A couple of young men on Twitter have let me know that my attitude to tattoos (I wrote last week that ones that show beaten women are, well, offensive) makes me “the most borin[sic] person in the world” with “no knowledge of [tattoos]”. Well sorry boys, but you're not going to enjoy this week's column any better.
It probably makes me, like, a real drag, but I find the repeated drunk/stoned antics of young Hollywood stars in their cars really rather dispiriting. Just yesterday Lindsay Lohan (who already has a charge sheet thicker than her last script) was alleged to have driven off after tapping a pedestrian as she drove to a club in New York.
The day before, Amanda Bynes was, allegedly, finally separated by the police from the car she has driven under the influence in, crashed twice in hit and run incidents, and driven while having a suspended licence. These girls really know how to be role models for What Not To Do.
And that's the thing. They are role models, for girls of a certain age. They're both 26 now, but Bynes and Lohan were Disney and Nickelodeon's screen princesses for a long time; Bynes most famous for She's the Man and her own show All That, Lohan for The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls. They've racked up a lot of screen time and a lot of screaming fans.
I suppose it is enough to drive someone (no pun intended) to misbehave when they've seen their worth per film slide from $7.5m in 2006 to $200,000 this year, as Lohan has. Meanwhile Amanda Bynes announced her retirement from movies in 2010, then quickly retracted it – although no new roles have been forthcoming. Those stats have got to be tough for little girls pampered and showered with praise, then cast aside when newer, shinier little girls (hello Selena Gomez, Dakota Fanning) come along.
Twentysomethings drink and smoke (something I do have knowledge of, actually lads, having been one), that's not the issue. It's the stupidity. Taxis are not very expensive, even if you're earning “only” $200k a year. They are readily available in cities like New York and Los Angeles and they prevent crashes and near misses and poor decisions.
Gomez – and her boyfriend Justin Beiber – might be boring, but they're also less likely to get a criminal record. When it comes to either getting s***faced and behind the wheel of a car or staying sober unless you're in private with no car keys to hand, I know which stars I prefer my daughter to admire. Lindsay, Amanda, get whatever the US equivalent of the Addison Lee app is on your iPhones. Please.