Sunday, June 24, 2007

Paris, Revisited

I wanted to add to a comment made on the previous post, but thought it made a great subject for a new topic, so here it is.

"I certainly don't want to be seen as defending Paris Hilton, but while she is incarcerated, droves of non-celebrity inmates will be released do to overcrowding. Also, I have it on good authority from a former CA prosecutor that it is routine to allow inmates to pay for their stay in a swankier facility, an option which Paris was denied. Is Paris a whining, spoiled, talentless brat? Absolutely. Is she being treated fairly? Of that I can't be so sure."

First of all, droves of non-celebrity inmates are being released from prisons due to overcrowding, which is true, but is, as stated, due to overcrowding. They are not released simply because they don't want to be there, or don't like the accomodations. The justice system shouldn't give a damn if you, as in Paris' own words, "I'm claustrophobic, and my cell is really small...I was going a little bit crazy in the beginning. I'm getting used to it now."

Being released because there simply isn't room for you is a bit different than being released because you don't have your bedroom that is most likely the size of an average person's home. We need to keep this in mind.

And the second point, that it is routine for inmates to pay for their stay in better facilities--a right which Paris' was denied--is unfair treatment is the meat of my post. Whether or not the law guarantees this to other persons of means is what I hold in question. Surely, she may be treated unfairly when considering others with means can avoid their sentences, but this is not what is truly unfair. The existence of those with means to even pay for this change of housing is what is unfair. I have no pity for someone being treated unfairly by an unfair provision that is unfair to the remaining 98% of the population.

First of all, I have great respect for California in many ways. I love the town of San Francisco. I love the respect that more liberal ideas have there. But as extreme conservative ideas have a home in the southeastern United States, so too do extreme liberal views infest the state of California. And just as you will find it almost taboo to not hate gays, blacks, athiests, women, or democrats in the southeast, it is almost in some places just as horrific in California to believe that people who don't recycle should not be put to death, that people who don't have tree sanctuaries on their properties aren't heathens, or that people who drive cars that get a little less gas mileage then the prius actually might not wish armageddon onto all wildlife preserves. I will be the first to come out and say that I do not know if this law allowing persons with means to pay for better incarceration is held in other states. I don't know if this is primarily a California law or if is the same in Alabama or Connecticut, but I will say that it is not her being denied this right which is unfair, but this right as a whole, no matter what state holds it as law, which is unfair to the remaining 98% of the population.

Unfair laws exist on the books in every state. It takes hard work to abolish that which the majority thinks is right but is unfair, such as Jim Crow, Poll Taxes, rights against interracial marriage, and selling beer on Sundays. We still have a long way to go, particularly in the direction of marriage equality, abortion, antiprivatization and antiglobalization, and clearly, putting the belief in a caste system to pasture for all time.

Certainly a right to pay to be incarcerated at a more pleasant facility is not the same as paying for someone to serve your mandatory military service in your place on its surface, but at its root, these beliefs are based on the same concept, which is those with means are better than those without.

That is, of course, unless the fee to choose a different facility were based on a percentage of your net worth, instead of a ridiculous amount that any poor black man caught speeding in a white neighborhood could ever hope to pay. And we know this is not the case. If it were, the 63% of our prisoners which are Black and Hispanic would be in other facilities. For the record, Hispanic is not treated as White. Click here for 2000 census data. Lots of fun data there. Hell, if they even could pay for this treatment, then maybe, just maybe, others wouldn't be released due to overcrowding.

It is clear to me that the excessively weathly think they are a better breed than everyone else by thinking they have the right to pay for better prison treatment than the average person gets. What disgusts me is the average person simply accepts this. It's easy to be apathetic, but it is even more obvious in cases where, for example, Paris Hilton's family came to visit her at her prison, push their way through the line of people waiting for hours to see their own incarcerated friends and family, enter the cafeteria area, force it to be evacuated, a procedure I might add set into place by the facility for when high-profile families or visitors show up to see their criminal kin, thereby proving to everyone with eyes and ears that not only do they know they have more rights than you but also the system agrees because they have procedures in place to make the celebrity visitors' experience more pleasant.

To be honest, I'm not against Paris Hilton because I have any grudge against her. I don't hate her, and I don't think any less of her for partying, being loose in the knees or for making a sex tape even. I wouldn't mind if she made another one. We all know that being angry at her for that is the age-old double standard of sexual deviance knocking at our doors again. As far as I'm concerned she is the product of a system that deifies the wealthy. It is tragic for her, in this, I presume, and for that she has my sympathy. Personally, I hope she can grow up and overcome this brainwashing that fame has given her. In the meantime I will continue to take on Hollywood and the religion of Celebrianity, because our ancestors fought a war in 1776 so we could live out from under the thumb of a king and aristocracy, and I have no wish to have to see that conflict waged again in that manner.

By the way, I trademark the term "celebrianity." :P


Tony said...

I would guess that you are an atheist in regards to Celebrianity, just as I am toward all religions. Yet the unfortunate irony is that we atheists are forced to spend about as much time drawing attention to the religion with which we disagree as those who would proudly witness for it, as evidenced by the fact that an intellectual fellow like yourself has devoted three consecutive and lengthy posts to the messiah of Celebrianity, Miss Paris Hilton.

I hope you will forgive the trademark infringement. It's such a great term, I couldn't resist using it.

Captain Fatbody said...

This is true. It is the essence of ranting, however. If there weren't things I hated, what would I have to rant about?