Fenton Bailey writes from his corner office:
Chris McKim forwarded me this link to “Why Paris Hilton Is Famous (Or Understanding Value In a Post-Madonna World)” and it is a GENIUS analysis of the fame that is Paris. While most of us sit round moaning about how she’s done nothing to be famous, is famous for famous’ sake bra blah blah, there is in fact a method to the madness. The real reason Paris Hilton is really famous, says the author of the piece, is that “she is the queen of links.”
The writer had this epiphany after Paris explained her arrest for drunk driving by saying that she was speeding to get to In-N-Out. “Though she hired a publicist to get her on Page 6 She never really talked about herself. She talked about other people. She would mention the designers of her clothes, the club she was going to, who made the sweater for her dog, all without any guarantee of any return. She just threw out links. It didn’t take long for designers and club owners to realize that Paris Hilton was a walking billboard. So they embraced her. She paid attention to them, so they paid attention to her. What makes Paris brilliant is that she used the attention she had and gave it to others thereby garnering more attention for herself.”
Now when it comes to billionairesses and mistresses of the universe, before Paris there was Imelda.
OK, so I know I keep bringing everything back to her, but after telling me the secret of her beauty regimen (makeup mirror, full-length mirror, internal mirror) she said, “The only things we keep are the things we give away. If we inspire someone or touch someone, that is a feeling we get to keep forever; whereas, obviously, material things we don’t really get to keep. We get to have them for a while, perhaps, but they don’t stay with us the way our memories do.”
Of course I thought, Well, the world’s richest woman can afford to say that. But that doesn’t make it any the less true. Getting to witness the way she lives her life today, what she said was true. Everywhere she goes she inspires people and she in return gets a charge out of that, it fuels her.
This made me think how we in the west (airy wave of the hand) are always trying to fill that hole and stuff it full of things – food! sex! drugs! fashion! FUN! But then we moan endlessly about how wretched we feel, how empty and how unsatisfied. And if you want to see people at their most miserable just go to the happiest place on earth: Disneyland. The notion of filling the void just doesn’t work!
Imelda and Paris both get it: The only way to get it is to give it away!
– Fenton Bailey