At the Oak Lawn Public Library where
homeless people cool down in the summer
and warm up in the winter, if you do
a computer search of their catalogue
for “Paris Hilton” you will get two hits,
a horror DVD called “House Of Wax,”
and the book, “Confessions Of An Heiress,”
which Paris Hilton wrote with Merle Ginsberg.
If you venture into the stacks you’ll find
Paris Hilton’s book on a shelf in the
seven-nineties. In fact, you will find it
on a shelf right below another book,
“Price Guide To Plastic Collectibles,” by
Lindi McNulty. Paris Hilton’s book,
written with Merle Ginsberg, tells a person
how to live as if they were an heiress.
If you sit down at one of the public
access computers and do a Google
internet search for “Paris Hilton,” you
will get more than eighty-three million hits.
If you venture into those stacks you might
be wandering around for quite some time.
I have read “Confessions Of An Heiress.”
One afternoon when the weather was nice
I checked it out and went to the small park
next to the library. I read it while
sitting on a bench. The book is only
a hundred and seventy-nine pages,
and most of them are full of photographs.
It’s not about a guy named John Galt who
stops the motor of the world by getting
smart people to abandon dumb people.
In fact, you can find inconsistencies:
Paris says never wear the same thing twice
but in two photos—on page fifty-four
and page one forty-seven—Paris wears
the same pink shirt. However, early on—
page nine—Paris warns readers not to take
her fail-safe instructions seriously.
I have not reviewed all the internet’s
eighty-three million Paris Hilton hits.
In fact, yesterday when I checked there were
only eighty-two million. I couldn’t
even review today’s new additions.
I have looked at some of the old stories.
There’s one about Paris wrecking the hood
of her Bentley in a fender-bender.
There’s one about her and Nicole Ritchie
patching up their friendship after feuding.
And roughly eighty-three million others.
“Confessions Of An Heiress” is a book
written by Paris Hilton with help from
Merle Ginsberg. Most likely it was written
by Merle Ginsberg with occasional chats
over party drinks with Paris Hilton.
The internet is not a book. It’s not
written by anybody. It’s tempting
to say it’s written by everybody
but that’s like saying the United States
and Monaco are both in the UN—
it’s true but it conveys little content
toward an obviously much larger truth
that is Byzantine with consequences.
There’s Paris Hilton. And there is her book.
And there’s the internet. Byzantium.
(Tomorrow: Paris Hilton And The Butterflies From Atlantis #3: Fons Et Origo)