What has India done to deserve Lindsay Lohan?
The Mean Girls star is making BBC3 TV documentary on the subcontinent
Styler, Pollard, Lohan, human trafficking – your week in glamour starts here. We begin with the aforementioned Lindsay Lohan, and news of a television commissioning decision so offensively thick that Lost in Showbiz can only assume it was a mishandled attempt to make a satirical point about the intellectual and creative bankruptcy of modern culture. To wit: Lindsay has been sent to India to make a documentary. By the BBC.
Doubtless you have already judged that this one has got BBC3 written all over it – and you are naturally quite correct. It springs forth from the designing intelligence that gave us Freaky Eaters, My Man Boobs and Me, and Fuck Off, I'm Fat. If the channel fancies slapping one of their endlessly droll titles on Lindsay's forthcoming effort, might I suggest A Passage to Idiot.
At present, the BBC is declining to expand on the precise details of Lohan's mission, but there are indications that the Mean Girls star will be investigating trafficking of women and children – a small-screen outing that could yet make Channel 4's Peaches Geldof's Beginner's Guide to Islam look like a worthy successor to Kenneth Clark's Civilisation.
Happily, Lindsay is far more forthcoming than the Beeb, and her Twitter feed – live from India - has the flavour of a lobotomised captain's log.
"Over 40 children saved so far, within one day's work," reads a Wednesday entry. "this is what life is about . . . Doing THIS is a life worth living!!! Oh, and I'm talking about being in India."
Later we find the Hollywood memsahib and self-tan entrepreneur in more reflective mood. "Focusing on celebrities and lies is so disconcerting," she declares somewhat opaquely, "when we can be changing the world one child at a time."
"Traffiking [sic] is a big issue here," runs her next communique. "I'm [doing] what I can." Once again, never say we don't put our best people on this stuff. Indeed, Lost in Showbiz has inquired previously whether the role of UN "goodwill" ambassador was created out of a belief that the only way to emphasise the desperation of a people is to suggest they'd be glad to see Geri Halliwell. That question is now superseded. The focus of our inquiries now must be to establish whether anything says "we give a toss about human trafficking" quite like sending the star of Herbie: Fully Loaded to look into it.
In point of fact, this isn't the first time Lindsay has announced an aid mission, though it does appear to be the first time any of these projects have made it out of the West Hollywood bathroom stall in which they were likely conceived. Back in 2007, she announced that she was about to visit Africa, declaring "I'm working with the American Red Cross." The Africa visit never did take place, though it emerged that Lindsay was indeed scheduled to do a few days' work "with the American Red Cross" – at an LA facility operated by the charity, as part of court-imposed conditions of her sentence for drink-driving and drug possession.
Before that, of course, there was what we might call Operation Sniper, Lindsay's 2006 announcement that she had been "trying to go to Iraq with Hillary Clinton for so long". On that occasion, you might remember, preparations got to an encouragingly advanced stage. "My security guard is going to take me to a gun range," Lindsay told reporters. "I'm going to start taking shooting lessons. He says if I'm going to Iraq, I really should know how to shoot."
Mm. Mark my words, when the historians come to rank missed opportunities for diplomacy in post-invasion Iraq, failing to deploy an armed Lohan will make the top five.
But what of the many, many questions relating to Lindsay's fully operational Indian mission? Alas, the BBC3 press office couldn't be arsed to return calls yesterday, so Lost in Showbiz has obliged by itemising some key inquiries below, and invites a response at their earliest convenience.
1. Is the person who commissioned this programme unwell?
2. Do you believe this to be some sort of talent coup? Are you even dimly aware that Lindsay can't get arrested in Hollywood (except literally)?
3. Are you now providing an image-laundering services for starlets whose careers are in foreclosure, in which impoverished subcontinentals are co-opted to play supporting roles?
4. And finally, something of a philosophical point: which do you think is more offensive – Lindsay Lohan being used as a plot device via which BBC3 can examine human trafficking, or human trafficking being used as a plot device via which BBC3 can examine the continuing Lindsay Lohan story?
As I say, whenever you're ready.