Monday 11 June 2012

Dear Paris Hilton: You have to work harder to stay famous

Remind me, somebody, what was Paris Hilton famous for? Carrying small dogs in her purse? Bar-hopping? Forgetting to put on underwear  -- or was that another celebrity?  I’ve done due diligence, scanning the headlines of tabloids at the local supermarket checkout counter: no Paris Hilton! She just hasn’t been working hard enough on her celebrity status. So I feel compelled to write an open letter to her.

Dear Paris, the blog quotes you as reporting: “Now I’m a normal weight.” Well, that’s just not good enough for the A list crowd. You heard of Moody reducing the credit rating of big banks, Paris? If you carry on like that, they will downgrade you to the B+ list.

It used to be that celebrities didn’t have to do a thing to stay famous. The paparazzi photographed them, preferably naked beside another celebrity’s pool, and published those shocking pics. Or journalists wrote up fawning interviews. But those two professions are under siege now. Everyone who has a cell phone can do like a paparazzi and post naked photos of his girlfriend on YouTube. And not only are the print media suffering, journalists don’t suck up as much as they used to.  In fact, they are in the process of being replaced by robots. I read that the LATimes now uses a computer programme to “scrape” LAPD reports ( .

Next phase: machines will report on celebrities, and computers are notoriously unimpressed by hair extensions and missing underwear. So what’s a celebrity to do? Start your own twitter account, Paris, that’s what.  It’s disgusting, but you’ve got to produce your own tabloid tidbits now.  Oh, you do have a twitter account. Let’s see what you have to say on 31 May: “Do what makes you happy.”  Oh, come on, Paris. That won’t get you on And that's what people are looking at nowadays. Magnotta knew what he was doing when he posted his video on the net. Now there’s a man who understands the art of fame-making.

And it is an art, Paris. Take me, for example.  I’m trying to be a famous author. You used to be able to rely on your publisher to do the PR for you, to organize book reviews and book tours, but reliable reports have reached me that authors just sit around in bookstores at tables piled high with their books, and nobody shows up. Sad, isn’t it? And book reviews no longer bump up your amazon. com rating. Well, maybe, from 71,938th place to 71, 935th place, but that has more to do with your grandmother buying 20 copies and handing them out to her friends in the Assisted Living complex. No, now you have to do all the advertising yourself. Heck, you have to do the publishing yourself, too.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday the NY Times published an article, Covering Your Tracks For Internet Privacy.  Are they kidding? I want this letter to go viral. Have they any idea how hard it is nowadays to lose your anonymity?  Oh, I see. Losing your anonymity doesn’t make you famous. You won’t become the target of adoration, you’ll only become the target of ad attacks and scammers.

Well, Paris, you and I will just have to slog it out. Think: how did Magnotta become famous? He worked for it! No paparazzi for him. He had to produce his own visuals and post them on the net.  Yes, that's what it takes. Ultimately, Paris, you have to ask yourself: Are you prepared to kill for being famous? If the answer is no, forget it.

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  1. Amusing. What about Lindsay Lohan who also went around without underwear at one point? On the issue of advertising and publishing books, maybe scholars seeking to find readers for their books on non-trendy topics, such as history, also need to blog or flog their books.

  2. It is funny.. and yet it is also sad, this urge to be 'someone' by any means.