the pulse

Blissful is the world where Paris is not news

Paris Hilton finally gets to see freedom again today after paying her, uh, debt to society in a correctional facility that's come to be known as the Lynwood Hilton, stoking yet another paparazzi feeding frenzy and inspiring most of us to wonder if another one of those "Sopranos" finale black screens might be arranged.

You know that whole thing about "only someone just awakening from a coma" isn't privy to Paris' incarceration? Well, it seems that following yet another weekend of rumored network bidding wars for a Hilton interview and all other stories (fire in Lake Tahoe, flooding at LAX, civil war in Palestine) taking a back seat, it left me speculating about how a conversation with just such a comatose individual might sound.

Probably something like this:

Man Emerging From 10-Year Coma: "Nurse, who is this Paris Hilton I'm hearing about on the news and why do we care that she was in jail?"

Hospital Nurse: "Um, she's the heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune and she got tossed in jail for blowing off some traffic violations or something."

Man: "But what did she do to merit such blanket news attention?"

Nurse: "She became a TV star after a sex tape featuring her got leaked to the media."

Man: "But what particular talent does she have? Is she a singer, dancer, comic, actress, athlete?"

Nurse: "None of the above. She's famous for being rich and dumb."

Man: "No, it's OK. You can tell me the truth. I'm feeling stronger now."

Nurse: "That's it. Really."

Man: "But I see her dominating coverage on the broadcast networks and in the New York Times. I heard that there was talk of $1 million payments to speak with her and 'no ground rules' for her interview with Larry King on Wednesday. What 'ground rules' are they talking about?"

Nurse: "I think in Paris' case, it means King can grill her about whether she wears panties or a thong — and if they let her have them on underneath her jumpsuit in jail."

Man: "No, no, wait a minute, this can't be. That's the stuff of the National Enquirer. Has the Earth started spinning the other way? Does the Wall Street Journal now cover stories detailing how inserting pennies in your ears can cure cancer?"

Nurse: "Well, not quite, but it's going in that direction. A lot has happened since you checked out. The main thing is that if you're white and female and blond and pretty and rich, whatever you say and do is a matter of national interest."

Man: "What does this Paris person have to say that is so fascinating."

Nurse: "I think she's finally figured out that God has a plan for her — maybe it's to party with Britney and Lindsay some more. But tomorrow night, America will be hanging on her every whine."

Man: "Who are Britney and Lindsay?"

Nurse: "The other bad girls whose daily fate remains the most important issue in America today."

Man: "But surely someone is out there fighting to restore sanity to the media's agenda and to our country's priorities."

Nurse: "I'm afraid not. You know that line separating the tabloid from the mainstream? It's gone. Tabloid won. Paris is now seen as the Nelson Mandela of her generation. Would you like some breakfast?"

Man: "No thanks. Actually, can you give me something that'll put me back out for a while?"