Rosencrantz: She's a skank.
Guildenstern: Who?
R: Paris Hilton, of course! Read the title.
G: What about her?
R: She's a skank.
G: No, you're just jealous of her success.
R: Jealous? Of that?
G: She has more money than you'll ever have.
R: There's more to life than money.
G: Perhaps, but money's a good part of it.
R: Dignity and self-respect would be nice, and she doesn't have any.
G: I'm sure she's laughing all the way to the bank.
R: Yes, and I'm laughing at her.
G: She doesn't care.
R: Obviously not.
G: She doesn't care because she's making money.
R: We're back where we started. I still say she has no dignity.
G: Not in her public image, certainly. She decided to sell that off.
R: Skank.
G: No. It's all carefully orchestrated. Paris Hilton has turned herself into a product. Do you think her show would've gotten anywhere near as much publicity without the release of that video? And every time she drops out of the limelight, there's a nipple slip or a cellphone hack or a product release or whatever. She has as least as much business sense as Daddy-o or Grandpappy or whoever it was that started the hotel chain.
R: Starting a hotel chain is different from starting a business as the number one slut in the world.
G: Hey, you gotta play to your strengths.
R: But everyone hates her.
G: Irrelevant.
R: She's not even attractive!
G: Not without the airbrushing and makeup, no. Notice that it doesn't seem to matter.
R: It matters to me. I would not have sexual relations with that woman.
G: Of course you wouldn't; you'd fall in. Plus, she wouldn't have you. Besides, aren't you dead?
R: Not that argument again. I'm just as alive as you.
G: If you say so.

(A pause.)

R: Would...would you sleep with her?
G: Certainly. Not because it's Paris, but because it's a tryst with a decent-looking girl, and what do I have to do that's so much more important? Talking to you?
R: Of course!
G: Why, Roz! I'm flattered.
R: You know that's not what I mean!
G: I'd want to use a condom and some kind of antiseptic, but yes, I'd pursue the opportunity if it came along.
R: Freak.
G: Plus I might be able to steal some of her jewelry and hawk it on eBay.
R: You have no self-respect.
G: I have something better: self-knowledge.
R: Self-knowledge without dignity is useless.
G: That's a pretty aphorism. When you're old and in some third-rate nursing home, and Paris is old and in some cushy care facility, we'll see who is right and who is sitting in shit-filled diapers for hours on end.
R: Look, Paris Hilton is irrelevant. She's garbage. I don't spend a moment thinking about people like this.
G: What the hell have we been talking about for the last few minutes, then?
R: Huh?
G: You just wasted several minutes of your life talking about someone you consider irrelevant. She got some free publicity.
R: But...
G: You lose.
R: Well...
G: She wins. Because she knows how to play you and everyone like you. She wins. Because someone once said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the masses. Because you're a fish on a hook and you're not even struggling to get yourself free because you don't even realize you've taken the bait. She wins. You could sit there and do something useful: you could read a book, you could start a scene or two. Instead you're here mewling about the inconsequentiality of some random human being and making her all the more consequential by doing so. And you don't even realize it.
R: Call it a hobby.
G: Someone always profits from a hobby. Usually it isn't the hobbyist.
G: She wins. Until you can discipline yourself, until you can hold back and let her fade into the obscurity that she so desperately fears, she wins. But that won't happen, because even if you manage to stifle yourself, there are thousands of others who will take your place. She and her kind always win. Always and forever, they win, because they have the drive and the motivation and the outright ruthlessness to make it happen, and you don't have the will to stop it. They win. You lose.
R: So what do I do?
G: Walk away. Just walk away. She'll still win but you won't lose anymore.
R: But...
G: Walk away, Rosencrantz.
R: I...
G: Go.
(ROSENCRANTZ pauses, stuffs his hands in his pockets, and heads towards the darkness stage left. GUILDENSTERN watches him go and shakes his head. HE pulls out a cellphone and, while dialing, heads stage right.)

(SOUND of phone ringing.)

PHONE VOICE: Merrill Lynch.

G: Guildenstern here.
VOICE: Hello, Mr. Guildenstern.
G: I’d like to purchase some stock. Some stock in…er…Just a moment. (He pauses and looks behind him). Rosencrantz!
R: What?
G: Paris Hilton’s show. What network is it on?
R: Fox.
G (turning away from Rosencrantz with a half-wave and speaking into the phone): Fox, please. As much as you can with the money I have available.
VOICE: Yes, sir.
G: Thank you. Good night.

(HE closes the phone, then tosses it in the air and catches it. HE glances behind him, but ROSENCRANTZ is gone. HE shrugs and strides off stage right.)

(Lights out.)

Adapted from a previous post of mine on

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