by: Bernadette Giacomazzo
Associate Editor, LatinTrends Magazine
The Judge – and the people of the State of California – has spoken: Lindsay Lohan will serve ninety (90) days in jail, which will be followed by ninety (90) days in inpatient rehab.
I, for one, could not be happier over this decision. And, judging from the reactions on such gossip blogs as DListed and TMZ, I am obviously not alone in my reverie. (The only site seeming to take the “poor Lindsay” route is Jezebel – a site I normally enjoy reading. Jezebel’s posters seem to believe that Lohan is a poor, innocent victim of a perfect storm that incorporates a Hollywood machine, shamefully poor parenting, and addiction. And while, on one hand, they have a point (especially about the shamefully poor parenting), the truth is just a little more complicated than that…but more on that in a minute…)
From the day we enter school in the United States, we are told the lie that “all are created equal.” Thanks in no small part to the public school system, we quickly learn what an egregious lie that “self-evident truth” really is: the cliques quickly form, and lily-white “mean girls” with lots of Daddy’s Money to spend quickly rise to the top of the social food chain like, well, the proverbial cream. By the time high school graduation rolls around, you realize that the cards are only stacked in your favor if you fit into a very narrow, cis-gendered, financially motivated definition of “equal,” and it isn’t long before you realize that the self-evident truth really should read, “All Rich, White, Christian Men are created equal.”
In recent times, however, a new form of justice has taken over the United States: Celebrity Justice. California, unsurprisingly, is at the forefront of this phenomenon (one would think New York would have a similar attitude towards the rich and (in)famous, but as Lil’Wayne’s prison sentence proved, New York Don’t Play That), much to the disdain of the so-called “common folk.” As Chris Rock correctly pointed out in his now-classic comedy routine, OJ Simpson got away with murder not because of his race, but because of his fame. Because if, instead of being “OJ Simpson, Legendary Football Player,” he was “OJ Simpson, Bus Driver,” he’d be sitting in a jail cell right now. Conversely, if Jerry Seinfeld had killed his wife, and the cop that discovered the evidence was a member of the Nation of Islam, Jerry too would be a free man.
While this proclamation is darkly humorous, it’s also disturbing and sad. Jezebel’s posters collectively let out a cry of pity and horror at the fate of Poor Lindsay Lohan, but I wonder: where are these women and their outrage when a poor black man is illegally searched on the street? Where is the great outcry from these predominantly white, upper-middle-class women when a poor Hispanic woman (like Alma Chacon of Arizona) is forced to give birth while chained to the bed, after being shackled like a member of the Manson Family, for making the egregious mistake of being olive-skinned in Arizona? Why aren’t the faux-minists of all stripes blaming, say, Charlie Sheen’s parents for raising a drug-addled, (alleged) woman-beating porn addict? Or is the Blame Game only convenient for Poor Little (White) Rich Girls, who won the collective hearts of Middle America 10 years ago as a guileless, freckle-faced ingénue in a tepid, autoingestive Disney movie remake?
As a survivor of an ultra-white, ultra-rich, all-girls Catholic school, I for one am sick and disgusted of seeing the spoiled little princess-bitches get all the breaks. People: wake up! Take it from someone who knows: women are just as evil – if not more so – than men, and are just as capable of committing crimes (whether it’s as major as murder or as minor as probation violation).
Equality doesn’t mean “equality” when it’s convenient, and the “blame game” when it’s time to face the consequences of one’s actions. If men and women are created equally – and I have no doubt that they are – they should be made to reap the same rewards, and the same consequences, for the same crimes. If no one wept for Charlie Sheen – if no one cried out that Martin Sheen failed as a parent, if no one blamed Charlie’s drug addiction for his criminal behavior – no one should weep for Lindsay Lohan, either. I don’t care how cute she was 10 years ago…Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez was a cute child too, I’m sure.
WATCH LINDSAY LOHAN RECEIVE HER SENTENCE
The drug addiction factor also brings up another interesting point: this treatment of addiction as a disease, much like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease (and, for obvious reasons, it’s the latter that gets my goat more than anything else). There’s just one problem with that theory: you can’t control what will trigger Alzheimer’s. (If you could, believe me, I’d have done it a long time ago to save my father from his inevitable fate.) But you can control what will trigger addiction. If you choose to drink and drug to excess, if you choose to put the needle in your arm, if you choose to drink a bottle of vodka with every meal, if you choose to dive nose-first into a Scarface-sized mountain of cocaine, and if you choose to smoke crack, you have no choice but to face the consequences of your choices.
Sir Issac Newton put it best: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Anyone – and I do mean anyone, whether they’re “prone to addiction” or not – who smokes crack every day will become a crackhead. I have the self-restraint of a Buddhist monk, and I can assure you that I’d become Cracky McCrackerton if I smoked crack every day. That doesn’t make me “prone to addiction,” nor does it make my addiction a disease. It makes me an idiot for smoking crack in the first place (has anyone seen Jungle Fever or anything in the Spike Lee oeuvre? How about Get Rich or Die Trying? If you’ve seen these movies, and you still think smoking crack is a great idea – disregarding everything you’ve learned in school about the very subject – I’m sorry, but you are the weakest link, goodbye!), and it makes me a fool for believing that I can make excuses for my bad choices. Do you really need a medical degree to figure this out?
As for Lindsay’s unfortunate parentage: even I have to concede that she hit the Sadim lottery with those two. No matter what sort of scallywaggery my sister and/or I got into (and I can assure you, of the two of us, she did infinitely more damage), my mother was always there for us, alternately cheering us on, bawling her eyes out, and/or threatening to kill us once we were in the privacy of our own home.
But in Lindsay’s darkest hours, she stood alone – her violently abusive father sent a “representative” in his place [which is just what Jesus would have done…], and her famewhore-pimp mother [who makes Joe Jackson look like Katherine Jackson] was making a quick buck selling her “exclusive interview” to some gossip rag. (We will also be reminded that this is the same woman who managed to get a free ice cream card revoked because of her entitlement issues.)
In the interest of full disclosure: having worked with the Lohan clan for various photo assignments – including the death of Dina Lohan’s brother, which Lindsay was too busy coking & whoring it up in Cannes to be bothered with – I can assure you, the entire family is little more than typical Lawn Guy Land TRASH. I refuse to make excuses for Lindsay Lohan, but if biology is to be believed and “nature” has just as much of an impact on one’s personality as “nurture,” that poor kid never stood a chance.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who come from homes that aren’t exactly ripped from the sitcoms of NBC’s Must See Thursday Night Lineup who go on to become fine, upstanding citizens and productive members of society, and they had much less resources available at their disposal than Lindsay Lohan. There are also plenty of people who enter into the underbelly of the entertainment world and come out stronger, more determined, and decidedly not about drinking, drugging, and whoring (including Your Humble Writer/Editor). I’m getting a little sick of all the apologists making excuses for Lohan, who had every opportunity and every available means in the world to get her proverbial act together…and chose not to do so, mistakenly believing that her “celebrity status” would buy her an eternal Get Out of Jail Free card.
Even granting that her parents should have been shot on the day they decided to procreate, how many years has her slide been going on? How many people OUTSIDE of her family (notably, Samantha Ronson) have tried to intervene, with little or no success?
No, I don’t feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan for one bit. Judge Martha Revel did Lohan a favor…those six months may be the difference between her life and her death. Those tears Lindsay cried weren’t tears of fear or sorrow – they were the tears of a Spoiled Little Rich Girl being told “no” for the first time in her sad, sorry, pathetic excuse of a life.
They should have been tears of gratitude – because for the first time in that sad, sorry, pathetic excuse of a life that Lindsay Lohan calls her own, someone had the guts to stand up for her and say, “Enough is enough.”