September 08, 2009

It’s often been pointed out that there’s a certain frisson, for a certain sort of man, to watching two women duking it out over something or other. Perez Hilton may not be female, technically, but his glory in bitchy gossip and backbiting should qualify him. And Demi Moore definitely has the looks to attract a crowd to watch such a catfight. Unfortunately this all is being played out with words, over this Twitter thing, rather than in full-screen glorious technicolor.

The essential background is that Demi Moore’s daughter (or rather, one of her daughters) with Bruce Willis, one Tallulah Willis, was phtographed at a party wearing a little less than most fathers of 15-year-old girls would think appropriate. The missing item of clothing was simply a bra (the picture is here and, no, it won’t shock even my maiden aunt, let alone yours). With all due respect to the young Ms. Willis, she has the same petite figure as her mother did (the “€œdid”€ referring either to before Demi had children/surgery, delete one of those according to which story you believe about whether she has had surgery or not), and so this is all rather a storm in an eggcup rather than anything serious.

Other than the absence of a bra she is fully clothed and by the standards of modern-day bathing costumes to be seen on any beach in the country, she is in fact rather decorously dressed.

This did not stop Perez Hilton from posting about the pictures on his gossip-based website as, of course, is his wont. Anything to create a controversy and get the traffic rate up being standard business practice. This then brought a storm of denunciations from Demi Moore over the Twitter service (for the uninitiated, a method of passing messages, like notes in classroom, for those incapable of grapsing more than 140 characters at a time) as follows in a series of messages:

Clearly Perez Hilton isn’t taking violating child pornography laws very seriously. He might not but there are alot of people who do! … Anyone who advertises follows or supports Perez supports violating child pornography laws! … Let me ask all of you, what is it called when someone is telling people to look and focus on a child’s “boobs & ass” while providing photos?

It’s not child pornography when the girl is fully dressed. No, it’s neither gentlemanly nor polite to draw attention to all of this, but then that is the Perez Hilton modus operandi.

Coming right back, we have Perez himself:

And thanks for drawing MORE attention to your daughter’s behavior and your parenting skills (or lack thereof). U r real smart! … Still waiting for you to retract your incorrect, libelous and defamatory statements … I would not let my 15 year old daughter dress like that under ANY context. You are delusional and slightly senile!

As above, neither gentlemanly nor polite is our Perez. But it’s all, of course, good clean fun in the manner that watching two bald men fighting over a comb is good clean fun. It’s of no import, will make no difference to the world in general, but does contain its fair share of amusement.

There is however a slightly larger point that can be made. The interactivity of these new tools like Twitter means that anyone can join in from the hás-beens to the never-will -bes. Kirstie Alley, for example, is a friend of Moore’s and tells a breathlessly waiting world that:

I SWEAR, I will punch the bitch out myself … keep degrading children with your smut and I will make Will I Am look like an amatuer.

Which, given her not-so-petite figure, at least in contrast to Tallulah’s, would surely leave a mark upon Perez. And as for the never-will-bes, Heidi Montag weighs in.

Look at her Tweets. SHE is the one breaking the law with her libelous, defamatory, inaccurate and stupid allegations

Which is really rather an interesting little sign of where a would-be actress, singer, model, whatever (just to update the old MAW tag) sees the power in showbusiness as residing. With a world famous actress or with a celebrity gossip blogger? Sad to have to say it, but she probably made the right choice in siding with the blogger.

Much the most amusing part of it all to me is this appearance by Ms. Montag. She is, for those who don’t recall her name immediately, someone who has just posed nude for Playboy in a photo shoot brokered by her own husband. And yet she thinks herself qualified to opine on whether a 15-year-old girl should or should not wear a bra to a party.

Some people clearly have slightly strange ideas about where moral authority resides and how it is gained.


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