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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

From the Archives: "The Last Time I Saw Paris"

David'Z Current CommentZ: This, out of all my David'Z RantZ entries, has had the most hits. No surprise there, I suppose. Keep in mind this was written on November 24, 2003. I'll meet you at the bottom with a few more remarks.

The Last Time I Saw Paris

Ya gotta love the internet...

Paris Hilton, multi-kazillionaire heiress to the Hilton Hotel chain fortune, and co-star of the new Fox Network "reality" show* The Simple Life, is reportedly suffering from major mortification as a result of an explicit three-year-old porn video she taped with her then-boyfriend, Rick Solomon. Currently, this video is all the rage on the internet. Ms. Hilton is terribly embarrassed, to the point of canceling a scheduled guest shot on David Letterman's show -- no Hugh Grant, she! -- and she has implied that she may just disappear from the jet-setting party scene completely (although I tend to doubt that, since this will all eventually blow over... umm... so to speak).

Several people -- including notables like Bill O'Reilly, Ms. Hilton's kinda/sorta contemporary on another Fox channel, the Fox News Channel -- have already offered their opinions on her involvement in the video.

Here's O'Reilly's take on it: "...I don't feel sorry for this dopey woman, as I stated. I mean, 19 years old, she should know that if she's going to have sex with a guy and they're going to record it, that that tape can wind up anywhere. She didn't have -- she didn't have possession of the tape. She let this guy, Shannon Dougherty's ex-husband or something like that -- I don't even know -- have the tape. So, she's getting what she deserves for being foolish..."

By the way, I cut and pasted that quote from a partial transcript on the FOX News website, so blame them -- and not me, please -- for misspelling the name of Shannen Doherty. Maybe if even one of Ms. Doherty's many TV series (anybody remember her as far back as Little House on the Prairie?) had been on their network, they would have bothered to spell her name correctly.

I don't know Mr. O'Reilly personally, so I suppose that calling him -- oh, for instance -- "an insensitive scumbag" would be rather excessive, although I feel compelled to point out -- in light of the recent lawsuit, Fox News Network, LLC, versus Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and Alan S. Franken -- that I would have every right to do so under the fair and balanced (to coin a phrase) freedom of speech laws which this great country of ours affords parodists and other social commentators. So, rather than be "excessive," I won't call him an insensitive scumbag. (In fact... forget I even mentioned it, okay? Thanks a bunch!)

But I digress.

This whole "serves you right, you should have known better" attitude ticks me off more than a bit. This isn't about someone getting her comeuppance for a badly-contrived PR decision. It isn't one of those many instances where an actor or actress later regrets an appearance or performance (and not something necessarily involving a sex scene, or a nude scene) in a legitimate film made at the start of, or during a low point in, that performer's career. This isn't a Traci Lords scenario we're talking about, nor is it Party at Kitty and Stud's (the early 1970s porn film later re-released as The Italian Stallion to capitalize on the new-found, post-Rocky fame of its star, Sylvester Stallone, who was a struggling actor at the time Party at Kitty and Stud's was initially released).

Hell, it's not even simple enough to label this as a "youthful indiscretion" (although Paris was only 19 at the time, as Mr. O'Reilly mentioned above). That's not even the point!

Tim Matheson (as "Otter") said it best in Animal House: "You f**ked up! You trusted us!"

Rick Solomon could very easily say approximately the same thing to Paris Hilton right now. That's all she was really guilty of. Bad judgment. "Uhh... gee... it seemed like a good idea at the time."

Maybe you, dear reader, have never made a porn video. Okay, fine. Percentage-wise, I'm sure that most people haven't. Neither have I (although if I had a better physique... Nahhhhh, let's not go there!).

However, how many of you -- I should really say "us" -- have ever done or said something... anything... which you've later regretted?

Show of hands, here!

Never? Come on, now. If your hand's not in the air, even in the figurative sense, you're a bloody liar!

Chances are, this "regret" (I'm giving you -- and myself --the benefit of the doubt and keeping it singular, here!) involved at least one other participant or witness at the time you did or said it. And if not? I'm willing to bet that -- human nature being what it is -- you later confided in someone, someone whom you trusted to keep your secret, involving him or her after the fact.

Well, guess what, boys and girls? Some people talk too much, and just can't keep a secret, especially a really "juicy" one. Others become angry for an endless number of reasons, and will do all sorts of things to get back at you if you're the one who angered them. And some people, quite frankly, can simply be "bought."

Someone you are 100% sure you can trust today may rat you out in a heartbeat tomorrow. Romances, friendships, business relationships... All of these can go sour. This is why contracts were created. This is specifically why the pre-nuptial contract for marriages was created. And almost anyone ever asked to sign a pre-nup no doubt took umbrage ("Take two umbrage and call me in the morning...") at the suggestion. "But we don't need one of those! Our love is different! Our love will last forever!"

Mm-hmm. Tell that to Mickey Rooney. Or Liz Taylor. Or anybody else who's been burned many more times than once, but still hasn't learned to stay away from the freakin' stove!

"You f**ked up! You trusted us!"

Bad judgment, that's all she's really guilty of, not only for letting herself be videotaped but for falling prey to a simple human weakness: trusting someone. Like Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee, and R. Kelly (well, allegedly), and Rob Lowe, and Tonya Harding, and countless others before Ms. Hilton. And she -- like the others -- has ended up paying a price for it.

And so have you, if you've searched online to see what the fuss is about. So... did you? Come on, 'fess up. I won't tell anybody. You can trust me. No, really.

Heh, heh, heh...

Thanks for your time.

*I put "reality" in quotes, because I feel it's a misnomer. These shows generally feature contrived situations, making them anything but "reality!" Even shows which ostensibly do nothing but introduce a camera into someone's home (like MTV's Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica and the myriad variations of The Real World) have changed things, by simple virtue of that intrusion!

More of David'Z Current CommentZ: Ah, Paris, we hardly knew ye! I was so kind, giving her the benefit of the doubt for having a youthful indiscretion come back to bite her on the butt. And of course, we've all seen how Ms. Hilton has gone out of her way to hide her tarnished light under a bushel since that initial scandal broke, don't we?

Ah, well, at least she learned her lesson about those blasted sex tapes, and never made one again!

Thanks for your time (he said again).

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