Thursday, January 29, 2009

You Can't Gwyn 'Em All.

It was brought to my attention this week that Gwyneth Paltrow has a blog and newsletter. I had a few concerns. First, what Gwyneth Paltrow news am I missing? Next, is there really that much Gwyneth Paltrow news? 

Answers? I am apparently missing a lot of Gwyneth news. Apparently will "Nourish the Inner Aspect". Sweet, Jesus. There are sections titled : Make, Go, Get, Do, Be and See. 

They should be titled: Cooking Dirty Hippie Food, Places You Should Visit If You Become A Millionaire Too, Stuff To Buy When You Become A Child Of Privilege, Preachy, Extra Preachy and Condescending, and Look How Cultured And Smart I Am. 

So I decided to read the last section. After an incredibly earnest opening, including just enough self-deprecation to make herself "likable", Gwyneth and her friends recommend books. 

Christy Turlington likes Hemingway and Faulker. She identifies with a Jane Austen character. Sure, I'll buy it. She writes a few coherent reviews. So, whatever.

 Aunt Louise likes War and Peace. I call bullshit. No one has ever actually read or liked War and Peace.

Gwyn likes Jane Eyre and Dostoyevsky. She writes of Crime and Punishment

"I first read this in high school and have returned to it numerous times. I think there was something about the complexity of the protagonist’s psychology that made me feel like I wasn’t the most misunderstood person in the world (which is what happens with hormonal teenagers). Besides the fact that it is incredibly written, the unsure morality was somehow reassuring. It was okay to be figuring out one’s own sense of right and wrong. In fact, it was one of life’s great endeavors."

Blah, blah, blah. I read Crime and Punishment in college. By which, I mean, I read 3 chapters and proceeded to write an 18 page paper on why I wouldn't finish it. I got an A. I refuse to believe Gwyneth got through this novel before me and repeatedly. I do believe she found the "unsure morality" reassuring. She strikes me as a bit shifty. 

Madonna likes The Bad Girl (too obvious), Shantaram (no doubt some of that red bracelet tripe) and The Time Traveler's Wife. Madonna is the only one to list books that someone might read without being forced by a freshman lit class. However she is the only one to not even attempt a review. This says a few things to us. 

"I am Madonna, do as I say and read these."
"I don't have to justify my reading to you. I'm Madonna."
"I wrote down the titles of the books my housekeeper had in her bag. I'm Madonna, you bitch."

I am completely disturbed yet crazy fascinated by these women. The idea that they have some sort of insane book club is too much. I picture them now speaking in fake English accents, exchanging weird baby name ideas and arguing over who can look more sinewy (Madge, you're winning!) I would hate every nanny-scolding, macrobiotic, Eurotrash, yoga-filled, pretentious minute of it.

Now if you'll excuse me, Gwyenth is going to teach my how to accelerate a "sluggish bowel."

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