Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pop Tarts

Paris Hilton went to jail yesterday. For her, life changes for the next three weeks. She lives most of her life locked into a small cell with just her books, and her thoughts, for company.

No cell phone, no cable television, no Hummers or Beemers, no drinks, no sex, no drugs, no rock and roll.

Ms. Hilton drove drunk, and like so many other repeat offenders she is paying a price. Thankfully, no one was killed. This time.

Hilton’s case is just the latest in a disturbing trend that I have chosen to dub the Pop Tarts: young Hollywood glam gals who have allowed their fame and money to devolve them into drunken, drug-laden, sex-obsessed, lost little girls. Singers, actresses, models have all succumbed to highly-publicized law-breaking and morals reduction.

Let’s first examine a few specific cases.


In February of 2006, Britney Spears was visited by officials at her home after photos were published showing her driving her 4-month old son in her lap, rather than in the legally required car seat. Two months later, welfare officials and the sheriff were called to her home when this same child was accidentally dropped from a high chair. A month later, she was recorded stumbling outside a Manhattan hotel, nearly dropping this same child, as she swayed with a glass in her other hand.

In August, an again pregnant Spears proudly introduced her husband at the Teen Choice Awards, and then joined him in a skit mocking their presumed lack of parenting skills on an episode of Saturday Night Live. Well, at least she had a good marriage to fall back on, right? Three months later, Spears filed for divorce, informing her husband via text message.

Throughout the fall, Spears is repeatedly spotted partying into the wee hours of the morning with folks such as the now-jailed Ms. Hilton, frequently ending up publicly intoxicated or otherwise under the influence, and is even photographed sans undergarments by the paparazzi as she exits a vehicle. Where are her babies while this is all going on? Child welfare advocates and her family actively become involved.

The downward spiral hits rock-bottom in February 2007, when Spears gets new tattoos and has all of her hair shaved off. She spends most of the rest of the spring in and out of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

In February 2007, Lindsay Lohan checked-out from her own stint in rehab for alcohol abuse. Over the next few months, Lohan is repeatedly spot partying at various night spots in various stages of drunkenness. In May she is photographed snorting cocaine at one LA nightclub, then totally wasted two days later at a New York nightclub, then two days later is swigging Jack Daniels from the bottle in the Bahamas.

On May 26th, Lohan crashed her car after a night of partying back in LA, and the next night she parties until collapsing and having to be carried to her car at 4am. The following day, May 28th, she checks in for her second stint of rehab this year.

Pop Tart worlds collided yet again back in the spring of 2006 when Lohan called Hilton “fire crotch”, igniting a weeks-long paparazzi and entertainment media name-calling war between the two young “ladies”. In September 2006, Hilton suffers her first DUI arrest. It is the beginning of the downward spiral that will lead to her current jail term.

The most tragic of the Pop Tarts events this past year, of course, is the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Hers is a lengthy story, but let’s go to the lowlights. In 1994, at the age of 23, she marries an 89-yr old multi-millionaire. He dies a year later, and she begins battling his family over her husband’s wealthy estate. In February of 2006, Ms. Smith actually got to appear before the United States Supreme Court, fighting for her right to the fortune of her late 63-years-her-senior “husband”.

In August of 2002, “The Anna Nicole Show” premiers as a reality show on the E! network. In it, Ms. Smith is followed around in her “normal” day, and gets to expound on a wide range of topics. Also in it, she frequently appears to be either inebriated, or on drugs, or both. Way back in February of ’94, prior to the millionaire marriage, she was hospitalized after mixing alcohol and prescription drugs. It is the first public example of a years-long battle with both.

On September 7th, 2006, Ms. Smith gives birth to a daughter in the Bahamas. Three days later, her 20-year old son dies in her arms, apparently of either an overdose or of a bad mix of drugs and alcohol. In November, she is hospitalized for a week for what is said to be pneumonia and a collapsed lung. Three months later she is found dead in the Bahamas under questionable circumstances, likely relating to drugs, alcohol, or both.

Ms. Hilton’s partner on a reality show called “The Simple Life” (we can’t make that kind of stuff up folks) is a young lady by the name of Nicole Richie, daughter of famed 80’s singer Lionel Richie. Ms. Richie was herself arrested in February 2003 for heroin possession, and then most recently in December 2006 for DUI.

Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Lindsay Lohan. They are the poster girls, but there are others out there as well. Drugs, booze, arrests, catfights, promiscuity, irresponsibility. They embarrass themselves publicly, set a horrid example for young women everywhere, and now find themselves in jail and even dead.

It is far past time that we as a society stop paying attention to these foolish young women and their shenanigans. Let them spiral downward and end up in a cesspool of their own making, but let’s stop making it fodder for our entertainment.

In Revelation 3:23, John is told to write “I am the searcher of hearts and minds…I will give each of you what your works deserves.” If I were one of the Pop Tarts, those are words that I would begin to take to heart. Perhaps one of the books that Paris took to jail was a Bible? If not, it should have been.

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