Wednesday, July 07, 2010

On Lindsay Lohan's belated sentencing...


WWWhy?!--You know, when I looked at her vacant expression reacting to the California judge finally shutting her down (watching it without sound the first time, for yucks), I could see someone who wasn't comprehending how and why she got to the place she was at. Was she still drunk? Probably, since the army of pink elephants would eat her alive if she went cold turkey. Most of her current troubles emanate from drunk driving incidents from 2007, but she doesn't appear to have much of handle on things, and I'd assume she's found a way to keep snorting cocaine as well.

Yes, her attorney looked embarrassed. Her mother didn't even show this time. Imagine that.

This all just underscores my opposition to the very existence of child stars. Fine, you need a little kid in your film or movie--great--but the kid doesn't get an agent, doesn't get pushed into all kinds of roles and jobs constantly by their parents or guardians; they don't get treated like a tiny adult, and they don't become a public figure. Fame isn't good for a child during their development, let alone for a grown adult, especially when it comes very quickly. Regardless of how much their parents are paid, this is de facto child labor once it's gone too far. The industry itself is centrally to blame, but the parents have bought into it all. They've bought into the capitalist lie that the only thing that matters is money, success, and fame. But that doesn't excuse Ms. Lohan's actions...

When I looked at that vacant, astonished expression, I could only gasp as she was gasping: here's an individual who has very little concept of personal responsibility, I thought. It's terrible to have to say this in such an exploitative society about someone who is most certainly just another victim, but she's a douchebag. She has no excuse for her behavior as an adult driving drunk, not showing up to her adult job that pays many times more than the average American will ever make, as well as not appearing for her counseling sessions for alcoholism that's a mandatory part of her probation. In other words, she went on vacation and didn't go to a few of them--she didn't give a shit at the time. Remind you of any former presidents?

Not going to alcohol and drug counseling sessions is not a high crime, but there is a reason for our legal system and process, and it comes into play when individuals won't accept responsibility for their actions. Society--no matter how flawed--has to intervene. But Americans know that it's all about money in our legal system, just ask someone who lost. Indeed, it's all about money and influence, Lohan probably didn't have enough to get out of it like Paris Hilton and her pot bust (had she been black and female, as well as poor, it would have been another story), but that's not the point. The point is that Lohan broke reasonably established criminal law, has shown an inability or lack of desire to deal with her addiction(s), has shown herself to be a threat to others, and therefore, has to be dealt with by civil society.

All I can think of are her expressions at sentencing. There's no remorse in the footage, no concept that she's done something wrong. I agree that people deserve a second, maybe even a third chance, however, and that even at this point the star should be treated medically. I believe in rehabilitation, and so does the sentencing judge. The lack of any sense of responsibility is a hallmark of her affliction, but it's also an American one. We're willing to do a lot for money, for material items, for luxury, but we're not willing to take responsibility for it most of the time, never mind necessities. It's a problem and a tone that I believe is set by the uppermost echelons of American society, the bad example that rules over us all. It's time for a change, and that means accepting a lot of responsibilities we've been neglecting for far too long.

But nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions these days. Not the the politicians, not corporations like BP, and certainly not Lindsay Lohan or her family. Soon, it won't matter whether we want to or not.

"Expletive written on Lindsay Lohan's fingernail raises new questions," L.A. NOW/L.A. Times, 07.07.2010: