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Thread: Paris Hilton

  1. #31
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Don't give up hope Miri. There is so much good out there. People just need to talk about it but not in a self righteous way. Much of the degeneracy is in reaction to the past decades emphasis on mercantilism and money, just like the 60's was a reaction to the 50's and the conservatism of that time. Paris Hilton is an example of how a society can go off track, along with Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole, Ozzy and all the others we mentioned, and now the new right, the ultra conservative movement is rising in response. It's a dialectical movement and hopefully, something new will rise from this confrontation that will eventually supplant them both.

    Look at fantasy writing today. So many talk about how they love the realism of the new wierd and the blatant sexuality of many of the current best selling series. When there is a lesson to be learned, when sex is not gratuitious but necessary to make the point or create the world, then it's a learning experience. But when it's there because it's what the public wants, and when Epic Fantasy is put down because it's too classic and too clean - too unrealistic - we are dealing with a similar phenomenon as Paris Hilton, aren't we? If the requirements for popularity and success are dictated by a need for graphic violence, then that's what we'll get, and that's what we're getting in many different genres. But art souldn't be a result of what the public wants and popularity and success shouldn't be what inspires an artist. Still, if the stores want one thing and a publisher is giving them another, who do you think will win out?

    We have a unique opportunity today with the enormous influence of the internet. We can talk with people everywhere about these things and we can express our own opinions. People listen. People read. We shouldn't feel like we are victims any longer. We have a huge amount of power to express ourselves. I have always believed that talking and finding places and areas where minds can meet is so much more fulfilling than being merely an observer who takes only what is presented to him. Paris Hilton is a sad representative of a society filled with tired minds and they need to be woken up. They need alternatives to television and the tabloids. Look at how many interested, intelligent people log on each day to this site and so many others looking for those alternatives. We are not victims. No one needs to be a victim.

  2. #32
    Mystic and Misfit Gkarlives's Avatar
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    To all I say don't give up. I know I seem pretty down on our society because I am hurt by seeing things the way they are. I personally had a tendancy to get overwhelmed and still do at times, but I am learning that just because the world wants to be crazy, I don't have to be. In truth, I think people have just lost there way and don't know where to turn to get back on a better path.

    We have also lost our voice. Yes, the media and entertainment industries give us the garbage, which started this thread, but only because we have forgotten how to tell them no. If more of us would stop watching this stuff or quit buying the stuff, where would these people be? We have to speak the language these companies know. Money. If we didn't buy so much of their junk (period) they might have to do more research to find out what we really want. The way things are now, we just buy, buy, buy and the industry thinks they are making the right choices. If we make it tougher then they will actually have to do some work.

    I do not advocate sensorship to clean things up because you really can't force people to do what you want, but you can lead by example. Mostly, we have to bewilling to sacifice things we want if they are also feeding the cash flow of the garbage we don't want. Basically, I advocate a Ghandi approach. Non-violent resistance. Don't give into the bling that the world is dishing out. Try to do without it. This is a hard course which I fall off of a lot, but I keep trying.

    Finally, here is one ray of hope. In America at least there has been a strong resurrgence in the old TV shows. Look at Nick at Night and TV-Land. Someone figured out that some people are getting tired of the garbage that is available. Look at all of the remakes of old TV shows (most fail because Hollywood tries to modernize them). This was one of the ground rules I chose for my writing. I did not want to have gratutious violence and sex in my stories. I wanted to get back to the magic of fantasy which hooked me in the first place. Also, I beleive their is a market out there for this kind of writing. Take a look at my stories to see what I mean. http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/579p0.html
    http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/529p0.html
    Last edited by Gkarlives; June 28th, 2005 at 07:05 PM.

  3. #33
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Someone made a comment recently about my own books. They noticed that none of my characters curse. I never realized it myself until it was brought up to me by this person. The fact is, I rarely curse myself, so it was natural for my characters to express themselves without it as well. I also never found a compelling reason to introduce any explicit sex into my books, and I don't think anyone misses it. They will read me for a different reason, and honestly, it's my characters emotions and the crises they are facing that make the books real and relevant.

    I don't despair. We all live once and we have a chance to do whatever we can for our families, our friends and the world in a short short time. I feel my mortality. I have too much to do in this life to despair. Each day is an opportunity, and if I waste a day without producing something, it's gone forever. Maybe I am compulsive, but it motivates me, and I am quite fulfilled.

  4. #34
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    Aw, you guys are all being so positive, I feel ashamed for being such a downer.

    I would say people just like Hilton are forgotten 20 years later.
    What a pleasant thought Prunesquallor, thank you! Let's hope you're right. I don't think she deserves to be remembered.

    We have a unique opportunity today with the enormous influence of the internet. We can talk with people everywhere about these things and we can express our own opinions. People listen. People read. We shouldn't feel like we are victims any longer. We have a huge amount of power to express ourselves. I have always believed that talking and finding places and areas where minds can meet is so much more fulfilling than being merely an observer who takes only what is presented to him. Paris Hilton is a sad representative of a society filled with tired minds and they need to be woken up. They need alternatives to television and the tabloids. Look at how many interested, intelligent people log on each day to this site and so many others looking for those alternatives. We are not victims. No one needs to be a victim.
    Well said, Gary. Thanks for being optimistic. I agree with what you're saying. I believe with all my heart that the Internet, despite all the crud you might find there, is a force of good for the world. It gives us all the opportunity to speak with others from around the globe and open our minds to other points of view, to discuss issues and express ourselves. And mabye more importantly, it gives us all the chance to meet with other intelligent, discerning people, to remind us that they do exist, society is not totally lost!

    Finally, here is one ray of hope. In America at least there has been a strong resurrgence in the old TV shows.
    You're right Gkarlives, and it's great! My husband and I don't watch tv very often but when we do it's great to catch an old episode of MASH or the A-Team. I noticed recently that even McGyver is back on the air! Those old shows were so clean compared to so much that's on these days. Good stuff.

  5. #35
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    Leonard Cohen does lay down a MEAN verse, I want to get some of his books.

    They read one of his poems "Democracy is coming to the USA," on CBC Radio and it was mind-blowingly good.

    Unfortunately I do curse a rather large amount, whenever I get away from up north for a time or am around people who don't know me so well they think I hardly swear at all and they always seemed surprised when they hear it for the first time. I don't suspect if I wrote anything it would necessarily come out in there, unless it was like part of a local cultural stereotype for some area I cooked up. I seem to be able to keep it under wraps when I need to at least.

    To me this whole thing isn't even a battle. Like there's the jungle and I'm the river that runs through it. People can get as completely messed in the head as they want, I'll still give girls compliments (although they never trust me, guess girl power's a little confused these days) and use a decent vocabulary and not eat at Mcdonald's.

    Gary you are right to be honoured by your kids telling you that, dads seem to have a rough time of it these days by and large (I know mine has over the years).

    I think there's been a decline of duty. It seems like in generations past there was more of a familial duty, now it's more like look out for number one.

  6. #36
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    There's is still a sense of community among specific groups, but society has become so homogenized that it is difficult to identify with a school or a town or a city. Duty breaks down when the sense of community breaks down. Yet there is solidarity among fantasy readers and writers for example. Despite our differences, we talk, exchange ideas and search together. Minorities generally discover that community in defense, and in many ways, we are finding through the internet a place for everyone, no matter how odd at times, to discover others with similar interests and concerns.

    I truly wonder what Paris Hilton would say if she logged on here. Is she intelligent enough to even think about some of the things that we are finding so objectionable about her prominece today? Does she have any concern do you think? I find it hard to believe that people are not realitively the same in the end, that we all don't suffer from the same doubts and concerns no matter how isolated we might have been or are now. I wish we had an opportunity to chat with her as we do with one another and hear her point of view. I suspect that she does have one, and as today's icon much like Warhol's Cambell's soup can, is she aware of what she is doing?

  7. #37
    I truly wonder what Paris Hilton would say if she logged on here. Is she intelligent enough to even think about some of the things that we are finding so objectionable about her prominece today? Does she have any concern do you think? I find it hard to believe that people are not relatively the same in the end,
    Here are some of the ways I think we are the same
    - we tend to take responsibility for the good in our lives, and evade it for the bad
    - we tend to dismiss POVs that we disagree with, especially if it concerns our self image (I can't help but think of another thread that we have had here.)
    - people don't take criticism well

    So I don't think she would understand much of what was going on here - it would probably be dismissed in some way or another, and that is a natural consequence of human psychology.

  8. #38
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Okay Scott So our hardwiring applies to Paris as well? So it's not her fault?

    Many of us do see the things we have done wrong and try to correct them in the future. Many of us do take responsibility for the mistakes we make and the people we hurt. And when it comes to criticism, it depends upon who is giving it and why, and of course, how it's given. But many of us can take criticism and use it for our benefit. It's makes sense that we disagree with POV's that we disagree with, right? So we dismiss them because we disagree, but if we take a moment to consider the opposing argument, many of us are willing to reconsider.

    You see, I am disagreeing with you Prunes but I am not dismissing your comment. I am adressing it.

    Paris, on the other hand, is the epitome of everything we generally look down upon or should look down upon. She is spoiled, rich by circumstance, acts dumb, looks cheap, sexually promiscuous and disrespectful. So why is she so popular? What is the fascination? Is she really popular or have we just given up protesting?

  9. #39
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Actually, I think Ms. Hilton has heard a version of what we're saying often enough, so that she's already got a "drawer" where she can put this into. I doubt this thread is the first to complain. It's not going to be a surprise; it's not going to pleasant; whether it's still unpleasant, or she's gotten used to it, I don't know.

    I hesitate to equate the media persona with the real person, anyway, so whatever she would say would be "in character", but it could be staged, either consciously (which I doubt), or in the form that it's a "media-skin" that's beyond reflecting, but still different from the person. Or what we see is, indeed, what we get. *Shrugs*

    Oh, and I'm not looking down on:
    - rich by circumstance (I'd automatically have to look down on all kids born of rhich parents, which is absurd)
    - sexual promiscuity (I don't have to bite; what she does with her body is is none of my business)

    Actually, I'd prefer to not look down on anything, but it's hard sometimes...

  10. #40
    [QUOTE]So why is she so popular? What is the fascination?[QUOTE] the same reason we do most of the things we do - it is what other people are doing, society reinforces doing the same, makes doing otherwise difficult, so we go with the flow, but with our own little twist..... I got my tattoo on my eyelids!

  11. #41
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    I think the people that support her are divided between idiotic media people who are profiting from people talking about all her awesome qualities, people who actually put stock in what said stupid media people say, and the semi-sane people who hate her but can't look away.

  12. #42
    Filthy Assistants! Moderator kater's Avatar
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    I believe that is the case with many of the people we deem 'famous' (or more aptly infamous, take your pick) it's a car wreck we slow down to watch even though we know we shouldn't. The accepted behaviour of people who are idols and role models is suspiciously lower than we were used to. It's telling that a lot of you have said you never had role models growing up, that seems to be why you don't understand the Paris Hilton issue and neither do I (although for a while I wanted to be just like Roger Black). A great case is Tom Cruise, for years he was respected and worshipped and didn't seem to have put a foot wrong then within the last few years he divorces a possibly pregnant Nicole Kidman only a few months before their tenth wedding anniversary, meaning she doesn't get half of his estate. Openly dates Penelope Cruz while the divorce is going through and he's producing a Kidman film, then this latest disgusting debacle with Katie Holmes. I don't think it's a coincedence that the advent of reality TV and this drop in standards are chronologically close. To stick with a movie example - I have never seen or heard a bad word or deed attributed to Tom Hanks, no sex scandals, no bitch fights, no fan abuse etc Tellingly the standards drop has come with the younger generation of stars and so many of them. In the 80's there was the brat pack but there were six of them (?) and that was it. Now there are so many young actors and actresses, singers, sportsmen and women and 'celebrities' making so much money that nothing is out of their grasp. They have become indulged sycophants with no-one who will say No to them and due to their age and appeal through the industries they work in, these are the people children get exposed to on a regular basis. You can reel off a list of child actors/singers/sports stars who have gone off the rails fast and yet they maintain their following because children believe this is what happens at 18 or 21, sometimes much younger. Our current 'have-it-now' culture is built on this idea of fast money, how many kids grow up believing they'll have to work hard to make a decent living rather than taking a few acting classes and thinking their big break is just around the corner? As a great quote from a top satirical piece on celebrity suggests the motto at present is "Nothing is true, everything is permitted."

  13. #43
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Mr Wassner is a respected writer and moderator of the forums who always has (relatively) interesting topics of (albeit somewhat pseudo at times) intellectual quality.

    I seem to remember another thread started by a not so illustrious member (no offence Zsinj) along these lines that was closed ...

    Link.

    I'm not saying there's double standards here or anything, but.... okay I am.

    Can of worms anyone?
    Last edited by kahnovitch; July 1st, 2005 at 09:28 AM.

  14. #44
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Psuedo intellectual? Uh oh. I better start using bigger words. Will that help? Just for the record, I make no attempt to start any threads that do anything other than interest me and hopefully some others here. None are meant to impress or otherwise portray me as anything other than I am. It's just a nice place to toss ideas around.

    Ah, I looked at the link. I see your point, but in the author forums we have a little more leeway to discuss issues that aren't always successfully pursued in the general forums. Besides, I titled it Paris Hilton, but my concerns were not really all about her but more about the phenomenon of interest in characters like her.

  15. #45
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    LOL that's a neat way around the trap, we're all pretty much on board that she's irredeemable so we're already past discussing her character and onto the consequences.

    I'm pretty sure though Khan that if I nagged Garry into startign a thread called "The Canadian Government are bunch of thieving, degenerate swine!" that it wouldn't hold up too well either.

    Well plus Gary's a mod, shouldn't he be trusted to police himself somewhat?

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