Friday, 9 July 2010

Has Lindsay Lohan proved the Scientologists right?

For the armies of fans obsessed with Lindsay Lohan's every film, song, television appearance, stumble, court appearance…it's become increasingly difficult to justify our idolatry of her and her behaviour. Fans and lusty-gazed admirers don't want to see their idol fall from grace so dramatically, and this case of a woman who's flown too close to The Sun and its brethren has disappointed many.

It's discomforting to know that the same girl who charmed so many of us in The Parent Trap and Mean Girls went on to DUIs and rehab stints. Much of the criticism heading her way inflicts the pain of a double-edged sword as she is so frequently compared to Paris Hilton. The two are 'treated' to the same press attention, but Paris Hilton's forays into work, for all their capital gains, have been flippant; the heir to a millionaire's fortune doesn't need to lift a finger. Whereas Lindsay has been working since she was 3 years old. Her pushy stage mom wasn't only there for the fame, but as far as the reports show, after being ditched by shifty father Michael, the family kinda needed the money, yeah?

In the discourse of female celebrity, we find it all too easy to compare disparate people. No female cook can crack an egg without an instant juxtaposition with Nigella Lawson, no female singer can claim independent sexuality without comparison to Madonna. When regarding the case of Lindsay Lohan, we can't shift our relativism to accommodate her talent instead of her crimes. We won't analyse the similarities between her and Winona Ryder, another skilled actress gone wayward, but we will gladly box her in with Paris Hilton, another female socialite who's had a DUI.

When Paris was packed off to Lynwood, I didn't get in this much of a fuss. This is because, from a background with so much money that the sense would have to be on steroids to catch up, Ms Hilton was always destined for some sort of tragedy. You can't fall that far when your highest point was on a hotel bed as your shifty boyfriend filmed you blow him in night vision.

Although it would be facetious to insist that Lindsay deserves no jail time, let's not pretend that she had no potential as a bona fide actress. Tina Fey's stamp of approval, along with the praise Robert Altman and the cast of Prairie Home Companion bestowed upon her, are proof of this beyond her subjectively-judged filmography. Where did it all go wrong? If written by the less homophobic of its staff, a Daily Mail report would state that a 'tragic cocktail of drugs and booze' was directly to blame for the criminal offences. Maybe her dwindling fortune was spent on as many grams of coke as it was on items from Cavalli. Though, as a recent graduate, I know oodles of people who, if followed around daily by packs of paps, could be painted out as drug addicts, alcoholics and more. Wasn't Lindsay just doing what every young woman with a leetle too much money and a lot of free time does?

Not quite. There's something more at work here. There are problems which warrant not only 90 days in jail but a further 90 in rehab. I'm not denying the addictive qualities of drink and drugs, but Li-Lo's SCRAM bracelet didn't pick up on either, and as rough as she looks, she's not gone through cold turkey. Girl's got a problem with something else..

What Lindsay, like Casey Johnson before her, has a clear problem with, is legal. Legal at all ages in the US. Adderall. And Ambien. And Dilaudid. And more. I don't know what all these things are, and I don't think I should do. Should a healthy young, successful person ever know the literal highs and lows of prescribed medication? Perhaps not,  but the heaving medicine cabinet comes as standard in the Hollywood hills; fitted in Heath and Brittany's bathrooms, too. 

Now I know Tom Cruise is nuts. I doubt the Presleys' motives. And I completely question the veracity of a religion which allows through its hallowed kitschy gates the todally serious offspring of one Mr. Robert Geldof, who's like, todally named after a fruit. Yet, when the religious poodle that is Scientology damned prescription drugs, it wasn't barking up the wrong tree…

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