A decade or so ago, journalist Toby Young talked Vanity Fair into anointing London as the city of the moment for its amazing new energy. When he got back to London to supervise the photo shoots of celebrities, he discovered where the energy had come from since he had left for New York a few years before: London's celebs were suddenly snorting cocaine as if they were at Studio 54 in 1979.
One moral advantage the U.S. now enjoys in our having movie stars at the top of the American celebrity food chain -- unlike the English, whose ranks are dominated by models like Kate Moss (recently camera-phoned while snorting vast amounts of cocaine), pop stars, and the like -- is that for them to remain movie stars, they have to stay insurable by the firms that insure film productions against delays or disasters ... such as the star being hauled off to the Betty Ford Clinic in the middle of principal photography. And the insurance companies are less naive today than they were during the Great Hollywood Snowstorm of roughly 1975-1985. While hardly foolproof, the insurance companies now provide a useful incentive for non-self destructive behavior among our our celebrity elite.