Saturday, April 23, 2011

Where's My Equal Protection?

Lindsay Lohan, the celebrity famous for being famous, is getting "an opportunity." On probation for ... oh, who knows what? ... she was brought before a California judge this past week for the fourth time in a year. This time it was for felony theft, following her walking out of a Los Angeles jewelry store with the goods around her neck. The necklace she took was priced at somewhere north of $2,000.

The judge in the case chose to assign the wholesale value to the necklace, making the matter a misdemeanor, with significant consequences to Lohan's probation. Now she can be put back on the street to do her important work in movies; word is, according to Associated Press, that the non-star is to portray the wife of mafia don John Gotti in some upcoming schlockbuster.

It's not like this judge has done Lohan any favours. All she gets now is a few hundred hours of community service, which will allow her to bring a camera crew into the county morgue and the women's shelter to document her ordeal. We will be treated to carefully scripted and rehearsed scenes of Lohan talking soulfully to the camera about how the dead bodies and abused women around her have affected her outlook on life, how their troubles have redounded to her own maturing understanding of herself. Kind of like those semi-celebrities on Dancing With The Stars when they talk about the obstacles they've surmounted to dance with Tony Dovolani or Chelsie Hightower.

See, if the judge had sent Lohan to prison for more than the few hours that her last three arrests have earned her, think of how that would drive up the box-office value of Lohan's name. What an imaginative advertising department could do with that!

But instead, she'll just have to limp along with her "opportunity" to be filmed doing meaningful work slopping out the autopsy tables.

Of course, we're all equal before the law; I know I read that somewhere. I suppose some would say it's just an aspirational statement, but suppose it actually is the law. That means that wholesale value, or some other lesser value, should be the scale by which such things are measured when thieves make off with your stereo and your iPad, not the exorbitant price you paid Best Buy and Apple for the goods.

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