Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In Defense Of Paris Hilton

The vast majority of the vociferous minority demanded that Paris Hilton serve her full jail time "like the rest of us would" for driving on a suspended licence and a public-pandering judge obliged them in this Paris Hilton saga.

The "vociferous minority" I'm talking about are the self-righteous indignants on the left and the right. They're the type who demanded Don Imus's head despite his apologies over his "nappy headed ho's" comment, or made those furious calls to the FCC about Janet Jackson baring her breast at the '04 Superbowl. They demand their pound of flesh and condemn any leniency in jail time or special treatment for Paris because she's a celebrity.

Here's why I disagree with them:
  • Celebrities may give more to the community, so factoring this in during sentencing for minor offenses can be justified. Even Paris with her lavish and vacuous lifestyle provides us with news and entertainment. (Not to mention her widely circulated '03 sex tape that's the first thing I associate with her. I haven't seen it but it couldn't be bad.)
  • Being a celebrity comes with it's own problems, like lack of privacy, chases by the paparazzi, getting accosted by obnoxious fans or publicity seekers, etc. So why grudge them a little consideration (again for minor offenses) that makes up for this downside?
  • Jail time IS much harder for celebrities. So a jail stay is a far stiffer punishment for Paris who is used to an ultra luxuriant and protected lifestyle, than for a run of the mill offender where the "inside" is not much worse than the outside.
  • Want to make sentencing uniform for all in minor cases? Then how about something like a 45 day jail term or $2 million in fines. Then ordinary offenders go to prison while rich celebrities pay a hefty sum into the city coffers that benefits the community.
  • Paris' licence should arguably not have been suspended in the first place. Her blood alcohol level in that earlier incident was at 0.08 which is exactly at the new threshold, down from the 0.10 of a few years ago. I think most people would have contested this borderline result but she didn't because the trial have been too much bother. So in a way this is a case of reverse discrimination.

By the way, Rubina and her friends were wondering why people like Mel Gibson or Paris get caught driving drunk when they can easily afford to be chauffered around.

The recent music video about Paris in jail is quite funny. Shouldn't she get time off for providing all this entertainment? If she doesn't, she'll likely get off on June 26th after serving 23 days.


Rubina said...

I couldn't tell if you were joking or not here, but in case you weren't, here's why people want her to serve the maximum sentence. Paris Hilton was born extremely rich, white and attractive. She isn't a talented actress or singer, so her reasons for being famous are entirely based on what she was born with.

Meanwhile, most people who are in prison are there for drug crimes. The vast majority of them were born poor, to parents who were unsuccessful and lacked a good education. They couldn't afford lawyers a fraction as good as Paris Hilton's. And they started out at a much lower place than she did.

So people want her to serve her sentence because she was born lucky and most people in prison weren't. And to have her end up in the same place gives them a sense of satisfaction that even if someone is that lucky, there is enough justice in this country to ensure they are treated the same as those who aren't.

Sandip Madan said...

Yes, I know what goes on through these people's minds. It's envy of someone luckier (and in this case more glamorous and better looking) than they are. So it gives them satisfaction to see her brought down to their level.

Let's recognize this base emotion for what it is, and not give it the exalted label of justice. As I said, an ordinary person with time on her/his hands would have fought the initial DUI charge of borderline 0.08 alcohol and got away with it. Also, the sheriff said that with current prison congestion and his resultant practice of early release, offenders serving misdemeanor charges typically spend just a tenth of their sentence in prison.

Anonymous said...

"To whom much is given, much is expected," states the Bible. That said, you can take any principle too far. The founder of Nokia, a resident of Finland and a billionaire, got a traffic ticket and was fined $21 million in proportion to his wealth. You see, in socialist Finland you pay percent of your networth, which for most people is $100 for traffic infractions. But for him this was the price of putting the pedal to the metal.

But Paris hasn't been helpful in making friends. She is a faux actress, got a Vincent Van Gogh's ear for music, and doesn't really fit into any realm of entertainment except notariety. So while I feel sorry for her and thinks the judge has gone overboard, people would be more sympathetic if she displayed more talent and was a genuine star. So send Paris back to 1789 French Revolution Paris and off with her head. But just in case you think I'm self-rightous send me the pictures of her pound of flesh between her belly button and voluptous neckline.
Jadra,(the third divisioner.)

Sandip Madan said...

Jadra, I think the cold out there has frozen Finnish brains and they've gone too far with linking speeding fines to incomes. Thanks for that interesting tidbit - I also checked it out:

About Paris Hilton you're right that her contributions to entertainment are not a result of her acting or music skills. :-)

About the third division reference of 1970s vintage, it doesn't make any difference. And you may be saying it to throw me and other NP-ers seeing this off from guessing who you are. :-)

Anonymous said...

With Don Imus case I agree with you. There is a place shock jocks to say their piece and there is a certain "humor licence". Shakespeare's comedians and jesters could play pranks on the royalty, which would have got anyone else in trouble. Imus plays to an adult audience, and his dismissal will result in dozens taking his place.

Janet Jackson's only offense was doing it on prime time. But Americans are too prudish compared to our European neighbors. I remember a French poster in the subway station with a bare breasted beauty that said, "Next month I will take off my pants." And she did! Even though, sadly, it only showed her backside.

But Paris Hilton has none of these talents. So lock her up and throw away the keys. And take Cheney with you.

I am a third divisioner because I flunked foreign languages. The only French I wanted to learn was the French kiss and french fries. And, the only Indian book I wanted to read was the Kama Sutra.

The question is "If the Kama Sutra originated in India, why are making such a big deal about Richard Gere?" That was only one position you demonstrated, Gere and Shetty. Show us the other 68!!!

Sandip Madan said...

So Jadra, we agree on Imus, JJ, Gere-Shilpa and Kama Sutra, and even Cheney - that's pretty good.

You're a hard man when it comes to Paris. Doesn't her "flesh between her belly button and voluptuous neckline" make you want to cut her a little slack? :-)

That rule about a 3rd Div for flunking any subject no matter how you did on others was brutal.

I too would have liked the French subjects you allude to, but sadly led an incredibly protected (and deprived) life till way, way after school. :-)

kenrod said...

If Imus was an EOT--- Equal Opportunity Trasher would he have survived? I've never heard his program but it is reported that he only picked on the Blacks and Mexicans. I'm all for a humor licence if it truly one, and not just used as a political cover.

What made me laugh was when his corporate sponsors pulled out. They all wanted to ride the gravy train when he was popular. They knew what he was saying all along. When he became tainted they pretended to shun his presence. If these guys were doctors they would be taking the "Hypocrisy Oath".

Sandip Madan said...

Kenrod, Imus was in fact widely labeled an EEO by the media during the controversy. That is "Equal Opportunity Offender" which is the same as your EOT, I believe. Bill Maher called all the protests drummed up against him by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson "fake outrage" by a bunch of self serving hypocrites.

Btw, Obama jumped enthusiastically on that protest bandwagon, saying he would never again appear on any Imus show. And Hillary? As far as I know, she didn't comment even though one time Clintons' friend Imus had subsequently trashed them.

Anonymous said...

Yes Sandip, Imus may be an EOO, but I haven't heard any good "snowflake" jokes.

You probably know who I am since you write to me occasionally. However, I keep my anonymity because I see, even within my own family, food fights between left and right. When we discuss politics or religion, there is no end to differences.

And my dad always taught me the golden rules.
1. Never fill your tank with cheap gas.
2. Never get into a food fight with a Sardar:))

The funny thing about beliefs are that they are, well, beliefs. It's not concrete like hydrogen plus oxygen equals water. QED. People fight over these matters like they were foolproof. However, next time I see you I'll have a dozen samosas ready just in case:))

Sandip Madan said...

Sardars are overated as food fighters. I like cheap gas. And I look forward to our partaking of samosas together. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sandip, Paris has finally been released amidst all the hoopla and papparazzi. Yes, I admit that even though I voted to send her to jail, I watched the video. In my next life I'm going to reincarnate into her bra. You think she's naughty now? Wait 'til I get to support those 36D mammary glands.

I'm not sure if I'd like to reincarnate into her panties. Depends if she shaves. Becoming Britney Spears panties would be good. She has less hair than Guiliani. Remember when the Beatles wrote, "I wanna hold your hand." It was so scandalous then. Look at how we talk these days. Who said they were the good old days?

Sandip Madan said...

Raunchy stuff there, Jadra. I think your imagination is inflating her assets. :-)

Anonymous said...

So Scooter Libby goes free for perjury while Paris Hilton goes to jail for drinking fermented grain. What a country! Nixon drove a Ford. Does Bush ride a scooter? What do u think Sandip? Did he purjure himself or was it a moot point since he wasn't the one who leaked Plame's identity?

Sandip Madan said...

Thanks, Jadra. I thought your questions merited a separate blog post so I wrote one today. :-) Any comments on that?

shooting star said...

i dont hink much of paris.....so whether or not she stays in jail or outside is of no consequence to me...but......law should take its course.....

Sandip Madan said...

Shooting star, I too don't think much of Paris. The problem with te law is that it's variable, and celebs often get an unfair shake. Just like actor Sanjay Dutt has got 6 years for acquiring an AK47 - hope the Indian Supreme Court intervenes in his favor.

Btw, good blogs you have going there - just looked them up... :-)