Fad Alert: Paris buys a hybrid

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“I changed all the light bulbs to energy-safe light bulbs and I’m buying a hybrid car right now,” said 26-year old Paris Hilton. “Little things that people can do every day to make a huge difference,” she said.

A lot of people don’t like to hear celebrities voice their opinions on controversial subjects. Having seen the efforts of John Lennon and Bono, I’m usually of the opposite opinion. A lot of times celebrities risk their careers to say what they feel needs to be said. Muhammad Ali is an amazing example, in that he risked everything – his career, his wealth, and even his freedom to protest the Viet Name War.

Unfortunately, there are also celebrities who gutlessly latch on to obvious, trendy issues as a sort of weird fashion choice. “Look at me I’m wearing a chartreuse ribbon, an American Flag pin, an outfit that was made by Filipino refugees, who were paid $50 an hour for their sewing expertise!”

Want an example of a celebrity hero? Look at Sean Penn. He went to Iraq to check things out. He got in a rowboat and tried to help people during Hurricane Katrina. He took stands that were controversial and perhaps damaging to his money making future. That kind of commitment means that he deserves to be heard, whether you agree with him or not.

But do I really need to see Celine Dion all over television crying about how much she has agonized over the victims in New Orleans? She has money to donate, fine. Donate it and avoid pimping your sensitivity on every single cable news network. Celine was acting as if she were actually one of the victims.

Here’s a hip issue that doesn’t take any guts at all. Environmentalism. If you are actually going out and speaking to politicians to pass eco-friendly legislation that might retard big business like Leonardo DiCaprio, I see that as somewhat noble. Everything else is just a fad.

How gutsy is it really to say that you want to see the earth prosper? Is there anyone out there praying for the polar ice caps to melt? I’m sure some celebs think that they are setting a good example by driving hybrids, but you know that when Paris Hilton gets one that it’s become a tad too trendy.

If these people wanted to, they could afford to  drive cars that ran on butter. At some point, you are not setting an example for the unwashed masses, you are merely bragging that you have enough money to live and act in a superior fashion to everybody else.

VH1 has resurrected perhaps the one television show with less redeeming value than any in the history of the medium, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, hosted by the aptly named Robin Leach. They recently had an episode on the “Green” purchases of the beautiful people.

“This year’s hot color is green and it can be seen in the lovely home of that Queen of Hollywood, Julia Roberts! She has outfitted her entire ludicrously huge estate with solar panels. She has built her own on-site eco-friendly waste management plant and drives a Llama!”

I suppose that it’s nice that Julia Roberts feels like she cares about the environment, but really how much has she really sacrificed? Here’s a bit of advice to Julia. How about not living on such a gigantic estate that needs so much energy in the first place? Exactly how big of a house does a family of four or five need? How about taking all that money you spent on tennis courts and day spas and solar panels and helping someone who lives in a box afford to live in a hovel.

Lenny Bruce used to say he couldn’t follow any religious figure with more than one suit. Me? I refuse to laud anyone’s environmental commitment when they live on a $50 million dollar estate.

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