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Friday, June 23, 2017

Gwyneth Paltrow as metaphor for Hollywood

Gwyneth Paltrow has a well known lifestyle site, Goop, in which she touts her expensive tastes to the hoi polloi. Two of her better known quotes:

"I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin."

“I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

(In other words, it's much tougher to be a movie star who works several weeks a year and has nannies and tons of money than it is to be a regular mom.)

These and other quotes show how out of touch Paltrow is, how little sense she has of what life is like for the vast majority.

Her political quotes are, given her occupation and lifestyle, unsurprising: when Paltrow addressed Obama at a DNC fundraiser at her home in Brentwood in 2014, she gushed that she was "one of his biggest fans, if not the biggest," and that he was "an incredible role model." (Was there a touch of unintended condescension in that characterization?) 

She then said, "You're so handsome I can't speak properly." (Her personal long term relationships have been with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, and Chris Martin, none of whom bear the slightest resemblance to Obama.)

Paltrow may now be the widely mocked actress in Hollywood.

But really, is she so different from all the other celebrities who grace us with their wisdom?  

While social media tends to focus on Paltrow, practically every other Hollywood activist is equally out of touch. And when they speak up, it's usually all about burnishing their own image as "good" people.

When Leo DiCaprio and John Travolta lecture us about how we have to cut back our carbon footprint while they travel by private jet, are they really so different from Gwyneth?

When Whoopi Goldberg and Alec Baldwin and Miley Cyrus threaten to leave the country if the Republican is elected, but somehow always seem to end up staying, are they so different?

When the women of The View gush over Barack Obama's looks, are they so different?

When Paltrow talks about the high class products she uses, she's merely trying to show what a classy, discerning, right-thinking person she is. Just like all those other Hollywood celebs with their virtue-signaling political opinions. 

Paltrow is not exceptionally pretentious; she is merely representative.


Mark Caplan said...

She'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin? Isn't that a given for a movie celeb? It's like saying, "I'd rather get a juicy movie role than get my hand caught in a car door."

Anonymous said...

"I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin."

Gwyneth is trying to THROW US OFF HER TRACKS by employing this false dichotomy.

What she really wants to do is smoke the crack AND eat the tinned cheese, both at the same time...just like that one time when she told her husband "I would rather buy a bearskin rug than have sex with the poolboy"...both the dead bear and the poolboy had a good laugh over that one, later on.


John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha...well, snort cocaine, yes, freebase, I'm guessing not.

John Craig said...

You and Mark focused on the same line. I'm sure Gwyneth has tried cocaine in the past, but given all her attention to health, she likely steers away from it these days. She seems to be more into vaginal steams and organic vegetables from her garden and maybe fancy French wines than she'd be into coke. But I could certainly be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Do we have the masses emulating these stars and that explains why they act like them?
Or Do we have stars who emulate and imitate and say what the masses want?
Like that children's story of the rooster and the sun.
It's a cycle, like authoritarian regimes:

"They will realize that the madness of the part of wholly the actions of a single individual but that a reciprocal relationship exists between the Fuehrer and the people and that the madness of the one stimulates and flows into the other and vice versa. It was not only Hitler, the madman, who created German madness, but German madness which created Hitler."
-OSS wartime psych report on Hitler, by Walter Langer

Like North Korea, the people followed Sung and nurtured his rise, vox populi revolution stuff, they wanted communism, their revolution happened, then Sung turned around and turned the masses into sheep, the sheep then turn around to give their wool, and this cycle has continued to this day, after Il, now with Un who has become practically a sociopath as is demanded by his position. I doubt he was born one, he was normal weight as a teenager but it's said he became obese after binge eating when his mother died, so he must have loved her.

His alcohol consumption (two bottle of expensive champagne a night) is killing off his brain cells, and he chain smokes cuban cigars and expensive chinese cigarettes
(I read smoking lowers IQ), binge eating isn't good either.

Maybe had his mother not died or he had just an ounce of self restraint and he didn't become a fat alcoholic, he would have enough brain left and make reforms to his country, he had this opportunity to go down as being greater than his dad or grandpa. I mean, he speaks English and went to high school in Europe, he knows that the outside world exists from first hand experience, he got fully educated outside of North Korea, he had more potential than his father.


John Craig said...

Ga --
As far as the relationship between movie stars and the masses, I think the movie stars act how they think they're supposed to act, and do whatever they think makes them look good, and a small number of their fans emulate them.

I wonder about Un. You're right, two bottles of champagne a night will dull anyone's senses. (How did you hear that? I can't imagine NK lets that information out freely.) And I've never met an alcoholic who was fully functional, who didn't walk around in something of a stupor. But is he really that smart? Having been sent to high school in Europe is no proof of that; that just means his father was rich. I remember reading somewhere that he was a middling student. And what is he interested in? Basketball. And what celebrity does he invite to NK? Dennis Rodman. That's who he thinks is cool. None of that says tragically wasted intellectual potential to me.

Anonymous said...

You are right about him not being smart, I didn't check the details clearly enough.

Not being a bastard is still better than being one and you don't have to be a genius to be a kinder ruler than who he is now.

The place has sunk so low a monkey could the most benevolent king the place has ever had just by not doing anything stupidly evil or anything at all, he could still go down as amazing compared to his dad just by being mediocre. He doesn't even have to be good, he just needs to stop being so bad for it to get better there.

He is making himself dumber by smoking and drinking, if he wasn't smart to begin with, then for God's sake he shouldn't be making himself even less.


Anonymous said...

This is where I read about his diet. It could not be entirely accurate, but he is still fat so he must have been eating a lot of something. And I doubt he is filling himself up with gallons of industrial grade dextrose powder to put on all that weight.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Un is evidently too dumb to realize that he's making himself even dumber with his personal habits. And he certainly has no one around to restrain him, anyone who tried that wold be doing so at the risk of his life.

I have to admit, if I had unlimited license like that I'd probably become pretty self-indulgent myself, though my self-indulgence probably wouldn't take the form of two bottles of champagne a night.

Anonymous said...

He must be exerting some effort in order to commit atrocities or he has no real control to begin with and is just a figurehead for some group of elite people running things behind the scenes.

You would have to be a very stupid kind of evil to be so lazy and self indulgent and apathetic about the needs of your people, or at least making your country less of a joke by being a serious villain, yet not apathetic about getting your daily quota of (sometimes unpragmatic and wasteful) evil completed.

If he really is taking the time to think up these methods but not thinking up ways to strengthen his country even for his own pride or glory, even through evil means (does he have a 5 year plan like Stalin did?), he has crossed into not just evil territory, but stupid evil.

He is not even a Stalin or Mao, he's not Osama. He's not even his father, he's.... whatever you call it, I have no words.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Yes, it's hard to pinpoint Un or place him in a category, which is why I wrote that earlier post about how he doesn't really litany recognizable pattern of behavior. Stalin and Mao were effectively "self-made" men, and Osama, while he was born rich, was pretty much a self-made man as a terrorist. Osama, btw, is another one I'm not sure about. I'm not quite willing to say he was a normal sociopath, his overall behavior and life don't fit neatly into that category.

Lucian Lafayette said...

Actors and actresses are nothing more than very talented liars. In general, they do not represent a high level of intelligence since intellectual actors tend to "over-think" the part and don't make an emotional connection to the character they are playing. Most directors even prefer less mentally gifted actors since they don't ask questions.

Lest anyone think this comes from an uninformed source, for several years in the recent past, I made enough money acting that I had to declare it on my national tax forms: that puts me ahead of something greater than 90% of the union actors.

John Craig said...

Luke --
Wow, you're an actor! I had no idea. Anything else you feel like sharing, like what kinds of roles you've done, and whether film or stage, please do. Is this how you knew about steroids? Or was that knowledge just obtained from a local gym? (I do remember you talking about them one time, don't I?)

I completely agree with your assessment of acting; think of who the greatest recent actors have been: DeNiro (not recently, but a while back), Depp, Day-Lewis, DiCaprio, Cheadle. Ever seen any of them interviewed? They all come across like morons, I'm guessing for good reason. Brando, ditto. And Charlton Heston and Clint Eastwood, vice versa. Both seem(ed) like smart guys, but neither could really act. And I'm sure the list on both sides could be made a lot longer.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes even people who we consider good are ambiguous. I read about Oskar Schindler, the man who saved hundreds of jews. I also saw the movie. A psychologist named Lykken I think claimed he was actually slightly sociopathic, and saving their lives was out wanting to win against the Nazis in his own game.

I wouldn't jump ahead and go that far (I am uncertain about the info about him), but based on real life accounts, he wasn't exactly how he was portrayed in the movie, he wasn't that sympathetic outwardly and was less phased or prone to faint, even emote as much by witnessing violence or atrocities than a typical person. And he didn't interact much with his workers, he kept a distance unless he was intervening to prevent one of them from getting shot or killed. But he used his entire savings to the end to keep them alive, letting himself go broke.

I wish there was a film about Bernard Sindberg, the Danish factory worker who helped save 6,000 during the Nanking massacre. There have been a few films about John Rabe though but not many people in the west know about Nanking, many don't even know China was in ww2 and had one of the biggest and poorest armies, they made the Italians look like Green Berets in comparison.

Chiang was one of the stupidest if not the stupidest military leader during the 20th century, both ww2 and the civil war after. Had someone smarter been in charge, maybe a certain country would not be under the current party it is. I just want to shake my fist thinking it didn't have to be this way!


John Craig said...

Ga --
I'm aware of Nanking, as a matter of fact my Japanese grandfather was a soldier who was in Nanking during the massacre, even though he didn't take part in the atrocities, since he was just a quartermaster. (At least, that's the family story.)

No question about a lot of people with reputations for being saints not being so saintly. at the top of my list is Mother Teresa, who, although she did dedicate her life to the poor, always did so with a firm eye fixed on her eventual canonization. Christopher Hitchens wrote a very telling book about her, and I wrote about that book here:

Anonymous said...

Gwyneth Paltrow is simply continuing the show biz lifestyle learned growing up in the business by virtue of her show biz parents.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
No question about that. At least she's better-looking than most beneficiaries of show biz nepotism.