Friday, April 17, 2009

Lindsay Lohan: Die Laughing?

When you hit rock bottom--by Hollywood standards--and have nowhere else to go but self-mockery, you post a video of yourself on Funny or Die in which you spoof those irritating eHarmony ads, with (presumably) a full understanding that you are exactly the type of drug-using, binge-drinking calamity that eHarmony (and Hollywood) wants absolutely nothing to do with.

If this opening sentence seems too excitable, it is only because there is no other way in which to describe Lindsay Lohan's latest media outing. There was the limelight of the lesbian break-up, then the plaintive confessional in Us Magazine. This week, it's the eHarmony lampoon.

The personal-ad lampoon is presently playing to millions, or far more than saw Lohan's last film outing (I Know Who Killed Me, seen by a grand total of 857 Lohan fans, all of whom were later treated for post-traumatic stress disorder due to repeat exposure to the porn-gore flick). Lohan has been trying to kill herself, rather publicly, with some rather shrewd attention if not any particular insight.

Other highlights of Lohan's career include a DUI arrest, three stints in rehab, and then really nothing if you discount the surprise romance with Samantha Ronson. After the recent demise of the relationship, Lohan nimbly returned to public spectacle, apparently gauging the market for both sympathy and sales potential.

Or at least this is how Hollywood sees things, but this is only because Lohan has kept up appearances. She does not look like Nick Nolte and her hair is in far better shape than Phil Spector's.

The eHarmony clip might be seen as what marketing professionals call an "integrated activity" whose goal is to place the product in a desirable position. Self-exploitation is a zippy part of this activity, even if the self being exploited is enormously friable.

It's not a bad move, insofar as the shifting of perspectives is concerned. Lohan is hostage to a certain reputation, so why not celebrate it? If the clip lacks acid humor, it still shows that Lohan is becoming less mawkish in her attempts to publicly deface herself. Lohan might seem to be lost in the world, but you imagine her not quite seeing herself as perishable. Instead, she turns out to be someone who is fully aware of the absurdity of the eHarmony ads, which is really sort of hopeful. Hooray, you think, Lohan isn't really as desensitized by cocaine as you previously thought.

Some might decry the clip as fatuous, but this is missing the point. Hollywood is already taking notice of the numbers. This demonstrates that Lohan is smart enough to abandon one tactic for another when the first failed to receive positive encomium. Lohan understands that only the present minute counts. The blink-and-you-miss-it quality of modern communication operates in favor of the well imagined. Lohan has quickly changed from a negative shape into a positive one, thanks to the new point of view. That this will only last three minutes is a testament to the tragic effects of social media: We know too much, too soon. And are more bored than ever before.

Lohan failed at confessional, because she wasn't all that interesting a confessor to begin with. Sure, she was more interesting than the homeless guy who claimed to be Peter Criss of Kiss, but she hasn't reached the apogee of confessional, which spot is held by Judy Garland and her vituperative autobiographical tapes. So she switched it up and as of today has become medium-interesting, but only because she was poking fun not at herself but at a symbol of romantic mediocrity: dating someone who is just like you are.

In Lohan's case, this might be just the ticket; you can tell she wants more drama out of life, as should we all if we would just stop whining that our lives are dull and do something about it.

1 comment:

Eyeliah @ said...

Good points. I watched the video and found it rather blah, I did laugh at the one line (loosely quoted) 'and the rumur that I'm broke, I 'm not I have over $400 in the bank'. hahah