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THE PARIS RIOTS
{or: let them snort coke...}

I think a lot of people ENVY Paris: because she knows EXACTLY WHO SHE IS.
She knows exactly who she is, and isnt troubled by it. Doesnt show the requisite pennance. (Like a spell in rehab, or the mandatory fake charity gig.)

There are hundreds of massively spoiled and coddled and vacuous and protected slebs in the world; but if you have an 'up from prole roots' narrative (the divine Kate M) or if you are a male indie rawker (Evan Dando, say) people go all swoony or abstract-theory and overlook your sins. See also: all those middle class educated rappers who've made zillions thru their cynical exploitation of the 'gangsta/playa' thread, and still get Respeck.

I think the particular people who envy Paris the most are probably Popbitch type gossip-monger/celeb-watcher people, partly because they have put themselves in this strange Master-Slave relationship with ditsy slebs in general (see also Victoria Beckham) but Paris in particular; and even tho they devote half their own lives to a chronicle of these sparkly other lives they think their subjects' fame is, at base, "unearned".

But who strikes you as DUMBER in this equation? Uh?

One of the reasons I like the Paris (thus far) is that there has been no worked-up strictly-spin apologies: no 'train wreck then rehab/chat show confession/anorexic tell-all/United Nations envoy or charity gig' join the dots narrative. She knows who she is, what her limitations are, and she works it. No one forces the media to give her so much oxygen and space ... and they maybe can't bear to admit to themselves she is nearly always one step ahead and has READ them perfectly and made her self a totally irresistble proposition...
... which I also supect most media people wouldnt resent quite so much if, say, there was a male Warhol figure lurking there behind Paris, who they could credit with the requisite media skills and cynical 'manipulation of media' plot; which, in their minds, would somehow 'justify' the whole thing; whereas just Paris, being happy and shiny and sexy, somehow DOESNT ...

Paris is her own invention, and has never apologised or changed: there is no hypocrisy. The media, on the other hand, has been in a secret shame spiral of jettisoned values and dumb-down laziness ... and cant bear to see Paris happy untroubled face staring back at them every time they give her more publicity, because it shows THEM up, not her.

I remember reading the first Vanity Fair article on the Hilton sisters (long before Paris became "Paris") and, well, liking them. They seemed like canny modern girls, having a ball. (Admittedly, to organs like The Daily Mail, this has always represented the beginning of the end of the world, but since when did we take our sub cultural cues from the Daily Mail!?)

(BTW: I still think Nicky is the sexier one - but then, that's a given: dark and back and to the left and secretive will always be sexier in my book than blonde and upfront and DO YA THINK I'M SEXY!?... But hey, I'm not gonna construct some preeningly "moral" worldview around it and say that anyone who doesn't fit is "repulsive" (the most common word I found used of Paris after 2 minutes research on an Indie music discussion page...)


I've no idea how smart or what kinda smart Paris is, but I just somehow get the same old feeling of a vapour of misogyny under a lot of this ANTI-PARIS blather. Yeah, OK, she's not Judith Butler, but she never promised to be, did she? 'O! But she doesn't DO anything!' wail all the sallow grim-faced Indie type people, who seem to be among the most vituperative ANTI-Paris factions. You'd think that the kind of Indie groups these people uncritically worship were, like, you know, SCHOENBERG or something, instead of hapless dorks with Blonde on Blonde shags who make the Smiths sound complex. I mean: who's actually more - and more unhappily - "obsessed" with Image here?

(The all too contrived non-image Image of Indie music - that's a topic for another time; along with this strange thing I've often noticed in Indie/Rock land, to wit, the valorisation of Femininity ONLY if and when it is "dark" and "troubled" a la Courtney Love, i.e., weak and flailing out of control, and thereby either fascinating for the smug male gaze, or in need of either Help or Explanation, which may ultimately amount to the same thing a lot of the time, from Billie Holiday on... )

The hatred vented in the direction of Paris is surely disproportionate.
You know who I hate a hundred times more? College educated media studies type people who work on E4 or Heat and make a career out of the complete low level mockery and IRONY-isation of everything, like, 'We know this is crap but here it is anyway "on your bleedin telly box" bored voice between quotes.
Compared with this SCUM, I am 99% sure that a night with Paris would be the best kinda fun.

(Hey: maybe people just dont like to admit that they find rich folk SEXY, never, no how, uh uh, nuh see't?)

I dont know about interview her, but if some publisher wants to give me a big wodge of dosh to knock out a quick book on everythng pertaining to the PARIS subject, I'm more than up for it... there are just SO many jumping off points - sex, celebrity, class war, etc. It's all there. It can be my Lester Bangs Blondie book ha ha.
No - seriously.
I'd love to do THE ONE PARIS HILTON BOOK ALL MEDIA STUDIES STUDENTS HAVE TO BUY.
C'mon canny publishers - drop me a line in the COMMENTS box.

But on one condition: it absolutely MUST NOT be called 'The Judgement of Paris.' I would rather I HEART PARIS, frankly. Or, THE PARIS RIOTS. Or, PARIS 69 t hee...

posted by Ian 9/05/2006 09:56:00 AM

Comments:
how bout:
"i love paris in the
the spring"
 
Hitler knew exactly who he was, and wasn't troubled by it.
It's not enough.
Why exactly do we need to know who she is, rather?
Who asked for her?
Laura Lee or Betty Davis or Missy Elliott or Annette Peacock or Sheila Jordan or Neneh Cherry have or had the right to be proud.
They don't expect applause for breathing.
But obviously we're expected to celebrate unapologetic capitalism as an art in itself now.
The day Paris Hilton donates every fucking square inch of land she or her scumbag family own to the displaced citizens of Hurricane Katrina is the day I might start to take her seriously.
 
Im sorry, M, but I think that is the BIGGEST load of crap I have read in an age.
Misplaced ire, and, what's more, misplazced "I'm a male feminist, me" condescension: would you roll out a list of MALE rock/pop stars who had NOTHING in common (except being male) and talk about "pride".
NB: how do you know the Hiltons HAVENT donated squillons to some Hurricane Katrina fund? (Maybe they dont like to blow their own 'correct credentials' trumpet as much and as loud as you do!)

(What we do know is what those in power havent done, and thats far worse. But why does P Hilton ALONE need to prove some political sincerity? There are so many moon-man contradictions here I can't even begin to... gasp! ...

HITLER????!
I'm sorry, is this a parody????!!!!

You just seem to prove my point that there is something almost PUNK like about wonderful wonderful paris, that she QUITE gets everyones tender soft point GOATs! (I'll get me goat...)

I dont mean to be all Zizek about this, but if you hate her taht much, I love her contradictions ALL THE MORE!

HOORAY FOR Paris!

Paris, Nicky, I hereby issue an open invitation to the next Blogger's Convention t hee...
 
And this only convinces me further that the so called "feminist" objections being proffered here are a very very mixed up word salad indeed.

Same rock/indie 'Authenticity Is All' screwface folks who practically have an embolism at the mere mention of Paris, are same people who quite happy to worship, Edie Sedgwick or Courtney Love or Nico say, without EVER demanding of them some kind of "political" articulation or pennance (for a supposedly - and i stress supposedly - 'easy' life.)

How Marcello got from my flirtatious expression of FASCINATION (not simply wih paris "herself" but with "our" relationship with her) to somehow Paris by doing not very much at all = the rollback denigration of Every Poor Woman Who Ever Tried, O My, Yes, Tried... well, it beats me.

There mere fact that she attracts a 1000 times more uncomofrt and itchy rage than any other "It" girl inhistory surely tells us *something* - maybe quite a lot - about now, that's all I was trying to establish, in my ticklishly contrarian way.

Jeez, lighten up.
It wasnt Hurricane Paris, ya know.

(PS: I didnt see Missy auctioning off all her yawn jewellery for the poor & starving & homeless... but because she made a few good tunes a few years ago, thats OK is it? The contradictions in *her* bling materialism... ooooh wee, let's leave that for now, eh?
 
someone at the first place i ever worked -- ie a teacher, tho i forget of what, in the very early 80s -- was writing a pamphlet in his spare time which was some kind of gender-studies reading of the denigration, in radical pamphlets and the like, of marie antoinette

he was a nice enough fellow, though i suspect less male feminist than closet royalist, and i never saw the completed paper, but he talked a bit about it in the coffee room and about all the rage, unnerving in its passion, yet strangely displaced, within this literature (that MA was a whore who had corrupted the king's morals etc etc); anyway i once cheerfully said that freedom would be ours until the last king was strangled with the entrails of the last whatever (not usually my kind of line, but he was a very teasable person), and he was very shocked and worried and avoided me for several days

"Let them eat fake: the Paris evenements"
 
NB: what I'm (re) reding right at this moment now = 'At Home with the Marquis de Sade' by Francine du Plessix Gray; which, even if you dont find the old Marquis as fascinating as I do, its a brilliant and head turning presentation of power lines in 18th century France, touching on some of the topics mark just brushed against, but also how a lot of (older) aristocratic owmen held the real reigns of power, and how they did it in what might appear to the outsider to be "superficial" ways... and how various Parissienne (ha!!!) demi-mondaine "actresses" and "It" girls had the power to bring down whole grand families with their wily ways...

Oh WOW, this gives me an idea. O god - i really MUST write this PARIS book! Please someone - a commission, a commission!

The Three (R)evolutions of PARIS:
Class War and It Girls Through The Ages.

Y E S!!!!!
 
"Reigns" of power: now THAT is a good parapraxis tho I say so myself...
 
... and it would be the perfect opportunity to re review Fassbinder's "stockings & suspenders" political trilogy (Lola / Maria Braun / Lili Marleen) into the bargain. This will be the greatest book ever written!
 
TALKING of Freudian slips, Mark: "i once cheerfully said that freedom WOULD be ours until..."????!!! UH HUH, o yeah!?
Who's the closet roaylist now, eh? (T hee.)
 
Of course the far wider (hi)story here is the transformation and denigration of the news media in the last whatever-it-is years (especially in America, and especially by Rupert Murdoch - altho that isnt without its contradictions either, and there IS a possible argument which posits Murdoch as *actually* a kind of inadvertantly alchemical Class Hero, tearing down hidebound convention and dragging us into the 21st century etc etc blah blah...), and how this goes hand in hand with the celebrity "industry" (which it is - an industry I mean, I always thought that 'New Labour' was a tellingly apposite phrase, for the times we ived in. For with the old working class-tended industries dying, they have been replaced by the new "industry" of communication and info flow and celebrity whtie noise etc...)

And not to blow my *own* trumpet here, but i predicted all this, sort of, in a 1987 article about the then nascent art or con of 'celebrity for its own sake' for ... TATLER of all people.

We are all of strange variegation and contradiction assembled.
 
more things book shd include =

NELL GWYNNE (restoration actress/mistress of charles ii, famous for her oranges) (fnar)

and

ELINOR GLYN = the original "it" girl (famous for tigerskin rug on which said "it" was presumably done)

and

Boney M: "Rasputin"

and

somewhere from gastly depths of memory, an anecdote abt the civil war, and anti-royalist attacks on ultra-cavalier PRINCE RUPERT's mistress (that she was a monkey? liked sex with monkeys?) (oh those puritans!)

[this is surely a very commissionable book?]
 
Boney M - they do keep cropping up dont they?

I seriously DO think the book is VERY commissionable, but then ... I would say that, wouldnt I.

Diana would have to be in there too, natch. For all SORTS of parallel reasons.

It never occured to me before, altho literally staring me in the face, but talk about (N)OMEN ology - Paris Hilton literally born into (being) a BRAND NAME!!
 
Funnily enough, in my Uncut review I suggested that if the producers of the Paris record had had an ounce of wit they would have confected "a Marie Antoinette goes crunk bauble" rather than the tepidly generic pop they plumped for.

--ST
 
O wow... Ijust remembered. Somewhere in my (voluminous) files (FILE marked: 'great timely ideas started but never fully materialised') is a whole bunchy of notes for a book-kinda-thing-idea i had called :...

THE KYLIEFICATION OF CULTURE.

And it would FIT right in, as an early chapter in this new one. I vaguely remember some thesis about the massive underground influence of Gay culture and sub/club culture, and how post-AIDS that had manifested instead as or in a Pop that...

Anyway... whatever...

osh. I just noticed the strange Lamplighter scrambled code word for this one = "(r) pay fun"!!!

What DOES it all mean, eh?
 
it's wrong to say that indie people look down their noses at hilton because she has no 'authenticity'. there's very little authenticity to pj harvey, but indie people seem to like it. its actually more snobby and somehow john cassavetes-esque to claim that her total lack of talent in anything other than looking like a fake-tanned cadaver in photos is worthwhile. the problem is that there's a total lack of human-ness to her which i think is extremely disturbing. the woman has dead DEAD eyes, no personality whatsoever, probably no intelligence whatsoever, she inherited the ability to 'manipulate' the media just by being surrounded by it from the cradle -- just because she's rich. and anyway, madonna already made inauthenticity 'authentic', and made it exciting. now can we move on?? hilton, along with that other wretch nicole ritchie, is part of a new generation of entitled, spoiled, self-important wasters (also including 'voice of today's youth' peaches geldof, and famed po-mo bloodsport-fan otis ferry)who have bypassed the normally effective filtering barriers of pop culture, partly because they have 'cool' parents (toffs, and other backward people, appear to find no-names such as lionel ritchie and bryan ferry 'cool'), and partly because it seems they want attention at any cost. we can spend all the time in the world studying the significance of paris hilton, but as far as i'm concerned, it can be boiled down to a comment my 17-year old niece made about her: "you could punch her face 500 times and she'd still have that blank expression".
 
"you could punch her face 500 times and she'd still have the same expression" = the very DEFINITION of cool, especially if it was bland!!
 
It's not sexist to see her (or Kylie or Madonna or Prince William or Tom Cruise) as 'post-human'. Her dead zone porno 'One Night in Paris' reminded me of the puppet sex scene in 'Team America: World Police' - except less amusing, lively or erotic.
As 'it-boy' Fitgerald once said: "The rich are different to us".
AGUIRRE
 
I'm in danger of being made to speak FOR her - when that was never really the main thing, if I think she has value or humanity or is meaningful fun or not...
What intrigues me is this mass reaction - the way post-Sade or Nietzsche atheists would go: 'O, God is such nothing, so dead, so meaningless... AND I HATE HIM WITH EVERY MOLECULE IN MY BODY!!!' The minute SO many people claim SUCH hatred for someone who has no bearing whatsoever on their lives, my antennae start twitching. (Flashback to vaguely similar situ in early 80s, when my liking a few 45s by August Darnell and Grace Jones practically started a Civil War at the NME etc.) It just FEELS to me, that something else is going on here, or not being said, or not being (honestly) dealt with ...

(Altho it also could just be one of those modern media things, the way X suddenly becomes a synonym for 'drunken man' or 'promiscuous slut', even if they were only ever drunk once, or only *appear* to sleep around; but for the next 5 years every bad comedians joke about drunkenness or sluttiness will make mention of X. Likewise, Paris, for certainly understandable, but possibly dubious reasons, has become THE synyonym for 'celebrity for celebrity sake pointlessness'. And no one thinks twice about it.

fITzgerald sucking up to the rich; or Peaches Geldoff taking SERIOUS topics (such as tonight, C4, 10.00,) and turing them into a pink vanity mirror of no earthly use to anyone but herself and her career, these are something else again.
I would certainly rather have the (relative) HONESTY of Paris-as-cartoon in The Simple Life, than the C4-sponsored insult and idiocy of Peaches Geldof "on" what Islam is "all about", after spending 2 days with a family in Marrakech... (o god, I feel a Julie Burchill comment welling up inside me to the effect that nothing should surprise us about the offspring of B. Geldof and P Yates, two people who effortlessly give/gave a bad name to both sincerity and frivolity respectively every time they opened their mouths...

I *like* the expression on Paris face! She's so sweetly unaffectedly UN-desperate! She just stands there - anywhere - and all these fly like paparazzi settle around her ankles.
There are so many girls like Paris in the world - when you finally sit down and talk to them, some are a vacuous self obsessed pain, just like you feared; but some are not.
I guess I just got something inside that counter acts or resists the I *SO* HATE PARIS! virus ...
 
You know who I cant stand?
BEYONCE.
Something about HER makes me turn the TV off every time one of her videos comes on. Now THERE is some one who seems dead zone to me, 'insincere', robotic, un-fun. (Jay Z too, not coincidentally.) Beyonce's "sexy dancing" routine has to be the most UN erotic, passion-as-aerobic task, thing in this post modern world.
But I dont make a big thing about it!
 
haha i LOVE beyoncé! but that is easily explained: i like robots and robotics

this is a MATHS thing with GRAPHS -- and there WILL be a test later
 
That sounds like a great book. I suspect you'ld have more luck getting it comissioned if you changed your name to Julie Burchill, though.
 
If that book ever comes off, make sure you give Banksy a good kicking!
 
re Beyonce´s "erotic" dancing: TOO MUTHAFUCKING TRUE... Same goes for that pest Shakira (that unbelievabl blunt La Tortura video a few years back). Bye!
 
How come no one linked this for me when it was hot? Anyway, thanks Ian for intelligent commentary on a subject that isn't getting much of it. You should take a look at Cure for Bedbugs, which spent most of August and September with similarly intelligent commentary on Paris/Paris reaction. And you should join us on the Rolling Teenpop Thread because we need more people.

Don't have TV anymore 'cause otherwise I'd spend too much time watching it, so don't know much about Paris and so base my opinion on the hilarious comment of hers when she was asked what she thought of Austria and she said she loved Austria because the Austrians "pay me to go to parties." From this I decided that she was like Robert Mitchum. His signifiers are working class and hers celeb class, but he was celeb class in his own way. Dave Hickey talks about Robert Mitchum’s "jailhouse aristocracy": his giving himself a presence, a coolness - a solid stillness that keeps his soul outside of whatever plots and dramas he's currently identified with. This may have nothing to do with Paris - for all I know she spends hours feeling hurt by slights and worrying about her weight - but it has to do with her image and, because of that image, her music. And the music is, mostly, great, not necessarily for anything having to do with her personality or persona but because she/they got great beauty out of her husk of a voice, which is surrounded with thickets and throbs of even more beauty. And as Lex points out the album's perched right on the borderline between teen confessional and dancepop.
 
The Three (R)evolutions of PARIS: Class War and It Girls Through The Ages

Are you still in touch with University of Georgia Press? Seems to me that Derek Krissoff would love this idea.
 
Oops, it was another Brit who published with Georgia. Don't shoot me. In any event, if you're serious about the book, I'd bet they'd love to have it. Get in touch with Derek Krissoff. dkrissoff at ugapress dot uga dot edu. Tell him I sent you.

(This might be a duplicate post. Blogger is screwing up today.)
 
I guess if that book's going to get written, include Marie Antoinette - the woman and the movie...
 
being picky here but surely this:

"no one forces the media to give her so much oxygen and space"

concedes WAY to much to the it's-a-free-market-the-customer-is-always-right-it's-what-the-punters-want-innit-shrug-leer apologistic sophistry trundled out any time anyone even suggests that there might be something structural and ideological about the meeejah
 
"Paris invasion"

Spend some page-meters of space describing the saturation of all things Paris in media. Y'know, just to justify the tile.
 
Christ did I REALLY write the above? More pomp than 1973 Supertramp and nowhere near as tuneful...
 
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