Friday, July 09, 2010

The Camera Never Lies

     I am not going to lie, seeing pictures of Lindsay Lohan bursting into tears when sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days at in-house drug rehab for her repeated violations of her probation made me happy in ways that I can barely describe.  But I am going to try.
     See, I am torn a little bit.  I, and many others, have this perception that all famous actors and actresses get off easy when it comes to their transgressions.  Probation and plea bargains and deals made with prosecuters in windowless rooms lit by flourescent lights seem to be the norm, and most of the time it seems that these well-known faces and names get off with the proverbial slap on the hand.  The problem is that, if you have any experiance or knowledge of the American legal system, probation, plea bargains, and deals made in little rooms are pretty much the norm.
     That being said, violating the terms of your probation is a pretty common occurrence too.  For example, if I made a list of people that I knew where on a probation that prohibited them from drinking alcohol, but still drank alcohol, it would be as long as my arm.  But here is where the two roads diverge in the woods, because while violating the terms of ones probation is a relatively common thing, when musicians, atheletes, and movie or television personalities do anything they are on film.  Be it a TV camera or a Polaroid it doesn't matter.  When you make the decision to be a celebrity you forfeit some of your privacy, that's just how it is, especially when you want to go out and be a "socialite."
     So I think the reason that people get so mad about the treatment of celebrities by the court system is because we all actively see them violating court orders, and the tabloids and television make sure that we know they aren't doing what they should be.  So when Lindsay Lohan is in Cannes partying instead of showing up at a mandatory court date, we know.  When she comes out of a party in a VIP room of some club somewhere stumbling with white powder on her shoes while she's on probation for driving while under the influence of cocaine, we know.  When she is out drinking the night before her alcohol class, we know.  So when the judge winds up and a slap on the wrist comes from the bench, in lieu of a book being hurled from it, then we kind of get bent out of shape, even though that might be the legal norm these days.
      So I was a little happy to see her crying, and begging the judge for leniency.  And I was glad to see the judge wasn't buying it.  Lindsay spoke to how she was just trying to live her life and juggle her career that she worked so hard for with the demands of the court.  At that point, if I was in the courtroom, I would have had to call shenanegans and pull out my broom.  If she had been making movies and working on her clothing line and all that stuff, fine.  I might be willing to buy that.  But we have PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE that she was out at parties, and that, last I checked, was not in the job description.  Also, she works in a number of fields that are somewhat flexible in terms of their work requirements.  For instance, they can film certain scenes at certain times and I am sure the people working with her on her clothing line would be happy to work around her booze class schedule.  I don't buy it.  If this were Joe Schmoe, who was trying to juggle the alcohol classes with his job at FedEx and going to night school, it would be a little different.  This was nothing more than a desperate attempt by a desperate person who doesn't want to take responsibility for her own actions, and the judge said it lacked sincereity.  I tend to agree because there has been no behavior consistent with sincereity since day one.
     What I would like to see happen now is the little Ms. Lohan gets thrown into a cell at the Los Angeles County Jail with all the rest of the offenders and gets treated like any other inmate.  That, of course is not going to happen, which I am not angry about.  I know, I want to see her treated like the rest of us but in reality she can't be, and at some point it becomes a safety issue, for both her and the other inmates.  If Lindsay was put in a regular cell with regular cellmates, she would be bloody pulp on the floor by the time it was lights out.  So if she gets her own cell and is kept separate from everyone else, that's fine.  I would suspect the the LA County Jail probably has celebrity cells.  Keep her to the other rules then, and feed her prison food.  The effect will be the same: once that cell door clangs shut behind her it is going to start to sink in.  90 days of he life will be given to the people of Los Angeles County. Then 90 days will be given to an in-house alcohol treatment center.  And I hope it works.  For her sake and ours.

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