by Charles Marowitz
(Swans - August 1, 2005) The sudden and alarming death of Paris Hilton at the age of thirty-six due to complications arising from galloping bulimia has cast a pall over both Hollywood and New York suspending the filming of the bio-pic The Last Time I Had Paris being directed by her former boyfriend Rick Salomon.
Paris was an inescapable and iconic figure during the early years of the 2lst century, and no socialite gathering was considered complete without her causing a fracas in the Ladies Room by forcing bejeweled dowagers out of their toilet stalls because, as she explained: "When Paris has to pee, Paris has to pee!"
She was a jolly, disarming girl who, to squelch the rumor she didn't have a brain in her head, voluntarily agreed to a brain scan at one of New York's most fashionable private clinics. Her refusal to provide the results of the test was initially a cause of deep embarrassment, but she explained her reluctance by saying, "What is -- or is not -- in my head -- is nobody's business but my own." The physician who conducted the examination, not having been paid for his services, threatened to release his findings to the media. He was subsequently discovered drowned in a pool of formaldehyde in a hospital lab and the x-rays never surfaced. The investigation is ongoing.
Ms. Hilton, who made the Guinness Book of Records for the greatest number of abbreviated marriages (there were seven, none lasting more than seventy-two hours), became something of a recluse in her last years, appearing in public only to refute the rumor that her breasts had distended. The unveiling took only two seconds -- not enough time to settle the matter conclusively -- although Bill O'Reilly was heard to remark: "Those cup-cakes still look good to me."
One of her early films was House of Wax, which seemed an odd choice for the model-cum-actress. When asked why, of all the film offers available to her, she had chosen that one, she explained, "I've always been fascinated by "fladge" and when I was offered the film, I thought it was titled House of Whacks, which positively enthralled me. I kept asking the director when we would get to the whipping scenes, and by the time I discovered my mistake, the film was practically over, so I just had to be a good sport and finish it."
Paris's modeling career began when she was approached by the Anorexic Society of America to become their poster girl. She modeled for several national magazines including GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and, even as recently as last year was offered a full-frontal photo on the cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine, a commission she ultimately rejected when she discovered it entailed applying gallons of grease to her undercarriage.
One of her first TV successes was the Fox reality show "The Simple Life" which had three separate incarnations. When asked what drew her to reality shows, she explained, "I'd heard a lot about 'reality' from members of my family and some older friends but I never experienced it myself, so I thought this would be a good chance to find out what all the fuss was about."
Paris had constantly to deny rumors that at the age of three she had to undergo an operation to remove a silver spoon from her mouth. "That was just a lot of PR hokum," she said to a reporter from Al Tazira. "It was just a silly little operation to take out my tonsils -- you know how the press blows up things."
Rumors about her sex life swirled constantly around Ms. Hilton. Her alleged lovers included Leonardo di Caprio, Nick Carter, Simon Rex, Mark Philippoussis and Donald Rumsfeld. "They're always making up wild stories about me," she was quoted as saying, "that Donald Rusmfeld thing was nothing more than a one-night stand after we lost the Iraqi war and he was feeling really low. It was just a simple act of patriotism."
Paris flourished in that very special era when most Americans had grown disenchanted with cinematized fiction and longed for the raw energy of "real life." It was a hallowed time in our country's history when instead of Intelligence, Integrity, Courage, and Achievement, people drew great nourishment from the Fatuous, the Fabricated, and the Phony. Vulgarity was at a premium and a story that was without scandal or prurience had no chance of reaching the general public. Vapidity was the reigning virtue and the more vapid people were, the more intensely the spotlight shone upon them. There were in fact such a plethora of pusillanimous would-be celebrities during that period that to come to the forefront, as Paris did, was considered an exceptional achievement. And in many ways, it was.
The Hilton family has erected a 50-foot vertical dome made of lapis lazuli embellished with neon lights and fitted with taped recordings of some of Paris's most memorable telephone conversations. Twice daily the notorious x-rated videos of her lovemaking with Rick Salomon will be screened above the crypt. Mourners that yield to levity have been warned they will be summarily removed by security guards.
Instead of flowers, the public has been asked to send cash donations to the Paris Hilton Memorial Hospital For Chronically Deluded Young Heiresses.