How Barbie Stood Up to Allen Ginsberg: Paris Hilton Doesn’t Do Dishes
By EVA LIDDELL
I feel sorry for Paris Hilton. She’s the Barbie doll I never had.
In 1959 when the first Barbie came into our lives, that is, the lives of little girls, I begged my mother to get me a Barbie. “You’re too old for dolls,” she told me. “But I’m only eleven,” I answered. “You’ll just outgrow it and then we’ll have something around the house we don’t need,” she replied. She had that look on her face that meant there was no more discussion. So the words that Paris recently cried aloud I could only scream in tortured silence. “Mom, this isn’t right!”
I consoled myself with the thought that I’d soon be visiting Lynn Schuler, my ten year girlfriend who lived over in Jersey. She had a Barbie. The whole deal would go down with Barbie over at Lynn’s house.
Barbie was perfect. Thin with slender legs, long straight blond hair, endless outfits for her endless adventures and no pubic hair. It was heaven over there. The wonderful thing about Barbie was that she didn’t have to do anything. She was free. Sure, she had an outfit for her job as an airline stewardess and she took lots of time getting dressed to look professional and more importantly very beautiful. But I don’t remember that she actually worked. Mostly she went to the beach, or wherever she roamed, with the wind in her hair which would have to be re-combed and put back up into that famous long blond pony tail. She drove around in her convertible, she had lots of friends and she had a pink Princess telephone.
One early evening as Lynn and I were deep into Barbie-Land, Mrs. Schuler called to Lynn from downstairs. “Lynn Marie, she hollered up, “come clean the dinner dishes.” Lynn groaned. I picked up Barbie and pointed her to the door where Mrs. Schuler’s voice had emanated. “I don’t do no stinkin’ dishes,” I, or rather Barbie said. “What did you say Eva?” Mrs. Schuler said. “Oh, I said, chirpily, “I said I’d help Lynn with the dishes.” I pulled a fast Eddie Haskell on that one.
“Don’t forget, Lynn,” Mrs. Schuler said, “you still have to practice the piano. And remember, your tutor is coming tomorrow so get your books together for your remedial reading hour.” “Poor Lynn,” I thought. “She has so much to do. Poor me, when I get home it’ll be the same thing, only different.”
Many years later during the summer of 1967 before video porn but they didn’t call it the Summer of Love for nothing, I was hanging out in Thompson Square Park in the East Village sitting on a bench. Some guy sat down next to me and we got to talking. I remember him telling me that he appreciated that I applied my eye makeup expertly and asked me if I wanted to go over to Allen Ginsberg’s pad on Seventh. We got there and Ginsberg’s little living room was filled with hippies and some old Beats and one dissolute poet who kept bragging he was second best to Ginsberg. The guy who brought me over started playing the violin. Someone else tapped on a congo drum or something. Ginsberg wasn’t there yet. Then he came in. Everyone looked up. He wasn’t in a great mood.
“Hey,” he growled. “Why don’t one of you chicks get in the kitchen and start doing some of these dishes?”
That was my cue to leave. Only I had to walk through the kitchen to exit through the door. He thought I was one of the “chicks” volunteering to wash the mountain of dirty plates and motioned to me where to begin. “I don’t do no stinkin’ dishes,” I said and walked out.
I bet Paris has never done any dishes. All she did was drive around in her convertible and got popped for 0.08 percent alcohol. What’s that, one beer? Give me a break. Then the State goes after her for driving with a suspended license and she gets forty five days? It isn’t like she got a DUI and then invaded two countries and killed millions of people. She’s just a Barbie not a Bushie.
Speaking of bushies, I didn’t know that Paris elects not to have one. I probably wouldn’t have known this if the professor from Tufts hadn’t been so on top of his game and provided us with this vital piece of information in his CounterPunch article along with the name of her boyfriend which I forgot as soon as I read it. But I should have known, because of Barbie.
What kind of scapegoat is Paris Hilton? What need does she fill? I wouldn’t know. She only reminds me of something harmless from long ago before I entered our meritoriously-oriented society and went to work.
Eva Liddell lives in the Pacific Northwest.