Friday, June 8, 2007

Malheureusement, we will always have Paris

Notwithstanding that she is a woman currently engaged in courtroom activities, we have refrained from mentioning that very tall, very thin, very pink blonde who shares her prénom with the City of Lights and her surnom with a certain société hôtelière. Yet we cannot deny her international status. Her latest hijinks -- checking out after day 5 of a 45-day jail sentence on account of psychological stress (from what? scarcity of cell phones? deprivation of dermatologist? failure to be fawned upon?) -- made instanews in Le Figaro of, yes, Paris, in the Sydney Morning Herald, in Milan's Corriere della Sera, in Hamburg's Der Spiegel, in Dublin's Irish Times, in London's Guardian, in Hong Kong's Standard, in Madrid's El Pais, in Beijing's People's Daily, and in other publications worldwide.
Her stunt affronts all who've truly suffered in custody. For my part, I cannot shake images of 2 working-class clients. One lost 10 years of her own and her teenaged children's lives to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons because she would not turn in a good-for-nothing husband; another died from cancer because prison authorities ignored her alert that she had found a breast lump that demanded immediate attention.
Keep these genuine injustices well in mind. Then, in the spirit of la vie absurde, and in a nod to this latest evidence of the celebrizarrity of global culture, have a look at our colleague Bill Hing's seriocomic commentary, titled, simply, "Deport Paris Hilton?"

1 comment:

Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

As you probably know, out here in California our prisons are particularly reprehensible when it comes to the medical care of its inmates: Back in August of 2005, "A federal judge, saying he was acting urgently to stop the needless deaths of inmates because of medical malfeasance, ordered Thursday that a receiver take control of California's prison health care system and correct what he called deplorable conditions. Experts said the order by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco was unprecedented in its scope given that the prison system provides health care to roughly 164,000 inmates at an annual cost of $1.1 billion." And from Medical News TODAY (May 12, 2007): "Robert Sillen, the federal-court appointed Receiver of the state's prison medical system today submitted a Plan of Action to U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson that lays out a comprehensive vision for the constitutional prison medical care system that will be created under the Receivership. The Plan of Action is the first of its kind released by the Receiver. It is a health care document, not a fact-finding report. It delineates long-term goals for the prison medical care system as well as specific projects that will be undertaken in the next two years." See: