I almost met Paris Hilton once.
About fifteen years ago I was working as a marketer for a beer company. I toured around the country working with local distributors to set up and run events. I can’t remember exactly where we were (probably Los Angeles), but there was a rumor that Paris Hilton was going to come to this party we were attending. This was very exciting to me. I came up with a bit that I thought was amusing. I’d introduce myself as D.J. Paris and then say, “We should get married because then you’d be Paris Paris!” She’d laugh and we’d snap a picture. I’d pose on bended knee sliding a Ring Pop on her finger. The whole interaction would be less than a minute, but I’d be able to tell that story the rest of my life. Unfortunately she didn’t make it to the party that evening. I remember being pretty depressed.
As I think back what strikes me is this simple fact – I have never wanted to actually meet Paris Hilton. Other than for the joke I wanted to pull, she doesn’t interest me. I’m not even attracted to her physically. I suspect we wouldn’t have anything in common, even if we did strike up a real conversation. I’m not putting her down – a friend of mine did meet her a few months after my attempt and he said she was pleasant and sweet. So, why was I so upset that a woman I wasn’t trying to date or befriend didn’t show up at the hotel that evening?
Because she is a celebrity. And I find celebrities appealing.
If it was just the name-joke thing, I could find some random woman who resides in Chicago with the first name Paris. But then the story wouldn’t be as interesting. Nobody would care that I proposed to Paris Hughes, a 24 year old consultant who lives with her two roommates in Wrigleyville. It’s maybe a one on the “great story” meter. Paris Hilton would be a ten.
This past week America chose a celebrity to lead our nation.
To me, this is worth spending time thinking about. Let’s say you worked at a company that sold brake pads and due to some mismanagement the financials were in trouble and everyone was spooked. I can’t imagine you’d be celebrating that instead of hiring a competent CEO well-versed in successful turnarounds, the board of directors chose the world’s finest tenor saxophone player to lead the company. You could make the argument that this sax player has great discipline and doesn’t crack during performances. And maybe that could translate into more brake pad sales since those principles might translate. But it’s a stretch. Also unlikely. And the board of directors would be fired immediately for suggesting this replacement.
I don’t look at Donald Trump as a politician. Well, he is now. But I always thought of him as a celebrity. And, for sure, he’s one of the best celebrities that ever was. Very few can stay in the public eye for all those years and keep the public’s fascination. Whether or not you like him as a celebrity, you have to admire his success at the job. It’s something that can’t be argued, unlike his business practices. Some call him a business genius other call him a business failure, but one thing is certain – he knows how to keep the country interested in him. And he’s paid extremely well because of it.
Watching social media this week, there’s a tremendous amount of anger and sadness coming from those who didn’t support him. And, to be clear, I didn’t vote for him, either. Of course I was offended, like so many others, with his rhetoric throughout the campaign. But that’s not the reason I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t vote for him BECAUSE HE’S A CELEBRITY AND I DON’T WANT A CELEBRITY WITHOUT POLITICAL EXPERIENCE RUNNING OUR COUNTRY.
Donald Trump isn’t the problem. Or at least, not the real problem. He’s just one of the most famous people on the planet, and he realized two things that would enable him to win.
- We love celebrities.
- We hate politicians.
Now, I’m not a political scientist, and I avoided all those classes in college because it seemed like too much reading. But when a celebrity can beat all the politicians running against him, that’s an impressive victory. And if you don’t think Kim Kardashian could do the same thing in twenty years and win, you’re wrong. She could. You can make the argument that she’s an even more compelling celebrity than Donald Trump. She’s had less scandal, that’s for sure. Also, her business acumen is beyond reproach. But the question is – would you want her running the country? I wouldn’t. And this isn’t a slight to her – I know people who have worked with her at E! and say she’s lovely. But I don’t want a celebrity running the country.
So, what’s the solution? Somehow we have to bring reason and logic back into these important decisions. We have to realize emotional decision making isn’t usually a great idea. Remember the last time you got drunk and texted your ex? I hope it makes you shudder. The problem is that trying to get adults to change is difficult. Most people are in love with their thoughts and beliefs and it’s almost too late for anyone over twenty-one. But kids can be taught. Children can be told to look at problems with less emotion and more objectivity. It’s the same argument I made earlier this year that only members of Mensa should be allowed to vote. It was a joke, but it’s not the worst idea.
And, I’m no better than anyone else. The few times a celebrity has tweeted at me or laughed at something I’ve written has definitely has filled me with excitement that I don’t get from you non-celebs. Hell, I even got pumped when Jackie Stallone told me she was going to read one of my stories to Sly. So, trust me, I understand the celebrity fascination. And while I don’t think most of Trump’s supporters will admit it, his ability at being an amazing celebrity is really what won him the election.
People can change, however. I no longer fantasize about proposing to Paris Hilton. She’s just a person, just like all of us regular people. I mean, I’d still marry her and all, but that’s because she’s rich. Also, she’s blonde and I think it’s a good idea for blondes to marry blondes. We understand each other. Oh, and I just realized she’s a professional DJ and my name’s D.J.. Hmm… this is all lining up nicely. I take it back – I’m totally going after Paris Hilton. LET THE COURTSHIP BEGIN!