Lindsay Lohan’s Real Problem

Recently, I mentioned that I was going to attempt the delicate art of freelancing, thanks to the encouragement of a fellow blogger.  It’s been 4 years since I’ve had an article published in The Hamilton Spectator so I’m a little rusty when it comes to understanding what types of pieces tickle the fancies of editors.
Yesterday, I made my first proper pitch.  I tried to sell my idea of doing a piece on the deeply troubled Lindsay Lohan.  I even started writing it before firing off that email to the Go Editor of The Spec.  Even before I got a response, I already had a workable draft.  Unfortunately, when I checked my email today, I received bad news.  The idea was turned down.  On the plus side, I was encouraged to keep trying and already, I’ve made my second pitch.  Here’s hoping this particular idea gets accepted.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to present my Lindsay Lohan commentary.  Enjoy.
By Dennis Earl

There’s a scene in Ed Wood that I’ve never forgotten. The infamous director goes to visit his troubled friend, legendary actor Bela Lugosi, at a mental institution. Wood is deeply perturbed by what he sees. There’s a pack of reporters and photographers swarming the bed-ridden former Dracula and Wood shoos them all away, calling them “vultures” in the process. What he doesn’t realize is that Lugosi personally contacted those people. Wood is incredulous that his fallen pal wanted the world to know about his morphine addiction.

I was reminded of that scene again when reading about the latest bad news about Lindsay Lohan. Like Lugosi, she has a terrible addiction, in fact, the same addiction: fame.

Although she’s back in rehab for her alcohol abuse, she can’t stay out of the glare of the public eye for more than two seconds, usually for all the wrong reasons. While staying at the Wonderland Center in L.A., she has already reassured a nosy reporter who contacted the facility that she is “doing so great…” She further noted, “I’m fine. Nothing to worry about. Thank you so much for checking in, I do appreciate it.”

It’s that last line that’s noteworthy. She’s actually happy a member of the press, a complete stranger no less, called to check on her. I find that very troubling.

Also disconcerting is her cheery tone. Going to rehab to beat a terrible addiction is supposed to be a humbling and embarrassing experience. It’s where you go when you finally realize you can’t keep travelling down the road of self-destruction. It’s an admission of defeat, an acknowledgment of complete and utter powerlessness to a harmful substance. Other drug-addicted celebrities, ever careful of their public image, would be ashamed if we knew about their trips to rehab. Lindsay Lohan, clearly in denial, thinks her personal problems are worth publicizing. Thanks to her many ill-advised interviews, we know she’s battled bulimia, addictions to cigarettes and alcohol, and that she’s not the monogamous type.

In recent years, Lohan’s chronic immaturity has garnered more attention than her movie and music careers. She’s been in numerous car accidents. She’s been caught out in public without wearing underwear. She’s an underage alcoholic. She’s looked sickly thin from time to time. She’s been missing work because of her excessive partying. Her error-riddled text messages were a godsend to comedians. Since her break-up with actor Wilmer Valderrama she’s gone from one unstable fling to the next. Not a day goes by that she isn’t in the news for doing something stupid. To her, privacy is an alien concept.  Ditto common sense.

It doesn’t help that she’s the product of a dysfunctional family. It also doesn’t help that this painful subject has been fodder for her music.

Her father, Michael, has been in and out of jail for years. Her mother/manager, Dina, behaves more like a free-spirited big sister than a responsible parent. When you spend more time dancing on tables in clubs with your kid instead of being the voice of reason, you set an awful precedent that is difficult to break.

And when you blab about your daughter’s latest stint in rehab to Ryan Seacrest, is it any wonder that Lindsay can’t keep quiet about it, either? Sometimes bad publicity really is just bad publicity.

Recently, on the Howard Stern Show, sidekick Robin Quivers noted how old Lindsay looked in a recent photo. The young star is only 20 years old but Quivers thought she looked twice her age. I hope Lindsay looks at that same photo and realizes that it’s time to take a break from being a public laughing stock. It’s just not worth it.

God knows people have tried to reason with her. There have been interventions and a movie executive wrote a very angry letter to her hoping that she would clean up her act and stop delaying the production of his company’s film.

Unfortunately, Dina defended her daughter instead of agreeing with the executive. As a result, her daughter’s problems continue to accumulate and she can’t stop telling us about them in her impossibly cheerful manner.

As comedian Bill Maher has said many, many times over the years, fame is the worst addiction of all. Why? Because once you get a taste of it, you want more and more, regardless of how it may one day ruin your life. And there’s no rehab for it.

I’ve been watching this show, Child Star Confidential, on Star TV and I marvel at the number of former child stars who can’t give up show business. Despite physical and sexual abuse, stalkers, drug addictions, endless rejection and financial hardships, they keep coming back for more auditions hoping for lightning to strike twice.

Lindsay Lohan is a former child star, too. She started modelling at age 3. Then, she did commercials for many years. She got her first soap opera at age 10, her first movie before she was a teenager and has been a major star since 2003. She has not yet turned 21, the legal drinking age in America.

She has never had an ordinary life free of public scrutiny. Maybe it’s time for her to consider that alternative.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, January 22, 2007
6:35 p.m.
Published in: on January 22, 2007 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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