Random story or fetid dropping from the pop culture vulture?
May 8, 2009
The following is not meant to be an indictment on Victoria Principal or even celebrities in general, per se. Nor am I making comment on societies fascination with celebrities, per se. I also don’t have an agenda regarding pets, our attachments to them, or handgun ownership, or frivolous lawsuits per se.
But a recent story involving Mrs. Principal, her maid, her dog, a handgun and a pair of lawsuits bears notice because it involves all of the above. It’s the perfect pop culture storm! So many hot buttons are being pushed in this silly tale I just couldn’t leave it alone.
For the unawares, apparently Principal pulled a gun on her maid for treating her pet dog badly during its afternoon walk. They got into it. The police were called. And now the two are suing each other. Other nonsensical details are contained in the attached People magazine article.
Who cares? Maybe everyone. The aggregations of controversy make this a revelation in terms of where we’re at as a society, which is why I’m writing about it now. Let’s break it down.
1. Starting with Victoria Principal. A C-list celebrity, she used to be a hottie on a prime time soap opera. In her day she was the brunette version of Farrah-Fawcett Majors. Now, at 59, she’s more or less the embodiment of a California cougar. A perfect heroine for a sordid modern tale.
2. The Maid. Hired help. A minority. An indentured servant; is she legal? Was she being treated fairly? The Maid is the perfect victim for a sordid modern tale.
3. The Dog. America loves to debate the virtues of pet ownership. But have we taken it too far? Are pets really like children? Are they worth pulling a gun over? The pet then, is the perfect innocent for a sordid modern tale.
4. The Gun. What is Victoria Principal even doing with one? What are any of us doing with one? Pulling a pistol to settle a domestic dispute is the perfect plot point for a sordid modern tale.
5. The Lawsuits. Oh, how we love to sue! Next to guns, nothing settles a domestic dispute like a good lawyer. Clearly, the maid sees dollar signs. Certainly, Victoria will be vindicated. Obviously, the truth has nothing to do with any of it.
6. California. No need to elaborate. L.A. is the perfect location for a sordid modern tale.
Laywers. Guns. Money. Sex. Race. Celebrity. Police. Even pets. A veritable cornucopia of swoon! People magazine, Us Weekly and countless other tabloids are filled with the stuff, I know. But this particular story struck me as quintessential. Enhanced even more by its superfluous superficiality. In other words: dumb.
Whoops, gotta go. Real Housewives of New Jersey is on. People gave it four stars.