For the past few years, my Achilles Heel has been Perezhilton.com. I know it’s silly, I know it’s vapid, I know it’s basically junk food as far as entertainment and productive use of time goes. But it entertains me in an “I don’t have to think” fashion and I like that the celebrities are shown warts and all. As time has gone by, I’ve kind of found Perez’s posts to be less comical and more derogatory. His attitude towards women seems very misogynistic in terms of his commentary on size, age, looks, youth, behavior, etc. He has his favorites though and they can do no wrong. He also has his favorites to pick on and torture. It’s weird because all of these people, picked on or not, seek out his favor. It’s like they aren’t legitimate unless he has their opinion, bad or good.
And what’s weird is that he posts pictures of the same people who he picks on and berates at his birthday party. And THEN he almost seems flattered that these celebrities would be there and fawns over them only to slam them the next day.
In black and white, this seems vile. Why would I pay attention to this? Why would I give it the time of day? Well the website is pink, there’s plenty of pictures, it’s easy to navigate and the author speaks in a familiar, chummy voice. It’s easy to get sucked in.
Just recently, what with Twittermania taking over the nation, I too, picked up my “smart phone” and got in on the action. I “followed” Perez, as did a million other people. But soon, I started seeing how vicious he could be. Calling Kirstie Alley a fat bitch, telling Mariah to ditch her song choices for ones he’d prefer, telling Christina Aguilera that her last album sucked, the list goes on. And it’s weird because he’d snipe at these people publicly and then just as quickly flatter them and fawn if they paid him attention. It’s pathological.
So just about a week ago, when discussing these “findings” with friends, we all predicted that something was about to go down with Perez. It’s easy to laugh and giggle when he’s behind the facade of a bubble-gum pink website with pretty pictures. It’s different when the wall is taken down a little bit and you get to see the person behind (on Twitter). I think it made a lot of people kind of step back and go, “Whoa”. This guy is a megalomaniac. And his platform is “truth”, not “opinion” but “truth”. He thinks someone’s ugly so they are. He thinks a CD sucks so it does. He thinks someone’s gay so they are.
Which brings me to my next point…Perez thinks he’s doing the world a service by outing people. He’s taking one for the team knowing everyone will hate him but hoping that outing people will make being gay more mainstream. The problem with that is that it takes a long time for people to figure themselves out and sexuality is not something you can nail down. It’s less about sex and more about being happy with someone you want to spend all of your time with. That’s not something that just “happens” overnight, not for many of us.
And then this whole Will.i.am debaucle happened. Bitch Magazine wrote a good essay on what happened. Here it is:
Basically the articles seeks to understand just what is it that makes this whole story interesting? Is it that a gay man and/or a black man were involved? Is it Perez getting clocked? Is it that someone was called a faggot? Is it that the word was hurled by a gay man? Is it that Perez states that he used the word that would hurt the most, that BEING the word “faggot”? Is it that that word in particular pissed off Will.i.am? Is it that Perez had it coming? Is it that we’re happy about Perez getting clocked? The list goes on and on…
And it’s strange because in my own life, I had a friend who was JUST LIKE Perez. Looks like him, talks like him, acts like him, the list goes on and on for that too…It might even be why I was interested in Perez in the first place. That particular friend and I fell out after I started dating Kristyn. He’s gay and had had to go through a lot to come out of the closet. And then here I come, dating a girl and not even having myself figured out. That person dehumanized me for it and totally cut me out of his life. For years I wondered what went wrong. And this friend is funny, charismatic and when he’s your best friend (for the day), you have a great time. And when you’re out of his favor, you want back in. It’s so damn weird. And dangerous. Now I’m not going to credit this guy with much, it’s just that he’s funny. But it’s exactly the same with Perez. He has a sharp wit that makes people want to be around him but the reality is that behind that sharp wit is a person who takes his opinion for fact, influences people to feel the way he does and turns his sharp tongue on you so fast your head is left spinning. But here’s the thing, you have to like it. If you don’t, you will be on his shit list forever. In fact, this year, being an idiot, I tried to mend things with this friend because I thought that all this happened because we were kids. I wanted to apologize for hurting his feelings and I wanted to, not be friends, but to resolve this problem and move on. It had been causing me a lot of stress and so I sent him an apology email. This is part of the response I got:
“…you are damaged goods because of how you father treated you; or that you could never be a true friend to me because you can’t find the true you? Are you a lesbian? straight? bi? This in no way is a reflection of what I think; for all I know, you have come to terms with=2 0these issues, but it is simply to illustrate an attempt to say the most horrible things I can…”
Ugh. It’s so weird to think that I ever considered such a person to be my friend. And what’s weird is that I probably WAS friends with someone like that specifically BECAUSE my relationship with my father is problematic. Truth be told, this person never once kept a secret I told them, never once remembered my birthday, never once tried to make me feel better when I was down. He was a fairweather friend, I was just too “damaged” to know the difference.
I don’t know, I’m not saying that this guy OR Perez are the boogeyman. I guess I’m just trying to say that it kind of spooks me out that some people, especially these kinds of people have the platform to change minds, influence opinions and excel. When you’re involved in that shit, it seems like maybe you’ve done something wrong. I mean look at Fergie. She has reconstructed her entire face solely on Perez’s opinion and it’s still not good enough for him. He calls her “fugly”, “fat”, “talentless”, etc on a regular basis and all it takes is her calling him out in private one night for him to angrily lash out, call her friend a faggot and then create all of this drama to get his “fans” to destroy these people who aren’t hurting anybody.
I guess I’m just realizing that the amount of stress I put myself through for this one “friend” was totally wasted time because guys like this aren’t special, they’re a dime a dozen. And if you’re special too, they’re going to kick you down because there’s only room enough for one diva in the spotlight.
In this scenario, I stole his spotlight. In Perez’s he used he situation to his advantage to steal the spotlight before anyone else could take it from him and it’s going to be his downfall. In my own life, I still think about this stuff from time to time even though I know I shouldn’t give it the time of day. But I will never forget this person calling me “damaged goods” because what’s funny is that it was BEING “damaged goods” that led me to the positive life I have now.
And as for Perez, he should just apologize for using that word as an insult, to his readers, to Will.i.am, to GLAAD. Obvi Will.i.am’s manager should apologize for hitting him too but honestly, I think that hate speech is more dangerous that a punch. That punch only hurt Perezhilton. It’s not acceptable behavior but the only person hurt was the target of the punch. By comparison though, the use of the word “faggot” hurt way more people and will be his downfall if I have any say in it.