Its no doubt all over the news, and you can be sure that all of the numbers there will be changed by their celebrity owners in two or three days, but my first response to the folks who cracked Paris Hilton's Cell Phone address book and then broadcast it online was to chuckle with a great resonance, but still, at the same time it knocks a lot of different stuff into perspective for me that I thought I'd share with y'all.
It might not be all that important and I'm sure many of you are thinking "Who gives a shit,anyway...?" but what this is, in a very simple way of expressing it, is, quite simply, the closest thing to VOYEUR-CRACK I've ever witnessed in my entire life.
And if what little we have seen of the 21st Century is any indication, between "Reality TV" and scandal-passing-as-news, this century so far is ALL ABOUT THE VOYEURISM.
The *weird* assumptions & correlations that that one can wander into from merely scanning the names and numbers and the differences between the ones she had numbers for or just emails for say something about who she is and who her address-book-friends were and a lot about where our culture is right now. Its not hard to have one's trashy pop-culture loving mind blown... Christina Aguilera and Fred Durst. A teasingly vague "Ashlee" or an indication which one of the Olsen twins Paris likes better... Frankie Muniz's and Lindsay Lohan's email addresses... Eminem's cell number (don't these two hate each other's guts?) Jesus Christ, either Paris is the Nexus of All Celebrity Realities or all these people just happen to know
each other. Then again, and this is something that's come out since the bomb dropped as well, Paris doesn't strike me as being the sort of person who understands that there are consequences to ANYTHING (or at least her "SIMPLE LIFE" personna doesn't - but I don't think she's "putting much on" on that show), and now there are other "hot" people who she thought she could be friends with because they were all famous who's privacy has been broadcast at a volume of ELEVEN across the planet, and she might not understand why somneone might not want a fan to have their email addy. Paris is like that, I think - maybe her Olson twin friend, too...
Then, something occurs to me something I read The Voice Of God - 2005 Edition(that's William Shatner to those of you who missed my rave reviews of his "HAS BEEN" CD) mentioned in one of his own interviews quite recently. Shatner intimates that mutually recognised celebrity is both the linking point and the security blanket for people who are famous. The possibility of someone who they've never seen ANYWHERE before (not on TV, not in movies, just someone they bump into in a shopping mall or a grocery store) saying "Hello" and seeming perhaps too friendly to be *likely* and in fact being some strange kind of surrogate Eve Harrington
is something that presses on many a celebrity mind. Here's how TVoG-2005Edtn
put it:"Q: Do you find the general public’s voyeuristic tendencies…to have a chilling effect on your enjoyment of your career accomplishments…and does it make you more “guarded” with new acquaintances?
Bill answered: It’s true that constantly in the back of my mind I wonder who is going to rat me out to the tabloids, who may have a long lens or a hidden microphone, and what does the next person really want? If left at that, it would have a chilling effect on me. On the other hand, if you leave yourself vulnerable to hurt and deception, you eventually find nuggets of gold in relationships (which is, by the way, one of the reasons celebrities flock together. Nobody has anything to gain.)"
I read that and I remembered the few times I'd met someone of moderate celebrity - how they usually played it a little cagey when you spotted them and thanked you for not making a big deal - how they were friendly but distant, unless you said something that broke that wall either in a friendly or a funny way - soemthing that let them know you had nothing to hurt them with. At that point, almost to a one, and most notably not - when I made an ass of myself in front of "someone" once - they ask you your name and shake your hand and lean in and its like "wow - I'm in... if only for 15 seconds". I look at that, and I think of what Shatner said again, and I think of those strange telephoto paparrazzi shots we see of people like Brittney Spears (not in Paris' Friends List, unless she's under a pseudonym - but do ya think? Somehow, I don't think so. I don't know why I don't think so, but I have a feeling Britney's so fake that even the fake avoid her for her tupperware-like plasticity...) or Christina Aguilera picking their noses casually as they window-shop or slurp a smoothie with a body-guard. I think of that again and then I look at Paris Hilton's cellphone address book. You see a lot there, and its a fascinating look into the world of someone who has no understanding of consequence (or, for that matter, no understanding
, of consequence...) but do you see anything?
I see Vin Diesel's cell number and I realise that, apart from his having admitted that he still plays Dungeons & Dragons when he can with his old buddies from school, I know nothing about this guy besides the stuff that all these people, if they DO all know each other, would want us all to know - except a cell number that will be different by Friday night. I see Victoria Gotti's name. I see Rhona Mitra, one of Bill Shatner's co-stars and scene partners this year on BOSTON LEGAL and it all comes around full circle again.
You know a little but you don't know much... not really - or in the case of Paris or an Olson twin, maybe you do...
Fame is weird.
(re-edited to tidy up my thoughts a little)