goes the lyric of the old Bonnie Raitt song, and that is apparently the function people like Paris Hilton, said to be “famous only for being famous,” serve in our society.
Then there are people like Alec Baldwin, cover boy on “The Good Life: Central New York Magazine,” now arriving on newsstands and in mailboxes. People with actual talent, who forget how to behave or don’t realize that sometimes the wisest thing to say is absolutely nothing.
The magazine article celebrates Baldwin’s large extended family and tells how much love he and his siblings feel for their mother Carol, the breast cancer survivor and fund raiser who calls CNY home.
The writer does not mention that Baldwin’s immediate family is locked in a bitter custody battle. Lawyers for Alec Baldwin and ex-wife Kim Basinger were in court yesterday, fighting over their eleven year old daughter. Probably, in the context of the article, it would not have been appropriate to go there. But almost everyone has heard about Baldwin’s telephone rant to the child (download here), after she missed an appointment to take a phone call from him. Apparently someone on Basinger’s side in the custody case posted the answering machine recording.
Just like half of a divorced couple, we love our celebrities- until we suddenly decide we don’t love them anymore. And maybe at the bottom of it all, we’re just secretly glad that our own mis-steps seem very small, compared with the personal failings of those who sought the spotlight, and now cannot escape it.