celebrities, condescending twatbags, healthcare, rock stars, slut shamers

No, Lindsey Buckingham doesn’t need your input on charities…

This morning, I looked at my Facebook memories and realized that one year ago, the world lost Christine McVie, the luminary singer, keyboardist, and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. As I remembered my shock at the sudden departure of McVie, a musician I’ve admired for most of my life, I remembered that one of her former bandmates was also recently on my mind.

Lindsey Buckingham, legendary guitar player, songwriter, singer, and former member of Fleetwood Mac, is running an ad on his Facebook page that I happened to see. I fully support Lindsey’s decision to support Planned Parenthood through Wear Your Music, an organization that makes and sells jewelry from guitar strings. In fact, I applaud it. For the most part, Planned Parenthood does good work, offering reproductive healthcare to people– men and women– who need it. Yes, Planned Parenthood offers abortions, but abortion is a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does… and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know how strongly I feel about the need for safe and legal access to abortion healthcare. I do not, by the way, wish to argue about this point. I won’t be changing my mind.

I think this is a good thing, and I applaud Lindsey Buckingham’s courage. Plenty of anti-choicers were flooding the comment section, though.

It always amazes me how many trolls come out when an artist expresses support for something like reproductive healthcare. While many people were congratulating Buckingham’s decision to support a very worthy cause, plenty of other people– many of them men and older women who no longer have to worry about unintended pregnancies– were chiming in on how awful Planned Parenthood is, and how wrong it is for Buckingham to support it. Lots of people were commenting about how Buckingham’s decision changed their opinions of him… as if that is going to matter a whit to Lindsey Buckingham. I doubt he’ll lose any sleep over their outrage.

Poor Bill had to listen to my outrage at some of the braindead comments on Buckingham’s ad. It infuriates me to read the sanctimonious, slut shaming, and just plain clueless remarks made by people who insist that they care about the sanctity of life, as they vote for people who don’t give a fuck about anyone but the super wealthy. One woman commented repeatedly about how she’d rather Buckingham donate money to pay for ultrasounds for pregnant people who are considering abortion. When someone asked her how many babies she’d adopted, she responded that she hadn’t adopted any… but gives money to “organizations that do.”

That struck me as a strange comment. This woman is no doubt a Republican, and Republicans constantly yammer about how government needs to be smaller and less involved in people’s personal decisions. And yet, she feels perfectly fine about inserting herself in one of the most private and personal decisions a woman can make. I also didn’t see her commenting about what she does to make sure the babies born to women who aren’t ready to be parents have a good start in life.

I NEVER see pro-life people ever offering to help pregnant women with anything that would make pregnancy safer, and parenthood more feasible for them. I don’t see them offering to hire pregnant women, helping them pay for food, rent, or medical bills, or otherwise trying to make pregnancy easier for women who find themselves facing parenthood when they aren’t ready. They repeatedly bring up adoption as a good solution, but never seem to consider that pregnancy is physically and emotionally risky for some people.

Some of those babies born to mothers who aren’t ready for them are going to suffer from abuse, neglect, poverty, and other social ills, because, at this point, we don’t force people give up their babies to “good” parents. Moreover, left to their own devices, a lot of women who would want to have an abortion for the sake of convenience would do it as early as possible, if people would just leave them alone and let them make the decision without interference. The people who speak of carelessness and convenience don’t seem to realize that pregnancy shouldn’t be a punishment. Life is hard enough as it is. I wouldn’t want a very irresponsible person maintaining a pregnancy, especially if they don’t have any support. Republicans don’t want to support anyone or anything but the wealthy and the religious.

I have repeatedly stated that, personally, I don’t think I would have ever chosen to have an abortion. Thankfully, I was never in a situation where I would have needed to consider it. But that’s me– and that’s my choice. And I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when I still had the choice, if I needed to make it. Today’s young women are no longer guaranteed that choice. While a lot of pro-lifers remind everyone that pregnancy is prevented by abstinence, quite a few of those folks are men, and as almost every woman knows, men can be very persuasive when they’re in the mood for sex. Unfortunately, not all of them are willing to wear condoms.

Planned Parenthood has helped many people with reproductive healthcare issues that have nothing to do with abortion. The organization offers affordable, accessible care to people who really need it. As someone with master’s degrees in public health and social work, of course I support the valuable work they do. Someone else’s choice to have an abortion is NONE of my business. It’s none of yours, either.

Someone who doesn’t support Planned Parenthood posted that they were glad Lindsey was upfront about where the money would be going. I thought that was a reasonable comment. If you choose not to support Planned Parenthood, of course that’s your prerogative. I highly doubt the man who posted his thoughts on this was going to buy any guitar string jewelry, anyway. I mean, I support Lindsey’s choice in charities, but I’m not interested in buying guitar string jewelry myself. It makes me think too much about what a pain it is to change the strings on my guitar.

I have donated to Planned Parenthood, though, and maybe it’s time I did so again. That’s a cause I believe in, wholeheartedly. I just wish there was a way to donate that didn’t potentially put my credit card at risk. Last time I donated to a cause, my card got hacked, and it was a huge pain in the ass. Just a few days ago, someone got ahold of my old number and tried to use it for nefarious purposes. I wish those criminal dirtbags would get jobs.

Anyway… it saddens me that so many Americans think they need to weigh in on other Americans’ reproductive choices. Especially when MOST of them have no desire to do anything more than slut shame, scream about their gun rights, and vote for people like Donald Trump. It really saddens me how very ignorant people are. And frankly, it reminds me that I’m glad I don’t have any children to worry about… especially daughters.


I am very glad to see women in Texas suing the state over the ridiculous and extreme abortion bans there. I wish most of them would simply leave the state. It’s so dangerous to be a woman in a state where doctors are afraid to do what is medically correct, because they don’t want to go to jail, get sued, or lose their license to practice over the abortion issue. IT IS A DECISION THAT SHOULD BE PRIVATE… just as private as John MAGA’s prostate surgery is. And just as sacred as John MAGA’s guns are…

book reviews, celebrities

A review of If You Would Have Told Me, by John Stamos…

I’m not exactly sure what made me decide to read actor/musician John Stamos’ memoir, If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir, published in late October 2023. John Stamos has been famous for a good portion of my life. He was on General Hospital in the early 80s, but I never watched that show. I was a Guiding Light fan. I do remember him from Full House, but I was a little too old for that show when it originally aired. I can’t say I was a super fan.

I’ve also never thought Stamos was a particularly great musician… or, at least not when he did music on Full House. I do know that he’s friends with the surviving members of The Beach Boys, and they often have him as a guest drummer. But even though I have a lot of music from a vast array of artists across the spectrum of musicians, I don’t own any music by John Stamos.

So why did I read John’s book, If You Would Have Told Me? Well, it was probably based on a combination of drinking too much alcohol and reading too many clickbait articles about the more lurid details about the book. I am not a particularly highbrow type, so I don’t mind dipping into scandalous tell alls sometimes, even if the book was just written strictly for the money. And the cast of Full House has had its share of scandals. They aren’t quite to the tragic level of the actors from Diff’rent Strokes, but there have been some headlines. I figured some of that would be in John Stamos’ book. Plus, I figured it would be quick and easy to read.

I finished If You Would Have Told Me last night. Overall, I think it’s a fairly decent memoir. I’ve certainly read worse. However, Stamos writes in historical present tense, which is a little annoying to me. It’s just a personal quirk of mine. He’s also not a particularly humble person, not that I was expecting him to be. Sometimes he’s fairly candid, especially when he speaks of his addiction to alcohol and how it was affecting his health. I can tell that John Stamos’ late parents were very good people who loved their children, but his mother, Loretta, especially doted on John. And he obviously adored her, too, as much as he respected his father. I enjoyed reading about that. He made it sound like his parents were salt of the earth type people who never let John’s fame go to their heads or change their lifestyles.

There are some things missing from John Stamos’ book. He mentions working on ER, for example, late in the show’s iconic run. He explains that he was up for the part of Dr. Dave Malucci (played by Erik Palladino), but didn’t get it because the producers thought he was too much like George Clooney. Maybe he was in terms of his looks, but I don’t think Stamos and Clooney are comparable as actors. I hasten to add, I remember some of Clooney’s earliest roles, including when he was on a sitcom called E/R. I remember finding Clooney annoying on that show, as well as when he was on The Facts of Life. I didn’t even think he was cute in those days. But on ER, Clooney was a true star, and he played Dr. Doug Ross to perfection. Stamos did okay as Dr. Tony Gates, but he certainly wasn’t as electric as Clooney was, and he’s kidding himself if he thinks that. I could, however, see him as Malucci… but I think it’s better that the producers went with a lesser known actor who had less of a “pretty boy” aura.

Stamos was also on Glee, which was a very popular show. He doesn’t mention that role at all. I actually liked him on Glee as the dentist who wants to marry the OCD guidance counselor.

Stamos mentions having a good relationship with his Full House castmates, the Olsen twins, Lori Loughlin, Bob Saget (especially), and Candace Cameron. But I don’t remember him printing a word about Jodie Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner. He even mentions the cute twins who played his sons on Full House (and somehow looked nothing like either Stamos or Loughlin), but nothing about Jodie. And really, there wasn’t much about Dave Coulier, either– He played Joey, Danny Tanner’s (Saget’s) best friend on Full House.

Stamos was a good friend of Don Rickles’, and he writes quite a lot about that. Rickles, like Bob Saget, was a famously caustic comedian. His humor was not politically correct. Neither was Bob Saget’s comedy, which some people might not know. On Full House, Saget’s character was obsessed with being neat, and played a squeaky clean father type. But when Saget worked as a comic, he was famously profane and crass. I never saw any of his routines. I probably would have enjoyed them. Stamos writes that he and Saget were like brothers, and he was crushed when Saget suddenly died in January 2022.

I did find If You Would Have Told Me a relatively easy and fun read. Stamos seems like a pretty decent guy, in spite of his celebrity. He is a bit full of himself at times, but he tempers that occasional conceit with stories that humble him a bit. He doesn’t write a whole lot about his alcoholism, but he does mention it, and how it was killing him. The fact that Stamos doesn’t delve too much into his demons makes his book lightweight reading that will please the masses. I wasn’t expecting great literature from Stamos’ life story, but I think it would have been nice if he’d dug a little deeper.

Stamos also has few comments about Lori Loughlin’s recent college acceptance scandal that sent her to a federal prison in 2021. He seems to really like Loughlin, though. In fact, Stamos seems to have a lot of friends… and he writes as much about them as he does about himself and his own life. Some readers might find that a weakness.

Overall, I think I’d give If You Would Have Told Me 3.5 stars out of 5. I didn’t think it was a terrible book. I’ve read much worse. But parts of it are kind of boring, and Stamos is quite conceited at times. He does a lot of name dropping and bragging. And when it comes down to it, there really isn’t a lot of meat to this book. He loves his parents and sisters, and that’s a good thing. He thought of many Full House cast members as family… also a good thing.

I just don’t think Stamos spent much time really reflecting on his life before he wrote this book. He spent a lot of time writing about other people, rather than himself. And while some might think it’s rude to speak or write too much about themselves, that’s kind of what memoirs are for. I mean, people buy memoirs to read life stories. So I think John’s life story should have had more about him and his life, and less about Don Rickles and The Beach Boys. Just my humble opinion. And I wish he hadn’t written in historical present tense. But again, that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.

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book reviews, celebrities

Britney Spears tells a lot in The Woman in Me…

Good morning, blog fans. Another Monday is upon us. Today, I woke up alone at about 3:00 AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I plowed through the rest of Britney Spears’ bombshell memoir, The Woman in Me.

I read Britney’s book, not because I am a big fan of her music, but because I know she has a story, and she was silenced for far too long under her father’s disgusting conservatorship scam. I’ve come to admire her prodigious talents and her undeniable pluck. She’s been through a lot, and while I have no doubts that she struggles with mental health issues, I also think she was used and abused for most of her life. I admire her for fighting back against the many parasitic people who were in her life, and for making herself heard… and I love that this project is hers, and she will profit from it.

The Woman in Me is decently written, and Britney Spears is remarkably candid about what has happened to her since her birth in McComb, Mississippi on December 2, 1981. She was born into a troubled family. According to Spears, her father, Jamie Spears, is a notorious alcoholic who is a very mean drunk. Britney writes that her father’s father, June, was also a very strict, abusive taskmaster who was mean, while his mother, Jean, tragically committed suicide about eight years after she lost her three day old son.

Britney’s mother, Lynne, was born into a family with money, although her British mother, Lily, longed to go back to her native London. Lynne’s father, Barney, would not allow Lily to go home, so she became kind of flighty and distraught, as Britney describes it.

Since Britney’s parents came from dysfunctional backgrounds, they were pretty dysfunctional themselves when they wed in July 1976. Lynne was Jamie’s second wife; his first wife was Debbie Sanders Cross, and their marriage lasted about three years. Jamie and Debbie are reportedly still friends, even though their marriage failed.

There were problems between Britney’s parents even before they welcomed Britney’s brother, Bryan, on April 24, 1977. Besides Jamie Spears’ alcoholism, there were also serious money problems early in the marriage, although Jamie later turned into a capable businessman in their hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana. Lynne went as far as filing for divorce in 1980, but changed her mind. The couple stayed together so that Britney could be born the following year. Sister Jamie Lynn Spears was born April 4, 1991, even though Jamie and Lynne Spears continued to have marital strife. As of May 2002, they are divorced, although they unofficially reconciled in 2010 and seem to continue to be in and out of each other’s lives.

From an early age, Britney Spears showed an affinity for performing. She loved to sing, dance, and do gymnastics. When it became clear that their daughter had a special gift for performing arts, Britney’s parents encouraged her to participate in musical activities. She made her debut in kindergarten, singing “What Child Is This” for a production at her Christian school. By the time she was eight years old, Britney was auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club. Although she didn’t make the cut the first time, the casting director liked her enough to encourage her to go to New York and work with a talent agent. Lynne took Britney to New York City and pretty soon, she was singing on Broadway with the likes of Natalie Portman. She was also famously a contestant on Star Search, although she didn’t go far on that show. She was eliminated after her second appearance.

Ten year old Britney Spears’ second appearance on Star Search. Little did we know what she would later become… a true star.

Britney later got on The Mickey Mouse Club, and there she met Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. She and Justin had a long romance and she eventually got pregnant with his child. She wanted to keep the baby, but Justin objected. So Britney Spears, who had been baptized as Southern Baptist and went to Christian school in the Deep South, had an abortion that she didn’t want. Later, she realized that Timberlake was unfaithful to her, just as other men in her life have been.

The video that put Britney on the proverbial map…

By the time Britney was seventeen years old, she was a huge star and certifiably bankable to money hungry executives. When she first started, Britney wanted to work constantly. She loved what she was doing and it came very naturally to her. She was also happy to share her good fortune with her family. But soon she was consumed by the demands of her stardom, and the many people who were making money off of her gifts. She started to have mental health issues and began to crumble quite publicly. She famously got married for 55 hours to her friend, Jason Alexander. The press turned on her; her marriage to Kevin Federline collapsed; and she lost custody of her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. She responded by shaving her head.

Britney Spears and Michael Jackson, before things went south for both of them…

Then Britney’s father turned into her master, and for thirteen years, she couldn’t so much as eat a piece of pizza or drink a cup of coffee without his permission. Meanwhile, she continued to rake in money, which she was forced to spend on rehabs her father made her attend. He paid himself more than he paid her; she was given an allowance of $2000 a week. And the rest of her family just stood by and did nothing, while Britney was deemed too sick to handle her own affairs, but not too sick to perform on stage or make best selling albums.

My thoughts

This book is pretty easy to read, with short chapters and straightforward writing. There are no photos included, which I see disappointed some readers. Personally, I didn’t mind, since I can easily find many records of the incidents she refers to in the book. Most of them are videos that are easily watched on YouTube.

Some of Britney’s bombshells are shocking and infuriating, but she also manages to include some interesting anecdotes about her life as a star. I was particularly intrigued by her story about working with a huge snake while performing at the 2001 Video Music Awards. While I wouldn’t say Britney’s writing (which is actually assisted by several ghost writers) is extraordinary, nor would I describe her book as super detailed, I would say that she delivers a pretty raw story about what her life as a superstar has been like. Based on Britney’s account, I would say being a superstar is definitely a mixed bag, even if her father hadn’t been an abusive tyrant.


Sure, Britney got to meet a lot of her heroes and has worked with fellow superstars Elton John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and will.i.am. But she also lost her privacy, as she was hounded by the press. Her every move was scrutinized and critiqued, and she wasn’t allowed to fail. And while she’s made a lot of money, she’s also employed a lot of people, whose livelihoods depend on her ability to deliver great performances. That’s a lot of pressure, even if your parents aren’t dysfunctional assholes. Based on Britney’s story, her parents are definitely in asshole territory.

As of June 9, 2022, Britney Spears is now on her third marriage, but by September 2023 she had already separated from Sam Ashgari. I have no doubt that it’s a challenge to live with Britney Spears. Even if her mental health was rock solid, she can’t enjoy the basic things normal people take for granted. That would be bound to affect anyone close to her, especially a spouse. I don’t know why she and her husband have already split. I hope it’s not because he turned out to be yet another exploiter.

As a singer myself, I really admire Britney Spears’ talents. I also find her very likable, even if I’m still not a big fan of her genre of music. She has undeniable charisma, and that is what makes her such a bankable star. I’m glad she wrote The Woman in Me, and I hope she enjoys the surge of success that comes from sharing her story. She’s entitled to be free to live her life on her own terms. Even if she has a mental illness, she should have the right to handle it without interference from leeches who are just trying to make money off of her star power. I don’t want to see Britney end up like so many other incredibly gifted people who burn out fast and die too young.

As I was reading this book, I was actually reminded a little of Tina Turner, who was also famously exploited by a greedy man who wanted to profit off her talents. Tina was also able to break away in her 40s, just like Britney has. I hope, that like Tina Turner did, Britney is able to enjoy the rest of her life as she pleases. She really deserves it.

I would give The Woman in Me four stars out of five and a hearty recommendation.

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celebrities, obits

Bob Barker! Come on down to the Pearly Gates!

Last night, I got the news that famed game show host, Bob Barker, finally went on to host the next game show in the sky. Barker, as most of my American readers of a certain age know, was best known as the host of The Price is Right, a rare hour long game show that has been running for over 50 years. Barker started hosting that show– a staple of my youth– in 1972, the year I was born. Because it aired at 11:00 every weekday morning, I wasn’t a regular viewer when I was a kid. I had to go to school. But when I was at home on rare sick days or when there was a school holiday or summer break, I would watch Bob and his “beauties” running a variety of games for excited contestants who had been invited to “come on down!”

That’s quite an outfit Bob is wearing.

Bob Barker passed away in his Hollywood Hills home yesterday at age 99. He was just a few months from his 100th birthday, remarkable given that he’d had some health crises during his lifetime. Barker enjoyed tanning, so he had a few bouts with skin cancer. He also suffered a stroke twenty years ago, had a blocked artery, and underwent prostate surgery. In spite of the health issues that cropped up, Barker was remarkably resilient.

Gay and Jose bid on the Showcase.

I have read about some of the controversies involving Bob Barker and the models who appeared on his show. And, after I heard about his death last night, I noticed people were hitting my blog. There, they no doubt saw my review of Kathleen Bradley’s book. Bradley was the first Black Barker Beauty, and she dished quite a bit about her time on The Price Is Right.

I remember that around the time I read that book, I also read about the models I remembered from the 80s– Dian Parkinson, who famously sued Barker for sexual harassment, Janice Pennington, and Holly Hallstrom, who also sued Barker. But, when I read about the many controversies surrounding Bob Barker’s behavior behind the scenes, I have trouble divorcing it from what I always saw on The Price is Right stage… an unflappable, consummate professional, who was always friendly and charming to every guest. He was like the world’s best cruise director. 😉

I always think of Bob with dark brown hair.

Bob Barker also hosted Truth or Consequences, another game show that was on before my time. I’m sure that show meant even more to Bob than his famous turn on The Price is Right did. It was the beginning of his long and illustrious career, doing a job that almost no one can hope of doing. A brilliant host is extremely difficult to replace, as fans of Jeopardy! have noticed in the wake of Alex Trebek’s death in 2020. But there also aren’t a lot of game show host gigs out there, and openings are few and far between, because it appears to be a fabulous way to make a living.

Only one woman, Dorothy Jo Gideon, had the experience of being Barker’s wife. They were married in 1945 and stayed together until Gideon’s death in 1981. Bob Barker never remarried, although he did have some famous and infamous romantic and working relationships with other women… a couple of which ended in lawsuits.

Bob Barker left The Price is Right in 2007, when he was 83 years old. I’m sure he never expected to live another 16 years, enjoying the California sunshine and working toward promoting animal rights. Mr. Barker was all about animal welfare; he was a vegetarian and was not above using his influence to get other people to be more mindful about their well-being. He was famous for urging people to help control the pet population by having their pets spayed or neutered.

Classic TPIR… Johnny Olson was the guy who called everyone down to Contestant’s Row. That music is vintage TPIR, too. I wonder what it was like for the musicians to play that.

Bob was very good when there were any mishaps… and there were a few of them in the above clip. I have a feeling someone got fired after that disaster. But Bob was such a pro and he handled almost every situation with tremendous panache. I highly recommend watching the above video! Hilarious!

And now he’s not gonna go over.

Anyway… love him or hate him, Bob Barker had a really good run in life, and he could teach us all something by the way he conducted himself on stage. I wish I had his ability to be so graceful under pressure. He was never at a loss for words and could always put a smile on my face.

I can’t say it’s “tragic” that he died, since he was almost 100 years old, but I can say that I have many fond memories of his work. I still like to watch The Price is Right when I get the chance. I think Drew Carey has done a good job taking over The Price is Right, but there will only be ONE Bob Barker. May his eternal home be furnished by a double showcase win and inhabited with many grateful animals!

book reviews, celebrities

A review of Paris: The Memoir, by Paris Hilton…

Fifteen years ago, if you had told me that one day I’d read Paris Hilton’s life story and actually admire her for writing it, I would have said you were crazy. I distinctly remember Paris Hilton circa 2007 or so. She was in her mid 20s and seemed to be on a one way track to nowhere. She seemed to have a lot in common with Anna Nicole Smith, who sadly passed away that year. Both were bottle blonde models who had substance abuse issues… Both were portrayed as vapid, spoiled, and kind of low class. South Park famously did an episode about Paris Hilton, referring to her as a “stupid spoiled whore”.

2007 was also the year Paris went to jail for 23 days for driving under the influence and violating her probation. OMovies on YouTube made a rather entertaining parody of her song, “Stars are Blind”. They also made one about Lindsay Lohan, but I can’t find that one right now.

I must admit, I still enjoy this video, even though it’s kind of an unfair and inaccurate roasting of Paris Hilton.

I decided to read Paris Hilton’s 2023 book, Paris: The Memoir after I saw her YouTube documentary and read several articles about her ordeals at Provo Canyon School, a “troubled teen” facility in Provo, Utah. I determined, especially after watching her documentary, that there’s a lot more to Paris Hilton that meets the eye, and she’s gotten a really bum rap. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, reading Hilton’s book only confirms that notion to me.

The media unfairly portrayed Paris Hilton as an empty-headed, spoiled moron with low morals. But the reality is, she was suffering from untreated Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Like a lot of us who came of age before ADHD was commonly treated, Paris Hilton was forced to try to fend for herself as she struggled through childhood and adolescence. She did poorly in school, and had some pretty obvious impulse control problems. But she wasn’t a bad kid, and she certainly didn’t deserve to be sent off to high priced boarding schools where she was blatantly abused and learned absolutely NOTHING of value. On the contrary, she left those experiences with significant trauma. Fortunately, she’s got a head for business, so now she’s selling her story to the masses, but she’s also trying to make a real difference through lobbying efforts against these abusive facilities that charge obscene amounts of money to imprison, brainwash, and abuse children on behalf of their parents.

A good portion of Paris: The Memoir is about Paris’s experiences in several facilities of differing severities. However, she also writes a fair bit about her family, and repeatedly reiterates that she has forgiven her parents. She writes that she knows they were trying to help her, even though they had her hauled off in the middle of the night by abusive goons who handcuffed her and shuttled her off to unspeakably awful “schools”. I can’t help but wonder if that would have happened if Paris Hilton had been appropriately treated for ADHD instead of simply being regarded as a discipline case. She might have still gotten into trouble, but I doubt her parents would have felt the need to send her away.

These days, Paris Hilton makes her living as a D.J. and business person. She fully admits that she’s a very privileged person, who has a whole lot of benefits that most people don’t have. There are a few instances in her book when her frankness about her privilege took me aback. On one or two occasions, she even makes statements that seem obviously and blatantly arrogant to me. But then, the charm returns, and I realize that even the arrogant statements aren’t even particularly wrong. It’s just that in our culture, people tend to frown on folks who pat themselves on the back too much. When Paris brags, she’s just being truthful. The fact is, she is beautiful, wealthy, and quite charmed in her life.

While I’ve read better written books than Paris Hilton’s, I also give her credit for being able to write her story in a fairly clear and coherent way, in spite of her vapid image… and in spite of the fact that she spent two years in a teen gulag, and never went to college. It’s more than a lot of people can accomplish. I see from reviews that some readers were left unmoved by her story. Some continue to refer to her as spoiled and narcissistic. Whether or not she’s like that in person, I don’t know. She says she’s a “nice” person, and there are many times within the book at which I can believe that about her. She’s also a survivor.

I couldn’t help but cheer for Paris when she related the story about how she went to the ladies room and slammed her female goon in the face by kicking the stall door at her like a “kangaroo”. I don’t usually cheer for violence, but I truly hate the troubled teen boarding schools. So many of them are just cash cows for religions and make their money by drugging, abusing, and traumatizing young people, then sending them out into the world to recover. It’s absolutely appalling and despicable. Even people in prison get treated better than that, most of the time. I can’t stand to see people being brutalized, especially when they’re teenagers, as Paris was when she went through her ordeal. So yes, I do cheer when young people manage to get one over on oppressive, bullying, abusive people who are simply using them for money or labor. Fuck that.

I don’t think this is the best memoir I’ve ever read. Gven a choice, I’d probably read Jennette McCurdy’s book, I’m Glad My Mom Died over Paris Hilton’s memoir. But I do think that if this type of book interests you, and you have the time and means to get it, it’s worth the read. That is, only if you can get beyond the stereotypical image of Paris Hilton that the media projected on her, back when she was younger. One criticism I would offer is that Paris mentions her time on The Simple Life, which was a Fox reality show that she did with Nicole Richie. I never watched the show, so when she kept mentioning people from the show, I was a little bit lost. I sort of deduced some things, but it would have been clearer for me if she’d have explained a bit more. But that’s a minor quibble.

Paris Hilton seems to have cleaned up her act, and has done a lot to repair her reputation. I, for one, applaud her for her efforts. No, she’s not perfect, and I understand that many people have no sympathy for her. Personally, I’ve found myself softening toward Paris Hilton in the past couple of years. Even if she seems a bit vain and shallow to some people, she certainly doesn’t seem as “bad” as she did in 2007 or so. And even in 2007, I doubt she was as bad as the media portrayed her to be. Yes, she has the benefits of wealth, beauty, and coming from a powerful family, but those attributes aren’t everything. In fact, they can even be hindrances in life. But most people probably don’t want to spend more than a few minutes pondering that potential reality, do they? Unfortunately, a lot of folks prefer to think the worst of others and simply tear them down relentlessly. Then, when someone does the same thing to them, they’re the first to whine about it.

I think on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest rating, I’d give Paris Hilton’s memoir a four. Your mileage may vary.

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