Friday, June 8, 2007

What in the World: Paris Hilton?

Starting yet another ongoing series, What in the World will look deeper into mysteries, weird news, and similar subjects, dissecting them and laying them bare so we can better understand the situations surrounding them.

Today, we're going to go a little deeper into the Paris Hilton debacle which I have been covering all day on pretty much all the blogs. The reason I wanted to do this is because I know some people will think I'm just talking about her to drum-up some traffic or something and that's honestly not the case.

This has everything to do with Sociology in general, and specifically how myths and legends are created. Let's face it: this entire episode has cemented Paris Hilton's legendary status. This will be shown, rebroadcast, dissected, analyzed, and eventually show up on VH1's I Love the 00's, as well as umpteen other shows like it. This is also going to be a case-in-point for other celebrities.

Outside of pop-culture, this is going to be a really big sticking-point in the legal circles, as well. Most all of the experts have said that anyone else arrested on these same charges would have only served several days, at best. It really is a case of her being treated unfairly, held up as an example to the other "bad girls" in Hollywood, as well as any others who see Hilton as some sort of role-model.

But my point here has a lot to do with folklore, legend, and myth. In today's reporting alone, we heard all about how Paris supposedly decided she was going to call in to court instead of showing up, but Greta van Susteren said the media was told that Paris would be calling-in by a Sheriff's deputy. It begs the question, now that we know of the struggle between the sheriff and the judge, if she decided this or she was told this would be okay by the sheriff, or someone in his department.

This mysterious "medical condition" which got her out of jail to begin with, verified and explained by Greta van Susteren, SMACKS of withdrawals from a certain drug, but it has widely been reported that she caught some kind of rash while in jail. The going "codeword" being used is "nervous breakdown," but there is no such thing as a "nervous breakdown" in medical jargon, and if Paris Hilton had a Psychotic Break, we would most certainly have heard about that.

There are several other factors which are shrouded in mystery and/or conflicting reports and I think it's important to see how it all plays out. This is how things happen when there is a panic, when there are strong emotions. Sure, this is over-the-top drama of a celebrity kind, but I want to keep this in mind and dissect it from a folklore perspective as it goes on, because I think we can learn a whole lot from this as researchers.

It sounds silly, but if Paris Hilton were Bigfoot - and there are glaring similarities - is this how everything would go down, is this how the public, media, and legal system would react? Think about that, as it's going to be the focal point throughout this discussion.

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