Jewish World Review Oct. 10, 2007 / 28 Tishrei 5768
Driving under the influence of celebrity
By Celia Rivenbark
What is with that? Are they like a President, who, I've always heard, is never allowed to carry money or even a credit card? (You can't trust the leader of the Free World to walk around with a couple of 20s in his wallet for lunch and gum but he's got the ability to sink us all into trillions of dollars of debt with the swipe of a pen? Yeah, that makes sense.)
I'm sure that Keifer Sutherland, and all the assorted Hollywood bimbettes (Paris, Nicole, Lindsay etc.) and himbos (See "Pennington-comma-Ty") who have been arrested in the past few months for driving under the influence, have a lot more money than my rowdy friends, who always either hire a cab or designate a sober driver for a night on the town.
So, what's going on in Hollywood? Do they sprinkle stupid dust all over the celebrity's sole at Il Sole or, if slumming, their beloved In & Out burgers? Sneer at the fly-over states all you want, Beautiful People, but at least we've got sense enough to park and ride, preferring to jovially explain the next day that "my car had too much to drink" which, when uttered here in the South, is always answered with a heartfelt "I heard that."
I suspect it has something to do with the notion that celebrity makes one very special indeed, so special that paying drivers or even sober friends to safely cart their smug, overrated bottoms all over L.A., is, frankly, for the little people. That guardrail asked for it, after all.
When a B-lister gets popped, I'm always suspicious that it's a desperate attempt by an actor like Yancy Butler to get back in the public eye. (Did I just hear you say, "Yancy, who?" My point perzactly.) And, be honest. Who really paid any attention to that sneering butch chick from "Lost" until she bagged her Hawaiian DUI and whined tiresomely about "the man"?
Even former kid actor Haley Joel Osment, so brilliant in "Sixth Sense" (the world's scariest movie that doesn't have the words "final" and "destination" in its title), had been all but forgotten until he crashed his car while completely sense-less.
Perhaps the solution is to designate drunk-celebrity-only lanes, like carpool lanes, on L.A.'s freeways. The special lanes could be lined with tall, puffy sides that would make it virtually impossible to harm yourself or, more importantly, anyone else, sort of like kiddie bumpers at the bowling alley.
Just a thought.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Celia Rivenbark is an award-winning news reporter and freelance columnist for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, The Sun News Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services