It has to be said that punching Perez Hilton is something that has crossed my mind more than once. I find this blogger about celebrities who has become a celebrity (although Z list as yet) in his own right insufferably annoying. Sorry. But there it is. It’s not particularly rational nor even an honorable thought, but the man just manages to trigger every aggressive switch I have.
The reason I have to reveal these personal failings is that someone has, indeed, just gone and punched Hilton: not on my behalf you understand, but for their own reasons. The basic background is that at some awards ceremony somewhere (not important which one, Perez Hilton is the type that’d turn up to the opening of an envelope), Hilton got into a shouting match with Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. In the course of which Hilton screamed “Fucking Faggot” and was rewarded with a quite beautiful shiner.
There are, of course, things to enjoy here: the open homosexual using an (ahem) “heteronormative” insult, the black eye from the Black Eyed Pea entourage, the point that I no longer have to harbor fantasies of exerting myself as I can simply watch the film of the event. There are also further, less enjoyable points. Suit has, we are told, been filed, police are involved and a court case in the offing. Now it is true that the State claims a monopoly on the legitimate deployment of violence and for good reason. It is also true that Hilton is, as is any and every individual purely by the fact of their being such an individual, worthy of the full protection that the law provides.
However, then we come to Hilton’s own statement on the entire matter. At this point I’m afraid an entirely different set of feelings kick in. It’s a horrible, to me at least, rambling self-justification. He wanders from being oppressed because he cannot legally marry the sexual partner of his choice to insisting that he used the vilest epithet he could but that no one should have done anything about it. Or something, I defy anyone to parse it properly. He finishes with this:
“And I look forward to standing up for my rights in a Toronto courtroom shortly, as I fully intend to seek every lawful remedy against the man that attacked me.”
No, that’s not how backstage insults and punches are meant to end. It’s not about his rights under the law, it’s not about dragging people through a courtroom, it’s about, or should be, being an adult. About something much more important than what the legislature has said is right or wrong, it’s about manners, the very oil that makes us all rub along together in civilization.
Hilton screamed sexual epithets and got bopped for his troubles. That’s the way that it sometimes works, that you’re forcibly reminded of the social conventions under which we all live. The correct response to such episodes is not to take legal action, it is to do what your Mother always told you. Apologize, make amends and promise not to do it again. “Dreadfully sorry, don’t know what came over me, I do apologize” would fit the bill. Once Hilton had done that and so had his assailant then the entire matter would be closed: along with providing a suitable lesson in comportment for the younger generation.
That it is going to court, that men apparently no longer have the manners that maketh them, has my own fist twitching in the air again, I’m afraid. Excuse me if I go off to see the action once again, replay that little YouTube movie…..
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