Editor’s note: The author, former star of “The Donna Reed Show”, has spent decades working with self-destructive former child stars.
“In the absence of shame,” I wrote some weeks ago, “all conduct is excusable.” It became manifestly apparent today. I hope the phrase continues to be quoted.
The news that Paris Hilton has been released from jail after three days of incarceration to serve her remaining sentence wearing an ankle bracelet to insure she abides by home confinement came along at the same time that details of Lindsay Lohan’s flexible schedule at the Malibu rehabilitation clinic, Promises, came to light. The 20 year-old Lohan, it seems, has a 21st birthday party her plan (coming to your newscasts July 2nd), an interview that had to be taped with “Ellen,” and needed to leave her plush surroundings to attend to her physical need of a stiff work-out session.
In both cases the entire meaning of ‘rehabilitation’ has been eviscerated. Need I remind you that little pitchers have big ears?
Surrounding this astounding news, breathlessly reported, is word that Lindsay’s Mom, Dina, is in talks to star in her own reality show on “E” called “Mom-Ager,” showing her working hard to turn her two younger children into celebrities. And if that’s not enough to show the decline of Western Civilization we’ve also learned that the movie, “Poor Thing,” being produced by Shirley MacLaine, has been slightly delayed by Lindsay’s little problem, but that the company remains committed to employing Ms. Lohan in the feature film.
To Miss MacLaine I will repeat what I wrote to Jodi Foster some fifteen years ago when she put up a $400,000.00 cash bond to insure “performance reliability” of Robert Downey, Jr., “Hey Shirley! Hire a sober actress!”
The transparent message woven into all this news is that no one in Hollywood is serious about anything anymore. Consequences of bad behavior, even criminal conduct, have disappeared from public life. What a message to broadcast to our children. What an insult to those millions of young people working hard to excel in the performing arts while resisting the temptation to cheapen themselves and their chosen career.
“Loathing” is the word I chose to describe my feelings on ABC news toward Lindsay Lohan’s mother’s attempt to cash in on her daughter’s public travails. “Disgust” fails to capture my sentiments toward an Industry that seems hell-bent on destroying the whole notion of youth in this world.
Conventional Wisdom is no longer credible. Even the science that tells us that the development of the forebrain, that part that makes future plans and contemplates the consequences of our potential actions, the science that tells us the forebrain does not develop fully until humans are in their mid-20’s and which is the first feature of our mental abilities to deteriorate as we approach our 70’s.even that science, combined with incontrovertible evidence of parents throughout the world is being tossed into a cocked hat in the pursuit of the all-mighty dollar.
I have brought up the forebrain to make a point, and if you will bear with me, it is a point that needs to be made. Global conglomerates control virtually everything we see and hear and read across the whole spectrum of the media. Synergy, that component of business philosophy as real as the production line, requires that every division within a conglomerate serve the needs of other divisions, shows us that the people who control these global media concerns, all men, all in their declining years (Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom, is 84 years-old, for example, and Rupert Murdock, head of News Corp, is 76 years-old) have made a dollar-based decision that their corporate interests are well-served by continuing to publicize these media moppets in all their tawdry glory, employ without sanction all those bottom-feeders who depend on making news, provide funding for movies and television shows that keep these Stollywood Harlots in front of the consumers of mass media, and now clearly demonstrate that their forebrains are no longer capable of appreciating the damage they are doing to the fabric of society.
Here’s the truth: Six aging men could make all this hoopla stop. Six men could, if they so ordered, focus our attention on the horrible amnesty bill now in Congress, and the dangerous G-8 meeting going on in Europe.
And you think Paris and Lindsay don’t matter.
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