Save us from ourselves: Perez Hilton has a book
Perez Hilton is the inexplicably popular gossip blogger who uses crude illustration software to draw drool (and worse) on celebrity photos. Born Mario Lavandeira, Perez took his nom de blog from the famous-for-being-famous Paris Hilton; his new book, "Red Carpet Suicide," is part self-help guide to becoming a version of the same. He calls it a small-h hilton, "someone who is skinny, notorious, mischievous, hot, loves to party, dates a lot, acts gorgeous, drives drunk, poses seductively for the camera, rarely works, dates some more, and doesn't eat." He'll teach the new hilton you get on the covers of magazines.
But the "magazines" he lauds are tabloids like the Star, the National Enquirer -- who really wants to be on their covers? For all Perez's obsession with the famous, he gives very little thought to fame. Where he might consider the role of the media, say, in driving starlets to unhealthy eating habits (he uses his pen to accentuate their bellies), he instead claims he hears bulimics losing their lunch in the bathroom at the Ivy. (How does Perez get in the ladies' bathroom anyway? Oh, never mind.)
It's simple: Perez Hilton's book has all the depth of a text message.
Plus the subject matter doesn't hold up in book form. Perez and co-writer Jared Shapiro rehash the tabloid exploits of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie and Britney Spears -- we've heard it all before. It's old and tired. I mean, Tara Reid? Still with the Tara Reid?
"I do hold myself to journalistic standards," Perez Hilton told CBS' "The Early Show," which he also says in the book. Some of these "standards" are revealed in the third and final section, about what it's like to be Perez Hilton (capital H).
I can't say I'm always the nicest person to Madonna, but when her "best friend," Ingrid Casares, saw me at a Madonna concert once, she handed me front-row tickets. That bought Madonna at least a few months of good coverage on my site -- until she stole that boy from Africa.
[Lindsay Lohan] waltzed into my office at that time, Coffee Bean on Sunset, and ordered a latte to go. Of course, while she was there, she came over to me and said hello, then told me she was "going to be 20 minutes early" to the set of the movie that day.... That was a great moment. She knew to come directly to me, so I'd put it out there that she was making a concerted effort to change. And 10 minutes later, the whole world knew the scoop as I pressed the button to post it on my site.... We've been showing her some tough love lately, but Lindsay Lohan is getting her act together ... keep it up, LL!
In March 2007 I went to a Christina Aguilera concert, and her people saw me in the crowd.... Christina does this bit onstage during "Nasty Naughty Boy" where she invites someone onstage and ties them to a wheel and whips them. They asked me if I'd like to participate -- and I'm like "Yeah, I would love that! So cool!"
Send me a brand-new Prada suit? Maybe. A lifetime supply of Pinkberry ice cream? Sure. But attack me in public and order me around? That's just going to turn me into an angry pit bull.
Perez Hilton reveals just how desperately he craves fame. But he lacks the wit to achieve it for his writing; the book is some kind of cultural nadir. Stick to the blog. Or take a step up and read TMZ.
-- Carolyn Kellogg