Friday, June 08, 2007

The Smell of Paparazzi in the Morning

Both yesterday and today, I was woken up at 7:00 am by the sound of helicopters. Not helicopter singular; any Los Angeleno worth his or her salt is used to the drone of a police helicopter prowling around the skies. This was the heavy thunderous sound of multiple helicopters, some sort of weird consumer culture version of Apocalypse Now.

Yesterday I didn't know what it was, but as I walked to the bus this morning, I looked up and saw that there five helicopters circling around my neighborhood. Or rather, not quite my block, but a few blocks up the hill from me, above Sunset Blvd. That's where West Hollywood's orderly rows of apartment buildings turn into the grotesque disorder of Disneyfied modernism that is the Hollywood Hills.

"What important celebrity event has happened in the past few days?" I asked myself. Ah yes, Paris Hilton's release from jail! Paris short-lived house arrest took place just a few blocks north of me, and apparently the world's paparazzi was staking out her new "jail" even from above.

Hearing about Paris's screaming and crying in the courtroom gives me a twinge of sympathy, but I think I have to stay pretty resolutely in favor of jail for her. A friend of mine once got a DUI, had a second offense, and had to spend 30 days in jail. It wasn't fun, I'm sure he was having daily nervous breakdowns and not sleeping, and I'm sure I would too, but you know...he survived. And he wasn't in a special celebrity section of a woman's jail.

Photo: Paris at LA Pride in I think 2005, with Tinkerbell and her mother. She was, I believe, the celebrity grand marshal. She was surrounded by really intense police security that pushed everyone back rather roughly. More than a few boos from my section of the crowd.

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