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Lindsay Lohan And the Destruction Wrought By the Celebrity Welfare State

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | March 5, 2014 |


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I think many of us have had people like Lindsay Lohan in our lives (unless you’re the Lindsay Lohan in someone else’s life): That person with whom we feel an urge to help, to change, to save. I’ve had a series of those people along my way, fuck ups who I adore, and who always seem one break, one loan, $200 or $500 or $5,000, or this one big opportunity away from finding their way. I have been involved in a series of those relationships, and in each of them, I can honestly say the ultimate outcomes were successful, and in each of them, I can also honestly say that I only got in the way of those successful outcomes by trying to help, by forgiving the fuck-ups, and enabling them by bailing them out or facilitating their next failure.

What sucks the most is that, in each of those instances, I finally reached a point in which I refused to continue enabling and the relationships ended badly, and only then did they find their way, for which I am immensely happy, even if it did cost me a friendship or a family member. I hate that, in the end, it ultimately came down to severing ties, but as bullshit Ayn Rand as it sounds, in my dumb experiences, it always came down to the charming, talented fuckups being forced to find their own way.

I wish someone would finally pull the rug out from beneath Lindsay Lohan. Over the course of the last several years, it always seems that someone is trying to fix Lindsay Lohan, whether it be Tina Fey or Amy Poehler or or Lorne Michaels or, now, Oprah Winfrey, when I think that the only way Lohan ever finds that successful outcome is if she goes full Natasha Lyonne, hits rock bottom and finds that there’s no one there waiting to pull her back out. Ideally, she would hustle and scrape and work to pull herself out of the abyss, finally appreciate what she had, and endeavor to do the hard work it takes to slowly rebuild that life with some shitty direct-to-DVD movies and small television appearances before she lands her Orange is the New Black, which turns into a lead in a series (as Lyonne has landed in Amy Poehler’s new pilot for NBC).

But I don’t think she’s ever going to do that if she continues to believe that there will always be someone else around the corner willing to make her their reclamation project. A reality show sure as hell isn’t the answer because all it does is give her more money, and another stage upon which to act out and, ultimately, fail in front of yet another huge audience, all but assuring a yet another cycle of rehabilitation and ruin.

Of course, I guess the biggest difference between Lindsay Lohan and the fuck-ups I’ve known in my life is that my fuck ups are ultimately good people who had the capacity to figure it out for themselves, while I’m not sure that Lindsay Lohan is even a decent person or if she is capable of figuring it out. I honestly don’t know anything about Lohan, and I barely follow the gossip that trails her, and I wouldn’t even be writing about this except that I saw the trailer for her new Oprah show, and her behavior in just this two minute reel recalled so many of the emotions I had in attempting to help friends or family members that would’ve been better off without it.

Lindsay Lohan doesn’t need anyone’s help anymore, as well intentioned as it might be. I hate that this sounds like something you’d hear on Fox News, but she needs to help her self, and as long as there are those willing to hold out a hand and pull her back from the precipice, she’s never going to reach the rock-bottom point she needs to reach to finally recover.


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