Debate: Lindsay Lohan - Hero or Villain?

By Glenn and Jake 

Normally we stay away from "celebrity news" at One Year in Texas. This is a serious world with serious problems and it seems like a misappropriation of resources to discuss the new Paris Hilton sex tape, what Elisabeth Hasselbeck said on the View or the Gulf oil spill. None of those things have a direct impact on our lives. Rarely, though, there is an issue in the lightweight world of celebrities and fame that raises important philosophical questions. The rise, fall and subsequent rise and fall of Lindsay Lohan's career and persona has raised questions within all of us that we assumed had already been answered with the publication of the Bible. Jake and Glenn this week debate whether this troubled starlet is a hero or a villain, and what that means to modern Christendom.

Jake: Lindsay Lohan is a 23 year old actress with a drug/drinking problem. But we're not here to put her on trial, that's the media's job. Her alleged drinking/drug problem has pushed her to the supposed brink of destruction. Now she's been outfitted with an ankle bracelet that lets the police know when she's drunk. Does this sound like the behavior of a hero? If you have seen the Iron Man movie then you will know that it is. Tony Stark drinks constantly. He has to drown his pain, much like Lindsay Lohan needs to stifle hers. TMZ and similar shows would have you believe that she's in a downward spiral. Are they asking us to believe that such a spiral would last several years? Trent Reznors only lasted barely over an hour. Lindsay Lohan just likes to party, like most 23 year olds. She's a hero because she does what she wants. That's what Lincoln did when he freed the slaves and when he drank that turpentine. Was Lincoln a hero? You better believe it.

Glenn: There are so many things wrong with the proceeding paragraph I would need to spend one night in jail, alone with my thoughts, to truly comprehend the assertions made by Jake about Lindsay Lohan's heroism. First, comparing her to Lincoln is as offensive to me as when the modern Republican party - represented by so many racist troglodytes - reminds people they are the party of Lincoln. They have as much in common as Honest Abe as Lindsay Lohan does to Christy Carlson Romano, a much more talented and virtuous young actress than Lohan. Lindsay has destroyed the lives of everyone around her to the extent that she is able to. At 23, she may like to party but when I was that age I was failing college classes and working at a grocery store. If I was a hero at that point in my life - and the plaque designed and given to me by the Columbia, Missouri Lions Club says that I am - then she, as my opposite, must be a villain.

Jake: Your assumption that she's a villain because you're a hero is as ludicrous as producing major motion pictures based on campy 80s TV programs like The A-Team. You might be a hero, and the scars from the third degree burn you suffered rescuing children from a burning house say you are, but that doesn't inherently make Lindsay a villain. Sure, she's never saved anybody we know about, but she has brought joy to many people's lives. Whether it's from the film Mean Girls or from seeing pictures of her falling into bushes outside Samantha Ronson's house, the smiles on the faces of everybody are her plaque from The Lions Club with 'Hero" written upon it. Instead of pointing fingers at Lindsay and arbitrarily calling her a villain we should support her and tell her how much we love her. I love you, Lindsay! You're a real American hero!

Glenn: It degrades the term "hero" to use it in association with Lindsay. Here are a list of heroes I can think of: the person who called the police on the SUV in the Times Square bombing attempt, the people of United 93 who stormed the plane to take control and the astronauts of the Challenger explosion. What does Lindsay Lohan have in common with any of those things? Would she have called the police because someone left an SUV parked in Times Square? No, she would have been too busy peeing on the sidewalk. She would have distracted those people who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93 with the vulgar display of her vulva. Finally she never would have been allowed on the Challenger because the only thing she can teach is young women how not to deal with fame and wealth. The reason I most consider her a villain is because of this fact: that some young women will see and attempt to emulate her instead of learning from her mistakes. She is a terrible role model for my 10 year old daughter.

Jake: Lindsay not being a role model for ten year olds is a moot point because she's 23! If she was ten and a bad role model, then fine, she's not a hero. She has overcome addiction and become one of the greatest actresses of our generation. Well, maybe she hasn't done that yet, but when she does she's already got a place reserved in my heart and her seat is labeled "hero," much like Spielberg's (Schindler's List) or Schneider's (Big Stan) would be tagged "director." While she is obviously a future hero and Oscar winning actress, she's also currently a hero and MTV Movie Award winning actress. How is she a hero right now? Because she's doing what she wants when she wants. Glenn thinks she's a bad role model because she has had sex with women, which is the same reason he thinks I'm a bad role model. If Lindsay wasn't a hero then why would we be debating it?

Glenn: We debate things insulting to ourselves and our readers all the time. Just last week you proposed we debate whether libraries should be burned to the ground in an effort to strengthen county budgets for the next fiscal year. After I alluded to the plot of Farhenheit 451 you proposed that we debate whether or not that was the actual temperature book pages combusted. I think this is a more legitimate issue because I have heard Lindsay Lohan referred to as a "hero" on numerous celebrity gossip blogs. I am not saying she is the worst person to ever live (at least, not yet) but she is certainly not a hero based on the parameters I have already described. If I woke up tomorrow morning and looked at the newspaper to see Lindsay Lohan had driven her car into a farmer's market in Santa Monica the way that old man George Russell Weller did a few years ago I wouldn't be surprised. Once you've taken a human life it becomes easier to take the next, and the next, and so on. I like my heroines as I like my heroin: pure and untainted by the excess of stardom and poison. Lindsay Lohan, you are a villain.


  1. My hero is Henry Kissinger, but Lohan is second.

  2. I have had a HUGE crush on Lohan since she starred opposite herself in the remake of Parent Trap. She is probably the reason why I only date redheads today.

  3. AND she's the only reason why I saw the A Prairie Home Companion movie.

  4. this debate will be a whole lot less funny once my life starts to parallel linsday's. but at least i laughed now!

  5. 'Normally we stay away from "celebrity news" here at One Year In Texas' - There's a weekly column about it!!

    Thank you Glenn for ending the debate with the farmer's market marauder.