I turned on the news last week and was slammed with hot breaking news -- Lindsay Lohan had been busted for drunk driving and drug possession.
I quickly changed the channel thinking, "Why is every station running the same two-month-old Lindsay Lohan DUI and cocaine story? And since when do serious news shows have summer repeats?"
But as I surfed past Larry King and moved on to Nancy Grace, I realized it was not Groundhog Day or April Fools. Our girl was at it again, falling off the wagon and spinning out of control. Her life was spiraling downward like Alice through the looking glass, but this fairy tale may not have a happy ending.
Lindsay's version of the truth? The cocaine in the glove compartment wasn't hers. The jeans she was wearing weren't hers, so the cocaine she brought to jail couldn't be hers either.
The media wants to portray young Hollywood as spinning out of control, and they are. They are young, misguided and spoiled. But how can they not be when surrounded by enablers?
The years 2006-2007 will be remembered as the years that tabloid gossip -- usually relegated to supermarket gossip mags -- found a home in serious headline news.
Normally sedate, chic and dignified anchors like Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Matt Lauder, Anderson Cooper and Larry King reported on the life, times and tribulations of teen queens and poptarts like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Anna Nicole Smith with a level of coverage more fitting for heads of state or catastrophic disasters.
Personally, I've got a vested interest -- I actually like these girls. I know you are smart, sweet and entertaining. We've had some fun and laughs, and I can relate to the fabulousness and the loneliness.
When my girls J.Lo, Jada, Sandy, Selma and Halle ruled the red carpets, they were adults. They were there because they were glamorous, talented and promoting their newest project or a charity that might actually raise money to help someone in need.
Nowadays celebs throw on a designer gown and hit the red carpet for the opening of an envelope.
Lindsay and Britney are like little girls playing dress up in a grown-up world. It's like a dream come true, but it can also be a nightmare. They are paying a price for their fame -- with their innocence, minds, bodies, dignity and careers.
Let's be clear, though -- they are not helpless victims. These girls encourage media attention. But what can the future hold if your present tarnishes everything you've got?
Celebrities and drugs, parties and rowdy behavior have gone hand in hand since the days of silent film. Just glance at a few chapters of the book "Hollywood Babylon," and you'll see that these modern day pop icons aren't that different than their predecessors.
Lindsay is our modern day Judy Garland. Will Britney succumb to a lobotomy at her mother's request, like the gorgeous and talented Francis Farmer?
Anna Nicole's self-fulfilling demise and overdose harks back to Marilyn Monroe. And how can Nicole not become the next Dorothy Dandridge?
And then there's Paris. What can I say to snap her out of this crap? It seems like only yesterday we first met during Fashion Week (it's actually been about five years).
We have laughed and partied from the CFDA to Diddy's house, from the couture shows in Paris to Jeremy Scott's show in L.A. She and her sister Nicky sparkled as brightly as their sequined dresses -- innocent, fun and as bubbly as the champagne being served.
Now when I see Paris she looks pretty as a picture, but with nothing to say she's just taking up space.
Real people everywhere are found guilty for the same addictions and behavior she is being heralded for. Being famous may get her out of it easier but, lets face it, all that extra attention can also make it much worse.
Lindsay, Britney, Paris and Nicole: Would it be so bad to be like Beyonce -- talented, glamorous and dating a very successful man? Aren't Mandy Moore, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba living proof that there is another way?
You can have it all: smart, pretty, rich and respected for your personal and career choices.
Kelly Clarkson, Scarlett Johanson and Alicia Keyes have all had their share of bad girl behavior without the useless tabloid frenzy. What are you girls gaining from your latest escapades? People are talking about you at every party I go to.
At every dinner, your names buzz throughout the restaurant but unfortunately, your peers and colleagues are laughing at you, not with you. Some of us actually feel bad for you, but most are basking in your demise.
"Yeah, yeah, who cares what other people think," you say. You're just doin' you. You don't live your life for others. But is this the best life you all can live? You're all millionaires -- use a damn driver.
But what's the point of going out and getting your buzz on and having the driver take you home, I suppose. Just party some more, have a drug or liquor-induced meltdown and get so out of control, irate and irrational that you're crashing your car or driving without a license or headed the wrong way in the HOV lane.
Girls, come on. Besides a jail sentence or police record, your actions could lead to the deaths of innocent people, or even yourselves. Have you ever thought of that?
Have you learned anything from Shannon Doherty or Tara Reid? Look what happened to those careers after all their career hijinx and partying antics -- just some food for thought.
Speaking of food for thought, Nicole, if I get asked one more time about your eating habits I am going to throw up. Yes, we have eaten together. She has even slapped my hand for stealing her fries at the Chateau Marmont, but the media loves to hate on her.
But don't let them win this game with your life, Nicole. Don't hate the players. Just eat. They'll dig at you if you gain weight, and they'll dig at you if you lose weight, so just shield yourself from the glare of the paparazzi.
You are a funny girl, you have always made me laugh and feel good, especially when you call me sexy. I was happy and sad to hear about your 90-hour jail sentence. But it could be worse. Serve it with the dignity we all know you have. After all, looking good is the best revenge.
All you ladies are so young and still learning, but I know you are smarter than this. None of our lives will ever be perfect. We are only human, and with that comes mistakes. Unfortunately, they get magnified by this Hollywood fish bowl we live in.
Cherish the chance for a new beginning. Learn from Britney and Whitney, and see that all their drama ain't getting them anywhere but down.
Look how far and hard Whitney Houston, with all that talent and all those awards, had to struggle to come back. And Britney has fired the team that has made, loved and protected her from K-Fed and the media and decided to manage herself (doesn't look like that's going so well Brit).
My last piece of advice to Lindsay, Paris and Nicole -- consider this quote from one of my favorite movies, "All about Eve:" "It's sad when the piano thinks it's the concerto."
And another, this one put forth by Julia Roberts in "Notting Hill": "The fame thing isn't real in a few years. It'll just look like someone who used to be famous."
Take it for what it's worth, but take care of yourself. Forget fame and money -- surround yourself with people who really care about you.