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June 05, 2007

Making Sense With Paris Hilton

"In the future," reads a statement from Paris Hilton, "I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make." What exactly do you think that means? If you're making the decisions, how much more active a role can you take?

June 5, 2007 | Permalink


The only interpretation I can think of is that she's making a veiled reference to some publicist or lawyer or personal assistant who she blames for her current problems. Of course, if not that, it could be just vapid content-free psychobabble.

Posted by: Cyrus | Jun 5, 2007 11:26:37 AM

Why are you wasting this space and your time on Paris Hilton?

Posted by: geezer1 | Jun 5, 2007 11:29:04 AM

Her words are remarkably reminiscent of AG Gonzales' statement (IIRC, a prepared statement, no less), that he was "not aware of having made a decision."

Which one suffers the most from the comparison?

Posted by: retr2327 | Jun 5, 2007 11:33:44 AM

I think a lot of us, certainly myself at times, don't take an active role in the decisions we make. We just go with the flow and even refuse to acknowledge that we have choices and options.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Jun 5, 2007 11:38:32 AM

She's the Decider Gal.

Posted by: Matt | Jun 5, 2007 11:40:50 AM

Come on. I have no particular sympathy for super-celebrities, but they don't lead the kind of life we do and they do have fleets of parents, guardians, agents, PR people, etc framing their decisions (and restricting their choices) for them.


Posted by: Cranky Observer | Jun 5, 2007 11:41:36 AM

I agree with retr2327 and with dave justus. I also think that although I, myself, am not interested in paris hilton per se and wouldn't detour to watch her hit by a car the quote and her whole saga is pretty interesting in terms of the passivity and stupidity with which she lives her life. I don'[t see her as that different form other americans (or really anyone, actually, in any country) but most people don't have hordes of people paid to look out for them and to speak fo rthem and to pick up the pieces for them. Thus, very few people over the age of, say, 15 can think about themselves as wholly under the control of others or wholly dependent on others. Great wealth, or at least the way her family has handled it, has really crippled this kid and I doubt that even some time "alone" from all the world "chattering" at her will be enough to mature her.


Posted by: aimai | Jun 5, 2007 11:44:06 AM

I thought the exact same thing when I saw that line, but didn't have the courage to blog about it. I salute you, sir.

Posted by: Ryan | Jun 5, 2007 12:06:54 PM

It's a press release from Paris' superego.

Posted by: Michael B Sullivan | Jun 5, 2007 12:12:43 PM

"In the future," reads a statement from President Bush, "I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make."

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jun 5, 2007 12:25:58 PM

Surely this isn't a commitment to sobriety?!

Posted by: Chris | Jun 5, 2007 1:05:03 PM

I'm with Cranky

For an example look at Bush as Governor. Each and every execution was carried out under his signature. Yet by his own admission he never spent more than fifteen minutes reviewing the staff work.

"In the future," reads a statement from Governor Bush, "I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make." In which case the reaction would be "Well about time" and not "What the hell does that mean?"

Well depending on your opinion of Bush more input from him may or may not be said to be value added, but you wouldn't be able to dismiss the statement as "vapid content-free psychobabble"

In the context of a heavily scheduled life revolving around modeling, booze and drugs, Hilton's comment makes perfect sense. It is the exact equivalent of you or me deciding we were no longer going to ride in the back seat of Justin's car because he takes crazy risks. Our assent may have contributed to the behavior without determining it, exercising better judgement and contributing more input into the decision making would be exactly the right thing to do.

Lord knows Paris Hilton offers up numerous legitimate opportunties for slams, but all this statement needed was some contextual reading.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Jun 5, 2007 1:11:52 PM

I call bullshit on the "oh it's different for the super rich". The schools I attended were well-stocked with their children, and the vapidity and narcissism we see in Ms Hilton wasn't even remotely as present in my classmates.

Their lives are definitely different than the average person's, but to suggest that everyone who's really rich is a passive playtoy manipulated by their handlers is wildly unrealistic.

Posted by: exSFBarista | Jun 5, 2007 2:05:42 PM

C'mon folks, on one level obviously Ezra's just having some easy fun at her expense. Everything she has done, she decided to do, and no matter how much influence others may have had on those decisions, in the end each decision was 100% Paris. Her statement is quite literally nonsense.

Of course we know what she meant. But even reading it "contextually," it's ridiculous and positively reeks of denial. She can't bring herself to say that she makes stupid decisions, you see, the only problem is that "she" isn't making them. If this is how she's dealing with things, she has many years of dysfunction to entertain us with ahead of her. (And why not? She's amply rewarded for it.)

Posted by: Glenn | Jun 5, 2007 2:05:46 PM

In the context of a heavily scheduled life revolving around modeling, booze and drugs, Hilton's comment makes perfect sense. ...

Lord knows Paris Hilton offers up numerous legitimate opportunties for slams, but all this statement needed was some contextual reading.

Posted by: Bruce Webb

And, indeed, "vapid content-free psychobabble" was the secondary possibility in what I wrote. I thought the most likely explanation (well, "only explanation" is what I said) was that she was blaming someone else for her problem. I guess she deserves praise for not singling this not-a-true friend or incompetent assistant out by name.

Posted by: Cyrus | Jun 5, 2007 3:06:50 PM

Her comment makes perfect sense when viewed against her original defense, which was that she didn't intend to violate her probation, for which her explanation was that the notification that her driving privileges had been suspended had come in the mail, and that she pays someone else to read her mail and tell her what's important in it, and they hadn't given her accurate information.

That was not a convincing argument, though, because her current incarceration is the result of her being stopped by police three times in six months. Her claim was that she thought she still had limited driving privileges to go to and from work; but the third time she was stopped was at 11:00 pm, when she was allegedly speeding, with her headlights off, while driving home from buying DVDs at a Virgin Megastore. Perhaps if your job is "celebrity party animal," then buying DVDs at 11:00 pm is "job-related travel."

Nevertheless, in that context, her and her family's and her lawyers' and publicists' statements all changed very dramatically in the direction of accepting personal responsibility at about the time she changed lawyers, shortly after the original 45-day sentence (since halved) was handed down.

And that she is publicly showing contrition is, I think, a very healthy and useful thing, because, as I wrote on my own blog, while she's never been a role model for my own two teenage daughters, she's a role model for somebody's daughters, and it's good that they hear her acknowledge that she's not above the law. This might even be an issue on which left and right blogosphere can agree.

Posted by: Beldar | Jun 5, 2007 3:24:28 PM

PS: If the quoted passage's inelegance is traceable to it being her own composition, rather than something written for her and fed to her by a publicist or lawyer managing her spin, then that may be a healthy indication of sincerity. So much the better!

Posted by: Beldar | Jun 5, 2007 3:28:02 PM

This might even be an issue on which left and right blogosphere can agree.

Instantly making Paris Hilton a top-tier contender for the Unity '08 ticket.

Posted by: Glenn | Jun 5, 2007 3:43:13 PM

I'd say the interesting reading of it is that she's acknowledging that her life so far - including a lot of drinking - has been without purposeful decision making. It is literally nonsense, but the

Posted by: weboy | Jun 5, 2007 5:06:58 PM

her jail sentence should include the required reading of a few great books in her amply spare time in the jail cell...
starting with "siddhartha" by hermann hesse.

Posted by: jacqueline | Jun 5, 2007 5:28:45 PM

jacqueline... are we even sure she can read? Never mind big words... ;)

Posted by: weboy | Jun 5, 2007 6:07:06 PM

It means she's an idiot.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 5, 2007 8:28:04 PM

It means she's well up on modern neuroscience and knows that PET scans reveal that the areas of the brain associated with conscious thought only light up after an action has started. In other words, we don't decide to do something and then do it. We start doing it and then justify it to ourselves afterwards.


Hilton intends, through who knows what daring deed of Promethean cognitive modification, to overcome this, to assert her conscious mind's control over her actions, and transform herself into the world's first truly conscious human being. We can only speculate what may be the result.

But we can at least assume that, if she seems to be taking a shitload of drugs and behaving oddly, that's why.

Posted by: ajay | Jun 6, 2007 11:24:09 AM

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Posted by: Watch New Paris Hilton Sex Tape | Nov 23, 2007 3:28:03 PM

OK I think all that's written is right! Thanks to the author of the article.

Posted by: Paris Hilton | Nov 30, 2007 12:22:49 PM

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