Thursday, August 14, 2008

What’s left for us when our bad girls go good?

What are we supposed to gossip about now? It’s been weeks, months even, since America’s reigning bad girls have caused trouble. How can the nation survive?

It may be a minor miracle, but Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have cleaned up their acts. And while Lindsay Lohan’s troubles seem to go deeper than the merely embarrassing, she has managed to avoid making headlines, too. This may be a threat to the republic as we know it. I can imagine celebrity gossip Web sites going dark, tabloid newspapers closing shop, even entire cable TV channels going out of business. Isn’t the economy in enough trouble already?

Granted, the situation could change between the time I write this column and when you read it, but as of right now, the three arrested adolescents seem to have given up their hard-partying ways and are — gasp! — behaving like responsible adults.

Without their favorite targets, Hollywood’s packs of celebrity-stalking photographers are apparently suffering, which is just fine as far as some people are concerned.

“If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody anymore — thank God — and evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don’t seem to have much of an issue” with the paparazzi, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton told a Los Angeles television station.

A quick Google search of the headlines doesn’t turn up much. Lindsay makes the news for saying she is avoiding the paparazzi. Well, that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? Meanwhile, a British publication goes gaga for her model of BlackBerry. That’s nothing to excite the masses. The most salacious gossip to be found is about whether she is romantically linked with a female DJ named Samantha Ronson. But Lindsay isn’t talking.

Paris, of course, has been in the news a lot during the past week. But it wasn’t her fault. There she was, minding her own business, and all of the sudden, presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, was on her case.

The McCain campaign used images of Paris and Britney in an advertisement attacking McCain’s Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, as just a “celebrity” candidate. Paris responded with an Internet video that had both gossips and political pundits talking for days.

Now, I used to be involved in politics, so take it from me: When you lose a debate with Paris Hilton, your campaign is having a bad week. Yes, I know Paris didn’t write her own material — please! — but, frankly, her energy plan makes more sense than either McCain’s or Obama’s. What does it mean when Paris is serving up better copy for The Economist magazine than for The National Enquirer? It means the end of Western Civilization, that’s what!

Just when you think maybe Britney can save us, she lets us down, too. New photos of the former pop princess appeared last week showing her once again in fit condition. If she’s lost weight, that means she has managed to work up discipline of some kind, and that’s no good if you’re a tabloid editor desperate for Britney’s next hair-shaving meltdown.

What about Britney’s younger sister, notorious teen mom Jamie Lynn? She and her new baby are doing just fine, thank you. And Jamie Lynn seems to have learned from Britney’s mistakes. So far, she hasn’t been photographed driving around with her infant precariously perched in her lap. She’s no help at all.

The same goes for Paris’ former “Simple Life” co-star, Nicole Richie, who after a rash of legal problems and rumors of an eating disorder, has settled into a — ahem! — simple life of domestic bliss with boyfriend Joel Madden and daughter Harlow.

Efforts to turn Disney star Miley Cyrus to the Dark Side are mixed. Despite attempts to manufacture a scandal out of her Vanity Fair photos, Miley remains on the straight and narrow.

These are indeed dark days for us all. Never mind what the bobbleheads(cq)  on the E! channel will talk about. What will I write about on slow news days?

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