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June 30, 2008 - Image 36

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan poily - michigandailycom

From Page 16
of the characters (read: notreal peo-
ple) but that's about it.)
Yet, the absurdity of Conrad's life
truly hit me when I was fortunate
enough to catch "The Hills: Lauren
Looks Back" a couple weeks ago. As
someone who has been too afraid
to ever watch his own bar mitzvah
video, the idea that someone could
actually watch and narrate multiple
years of his or her life is beyond
comprehension for me. And what
do you even do with a highlight tape
of your life? Do you attach it to your
cover letter in lieu of a resume? Do
prospective landlords screen it as a
character reference? Do you mail it
to Grandma instead of calling her
once in a while?
Still, Conrad's "Greatest Hits Vol.
1 (2004-07)" isn't even the most
tragic and Truman-esque aspect of
her recent existence. She certainly
isn'tthe firstpersontoever be trailed
by a film crew for a reality show, but
Conrad's situation is unique because
she essentially started her life over
again with a film crew in tow, even
though her face had already been
plastered all over a TV network that
the vast majority of her peer group

watches, at least occasionally.
So, almost everyone who has
ever come into contact with Conrad
since "The Hills" debuted knows
they are either being filmed for TV,
or have the potential to be on TV if
some sort of relationship develops.
Regardless of individual intentions,
it seems impossible for anyone to
have any kind of interaction with
her that would be congruent to their
relationship sans MTV. Placing a
camera in front of someone changes
him or her on some level, and even
if Conrad is used to being taped, not
everyone she encounters is. This
has to have some adverse effects
on her life. Plus, she lives in L.A.,
a place where three out of five A
people are trying to whore
themselves out for some kind
of entertainment gig in the
first place. She's like a blind
child living next to two mil-
lion sex offenders.:
Conrad has to realize this.
Any semi-self-aware human
in her situation would be able
to grasp that people are acting
differently around him or her
- and she doesn't appear to be a
stupid person. Yet, her life is one
big show, which at least some
of her acquaintances have to be
exploiting for their own gain. She's

not Lauren Conrad the person, she's
L.C. the TV character at all times.
And that's how she will continue to
be approached until she eventually
moves on with her life, if that's even

From Page 16

But at least s
tive years of h
she's older. I'n
love that.

the restrictions imposed upon the
he'll have the forma- festival to be unconstitutional.
er life on DVD when "It was a big decision to fight back
sure her kids will and we knew it was going to put
us in jeopardy, but it succeeded in
the end," said McArdle proudly.
This column originally Looking back on the number of
ran on Jan.15, 2008. contributors, as well as the wide
range of people who lent their
support, McArdle seems most
astonished by the dedication and
perseverance on the part of the
festival's advocates. She argues
that one of the reasons for the
overwhelming encouragement
was a sense of duty to the art
world and the community as a
"It made everyone step back
and look at the bigger picture,"
she said. "I kind of loved that.
It was very honest to me. I don't
think you see that all the time."
People from all over the world
are rallying behind the AAFF
now. Charlie Koones, publisher
of the entertainment industry's
most revered newspaper, Variety,
ranked it as one of the "10 Film
Festivals We Love" in his speech
at the International Film Festival

Summit in 2007 - not bad con-
sidering he had roughly 6,000 tc
choose from. And Larry Flynt
founder of Hustler Magazine, wil
make an appearance next week tc
coincide with the screening of
documentary about his longtimE
crusade for free speech.
Though it's faced its ups anc
downs over the past year, the Anr
Arbor Film Festival has beater
the odds and come out on top
McArdle sees it as not only a vic-
tory for free speech, but as a vic-
tory for all those willing to take
risk and stand up against artistic
"It was a David and Goliath,'
she said, smiling. "We fought
back and won."



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