What the hell is with all these drunk, dumbass celebrities going apeshit with their cars lately? Or copping five finger discounts with expensive jewelry and clothes? Or beating the shit out of people at will? And why aren't these menaces to society behind bars? Has star-f*cking reached such epidemic proportions that having fame is enough to literally get you a pass for using your Bentley like a snow plow, your handbag as a jewelry store, or people's faces as punching bags? Now, I know the life of a celebrity is really hard. You gotta deal with all those big questions and tough decisions all day, like which exclusive party you're going to attend that night. Which pair of $5000 shoes goes best with your custom-tailored yoga pants? Will the next wedding of the millennium offer valet parking? Such difficult questions, it's no wonder some of you turn into lushes and coke heads and use your Porches to play slalom with telephone polls and paparazzi.
And you poor police and prosecutors, so star struck at meeting washed up movie stars, irrelevant musicians and former teenage heart throbs. It's understandable that you make extraordinary exceptions to these felonious stars, time and again ignoring clear violations of the law like assault with a moving vehicle, repeated DUIs, grand theft, assaults, and other minor offenses - even as you throw the book at others who commit similar crimes. After all, how could a society live with itself if it subjected celebs to a system of law that dealt with all its citizens actions in an equal, non-biased manner? Surely those fragile bonds holding society together, aka drunk celebs with fast cars and sticky fingers, could never do anything bad enough to warrant more than a weekend's stay in a private cell downtown.
Okay, that's the sarcasm out of the way. It's fitting though, for such a ridiculous and yet persistent phenomenon as this. It might at least be understandable, if not condonable, to see these sorts of free passes and slaps on the wrists given to people with clout and stature in the entertainment community. Yet it seems like any old idiot with a cancelled TV show or long evaporated recording career can easily bypass the wheels of justice and go right back to their life of excess and irresponsibility with little more than a few critical headlines as punishment. Where do they draw the line?
You've probably heard about all this nonsense happening with Amanda Bynes. Clearly she's moved into some realm of complete batshittery. You got repeated incidents with cars, some of them involving pedestrians. You got drug violations right out in the open. Here's somebody that's just begging to be busted, but I guess because Amanda was on Nickelodeon once, she gets a suspended license and her car towed. Anyone else would be sitting in a jail cell right now, wearing prison garb and trying to calculate just when and where their lives went to shit. And of course, we've all seen and heard about the implosion otherwise known as Lindsay Lohan. This is the queen of public meltdowns, with repeated violations of the law consistently ignored. Sure, she did serve those 2 weeks of a 3 month sentence. That was 3 car crashes, two theft complaints and half-a-dozen parole violations ago. Yet who's still out there filming movies and trashing her hotel rooms? The list goes on and on. Does any of this sound fair to you? Why isn't anyone more pissed about this?
Clearly there are other factors happening here. In towns like LA, the entertainment industry is one of, if not the biggest ticket in town. It's not too big a stretch to envision powerful studios and recording companies working behind the scenes in these situations, throwing their weight around in back room negotiations to get police and prosecutors to look the other way when one of their actors or musicians gets themselves in trouble. Money and power have always greased those wheels of justice. There's nothing new about celebrities getting in trouble and being bailed out by the studios that employ them. It's as old as Hollywood. What is new is the blatant manner in which both the press and the celebs themselves make a spectacle out of it. They didn't have Perez Hilton and Twitter feeds back in the day. Big deal though. So we're more likely to hear about the trouble celebs get themselves into than we used to be. It's not doing much to change their ability to get out of that trouble.
Beyond the powers that be, you also have to consider the court of public opinion. There's a big difference between punishing some kid who messed up and a DA putting a beloved, baby-faced sweetheart on trial. And even if they do get the conviction, are they just going to drop the cute little movie star in the midst of murderers and drug fiends? Sure, celebrities getting shanked in their cells at night might deter others considering a life of debauchery and a devil-may-care existence. It's not going to be a big PR coup for the city that has to clean up the mess.
So what's the situation? We like celebs, but we're annoyed when they break the law. We hate the fact that they get let off the hook, but no one seems ready to start subjecting them to hard labor and prison rapes just yet. Law enforcement have a job to do, but they're wary of looking bad by giving famous people a hard time. So we sit in this perpetual middle ground. Celebs screw up, get crucified in the press and turned into jokes, then sneaked out the back door of the jail when no one's looking. You'll never get that treatment. Try crashing your car into another while drunk or lifting several grand worth of merch from someone's house. See how flexible the system is toward you.
We live in a world of double standards. Money and power mean more than wrong and right. And society is getting dumber and dumber every time you look at it. It's no surprise that stupid rich people with powerful connections and little supervision keep making dumb mistakes. How long can we just continue to shake our heads and look away? What becomes of a society that pays no mind to children idolizing and emulating unpunished, recidivist felons singing on their iPhones or acting in their movies and TV shows? Well, we've been doing that for some time now. Have all those misguided role models done anything for society, other than help along it's slow decay? Wouldn't it be better to drop the popularity contest and show ALL those who do wrong the consequences of their actions, no matter who they are or what they do for a living? That's how the rest of us live. I see no reason why celebrities, or anyone else for that matter, should get a free pass, no matter how much we might like them.