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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paris Hilton’s Commencement Address to the University of Southern California Class of 2008

Shap Sweeney

First, I want to take the time to recognize what a big day this is for us. For you guys, of course, but for me as well. I don’t know if they mention this in the programs, but this is the first Commitment speech I’ve ever given.

Now some of you may be asking yourselves, “Am I nervous?”. As in, “Am I nervous?” I mean, as in, asking yourselves, “Is Paris Hilton nervous?” Not if any of you guys are nervous.

Well, I know I have this image of being one of the coolest, most put-together women since icons like Elizabeth Taylor and Charlie’s Angels were alive, but I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret…

Kidding: this won’t be a secret. As you can see there are paparazzi all over the place, and my first life lesson to you guys will be this: Telling a secret to someone in front of reporters is pretty much the same thing as telling that person a not-secret. That’s a saying I made up. It’s going to be in Sayings of an Heiress, my sequel to Confessions of an Heiress. Look for it on shelves this Christmas.

Anyway—that advice is just something to keep in mind if you are ever in a bathroom stall with your best friend about to tell her you are preggers and you realize there are some paparazzi in the stall next to you. Also, they are probably taking pictures of you and your best friend finishing off the birthday present your manager gave you. Sooo … probably just go do that in the privacy of your car. Or a booth in the V.I.P. room.

Anyway, the secret was going to be that, yes, even Paris Hilton gets nervous sometimes.

Oh, my God, what did I just say? I can just see the headlines tomorrow now: “Paris Hilton Has Nervous Breakdown at Commitment Speech!” Kidding, you guys.

But seriously, I mean, it’s not like, I’m weird nervous, or anything. But just, like, kind of cute nervous. Plus, only part of me is nervous that I’m doing you guys this whole speech.

I’m actually one half nervous because we’re waiting on the results of Tinkerbell’s dog-cancer tests. And I’m one half nervous because I find out today if they’re going to cast me as me in the Lifetime Network’s movie about my life. So really I’m only one half nervous over this Commitment speech.

Although, and I wasn’t going to say this, but since we’re already getting personal: I’m also one half nervous because “Hairy Arms” in the front row over here is staring at me like he wants to tie me up in a pit under his trailer home.

That’s another real world lesson, ladies: Lots of the hairy guys are pervs.

So … college … college … graduation…

So it says here you guys are graduating from the School of Arts and Sciences. See that’s really, really great, you guys. Arts and sciences are both super important in everyday life. You guys will definitely use both of them all the time. In the real world. I know I use art and science every day. Like, you use science every morning just from brushing your teeth. See, toothpaste is just good science stopping bad science from giving you cavities.

And art! Don’t even get me started on art! I know tons of people who are always talking about art.

Like in 2005, when we were filming House of Wax, I was filming a scene with the director, Jaume Collet-Serra, and there was this studio exec there. And for the record, I would totally date a director over a studio exec any day. Although this studio exec was really young and hot. I wasn’t dating either of them though, at the time.

Anyway, the exec was telling Jaume that the studio wanted me to be topless for the last scene. You know, the one where I get beaten to death with a hair-curling iron?

Well, Jaume was all, “Hell fucking no!” That wasn’t in the script!”

And I was like, “Whatevs,” because I was texting my publicist, Elliott, to see if I do topless. Because I wasn’t sure. I mean, after all, everyone saw my sex tape, so it’s not like there is anyone alive who hasn’t seen me topless. Even places that are too far away to ship real electricity to, like Nigeria, can see it on video iPods now.

But on the other hand, we launched this whole “Bring Class Back to Paris” campaign when the tape leaked in 2003, and I don’t think my publicist ever officially ended it.

But it didn’t end up mattering, because Jaume was all, “I’m trying to make art here, and you’re trying to turn this into some crappy teen horror exploitation flick with a bunch of tit shots!”

And the studio exec was all, “But you already have like thirty other topless shots in it.”

And Jaume was all, “God! You suits will never understand art!!”

So it turned out I didn’t have to go topless. And Jaume and I got really excited, ’cause it was like art winning over the bad guys, or whatever!

Although, and I’m still not sure why, but by the time I got back to my trailer I was crying and felt really mad at Jaume.

My point, though, is that sometimes in the real world, people use art to save you from having to show your tits on camera.

And that’s pretty much the most important lesson that I can give you guys about life in the real world.

So in collusion:

Just get out there and mix it up. Be happy. Put your trust funds and your hotness to work for you. Get rich. You know, for realsies rich. Like, “I have my own money manager now, Daddy,” rich.

And good luck one and all. And P.S., you guys: U.C.L.A. sucks.

Go Dolphins forever!

Shap Sweeney is a New York based person who works in creative development for television. He is also a writer. He has to spell his first name out for people pretty much every time he meets anyone. This has made life quite a struggle, which is why he plans to retire at 29.