Thursday, December 11, 2003

New York Post Online Edition: entertainment 

New York Post Online Edition: entertainment:


Paris and Nicole strutted their English language skills at the Billboard Music Awards.
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December 12, 2003 -- OOPS! 'The Simple Life' star Nicole Richie managed to pepper Wednesday's live telecast of the 'Billboard Music Awards' with profanity that Fox's censors weren't fast enough to bleep out.
'They call it the simple life? Have you ever tried to get cow-s*** out of a Prada purse?' Richie wondered, in a scripted presentation while sharing the stage with her co-star, hot-blooded hotel heiress Paris Hilton.
'It's not so f****** simple,' she said, while the audience gasped.
Several of her earlier foul-mouthed phrases were bleeped out.
According to Fox, Richie's cuss words came out so fast that the digital delay used by network censors to bleep out profanity just couldn't keep up with her.
'We experienced a failure in the system designed to prevent such an occurrence and are working to ensure that it does not happen again,' Fox officials said in a statement. "

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Admit It: You, Too, Are Paris Hilton 

Fortune.com - Value Driven - Admit It: You, Too, Are Paris Hilton
Admit It: You, Too, Are Paris Hilton
The average American has far more in common with spoiled TV heirs than you might think.
By Geoffrey Colvin

Florida, Nov. 29 (AP)—A mob of shoppers rushing for a sale on DVD players trampled the first woman in line and knocked her unconscious on Friday as they scrambled for the shelves at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The woman, Patricia VanLester, had her eye on a $29 DVD player, but when the siren blared at 6 a.m. announcing the start of the post-Thanksgiving sale, VanLester, 41, was knocked to the ground by the frenzy of shoppers behind her....

[The woman's sister] said that some shoppers tried to help VanLester and that one employee helped her reach her sister. But most people just continued their rush for the deals, she said.

"All they cared about was a stupid DVD player," she said.

Maybe you remember Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich's famous prediction in the late 1960s that by now America would be so near starvation that we'd have food riots. The reality is exactly the opposite. We have shopping riots. Instead of panicking as the ultimate necessity of life grows so expensive that no one can afford it, Americans flip out because a product absolutely no one needs is available at a price so low that even a year ago no one would have believed it possible. Food, if anyone still cares, takes a lower proportion of our income than ever before.

By odd coincidence, just as the season of peak acquisitive madness grips the nation, we're being treated to a glut of TV programs about some of America's most revoltingly excessive consumers, our hyperwealthy kids. Rich Girls (MTV) follows a couple of heiresses who embark on buying orgies with the immortal cry "Let's do some damage." In Born Rich (HBO), we meet 21-year-olds who know they need never work a day in their life, and we learn of the wrenching conflicts they face, such as what one girl might have done with the $800 that she dropped in a bar the other night ("I could have bought a dress!"). The Simple Life (Fox) places Paris Hilton (hotel money) and Nicole Richie (daughter of former pop star Lionel Richie) in a tiny Arkansas town so that we can marvel at their cluelessness about real life; Richie, for example, had never pumped gas "because my guard usually does that."

What's your reaction? Laughing? Loathing? Fine—but be careful. Because the truth is, if average Americans of even 30 to 40 years ago could see us today, they'd think we were all spoiled just as rotten as any young Trump, Newhouse, or Bloomberg.

You know it's true. How many televisions do you have? Do you even know? How many channels do you get? Do your kids refuse to watch black-and-white programs? No one had a VCR in 1970. Now 240 million of us do, but VCRs are history now that Wal-Mart is selling DVD players for $29.

If anyone had told you in 1980 that today you'd use a cellphone the size of a cigarette pack to call someone else's cellphone in Sao Paulo—and would complain about the connection—would you have believed him?

How big is your house? The average new house is 34% bigger than it was in 1970. Yet despite that supersizing, more people own their homes today than ever in our history.

No, I'm not overlooking the poor, especially at this time of year. They are indeed always with us, but not the way they used to be. Some 21% of U.S. families were poor in 1960, while in 2001, the latest year for which figures are available, just 10% were. And those official statistics exclude the value of noncash government benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, which didn't exist in 1960. That's why some economists estimate that today's real poverty rate is much less than officially reported, maybe only half.

Malnutrition was still a major concern in the 1960s. Today's crisis is very different—obesity. That's a problem of national excess on an unprecedented scale.

The consumer culture has achieved total victory. We spend more and save less than ever before. We are richer, fatter, and more obsessed by consumption than any people have ever been.

So let's enjoy gawking at the rich kids on television. It really is fun. But let's also confront the new reality: With precious few exceptions (and home videos aside), we are all Paris Hilton.

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Christmas email with view of Paris Hilton 

New Zealand News - NZ - Christmas email with view of Paris Hilton
Christmas email with view of Paris Hilton


A friendly email newsletter sent to Nelson Rotarians left its editor red-faced when she found it contained a bit more than Christmas cheer.

The newsletter was emailed to about 50 members, reminding them about the upcoming carol service at Nelson's Christ Church Cathedral.

Problems started when the editor decided to add a touch of colour with a picture from the internet of a trio of carol singers.

She did not know the graphic contained a little more colour than she intended: a pornographic video was hidden in the attachment and automatically sent with the email.

Rotarians who clicked on the attachment were treated to a rather explicit three-minute movie.

Rumour has it that the clip starred New York socialite and heir to the Hilton hotel fortune, Paris Hilton.

The editor said she was "absolutely mortified for a couple of hours", but relieved people saw the funny side.

"People have been very very sweet about it," she said.

"They have been ringing me up saying they didn't get the email - and could I send it again."


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Paris Hilton, in an Age Beyond Embarrassment 

Paris Hilton, in an Age Beyond Embarrassment (washingtonpost.com)

Paris Hilton, in an Age Beyond Embarrassment

By Tina Brown
Thursday, December 11, 2003; Page C01

The success of society babe Paris Hilton's reality TV show "The Simple Life," hard on the heels of the bootleg porn tape showing her steamily in flagrante delicto with her dirtbag then-boyfriend Rick Solomon, proves once again there is no such thing as bad press. We live in the post-embarrassment age. New promotional and marketing offers are pouring in for Paris, and a sequel (to the Fox series, not the sex tape) is in the works. Today, if some private sex act of yours winds up on the Internet, the only appropriate response is: How did I look?

As image rehab, her publicist Dan Klores shrewdly got Paris onto "Saturday Night Live" last weekend. The guest host was presidential candidate Al Sharpton, who, in the inevitable Michael Jackson skit, at one point played the celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran riding a Neverland roller coaster. Surreal? No more so than Gen. Tommy Franks choosing the influential news organ Cigar Aficionado this month to ruminate on America one day winding up under martial law. Everyone has to play his part in the Andy Warhol apocalypse.

Ms. Hilton's skit was a double-entendre exchange with Jimmy Fallon on the "Weekend Update" mock news sequence:

"Is it hard to get into the Paris Hilton?"

"Actually it's a very exclusive hotel, no matter what you've heard."

"Is it roomy?"

"It might be for you."

Ooooh! In her "SNL" dressing room the 22-year-old, dressed in a seven-inch-long bright pink miniskirt, teetered around like a gorgeous extraterrestrial stork. Her skin has the perfectly smooth, honey-colored finish of Scandinavian furniture. She signed an autograph for my 13-year-old daughter on notepaper she produced from her very own baby pink "Hello Kitty" wallet and adorned the envelope with stickers. "You never grow out of 'Hello Kitty,' do you?" she asked me with an adorable, needy smile.

The post-embarrassment age probably became official with Bill Clinton and the Starr report, but the British royal family were the pioneers. The pirated telephone tape of Prince Charles in 1989 telling his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, that in the next life he would like to come back as her Tampax was a high-water mark in unlivedownable revelations. Nothing in Princess Diana's "Squiggy" tapes of her love banter with Maj. James Hewitt equaled this indelible image provided by the Heir to the Throne; his mournful jug-eared profile behind the smoked glass of the official car never regained its aloof authority.

Before Monica's blue dress, even something as marginal as a wayward presidential brother could mortify the White House. Billy Carter drank beer and burped. Result: a nation horrified. Roger Clinton snorted and smoked. Result: a nation shocked. Neil Bush romped around with call girls on business trips to Thailand. Result: a nation indifferent.

It was the late Clinton years and the explosion of the Internet that inured us to the daily parlance of traduced intimacy. By the time Monica Lewinsky did her sit-down with Barbara Walters, the only thing we cared about was the color of her lip gloss. (Glaze from the Club Monaco chain, appropriately enough. Every woman I know bought it.)

Four years later, revelation alone is not enough. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's marital workout raised the bar. There has to be a new angle to satisfy the media maw. In the case of poor Paris Hilton's nude frolics, the angle is class: the defiling of a posh girl (or, "Riding Miss Daisy"), which adds a piquant element of political porn to the grainy videotape. After the Bush administration's gigantic tax bonanza for the super-affluent, perhaps the hoi polloi just want a little payback.

What people don't get about the Hiltons, though, is that while they live in the Waldorf and work the New York social scene, they are more like a moneyed version of a trailer-dwelling circus family than drop-dead socialites. Paris's mother, Kathy Hilton, a former child actress who had a tchotchke shop on the Sunset Strip and sold gewgaws on QVC, colludes with and protects her wild-child girls like an indulgent but shrewd stage mom. There is a lot of love and loyalty, as well as self-promotion and silliness, in the sprawling Hilton clan. This makes them nicer.

Unlike the stuck-up snobs who appear in the MTV series "Rich Girls," Paris comes across as a gentle exhibitionist who is eager to please. This means waking up in full cover-shot makeup and going out with a half-naked behind in freezing weather. Her need for attention is a bit like a souped-up version of Monica Lewinsky, who, lacking skinniness and golden hair extensions, rambles on in this month's GQ about what it's like to live in the lonely aftermath of exposure and innuendo. "Only when you get older can you turn around and think, oh my God, what was I thinking?" she says. "When you come out of college you think you are invincible. Let this be a lesson."

Since the porn tape, Paris too may have a hard time meeting a nice boy when her 15 minutes is up. But she won't have Monica's other difficulty, cash. The new transparency, it seems, applies to sex but not money. There were a lot of red faces in the Hollywood community this week when the Los Angeles Times revealed that charity fundraisers are securing celebrity appearances from stars like Cher, Bill Cosby and Sylvester Stallone with big fat fees and costly merchandise. In the post-embarrassment age, stars are shocked only when you ask them to pay.

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