Pushing Duh

Next time you get all Wilde or Confucius, you might miss what lies between. It’s Paris Hilton, who has made it to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

I do not know what the standards used for such choices are, but one assumes there is an element of wit or thought, and it rides on some literary or artistic drive, if not merit. Merit is subjective.

Sarah Palin has made it, too, but then that quote did become famous and symbolised a part of an election campaign: “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick.”

Honestly, I don’t have a snotty attitude towards what the reports have made a point to mention – Paris’s partying and sex tape. The problem is the choice of quote: “Dress cute wherever you go, life is too short to blend in.” Is this funny? Profound? Interesting?

I mean ‘cute’ blends in like whipped cream does in milk, honey. Besides, this quote has not made heads or headlines turn. It is a run-of-the-mill advice that a matron would give students in a dorm on a good day.

It is so un-Paris. Heck, it is even un-Prague.

Is there a value to duh?

There is something tragic rather than comical when celebrities start to get all highfalutin. Intellectualism isn’t the prerogative of every goatee-glasses-crumpled skirt-seeking muse creative person on the make. We do have some absolutely marvellous quotes from the entertainment world. Think Woody Allen, think Mae West, think Jean Harlow, think Chaplin, think Sam Goldwyn. Think dry humour, sarcasm…heck, you need élan to carry that off with panache. No emphasis needed to make a point. It has to spout like grease off the tongue.

In a world where 'lolling' is not a pastime, heavy-set words wearily fall off mouths drained of innovativeness in an attempt at throwing attitude and furtive funniness.

Almost two years ago, Vanity Fair had an interview with ‘Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’. It is a known fact that most interviewers don’t bother to counter-question. After reading those bits, I don’t think “The lady's like a sailor!” She is just vocabulary-ly challenged.

Here are some of her replies. There are a few counter-queries I would pose, if I were the one conducting the interview. (I had posted this portion before.)

PL: On the Top Chef Emmy nomination: "[It] was a big fucking deal.”

Me: Erm…was that the deal?

PL: On life without her ex-husband, Salman Rushdie: "I'm really fucking sad."

Me: Bad for the guy you are with. It means you are sorrowful while at it, right?

PL: On her new cookbook: "Finishing the fucking book was like being in labor for two years!”

Me: Shouldn’t you have worn a condom?

PL: On hosting a dinner party: "I pulled this out of my ass."

Me: Is that why the guests called it shit?

PL: On an AIDS charity she supports: "…we’re doing a campaign and an event and you should buy a fucking table.”

Me: Are you trying to say if you do it on the table, then you ain’t get no AIDS, but AIDS gets aid?

PL: On telling the press if she had a boyfriend: "My husband would call fucking Reuters."

Me: So, everytime you and Salman were at it, he said “Let’s Reuters”?

PL: On a tabloid's coverage of her bra size: "…they said it was 36C. I said, 34C, motherfucker!”

Me: Does it not mean that mamma-obsessed tabloid fellows like it bigger?

PL: On her current living situation: "Now I’m staying in a fucking hotel with all my shit in storage."

Me: Are you saying you live like a stowaway in your own room?


  1. Will anyone quote Paris? They probably have to include new sayings every year. Give me bushisms any day.
    Your take on ex Mrs Rushdie was sharp and witty!

  2. I don't know who talks worse Paris or Padma.You must do some funny thing with Paris also.Lets Reuters was too good!!

  3. Ameya:

    Unlikely that they will quote her, but the crucial point is she is there. Thanks for the other part of the comment!


    Sounds like an idea :)


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