Barbara Walters took Paris Hilton to task over the vapid shallowness of her new reality show The World According To Paris when Paris and her mother, Kathy Hilton, appeared on The View last week. It’s obvious that tensions were already high the second the two guests stepped onto the stage, and clearly something heavy already went down between Walters and Kathy Hilton because neither seems willing to get any closer than 5 feet to each other.
The interview gets off to an average start, but Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters begin to shift the line of questioning towards Paris and her narcissistic, self-absorbed ways. The socialite is currently in the middle of completing 200 hours of community work as part of her sentence for being caught in possession of cocaine in Las Vegas last year, but on her new reality show she is caught complaining about everything from having to mingle with the prisoners to how painting city walls hurts her high heel-clad feet. Walters proceeds to confront Hilton with her disappointment about how this contradicts the new life direction the socialite committed to publicly since being released from prison in June 2007 (in February 2007 she was caught driving on a suspended license and sent to 45 days in jail; she originally lost her license due to a D.U.I. conviction the previous month). Upon her release nearly 4 years ago, Hilton was adamant that she was shedding her shallow and superfluous “reality” lifestyle to dedicate herself to philanthropy and to use her fame and fortune for the better good. Oh how quickly the light of gratitude can disappear.
Barbara Walters’ direct line of questioning did not go over well with the Hilton family, as reports are now revealing that Paris, her father Rick Hilton, and Kathy Hilton were involved in a major shitstorm screamfest with producers backstage over how the two were treated on air. Clearly the Hiltons are a very tight and supportive family, but as far as I’m concerned there is something perverted about Paris’s family and their “no questions asked” support of their daughter’s narcissistic way of life. Only a parent whose love is blind wouldn’t be able to see how Paris Hilton represents the very worst that America has to offer. I believe in the power of entertainment to provide an antidote effect to the harsh reality of modern life, but I also believe in the power of the entertainment industry to do real damage to a society. One only has to walk down a city street to see the countless young women sporting chihuahuas and an air of camera-readiness about them to begin to understand just how much damage the Paris Hiltons of this world have done to corrupt the minds of our youth.
The U.S. government has been tracking and monitoring the psychology and mental health of American high school students since the 1940s, and apart from a few moderate shifts here and there, the portrait of the young American mind has been quite strong for a very long time. However, this same agency which is composed of the leading experts in the field of psychology, released a report about 5 years ago which rang some serious alarm bells. Never in the history of their council’s decades-long work had they seen something that had caused them as much concern as what they noticed when looking at the data that was coming in since the early 2000s. A major double spike was forming in the following two areas of the board’s near 70-year study: narcissism and self entitlement. The spikes were so severe that it left the council dumbfounded as to how a troubling development like this could occur nationwide so fast. Obviously, Paris Hilton cannot be held entirely responsible for corrupting the collective minds of our youth, but she most certainly is owed a significant part of the blame. The future of our society always has and always will be dependent on the intelligence, integrity, and the ingenuity of our children, so one can only feel deep concern to see ourselves surrounded by kids with their faces buried in the mirror instead of in their books.
The World According To Paris is a very dangerous world indeed.