I’ve never paid much attention to Paris Hilton, but I feel she serves two useful purposes:
- Her blase reaction to the unearthing of the sex video was typical of a generation used to overexposure on the web. Yes, her family threatened to sue, but she bounced right back in the public eye without permanent harm (maybe it had to do with the fact her reputation pre-sextape wasn’t that impressive to begin with). It shows that yes, there are second acts in American pop culture. That is a good thing.
- Paris Hilton becomes a symbol for rich people who don’t deserve their money. Her name can be invoked in political debate with great skill by liberals. Before, Republicans used better rhetoric, calling for “tax cuts for the working man.” Never mind that the main beneficiaries of a tax relief measure would be people of incomes over $100,000 or $200,000, if you suggested some way to balance the load, you were accused of “class warfare.” Now we can simply label Tax Cut X the “Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act” and arouse the ire of working class voters.
Perhaps I am an odd duck, but on the few occasions when I took a TV glance at it, I found that Paris Hilton reality show (The Simple Life) to be cute and fun. Some of it was a put on, but it was mostly silly entertainment — certainly much better than the Bill Oreilly show for instance.