Strong blond content: getting caught up in Paris Hilton's paparazzi
A die-hard New Yorker pal points to Jack Kerouac's house on the next block, Ethan Hawke brooding over a banana crepe, Scarlett Johanssen perusing a condo across his street ... and tells me "New York never fails to redeem itself."
And sure enough, while strolling back from Union Square last night I came across a seething crowd, and in New York, that means it's either someone dead or dazzling. In this case, whispers of "who is it?" were met by "Paris Hilton". When people asked me, I just repeated it and so it went around, like Chinese whispers, it could have been anyone in there ...
Seeing the crowd three times taller than me due to step ladders, boxes and other height advantaging tactics, I turned away, then couldn't help myself. Out came the Gal li'll digi camera, and in I went.
Turns out that you're not so disadvantaged if you're short. While everyone is trying to get upover, I went downunder. At around 2:43 on my video, the blond action starts, with a clear shot straight through two camermens' armpits to the bombshell herself. Later, I got her legs, and some nice video of someone else's video.
The occasion? USO.org's "Songs for Soldiers" Fleet Week event.
Apparently Hilton is the celeb ambassador for this initiative to supply a camoflage-print MP3 player loaded with songs from back home to every soldier serving overseas. So, she's like a modern day Andrews sista. I wonder what her sister is doing? A PhD, perhaps?
Some cute cameos in the video include ...
* Rene Smith, a paparazzi follower who told us that Paris was in there with "100 horny marines drinking warm beer" and who raved about Adelaide, Australia.
* A young man holding up a Paris for President poster, and speaking what sounded to me like Portuguese. Turns out it was Russian.
* Several utterances of "Who is she?" and lots of good, self mocking humor about all of us being there more to gawp at the nutty fandom than the celeb herself.
Interestingly, reactions to this video have been sharply divided. I've been called an enabler of the destruction of all that is worthy in art, literature, intelligent thought, and that I should go read Joan Didion because it would make me "more interesting". And that was just my boyfriend.
Someone else wrote: "I actually thought the video of Paris was fascinating because I had thought she was just a media creation. Now I realize she actually has fans. I am astonished. I've encountered award-winning movie stars in public places and no one was paying attention to them at all. I think the video is a bit of social observation. It's Paris Hilton herself, her fans and the tv shows that feature her that are devaluing art and literature."
Am I a Paris fan? Not specifically. But my attitude is we're all born with something to offer, just leverage whatcha got, and she's certainly doing that - and it appears, making people happy (and jealous, but that's a pretty debilitating emotion and best avoided).
I wonder how New York will redeem itself for me today?
Another USO-related video I shot last year:
The gals of USO.org at the Intrepid: http://bit.ly/tikitintrepid
More scrolling vids like this at www.galfromdownunder.com