She's out. Thank God. It's been hell since they locked her up for the second time in Los Angeles. For more than two weeks there has been nothing to talk about but Iraq, and Dick Cheney, and who's the likely nominee. There hasn't been a peep from Lindsay Lohan (who is in rehab and apparently just loving it) or Britney Spears -- not that I know exactly who Britney Spears is but I do know that she occasionally drops her baby on the floor.
But these weeks without Paris have been a nightmare. Paris is a boon. I don't think anyone understands this. For those of us who are parents, she provides an opportunity for judgment that is almost unparalleled in modern times. (Unless of course you count Lee Harvey Oswald's mother.) How fabulous to look at those Hilton parents and say to yourself, well, whatever I did as a parent, it wasn't that. Whatever my regrets, whatever my failings, whatever my ineptness, however much I worry that I forgot to tell my kids about how to use the soup spoon, at least I am not on the phone to Barbara Walters in the middle of the night trying to negotiate a television appearance for my daughter on the occasion of her release from prison.
For younger persons, I can only imagine how thrilling it is to have Paris around. If you happen to be one of those younger persons who is "lost" and cannot figure out what you are going to be when you're grown up (which you already are), it has to be encouraging to watch someone make such a success out of so little. If, on the other hand, you are making your way in the world and doing your best with your gifts, it's equally exciting to have someone to look down on. So this is the bottom of the barrel! She's there. You're not.
And say this for Paris -- she's not one of those wussy blonde victims like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana or Anna Nicole Smith. For one thing, she's alive. For another, she's out there, doing all the things that none of us would do in our worst moments. And she's always in character. If you were ever to have your license suspended for driving while intoxicated, would you go out and drive again (under the influence) and again (under the influence)? Would you blame your press agent for failing to tell you that you weren't supposed to and think that the judge would find this argument compelling? Would you be late for court? Of course you wouldn't. But Paris would, and Paris did, and she looked great, and let's give her the points she deserves for setting the parameters.
There was a wonderful piece about Paris in Salon last week, written by Heather Havrilesky and Rebecca Traister, which concluded by hoping that Paris would someday, somehow, just go away.
But she's not going to, that's clear.
We'll always have Paris.