Ask Banterist: Who Is Paris Hilton?

I am reading this article about Paris Hilton (this ‘Making It’) and I am asking who she is? Can you please help tell me? (sorry for the English)

Hello D,
Your English is better than my German.
Allow me to express my mixed emotions at exporting this kind of knowledge to people outside our borders. Like weapons-grade uranium and McDonald’s, I think the world is a better place when such things are contained to the domestic arena, to be better policed. But, like weapons-grade uranium and McDonald’s, these things have a tendency to find the cracks and escape. Especially when they have a marketing and public relations force.
No doubt, I’m playing right into her publicist’s hands to assist in the dissemination of Paris-related information, whether or not it’s negative. However, since you came all the way from Hamburg and asked, I feel it’s only fair to answer your question. Perhaps you can start assembling the defenses in Germany, for I feel all is lost here. If I could contribute in some way to the establishment of a cultural Maginot Line ‘ one that works – I would consider my life more worthwhile.
Paris Hilton is the daughter of one of the sons of Conrad Hilton, a hotel magnate. An ‘heir’ being simply a son or daughter with a boatload of cash. If you’ve stayed at a Hilton, you have indirectly contributed to her heiress lifestyle. I have an awkwardly-named ‘Hilton HHonors’ card, so I have also contributed to her heiress lifestyle, but I plan on getting my revenge. My goal is to at least save enough points that I can at least cheat her out of a free night’s stay, or a deluxe upgrade. Unfortunately her grandpa has a ton of blackout dates, so it’s taking longer than expected.
I believe her personal worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million US dollars or so. Don’t take my word on that figure, I’m not sure where I got that statistic. Regardless, she has a lot of money, which in the U.S. is the only pre-requisite for showing up anywhere and doing whatever you feel like without any scrutiny or repercussions.
She is like what Stephen Hawking might call a black hole: her mere presence sucks the brightness out of everything for miles.
Much like a former child star who lost the spotlight, she has an incredible, consuming need for attention. That’s not unique, but most of us in need of attention pursue acting careers, create weblogs, spray-paint ‘Neck Face’ on walls, or join improvisational comedy troupes. As an heiress with a gaggle of publicity agents, she has the luxury of bypassing all that nonsense and heading straight for the higher-bracket jobs for the attention-starved.
What is frustrating to many, except readers of Us magazine, is that there is obviously no reason for her to receive any attention whatsoever. Were you to remove her fortune, you’d have a skinny half-wit who liked to go to clubs and have sex with celebrities. No biggie. But add wealth, and you get a four-page spread on who last sodomized her.
There are many heiresses in the world with whom we are familiar, but usually more than wealth is required as a reason for their being in the public eye . For example, when my wife forced me (at gunpoint) to watch the Sex And The City finale’s pre-show, I was introduced to Ivanka Trump for the first time. She was offering her take on why such a bad television show was empowering to single, lonely women. At first, my thoughts were Why the hell would they interview her? but then I realized that it was because she was a well-spoken, attractive, schooled heiress who came across as smart and classy. Kudos to the nanny who passed that on to her.
In the United Kingdom, wealth seems to come with class. They have a highly dysfunctional and symbolic monarchy with a ton of money, but their bisexual Prince is well-behaved and the Queen is quiet and waves a lot. Classy. They have Lords and Ladies who have lived privileged lives, but they’re educated and say clever things and know a what a good tawny port should taste like. I like such people and wish they’d invite me to their estates.
In the United States, which is younger and a little more rough around the edges as countries go, wealth does not necessarily mean class, and vice-versa. I have a friend who loads bags for an airline whose lineage consists of a U.S. Marine and a little Japanese lady, yet the way he carries himself suggests a better pedigree than Paris or the daughters Bush. But here, a dollar buys you forgiveness. A lot of dollars buys you a lot of forgiveness. And a lot of dollars and a publicist gets you forgiveness and a reality TV show. That’s the only reason I can imagine Paris Hilton has survived being blatantly desperate for attention, not smart, absurdly shallow, and amazingly whorish.
In fact, in the face of obstacles that would doom a mere mortal, she’s more than survived. She’s bloomed.
It wasn’t too long ago that being humped on video by another publicity-seeking sleaze-bag would have been a career-killer. Amazingly, these days such mischief would seem to be empowering. She’s like a creature from a ’50s Sci-Fi flick that actually grows when you shoot it.
There seems to be no stopping her. Ironically, the Democrats complain about tax cuts for the rich, yet their constituency has assisted in handing an heiress a lucrative career as an heiress. I honestly don’t know what to tell you. While I pray that this is all you ever learn about her, there is certainly no guarantee she won’t spread into Rumsfeld’s Old Europe.
To paraphrase Nietzsche: what does not kill her gets her a book deal.
Hope that helps.