Friday, May 04, 2007

Big Daughter Is Watching You

I'll make this quick, both for the sake of my sanity and the desire to start my weekend off shooting-rampage-free.

If you haven't already seen it, there's a rather startling piece of video making the rounds at the moment which shows irredeemable dingbat David Hasselhoff, shirtless and drunk off his ass, being interrogated by his 16-year-old daughter (who reportedly shot the video and can be heard off-camera).

The whole thing is shocking for several reasons, not the least of which is that Hasselhoff manages to accomplish the laudable feat of making himself into an even more pathetic and embarrassing caricature than the one we've all come to expect by now. More disconcerting though is the fact that the video represents the second highly personal interaction between a father and daughter in the past few weeks that has somehow become public fodder. You'd have to be Sunny Von Bulow not to know that Alec Baldwin has a nasty habit of calling his child a "rude little pig" when he gets angry enough; audio proof of this fact was such a hot media commodity a couple of weeks ago that you could practically see the drool glistening in Pat O'Brien's ridiculous 70s porn moustache at one point.

Now Hasselhoff gets the YouTube Shaming Treatment.

While there's certainly something to be said for watching "The Hoff" babble like an idiot while trying to drunkenly stuff a cheeseburger into his gaping maw, I'd gladly forfeit that little bit of Schadenfreude if it might bring a quick end to a troubling trend plaguing our land these days -- one that I have to assume will only get worse in the coming years. I'm talking about the fact that there's simply no such thing as a private moment anymore. If you haven't noticed, the past several months have been littered with proof of this: although one could legitimately argue that Michael Richards got what he deserved for shouting racist epithets in a crowded room, Paris Hilton -- despite being a worthless twat -- never intended for her own racist comments to go any further than the small group of "friends" to which she directed them. Likewise, the arrest of a violent gang-leader in L.A. turned into another tired and unnecessary referrendum on police arrest procedures simply because one person armed with a cellphone camera believed it should. Then of course, there's the Baldwin/Hasselhoff photo-finish, in which two separate daughters of two separate celebrities made the decision to shame their respective fathers' bad behavior by showing it to the world.

The message is so Draconian as to almost border on a form of terrorism: be careful what you say or do, because you are being watched at all times. In the paralance of the X-Files, trust no one.

While I damn well don't condone Baldwin's vicious tirade or, for that matter, Hasselhoff's very existence, it chills me to the bone to know that modern technology and an unscrupulous and hungry media beast have allowed a couple of frustrated or spiteful children to hold such power over their parents, and in effect provide an object lesson to all that public ridicule is never more than a YouTube posting away.

Welcome to the new millennium, where Shame TV is on the air -- and you're the star.


Manny said...

It speaks volumes to the Hoff's parenting skills that his own daughter doesn't respect him enough to put down the camera when he's drunk...AND that he would get drunk around his own child.

Someone should put both of them in KITT, and turbo boost them into a lake while dragging Paris Hilton behind them.

VOTAR said...

Stop using the word Schadenfreude.

I don't evne know what it means, and I'm not going to look it up, and if you try to tell me I will just sit with my fingers in my ears and go LALALALALALALALA.

It makes me think of Bavarian villages with little frightening blond children in Lederhosen and braided hair skipping down cobblestone streets past strudel shops hand in hand and whistling songs about their wind-up Engelpuppen toys and the superiority of the Fatherland.

Chez said...

Peribo -- kids and grown-ups love it so.

VOTAR said...


It is chocolate.

rasaustin said...

Hey, The Hoff has something else in common with Baldwin... when caught red-handed, blame that bitch of an ex-wife.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be serious for a change in this commentary (to Manny, et. al)

First, the 16 year, like many adult (or child) children of alcoholics do things (i.e. publicly mocking the alcoholic parent) that sometimes is regretable and actually a symptom of the disease. The sober one is lonesome, fearful, angry, etc. It has NOTHING to do with his parenting skills or lack thereof. It is apparently a family in despair.

Chez, this is absolutely shameful that certain media outlets would air the child's audio.

This is MORE than a personal event of which you and I agree should be kept private, it is a very sad detail of insight into a man with a problem and how the problem has latched onto an innocent family. Its sad. Period.

And for my local 91x station this morning to sit there and play the daughter's audio, (who really doesn't know any better), then, mock Hof, is cheap and degrading to me as a listener. It's patheic sensationlism to mock a public persons dysfunctions whether its Hof, or anyone else. I always believed a line should be drawn.

Are these so-called entertainment channels whether on radio or on E! so untalented that they can't pass on this and come up with real humor. The daughter's excuse is she is 16 and can't comprehend that her immediate surroundings are a mess and unfortunate - thats her excuse. What is the media's???

Bob said...

I read where the daughter was shooting the video to show DH the next day. Her way of saying, "hey ass face, knock it off."

Plus, I seriously doubt that either ofr these kids are the ones who released these tapes to the media.

Cheryl Robbins said...

A more accurate reference to 1984 would be to refer to these kids as the "Junior Spies"... The entire point of that organization was for society to raise children to watch their parents supiciously, to report any unusual behavior to authorities, and then be decorated as child heroes for being the ones to report said parents, resulting in their removal from both society, and societal records.

However, less a case of a 1984-esque betrayal, what we have here instead is a case of kids being kids. I hate to quote a washed-up comic, but "kids say the darndest things". It's simply impossible to trust people who are too young to understand what genuine trust actually entails. It comes with youth's predictable lack in understanding when it comes to seeing the "big picture" of their actions.

There have been several other stories in the news lately about kids ratting out their parents. One involves a daughter turning in her parents for smoking pot, and another one involves a daughter (yet again) turning in her mother for dealing cocaine.

If there is a part of your life that would be devistating if it were revealed to the public, then it is important to regard your children as a part of that public. Children don't have the same levels of integrity that adults do, nor do they have an understanding of long-term consequences, or an ability to predict what will or will not hurt someone. Kids don't live in a helio-centric universe. It all revolves around them, and anything that would result in their own attention is more likely to become public knowledge.

This doesn't mean that Hasselhoff shouldn't be drinking. He's a grown man, and most people indulge in a few brewskies (or glasses) every now and again. His mistake was allowing himself to be filmed while in that condition, be it by the papparazi, or his own daughter.

The lesson to be learned here should be a personal one, to anyone who's been exposed in a compromised position. This includes the University of Kentucky Young Republicans who were photographed in black face, and the teacher who's nude photographs were stolen from her cell phone and e-mailed across the school. Keep your personal life personal. Do not allow anyone to film or photograph anything that you wouldn't want to end up on You Tube.

This is a difficult lesson for anyone to have to learn the "hard way". I only hope that people are able to learn by the example of Pamela/Paris sex tapes, Paula Abdul drunk on the news, or Britany Spears and her indisgression in regards to underwear and limosine departure methods. Don't flash your cootch in front of a camera, don't be an ass on video. If the evidence that you're imperfect doesn't exist, then it's not going to wind up as an internet phenomenon.

girl with curious hair said...

The daughter's excuse is she is 16 and can't comprehend that her immediate surroundings are a mess and unfortunate - thats her excuse. What is the media's???

Their excuse is the same. I'm in SD as well, and heard part of the show. It's as if every media outlet/program is trying to race each other to a new, lower level of sludge. I'm pretty sure it's because they don't have a creative bone in their bodies and need to latch on to the misery of others.

A Bowl Of Stupid said...

Debate all you want about Orwellian privacy issues, the evils of modern technology, and the unscrupulous media, but this story really only proves one thing:

Don't have kids ... ever.

Well, that and the fact that Chez apparently still has his SAT Prep "big word" textbook.

Manny said...

"SAT Prep big word textbook.."

That almost makes up for you liking to surf.


litelysalted said...

I just watched this clip this morning. I have been aware of it's existence over the past week but neglected to watch it for reasons of both integrity and apathy.

Finally... I gave in. Okay, I have to admit, watching the drunken Hoff try to eat that cheeseburger was worth the price of admission. But as a former 16 year old whose life was severely traumatized by an alcoholic parent, at the same time it tugged at my heartstrings because I completely empathize with her.

I'll tell you one thing, though. My mom could be a violent drunk, and I'd be damned to be sticking a video camera in her face like that. In fact, the one time I actually did get uppity with her I ended up "escaping" out of a second story window. True story.