Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Pop Culture

Paris Hilton is back! Once again, my life has meaning.

But first, here's a funny tidbit: Paris' mom, Kathy Hilton, has a reality show that's set to air in which she instructs female contestants on how to be socialites and, one would suppose, proper young women.

I was already quite certain that Kathy Hilton had failed as a parent before Paris wound up sucking cock in an Internet-distributed videotape.

Here's an example of how poorly Paris was brought up, taken from notes that I took upon watching the first episode last season. There's a scene where Paris is asked by her "Simple Life" family if she's ever flown to that part of the country (heartland) before.

Hilton replies, utterly oblivious to the insult she's delivering, that the only places she ever flies to are New York, L.A. and Europe. Her tone, though again she seems to be deaf to it, implies that going anywhere else is a waste of time.

Aren't politeness and tact the kinds of things young socialites are supposed to be taught? But that's just the tip of the iceberg with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

Hilton and Richie went to grocery store in that first episode, and Hilton's ass crack is plainly visible as she saunters down the aisle, her jeans sliding way down her emaciated body. (I don't think she's always that thin, but she was anorexic-looking during this period.)

She and Richie's choice of clothes, meanwhile, were so ugly and color-colliding that it occurred to me that some of the rich and famous in L.A. appear to have entered a fashion era that's as tasteless and eccentric as the early 1980's.

As far as their minds go, it used to be that, despite their faults, members of the American aristocracy were at the very least well-educated. They tended to be refined in their tastes as well, but that's something we've already ruled out with Paris.

Hilton is dumb as a brick. Whether she attended class in high school at all I would say is up for debate. In terms of awareness of the world, all she aspires to be is a pop culture celebrity. That's the height of it. Someone who is already known, who can get onto television for "the right reasons," seeks to get on television for all the wrong reasons: rumors of infamous sluttiness, boorish behavior, the desire to be a lowest common denominator (ie strippers, Playboy models) sex symbol. (There's a larger idea here, about what Paris represents as a kind of 21st century pop cultural archetype, that I haven't quite figured out.)

As far as the jobs they had on the show, normally I'm not one to cast stones at people with dubious work ethics, but with Paris and Nicole it's just impossible not to. In their first gig, milking cows, they found three ways to cheat within the first hour of working. It was utterly depraved and almost impressive as a display of human ingenuity, akin to two chimpanzees figuring out how to extract a kiwi fruit from a trap without having to shift from a reclined position.

As a disclaimer, I have to say I've heard the two were encouraged to slack off by their crew for entertainment purposes, so it's impossible to say for sure what their natural inclination was in those circumstances and what they were egged on to do.

I even gave them credit for rearranging the letters on the fastfood place sign to say "1/2 Price Anal Snot Burgers" or whatever. That was relatively clever.

Of the two, I'd say Nicole, who was evidently addicted to heroin at the time, was the more reprehensible, just because she seemed so blatantly manipulative. Something about how she was used to getting points for saying outrageous and insulting things and still being regarded as "cute" made me want her to suffer. Paris, on the other hand, was simply, in terms of her mental landscape, an Etch-a-Sketch that had been shaken blank.

One of the only times Paris' mind actually seemed engaged was when she was striking poses and looking at herself in the mirror while trying on her outfit for the night. It was creepy to see how consciously she studied her manner of walking and standing, as though every moment of her life was some approximation of a red carpet event.

As far as their sluttiness, I'm not sure whether the fact that they seemed willing to hook up with whatever yokels crossed their staggering path is evidence of their egalitarianism/lack of snobbishness or utter lack of discernment/self-control. You know? Like, Paris can't be so bad. After all, she fucks poor people if you leave her with them long enough.

Well, that's about it. Welcome back Paris. America has missed you.

.: posted by hornswaggler 3:50 PM

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