Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Go to your room!

Yesterday morning's paper freak-paraded this on the front page,

and this on the inside.

You'd expect to be thrilled and draw yourself a picture of Paris Hilton somehow scratching together a living and failing miserably at it.

I wasn't. And it's not because I'm a fan.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. - Lord Acton

Power today lies in being rich and famous yet so insipidly brain dead, that being able to feed yourself qualifies as an achievement. - Anonymous

In light of the above tested truths, you really can't blame ol' Paris for just being what she is - an immensely rich, corrupted, quaraplegically-hapless ditz who theoretically is now near broke.

Or so you think.

For the past three years, Paris has made $2 million, $6.5 million, and $7 million respectively. Nay, she is not some shrewd businesswoman nor is she some gifted artist (her only creative achievements till date are directorial credit on the porn video One Night in Paris, and showing up to sing a song that hit #1 in Belgium, Solvakia and Hungary - Stars are Blind). She has made all that dough by among other things, co-writing a best-selling autobiography advising fellow heiresses how to spend all their hard-inherited cash (they have to be BORN, darn-it!!), lending her name to a nightclub (somehow managing to get her name fired this January) and televising how she was wretchedly pathetic at every job she ever took on a show that ran for 5 seasons, and got so popular it now has remakes in countries like Uruguay and Turkey.

Last year Paris told all of Britain in GQ that their Prime Minister was " Oh yeah... he's like your president". If she consistently comes up with such landmark declarations of the human head's ability to house air, and gets paid five-figure salaries to do it, is it any surprise that everyone from Lindsay Lohan to The Amazing X-Men (they referred to her as a "useless tart dancing topless at a party") love to loathe her?

Like such stalwarts before her as Edie Sedgwick (who served the interests of society by snorting coke and muse-ing for Andy Warhol) or Zsa Zsa Gabor (continuingly engaged in studies to determine the limits of the human ability for marriage and divorce - her current research suggests 9 times), Paris embodies that mysterious Pop Culture entity : someone famous just because they're famous. Devoid of any real talent, intelligence or beauty (put her next to Cindy Crawford and Paris looks like a shrimp), they don't do anything, they're just THERE! Almost leech like, they live off the human storehouse of inferiority, inadequacy and greed. And we keep feeding them.

Owing to what grand-daddy's decided to do, Paris, could unwittingly do a lot of good right now. She could serve as the mirror showing us where we stand. That is if we're willing to use her.

It'd be real easy to celebrate the girl's disinheritance , say it serves her right and give it more attention than its due. But in doing so, we're unintentionally just doing more of whatever made her a 'star' in the first place. In June of this year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca allowed Paris to go home with an electronic monitoring device owing to an unspecified medical condition. This was before she had served out the 45 day sentence for a parole violation. While doing so he sagaciously declared "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice".

My favorite words in that sentence being MORE THAN THE AVERAGE.
Paris, and whatever Grand-daddy Hilton has done should be seen rationally after wiping away the $400 a bottle mascara - this is just an AVERAGE spoilt kid who's been stripped of her allowance.

Monday, July 30, 2007

No Expectations

Reluctant Captain's log. Stardate zilch.

If life gives you lemons, but you want a Boeing, you break all the lemons down into useless pulp, and begin the search for salvageable erstwhile-Soviet scrap metal.

Today, all my collective yesterdays are the yellow citrus fruit in question. To rebuild, you have to break down a lot of stuff - all the old habits you secretly hated, memories (the one that didn't really matter, at least), the voids where you would have kept your old hopes and dreams. In short, you have to burn every bridge.

This comes from Jaipur. The town where I went to high school, and lived for the longest time in the same house. But it was never able to teach me much, nor did it ever feel like a home. The face of the place has changed - the roads are wider and un-cowed, none of the familiar dust gets in your eyes that much, there's all these swanky glass and steel buildings cropping up, and some of the old joints are doing what old joints do i.e first becoming arthritic, then unviable, then being replaced by something new, slick and prosthetic.

This is true at its most gruesomely obvious with the cinema halls. There used to be such a bouquet. LaxmiMandir, all decked up in yellow, with arguably the worst parking lot ever conceived by man. The tastefully named MotiMahal, which somehow managed to have absolutely nothing to do with pearls. Polo Victory, the first thing you very Gateway-of-India-ishly saw as your bus dropped anchor in Jaipur. And Minerva, with it's morning shows doing so much to booost English usage amongst the general public by promoting films like 'Night Eyes' and 'Bolero'.

They were all herded up and butchered by multiplexes.

I headed to the bank this afternoon, and after doing the needful doing, strolled down to another one that had been out of business for two years. This one was called Gem - it's canteen was supposedly one of the last bastions of Campa Cola and Gold Spot. For me, Gem occupies a rather large house on memory lane. For the day my cousins and I went there in the summer of 1995 to watch 'Trimurti', was a day of many firsts. It was the first time we were watching a-first-day-first-show. It was the first time I'd been allowed to cut school to watch a movie.

And it was the first time I'd ever be whipped by cops in a mob.

Yes, apparently so badly did the assembled collection of gents want to get in, they started to tear down the door. And sadly only half of them had tickets. 1500 people, 9 cops. They did all they could, namely shut their eyes and thrashed anything that moved. My right thigh moved.

Gem now doubles up as a parking lot for people who come to the bank, and as a very large urinal for man and dog alike. Despite this having been such a theatre of pain, seeing it completely go to shit doesn't please me. Revenge is not sweet. Vindictiveness reeks of fermentation.

As for the ol' right thing, it still does hurt sometimes, but I'm not hostile to the ache either. It's one of the few things about the old place I remember with a certain degree of fondness.

I wore pants when I rubbed it then. I wear jeans now.