Over the past few days, the world has been transfixed on the plight of Paris Hilton, 26 year old heiress to the Hilton Hotels fortune. In a week’s time, she’s been in jail, out of jail, and then got dragged kicking and screaming back to jail. If you don’t pay attention to such matters, go to Google News and type in Paris Hilton and you will see what I mean.
Yes, I found myself outraged when Paris was released after serving three days of a 45 day sentence (that was shortened already to 23 days). The woman has the best lawyers money can buy, the best of everything, she is used to getting her own way and used to escaping the consequences of her actions. Those sort of people put me on edge. I deal with the consequences of my actions every day and if I had to depend on my money and status to get me out of trouble, I’d be hosed.
When I read how outraged the judge was over her early flight from jail, I knew she’d have to go back. His sentence was a clear message to Paris Hilton and other socialites like her: You had your freebie (getting caught driving on a suspended license) and then you did it again so now you must face the consequences of your actions so hopefully you won’t do this again and taken someone else down with you. When Paris was released to serve the rest of her sentence in the luxury of her mansion, I knew the backlash was coming. You can’t leave your house, but the world can and will come to you… like that was going to go over well.
I don’t want to get into the legal jargon or a discussion of who’s right or who’s wrong as far as Paris’ release and subsequent return to jail is concerned, but obviously, it’s touched a nerve. All week long, the media has been full of coverage of this crazy, mixed up Hollywood circus.
I must say, though, that I felt some pity for Ms. Hilton as she cried hysterically in the back of the police car that was hauling her back to jail. I can’t imagine what it’s like having to go to jail, much less do it in such a public and humiliating way. I do hope she learns her lesson and she emerges from this time in her life a changed woman who has found a new purpose for her life. But I digress…
All week, I tried hard not to pay attention to all the hoopla, but I found myself keeping up with it a little anyway. I’m sure Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were thrilled to have a good portion of the spotlight taken off them for a while, even if it will probably be brief. There are countless other celebrities who will take Paris’ place in the spotlight at any moment now.
I wonder if people realize there were other events unfolding the world this week besides a socialite being sent to jail to serve time for breaking the law. Did anyone notice there was more violence in Iraq…or that many children in Africa were orphaned today because of AIDS (and are every day)? Did anyone notice our world leaders met at the G8 Summit, or that our president met with the Pope, the Shuttle Atlantis is in orbit again, and many parts of our country are dealing with a severe drought? Is anybody concerned that 5.7 million pounds of beef was recalled because of E Coli? In other news… the immigration bill was defeated and by the end of the month the bald eagle will no longer be an endangered species.
I could go on, but I won’t. A lot happened in the world that was by far and away more important than Paris Hilton’s incarceration, release, and incarceration. The media frenzy surrounding Ms. Hilton reminded me this week that I need to focus on the things that are really important and actually have a bearing on my life. Sure, making sure celebrites and regular Joes are treated the same by the judicial system has its place, but there are only so many hours in the day and so much else is going on.
Besides, I’ll be in California this time next week. Maybe we’ll take a road trip to Hollywood… not.