by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

We’re all adults here, right? So you don’t mind if I bring up the f-word?

You know. Filming.

Last week, new footage was circulating showing sexual exploits of blond socialite Paris Hilton, whose job I can’t quite discern, other than to be on television and, every few months, lose a videotape.

The previous tape put Paris on the map (until that point, we all thought it was in France). The tape showed an X-rated sexual romp of Paris with her then boyfriend. It turned up all over the worldwide Web. Paris was extremely upset, later calling it “the worst moment of my life.” Of course, she gave that quote in an “exclusive” interview on the “Today” show, talking about her new book and her TV reality series, none of which probably would have happened had that worst moment not happened.

Anyhow, now another tape is making the rounds. This new one — reportedly part of 12 hours worth of material — shows more of Hilton writhing around with boyfriends, including a former Backstreet Boy in the backseat of a car. (Backstreet in the Backseat? Will the irony never end!)

This tape, Hilton says, was stolen from her home, and she has threatened to sue anyone who tries to sell it. After all, that first tape you can now buy in porn video shops, with half the proceeds going back to Hilton. And you know what they say about free milk from a cow.

Let’s skip the viewing

Now, to be honest, I usually don’t think much about Hilton, who, besides looking like an X-rated Big Bird, is pretty much a fleeting celebrity, soon to be replaced by someone just as blond.

But what throws me, I confess, is the whole filming yourself thing. I don’t get it. As someone who can’t sit through five minutes of a home movie, I keep asking the same question: Who are they filming this for?

Come on. Be honest. Much as you may enjoy sex, do you really want to — as Warner Wolf, the sportscaster, says — “go the videotape”? It’s not like those tennis camps, where they review your serve and they rewind it in slow motion over and over, is it? Ugh. I don’t care if you’re Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. That cannot be your finest hour.

And then comes my other question — and I admit I am probably a prude about all this — how do they shoot these things? Presumably, in the heat of passion, one isn’t concerned with the lighting, other than to shut the lights off. Only you can’t shut the lights off, because you’re filming! And you have to be sure the camera is pointing in the right direction. And that you stay in frame. And that the auto focus is on. And we haven’t even mentioned the zoom lens.

Let’s all sing along

Of course, I suppose you could have someone filming it for you. And maybe in Hollywood, this is how it works. Maybe, in the era of reality TV, you don’t do anything without being filmed, so it’s not so weird to have a guy yell “action” when you’re, you know, in action.

Of course, this changes the basic math of romance. All the songs would have to be rewritten to add a digit:

Just the three of us Filming castles in the sky . . .

Or . . .

It takes three, baby, it takes three, baby You, the cinematographer, and me.

Can I ask another question? How does someone have 12 hours of this stuff on tape? Would you read your diary for that long? Do you fast forward through the slow parts? Do you put it on pause when the phone rings?

Ah, well. It only goes to show you that when it comes to making whoopee, I must be in the Stone Age. When someone says, “We’ll always have Paris,” I think “Casablanca,” while today’s kids think “Web site.”

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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