I don’t usually delight in the downfall of others. Live and let live is generally my maxim. But I have to say that the news that Paris Hilton will spend 45 days in jail for a driving offence has filled me with a certain quiet satisfaction. It’s more than cancelled out by my general irritation at being yet again reminded that whatever she does makes news around the world. But if we’re going to have to read Paris headlines regardless, then they may as well be ones about her doing time.
Classical Greek tragedy is centred around the concepts of hubris and nemesis. An act of arrogance, usually defiance of the gods, is met by a comeuppance. And that’s pretty much what’s happened here. Last September, Paris drank and drove, and had her licence suspended and was sentenced to three years on probation as well as being required to attend an alcohol education programme. There is a Greek connection via the shipping magnate boyfriend. Only, because it’s Paris, it’s more comedic than tragic.
In January, she was busted for driving with a suspended license, and here’s the bit I really like – the police made her sign a statement acknowledging she knew she wasn’t supposed to drive. So then, in February, not only was she caught driving yet again, but she had her headlights off. So I think we can safely conclude that Ms Hilton is someone that really, really shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car.
So, she’s off to the slammer. And strange jail too, by the sounds of it. One where everything is made from poultry. I’m generally not in favour of jail in most cases, I think it’s a draconian punishment that only turns criminals worse. But in Paris’ case, it seems wonderfully appropriate to deprive her of her liberty, because after all, that’s what the problem is. She’s spent her entire life with no limits, doing whatever she wants in a world where people saying “yes” ti her. She has been fawned over wherever she goes, and for no good reason. (Which is why community service isn’t an option. Surely she has nothing to offer?) So being cut down to size (or undersize, in her case) and sent to a somewhat lower standard of accommodation than her family is famous for seems wonderfully appropriate. Perhaps they could reach some kind of branding-deal compromise and send her to the Bangkok Hilton?
I also feel that they should make an exception and film her time behind bars for a very special edition of The Simple Life. It’ll protect her from some of the special attention she might experience, but most importantly, it’ll provide wonderful entertainment. Seeing Paris on a farm was moderately amusing, but seeing her in a jumpsuit, without makeup, making numberplates would be an absolute entertainment spectacular.
Or perhaps we shouldn’t pay her any attention at all? That’s where this whole problem arose in the first place, actually. If we really want Paris not to reoffend – and really, the chances are even slimmer than her pal Nicole – the best thing we can do is just treat her like the highly ordinary human being she actually is. We’re all to blame for Paris’ indifference to the rules we all have to obey, because we all encourage her with attention whenever she disobeys them.
And yet, as much as I want to help by never writing about her again, I know that she’s ultimately just too amusing a target. As depressing as it sounds, people like me will probably still be writing about her when we’re both octogenarians. Just please, let’s find a way of stopping her from driving. Paris being a dim bulb may in general be entertaining, but driving without headlights could actually hurt someone. And it’s not like her family can’t afford a chauffeur.
So all we’re left to do is just hope she loses her appeal on the sentence (which seems to be inevitable) so that some manner of justice can be served. But more importantly, we need her to somehow lose her appeal to the media. Maybe we should make a pact only to pay attention to Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan instead? They at least have a modicum of talent to go with their zany self-indulgent antics.