Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

June 5, 2007 --
Hard Time              Minus Cartier
Paris Hilton swapped a swanky evening gown and Cartier watch for an orange jail uniform and plastic ID bracelet yesterday, Day 1 of her simple life behind bars.

The pampered hotel heiress checked herself into the Century Regional Detention Facility, paying the price for violating probation and driving without a license following a DUI rap.

"She's doing well under the circumstances," said defense lawyer Richard Hutton, after emerging from an afternoon chit-chat with his famous jailbird client. "The staff here has reported that she has been gracious, polite and thankful for their help with her."

The 26-year-old Hilton - now known as prisoner No. 9818783 - struck a sexy pose for her jail mug shot. Her flowing blond hair tossed over one shoulder, Hilton appeared to be wearing makeup and lip gloss.

"This was the mug shot of a glamour queen saying, 'It doesn't matter what I did,'" said Mary Dawne Arden, a New York public-speaking coach and body-language analyst.

Once inside jail, deputies made her change into orange, hospital-like scrubs and not-so-sexy bloomers better suited for a grandmother than an Internet sex star. Hutton defended Hilton's round-about, middle-of-the-night journey that took her from the MTV Movie Awards' red carpet to jail late Sunday night.
New York Post

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Nothing Raises Paris Hilton's Profile Like Prison Time
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, June 5, 2007
For several years, The Elliott Wave Theorist has characterized the veneration of heroes as a hallmark of a bull market, and their tearing down as the hallmark of a bear. Public heroes are of their times, and their images become vulnerable when the wind changes.
The Elliott Wave Theorist, September 1995

USA Today's weekend edition featured an article entitled “Celeb Retakes” which was absolutely chock-full of great Socionomic quotes about the new wave of reality in Reality TV [shows starring celebrities like Scott Baio and Paula Abdul]:
I think people just like seeing celebrities being humiliated.

The concoction of nostalgia, train-wreck potential, and people desperately in search of attention can yield great television.

There's something juicy about watching celebrities who are out of control, not very bright, and unbelievably self-centered.

Humiliation, train-wrecks, out of control, self-centeredness.  A whole new reality indeed, and it's pointed lower.

It’s been emerging slowly for a while, so I can’t be sure that the celebrity meltdown phenomenon is approaching any sort of breaking point. But the wall of publicity surrounding Paris Hilton’s recent misadventure makes me think you may be right. It’s would be a stretch to place Hilton and B-list celebrities like Scott Baio on the same level as many of the cultural heroes discussed in past issue of EWFF and EWT. But in the past, EWI has classified celebrities as minor heroes. They are emulated and/or assailed based on the position of social mood. As celebrities go, Paris Hilton seems to suit the peak mood nicely. The source of her fame lies not with any accomplishment, but with her wealthy status as a hotel heiress and to her promiscuous appearance in an Internet video: the first trait is a characteristic of a peak social mood while her place in the casual sex hall of fame is consistent with the rising bear market trend today’s L.A. Times refers to as the “pornification of mainstream society” (for full coverage of this trend see the entry of April 20).

parisParis Hilton’s move into the “special needs” unit of the Los Angeles County Jail may be the swing from veneration, or at least emulation and car-wreck curiousity to vilification, here to the point of incarceration, which is classic example of happens when "the wind changes."  But this may not be the last we hear of Paris Hilton. A clear sense of comfort with negative attention is on display here in Hilton’s mugshot photo. What with the emerging cultural preoccupations with losers and misfits (see entry from this month’s issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast in Additional References below), Paris may still be at the front edge of a long career in "bad girl" idolotry.

Also the wave of new reality TV shows appears to be something of a throwback to 2000 when stocks topped and the first major reality TV shows, Survivor, appeared. Now we have a whole slew of them in which the mean spirited/voyeuristic heart of the genre takes aim at high profile people like Paula Abdul, with whom the media seems to take delight in finding flaws. Here again, the idea is probably to resurrect struggling careers by demonstrating an ability to roll with, or possibly even deliver, the punches. But in the unfolding brawl many are likely to underestimate just how hard and fast the punches are likely to fly.

Additional References

June 2007, EWFF
September EWFF asserted, “People are hungry for the negative.” According to the pop cultural assessment of NY Times drama critic Charles Isherwood, the American appetite for rejects and losers is growing fast. Isherwood’s article, “Take a Bow, Loser, the Spotlight’s Yours,” reads like a recent issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast. He chronicles the appearance of a “new mood” that enshrines “failure as the new success.” In movies, books and TV, “the affection for life’s also-rans is strong,” “winning isn’t really anything” and “merit badges are now being bestowed for underachievement.” The latest news from Hollywood is the “break out” stardom of “perennial slacker” Seth Rosen. Says USA Today, Rosen is the “Pavarotti of stoner losers.” The craving for failure is glaringly apparent on Times Square:
Behold a new face of the Broadway musical, bearing a wry comic grimace that reflects the new mood abroad in America. A country renowned as the land that enshrined success as a prize to be cherished above all others has lately evinced a sneaky fascination with failure.

Isherwood calls one Tony nominated hit, Grey Gardens, a “tale of vertiginous downward mobility” and “a cultural artifact expressing the new mood perfectly.” He adds that while “chronicling the lives of losers, flops and failures is not new to the American theater, “its subterranean prevalence in the current crop of musicals is an inspiriting sign that audiences may be turning away from perky escapism.”

Joining Grey Gardens “on what might be redubbed the Not-So-Great White Way” are Avenue Q, “a snarky comic ode to the satisfactions of quasi-loserdom,” The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a satiric celebration of misfit teens, Wicked, which “glorifies a certain once-reviled green gal” from Wizard of Oz and a revival of A Chorus Line, which glows with an angst that “likewise befits the current mood.” Chorus features a succession of “desperate for work” gypsy dancers auditioning for parts in a play. It is based on a series of interviews that took place in 1974, the year of the last major bear market low.

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Late in 1969, TV ran the Las Vegas wedding of an otherwise forgettable rock star named Tiny Tim, whose theme song, "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" was reminiscent of the Dutch Tulip bulb craze (and collapse). This preceded the 1970s bear market.
Posted by: Tom Au
June 5, 2007 01:00 PM

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