Phreaky Phriday – I Love The World

Sometimes, everything just works like it should….

“Paris Hilton was taken from a courtroom screaming and crying Friday seconds after a judge ordered her returned to jail to serve out her entire 45-day sentence for a parole violation in a reckless driving case.

“It’s not right!” shouted the weeping Hilton. “Mom!” she called out to her mother in the audience.”

23 thoughts on “Phreaky Phriday – I Love The World

  1. Morphea

    Wow. OK, um, this is the stupidest media circus since OJ ran like a bunny. I don’t even know who to be mad at, but I’m mad. Swarming press, helicopters, bickering between the various factions of our stellar justice system, horrified celebrity retinues dithering around – a silly, spoiled, scared young woman’s meltdown splashed across every TV in America.

    This is so stupid.

    [sigh] I hate this country sometimes.

  2. Zack Post author

    [quote comment="92162"]I hate this country sometimes.[/quote]

    Yeah. All that. I totally agree. Uh huh.

    But hearing her dragged out of that courtroom crying for her mommy and screaming, “This isn’t fair!” – I want to bottle that up and give it to orphan children on Christmas.

    I’m gonna go release some doves right now. Anyone in the Burbank area is free to join me.

  3. Morphea

    Take all her stuff away and she’s just a girl, Zack love. So scared that she cried for her Mom in public. Come on. Don’t you feel a little bit bad for her?

  4. Chad

    Wow.

    Well… at least she’ll have some character development out of this… and… if I seem to remember correctly, there are some of us who managed to make our way the only way we know how, and as Waylon Jennings might sing, “That’s just a little bit more than the law will allow,” and managed to escape without the fullest possible weight of punishment.

    Paris has gotten away with murder in her life, no doubt. She’s learning something really important right now.

    Not to cross pollinate, but I think it’s a little hypocritical that you want to see Paris really take it on the chin, but Eli Roth gets a pass. By your own logic, the public who “created” Paris Hilton should be held accountable.

    So what gives?

  5. Zack Post author

    [quote comment="92165"]Take all her stuff away and she’s just a girl, Zack love. So scared that she cried for her Mom in public. Come on. Don’t you feel a little bit bad for her?[/quote]

    Nope. Not one bit.

  6. Zack Post author

    This isn’t about ethics, it’s about the law.

    If and when it’s illegal to create shitty films, Eli Roth should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. I can avoid his films by simply not going to the theater. However, Paris Hilton consumes alcohol and hits the streets behind the wheel of a 4000 pound automobile. There’s a HUGE difference between the two.

    There are rules. Break them, and there are consequences. Money and fame do not get you a pass.

  7. Chad

    I totally agree.

    Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, and all the assholes at Lionsgate will have consequences to their actions, just like Paris. Their actions, while “legal” are not even remotely moral. There’s always a price, even if it’s within the confines of their own souls.

  8. leoskeo

    I am not an expert in this but I find for me it is always a lot easier to let anger rule my heart than let life break it. Anger carries my junk and keeps me from having to interact with pain. I am frustrated and offended so I feel angry. I am disappointed and tired so I feel angry. I am discouraged and disillusioned so I feel angry. Heck when I am angry I don’t even have to pray. I think for me this is why I so quickly go to anger over compassion. Top that off with a huge crap pile of stuff that should make us angry and I don’t have to come in from the hurt for a long time. To make matters even worse, I often don’t give a flying flip because sometimes I just got way too much darkness in my heart. That is why I can laugh at things that aren’t funny, be angry at people who aren’t much different from me, ignore people I have resources to help, let racism happen and not lift a finger or a voice to help. It is why I can spend 4 bucks at Starbucks and not care that my 4 bucks could have fed a family for a day in Africa. I am not much different that movie makers who film violence for profit, I just watch a lesser form of violence, a bit more palatable.

    I am not that much different from a Hilton, I feel just an entitled as they do, I just lack the resources to purchase what my entitling heart covets. I have my values upside down all the time. I am more angry over my neighbors dog pooping in my yard than his quiet addiction to alcohol and how that is killing his son. I care more about the season finally of LOST than being healthy. I tell my kids to be quiet because of a television show. Why, I am entitled to it. I earned it.

    I am sad for Paris Hilton, she doesn’t know the Father in heaven loves her and is living proof that you cannot buy enough stuff to make up for that lack of knowledge. Of course I did not need TV to prove this truth, I just needed to look into the mirror.

    I spent a month in Northern India and as I got off the plane I asked God to break my heart by what I see. If I am angry let it carry the hurt and dissatisfaction of God for lives that do not have to be that way. If I am angry let it be because of how convincing the lies of Hinduism and Islam are, and how those lies gyp people on knowing God’s love. When I asked, he did and as much as it hurt, it feels so much better than the anger that flashed in me for less than God’s reasons. Just my 2 cent soapbox, sorry,

  9. Sara

    I’m confused. Remind me again how drinking and driving is in any way comparable to making a movie that contains graphic nature? Sure, I wouldn’t want my kids seeing that kind of garbage. However, I think I’d be more apt to blame/judge someone who puts my child’s life in danger by drinking and driving. I can’t see how that’s hypocritical at all. Furthermore, I think the real point is that it makes our authority figures look like a total joke when a celebrity is given special treatment, and we don’t need any more help with that. (Thank you Mr. Bush)

    I also know that I personally wouldn’t want to live in a country that limits our freedom. The fact that the people in this country are attracted to the stories of disorderly debutantes is sad, i’ll admit. It’s also sad that we are attracted to violence. Does that mean that we shouldn’t have the right to do what we want because some deem this behavior “immoral” and others do not, though? I think not.

    Besides what does “moral” mean anyway? Moral to me may be different than “moral” to you. And thank GOD there isn’t a morality court or else it’s safe to say this whole world would be serving time.

  10. Faith Kathleen

    Ok, sure. It’s true, if you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to go. Sure, a drunk on the road is a more immediate threat to you or your loved ones than a nasty gory summer block buster. But just because films like Hostel aren’t personally affecting you now, doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a threat to society in the long run. To say they would not is ignoring the bigger picture.

    The hubbub surrounding Paris Hilton is ridiculous, as are most hubbub-inducing celebrity incidents. I do feel a little bad for her, but not because she has to go to jail. She deserves that. I feel bad for her because really, she’s just a spoiled rich kid who has made herself famous by acting like an idiotic tramp, and she may very well spend the rest of her life acting in a similar manner trying to convince people she is worth liking. That, in my opinion, is something to be pitied.

    I’m glad I live in a country with free speech. I wish, however, that I didn’t live in a country that is so fascinated by celebrity stupid.

    Ok, two cents tossed…back to my former position of silent observation.

  11. Paul

    Great comments and interesting parallels in this Paris Hilton exchange and the previous “Hostel” entry. Aside from the common theme of “hostile,” a couple of thoughts:

    Yes, it’s wonderful to live where there is freedom both to make disgusting movies and to hear (and hear and hear and hear) the latest about a troubled celebrity. But that freedom becomes pointless without some responsibility (personal, corporate or societal) and the maturity to think through the implications of one’s decisions. All freedom and no responsibility – grabbing for the car keys but being clueless about insurance or upkeep, or whether there is alcohol percolating through the driver’s brain – is the quintessential adolescent drive, no pun intended.

    Paris Hilton has exercised her freedom to act on unruly and dangerous impulses, and isn’t happy about the consequences. The news media has the freedom to bombard us with this story while ignoring much more important events, but in so doing contributes to the ever-shrinking awareness of the general populace. (Jay Leno played an actual MSNBC clip in which the announcement of the replacement of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – we’re involved in a war, in case anyone hadn’t noticed — was hurriedly made and then tossed aside after a few seconds to return to the helicopter view of Paris’ mansion.) Eli Roth and Lions Gate have the freedom to make torture porn and spew it nationally, but they are irresponsible and clueless about its impact on the attitudes and — God forbid – behavior of at least some of their customers. We as individuals have the freedom to ingest Paris and “Hostel” to our shrinking hearts content, and to act in general like dumbass 13 year-olds, but in the long run this doesn’t make our world (personally or globally) any better.

    An apropos quote from Samuel Adams – the guy on the beer label who also happened to sign the Declaration of Independence: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”

  12. Jeremy

    Ok…going to throw my two cents in on this whole Hostel thing. (BTW I’m with you Zack. Paris back in Jail = Greatest. Day. Ever)

    We can debate all we want on violence in society. (As far as I know…there has been no direct evidence linking violent video games or movies to violent behavior.) I’ve seen plenty of gruesome images that should have “desensitized” me to violence but it’s just not the case.

    The truth of the matter is that humanity is broke. It always has been. While a movie like Hostel is disagreeable and immoral to some, it’s not the problem. The truth is that there are places in the world and times in history where such horrors are actually committed on real live people. In fact Eli Roth has said publicly that much of the inspiration for the means of torture and murder in his films come from the Inquisition. And that was state sponsored and blessed by the church.

    I think it’s just too easy to blame something obvious like a movie and a video game when something horrible is happening with our society but I think it’s a cop out. For me I was raised with a sense of morality and ethics and spirituality that no amount of violence and gore can take away. Is it something that I think people should dwell on? Absolutely not. But is it the worst thing in the world? No. Taking away images like this will have ZERO affect on the problems with our culture.

    My two sense…flame on.

  13. Chad

    [quote comment="92200"]I’m confused. Remind me again how drinking and driving is in any way comparable to making a movie that contains graphic nature? Sure, I wouldn’t want my kids seeing that kind of garbage. However, I think I’d be more apt to blame/judge someone who puts my child’s life in danger by drinking and driving. I can’t see how that’s hypocritical at all. Furthermore, I think the real point is that it makes our authority figures look like a total joke when a celebrity is given special treatment, and we don’t need any more help with that. (Thank you Mr. Bush)[/quote]

    Sara, in my mind they’re only loosely connected. I saw some irony, and went for it. I’d like to state, for the record, that no one here, including myself, has suggested that Eli Roth or Lionsgate should be considered legally accountable for their actions, only morally (or ethically, if you prefer that term… I know that the word “Moral” can be a hot button / land mine type of word.)

    I’m having trouble making the connection between our Mr. Decider and Ms. Hilton or the movie Hostel 2.

    [quote comment="92200"]
    I also know that I personally wouldn’t want to live in a country that limits our freedom. The fact that the people in this country are attracted to the stories of disorderly debutantes is sad, i’ll admit. It’s also sad that we are attracted to violence. Does that mean that we shouldn’t have the right to do what we want because some deem this behavior “immoral” and others do not, though? I think not.
    [/quote]

    This is a huge discussion, and one that I think Mike is laying a really interesting foundation for that discussion in his series about different moral theories. I guess I’d just push back on you on one thing, and that’s the fact that every country limits their citizen’s freedoms in hundreds if not thousands of ways. Your freedom is being regulated at this very moment by various departments of the government. The issue is not whether or not the government limits our freedoms, but how much is acceptable and beneficial. No limits on freedom is just plain ole’ anarchy, Mad Max time… where might makes right all the time, with zero exceptions.

    [quote comment="92200"]Besides what does “moral” mean anyway? Moral to me may be different than “moral” to you. And thank GOD there isn’t a morality court or else it’s safe to say this whole world would be serving time.[/quote]

    Again… this is a really huge discussion, one would most likely be facilitated and assisted by consuming generous amounts of alcohol. Clearly, individual human beings, who have free will, are going to choose their own moral codes through a process of first assimilating and understanding their upbringing and then making decisions as they are adults. People whose moral codes are compatible in enough ways for peaceful coexistance are then part of a community, for which some sort of common moral code must be established, or else we’re back to Mad Max time. People like to live near other people, for some reason.

    Everyone has a moral code, whether or not they admit it. I think that perhaps the question is not, morals or no morals, but rather, whose morals get to win? Hollywood has their own morality code (see Isaiah Washington’s firing this weekend from Grey’s Anatomy) and government officials have their own moral code (though none of us regular folk can figure out what the hell it is) and then Christians have their own moral code as well (and want to tell you the good news about it all the effing time.)

    Meh. I don’t know where I’m goin with this. I wasn’t interested in beating up Zack, I just was amused by the fact that these two threads landed next to each other by happenstance. I still think there are connections between the two, but I’ll admit that they are tangental at best.

  14. Paul

    Regarding Jeremy’s comments:

    I have no reason to doubt your statement that you haven’t been desensitized by violent images, but you’re only one of millions who have been exposed to this particular genre. To think that torture porn doesn’t affect attitudes in many viewers and behavior in a disturbed few, is naive, in my humble opinion. (The same argument has been made, also naively, about pornography.) Corporations spend billions of dollars every year banking on the notion that well-crafted images affect the inclinations and behavior of at least some viewers. They’re not forking over all of those bucks to the TV networks as a public service.

    I completely agree that the Inquisition, and any use of violence or torture to advance Christianity or any religion, is an abomination, the complete antithesis of what Jesus taught and lived. But Eli Roth’s claim that he is making an artistic or political statement about this or any other subject is (also in my humble opinion) a cynical and pompous load of crappola. If he really cares about human rights abuses, he should make a documentary about it for PBS, and not present torture as entertainment.

    By the way, according to the Saturday LA Times “Hostel 2″ isn’t doing so well at the box office. This, plus the fact that Paris is back in the hoosegow, may suggest (to paraphrase Zack) that at least something is working as it should.

  15. Jeremy

    Paul,
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you about the power of imagery but for arguments sake has violent imagery or pornography really affected how we as humans treat eachother? Seems to me that we’ve been pretty bad since the dawn of time. Point me to one study that links violent images to personal violence on a societal level. I don’t think the evidence supports that logic.

    My point wasn’t that Eli Roth was making some statement with Hostel 2. In fact I’m sure that he would say he isn’t. My point was that it’s not like humanity was in this perfect state of love toward fellow man and then violent movies came around and created serial killers. Horrific behavior has always been a part of humanity and I’m pretty sure that it always will be.

    There is a HUGE difference between images affecting what kind of deodorant I want to use and images making me want to chop the heads off people. Thats a pretty big leap. But…like I said before, is that something you want to have in your head, no. Is it the root cause of violence in our society, no. It’s a reflection of our problems, not the cause.

  16. corey

    Jeremy,
    I understand your position, and I can personaly relate because I had this same talk with my folks and teachers regarding heavy metal music when I was in high school. They said that Iron Maiden and Suicidal Tendencies was gonna make me into a crazy devil worshipper and I told them that I just dug the music because of the music.

    But now, seeing this kind of thing from a different perspective, I can understand Paul’s point. And actually, since porn was part of the discussion, I’ve read that therapists relate viewing porn or über violent images as “practice”. Which seems like an odd word to use for something that most would call a spectator sport (porn or hack-n-slash movies). But the assertion is that the porn and the hack-n-slash images turn the victims into static characters, or one-dimensional people. The dynamic nature (and emotions, wants, needs, aspirations, troubles, loves) of the character become insignificant. If I watch enough of these kinds of movies, I become less aware and less interested that these are people. They become either sexual or torture objects. And it makes it easier for the viewer to then see the people in his or her own life as one-dimensional, and there for the sole purpose of (fill in the blank).

    And the word “objectify” has really been overused and no longer has the strong meaning that it once did. But if you spend some time thinking about what the implications of the word are, porn and h-n-s movies turn the on-screen participants into objects and it aids the viewer in purging the emotion and empathy that we’d attach if it were our sister or mother on screen.

    I think you’re right that going to see “Hostel” or even enjoying the movie doesn’t ensure that a person will turn into a head-chopper. But I think it’s pretty cavalier to assert that it has no residual effects on the person and ultimately, society. And not being able to find a study with empirical evidence might be an indication that finding a method of measurement is difficult.

  17. Jeremy

    Corey,
    Yeah I get your point..but no one seems to get mine. So here, I’ll say it again for the 3rd time…

    Humans have been committing horribly violent acts on eachother since we were created. That is without any kind of “education” or turning other people one dimensional etc etc threw fancy moving pictures or violent music.

    Movies like these are a result of giving into the lust that lives in humanity’s heart. It’s a result of our fallen state not the cause of violence etc. Does it help the situation? Should we embrace it and promote it? No of course not but again i ask…can anyone point out a scientific study that agrees with the assumptions that most people hold, that violent images causes violence on a societal level?

  18. corey

    no. probably not. I don’t think these movies cause the violence. And yeah, we humans are a sordid bunch, there’s no doubt about it.

  19. michael lee

    [quote comment="93383"]Humans have been committing horribly violent acts on eachother since we were created.

    Can anyone point out a scientific study that agrees with the assumptions that most people hold, that violent images causes violence on a societal level?[/quote]

    I’m curious how you would go about designing that kind of study, Jeremy. It seems hard to design a test group that has all of the same cultural influences, except for violent images, to compare with. If you move backward and forward in time to find your control group, you change the cultural influences significantly, and void whatever comparison you might get.

    I guess you might get at it by comparing two subgroups within a larger society, looking at the amount of real-life violence in their subculture, and compare that with the amount of simulated violence in their media intake. Maybe compare Hip Hop culture in South LA vs. LDS culture in south Utah? Clearly, you’re changing much more than just the amount of violent imagery.

    Or, you can try to stay within an isolated subculture, try to move as little as possible in time, say only a single generation, and compare the violent imagery vs. violent activity within the two time-frames. Again, though, that’s a pretty significant cultural change, even just a generation removed.

    In either case, I don’t think you’d get very accurate results. Can you think of a more accurate way to measure for the influence of violent images on violent behavior?

  20. Chad

    So… this is weird.

    I stumbled upon a strange twist in the Paris Hilton saga that… I dunno… somehow speaks into the conversation we’ve been having about justice and peace and violence and privilege and the general state of all things.

    The picture that Zack posted of Paris Hilton weeping as she was taken back to jail last weekend was taken by a photographer named Huynh Cong Ut, who also happened to take the famous shot of a young girl named Kim Phuc, who was stark naked and burning from napalm exposure during the Vietnam War. The photo, which can be seen on the Wikipedia link, is iconic and you will recognize it immediately.

    The photos were taken 35 years apart, to the day.

    What this says about Paris, Hostel, and the state of things… I dunno… but it says something.

  21. Paul

    Okay, one more run at this before moving on to a new topic…

    Here’s one study to ponder: http://www.apa.org/releases/media_violence.html. This is about children and violent TV shows. Here’s another one that’s more directly relevant to this discussion: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990427045219.htm.
    I found these on one pass through Google with the search topic “Studies on exposure to violent films.” We could no doubt debate how valid these studies are, just as there was considerable debate along similar lines twenty years ago when the Attorney General launched a study on pornography. (The people who made and distributed porn characterized it as harmless entertainment that doesn’t affect behavior. The normal people thought otherwise.)

    Anyway, I would propose one more argument along cultural lines. There is no doubt that for thousands of years humans have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to do terrible things to one another. (The idea that mankind is fallen is arguably the easiest biblical precept to validate on any day of the week.) But as rotten as any and all of us can be as individuals, the cultural context can definitely impact to what degree evil is contained — or turned loose. For example, think Rome under Nero, Mississippi in 1860 (or even 1960), Berlin in 1936, Moscow under Stalin, China during the Great Cultural Revolution, and so on.

    In the U.S. we’ve made a cultural decision that slave ownership, gladiator fights to the death, synagogue-burning, etc. are way out of bounds. We contain some evils and allow others to persist, and, like it or not, most people – though not everyone — pick up on these cues.

    I think it is a reasonable assumption that mass-marketing vivid portrayals of torture as a form of entertainment moves any culture in the wrong direction.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  22. Sara

    Well, first of all….I’m tickled pink that I didn’t kill the thread with my comment last week. For some reason that seems to be my effect on this site. Thanks for commenting Chad! :)

    First of all, you are absolutely right. This Country is limiting my freedom in so many ways. I am still in shock over the recent late term abortion ruling that limits my right to live, should my health be in danger in the event of a late term pregnancy crisis. But that’s another debate, entirely. However, that’s a perfect example of “who’s morals will win?”, and I’m sad to say that in this case, my freedom to choose was not taken into consideration. I guess it’s soo scary for me to think about the freedom lost in such important matters such as this one, that it’s the little ones that I need to fight for, being the “crazy, hippie liberal” that I am. Bring on the slash em’ up movies, and the porn, I say. I agree that violence and exploited sex does not a serial killer make.

    I personally enjoyed the first Hostel movie. I found it daring, and intriguing, and even entertaining. Being a huge fan of horror movies as a child, I have personally always been able to hold a healthy separation between gruesome films and reality. I am not violent. I do not have a violent bone in my body, in fact. The most you could say about my exposure to horror films at an early age is that I still really like Halloween. Does this mean that I think that we should all let our two year olds watch Hostel II or Saw? Of course not. I won’t even let my kids (when I have them) watch these movies until they reach a certain age. However, I don’t think that limiting and restricting and hiding such gruesome flicks is the answer. Look at Amsterdam. They have legalized prostitution, drugs, and nudity on daytime tv and they have one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

    Chad- I guess I just assumed that when you suggested that Eli Roth would be “held morally accountable” for his films that that was in some way equal in your mind to being held accountable on this Earth plane and/or that your wish would be for such things to simply not exist. But that most likely comes from my belief system that teaches me that there is no judgement that occurs “later”, (in other words judgement day, heaven and hell, etc). To me, if Eli Roth creates media that makes him feel bad about himself, or ashamed, or guilty, then he will simply feel sick, or “stuck” in ways that he cannot explain in this lifetime. It’s more of an internal karma as far as I’m concerned and it frankly has less to do with any given religion’s belief system, someone else’s God judging his actions. Who knows, maybe God loves slasher films and porn.

    And as for porn…..
    I watch Porn. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pornography, in fact. Again, I think it has more to do with how it makes you feel. What effect it has on each individual person. Does it objectify women? Sure it does. If you let it. But I think it also objectifies men, and I think that has less to do with the the fact that they are having sex and more to do with the way it is produced and the fact that the actors are terrible, there are terrible plot-lines, and bad music. I’ve always thought that if porn was produced in a way that made you feel like you were watching a great movie that more women would watch it. That it might cut down on the shameful reputation it has. The show Real Sex on HBO is a great look at various types of Sexual activities around the world. Now, do I think “pony play” is something I want to partake in after watching it? No. I think that’s weird. One might say that pony play objectifies ponies. :) Anyway, the act of videotaping other people’s sexual acts as a way of entertaining other people doesn’t have to be so scandalous. It’s really harmless if you think about it, and if it doesn’t hurt anyone involved what’s the big issue?

    But I think it’s not only great that people are into such strange sexual theatrical antics, but I also think it’s great that I can watch a show about polygamy, and then a show about the mafia, and then a show about people riding around on each other’s backs, naked, heeing and hawing, and getting turned on by that. All three of these shows are morally offensive to some group in this country, but again, the freedom that we still have in this country gives us the right to simply change the channel. And I still revel in that fact!

    Oh and by the way Chad, none of my previous comments had anything to do with defending Zack. I think it’s quite obvious that he knows how to defend himself quite well. I just took your ironic connection and ran with it. I’m all for beating up Zack when the mood hits me! I’m also for debating these issues when consuming generous amounts of alcohol as well, with Zack, and maybe a pony or two, and Eli Roth (if he’s available). Just thought I’d through a little boozy talk in there to round out my already completely alienating and morally controversial post.

    :)
    Cheers!
    Sara

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