I normally don't like going off on individuals, particularly people I don't know. However, Lindsay Lohan's earned this one.
By now everyone knows that she's earned a grand total of 180 days for probation violation – 90 in prison, and 90 in an in-patient rehab facility. She's pissing and moaning about how incredibly unfair it is, and how she's upset because she has to work, and how can she do that while she's in jail, then rehab? I suggest that we break this down in small chunks so that she can understand. Let's try Question and Answer.
1 – Q: I can't even remember what it was I was on probation for anyway. What was it again?
A: Driving drunk. Twice. With cocaine possession to boot. You skipped out on several alcohol education classes that were part of your probation, and rushed to make them up when the judge got upset that you weren't complying with the terms of your probation.
2 – Q: What's the big deal? It's just probation!
A: Maybe your high-priced lawyer didn't explain this properly, but probation means, “thank your lucky stars your sorry ass isn't in prison.” It means that you've fucked up and that you have to follow the letter of the law or else you'll get the book thrown at you. If someone tells you that you have to attend 13 alcohol education classes and to stay out of trouble within a certain time period, it means do it. Also, this is on their schedule, not yours. You don't get three extra weeks to make up classes because you were working. Yeah, you were working on those classes, but taking your time when you've got a deadline is a no-no, and, in fact, a violation of your probation. Do not pass go, do not get your bail money back. Doing half the things on your list doesn't mean you're in compliance, so either be prepared to comply fully or else face the consequences.
3 – Q: But I need to work! What about that, huh?
A: Let's get something straight: you're an actress. You're not delivering the keynote of a very specific symposium on thermonuclear engineering that only comes once a year; your schedule is very cart blanche. You want to know what some actresses do in order to make ends meet? They take up other jobs. It's not above them, and it's not above you. Also, for others that are in a similar situation, they may bring up to their employer that they have court-mandated requirements. Bosses like honesty, and are willing to make accommodations when they can. People can be quite fair when you admit that you've done something wrong. It's not the judge's fault, nor the fault of your alcohol educators, that you have to accept what work you can get because you've been deemed “unreliable,” “uninsurable” and “unbankable.”
4 – Q: 180 days is a long time. How am I supposed to cope with that?
A: There's this little thing called “personal responsibility” that's a marvel. It works like this: you take a look at everything you've done, and you assess whether or not that was smart, and you own up to what you did. 180 days is nothing compared to what it could have been. On that note...
5 – Q: I'm ready to serve my time, but the sentence was too harsh.
A: Really? Too harsh? You know what's harsh? The fact that as of 2008 (most recent statistics, thanks to our friends at Alcohol Alert, 37% of all deaths in car accidents in the United States were a result of alcohol. That's not counting the damage that's done to the people who manage to survive. Harsh is having to look at a family and say, “I'm sorry that my actions took the life of your child.” Harsh is looking at a paralyzed man or woman and saying, “I'm sorry I did this to you.” Let's look back to question 1 – what were you in trouble for? Oh yeah – drunk driving and drug possession. You could have killed someone. You're lucky you didn't. You had the chance to issue a mea culpa through your actions (please see: Nicole Richie. Given, no one's asking you to get knocked up and do charity work, but damned if that girl didn't issue statements saying that she was sorry, comply with her program, and go on to raise social awareness. Plus, she's never been accused of getting drunk/high and kidnapping anyone since her initial legal troubles.). Others have gone before you and haven't done it again. They got it the first time around. The fact that you're pissed because you lollygagged on your probationary terms and are now getting called on it is insulting. You haven't learned your lesson; you're mad that you're getting your fingers rapped for being an irresponsible git. No, I don't think it's too harsh, because you obviously have not figured out that life can contain some pretty serious stuff that you can't just brush off.
6 – Q: Why do I have to go to rehab, though?
A: Saying that you don't have a problem is a bit like looking at Janice Dickinson and remarking that she's never had plastic surgery. When you have to wear a SCRAM bracelet, you're enough of a hazard and a repeat offender to the point that the justice system wants to keep an eye on you. That's called a problem. I don't think that rehab will work unless if you want it to, but hopefully, when you get to jail and realize that you can't make it through a day without the sauce, you'll wake up. People that don't wake up die.
7 – Q: This is so unfair.
A: Oh shut up, Lindsay.