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Celebrities Gone Weird! (by Elizabeth Burke) April 3, 2009

Posted by Suzanne Robinson in Celebrity.
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OK, now that you have read all of Suzanne’s incredibly researched, well written, thoughtful blogs on the state of education, the President, Commerce picks, etc, after you perused the amazing poetry and continued to read the other exceptional articles her guests have written, it’s time for a little LizTime®!  

No politics this week. I am too aggravated over actions of certain celebrities/actors/performers.  As a classically trained stage actor (ahem ahem), I find it especially infuriating to read about the latest round of vacuous attention-whoring.

I spent years of my life, OK three years, where I did two things:  work full time and attend the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts full time. I had very little free time, was broke and tired ALL the time, and I thrived. I truly believe to be an actor is a calling, an art form of which to be proud.  I work hard to be taken seriously in my craft – only to feel pulled down by the few big names behaving like over- indulged narcissists. 

Enter Gwyneth Paltrow.  Who won an Oscar at 26 for a movie that was, well, not great.  Her parents are famous – her mother is Blythe Danner, star of stage and screen and a truly brilliant actress, and her father Bruce Paltrow, Producer and Director of several TV hits. Her Godfather is Steven Spielberg. 

(And, no, this is not sour grapes because she was practically delivered on stage. The late, great, and sorely missed Natasha Richardson was born into British Stage Royalty. I loved everything she did and never ceased to be mesmerized by her raw talent and beautiful spirit. Not so much Gywneth.)  

Lately, this over-indulged, over-applauded, actress has been very busy marrying her Rock Star, having 2 oddly-named children and shouting to anyone who will quote her about the fabulosity of her life. She needs everyone to know how great it is and how important her “work is.” So much so that she scorns the idea of working at all. 

“I don’t really understand the concept of having a career, or what agents mean when they say they’re building one for you. I just do things I think will be interesting and that have integrity. I hate those tacky, pointless, big, fluffy, unimportant movies.” 

Ha Ha! Me too Gwynnie! “I just have no more bad habits to give up.” God I hate you.  Isn’t she lucky not to have to care about agents, her career, or making worthless crap like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? Oh, and Gwneth? I’ll take your meaningless agent.

So while the rest of us marinate in the mundanity of the recession, this Paragon of British Living has created (or her people did) a website called GOOP. Her initials is seems. How funny! Isn’t Gwynnie clever? The theme is “nourish your inner aspect.” WTF does that even mean???  Honestly, where does she come up with this gibberish? Did one of her yoga/trainer/macro foodie friends call her up and say “OMG! I had a spiritual journey in my dream last night after I drained the soybeet juice from the solar fridge and here is your new theme!!”  It’s all such HYPERLINK “http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/affected”affected and HYPERLINK “http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/artificial”artificial cleverness that I am a little embarrassed for her. 

With GOOP, you too can enter Gwynnie’s Realm of Perfection. I tremble a little, am I good enough? Skinny enough? Blonde enough? Full of s**t enough? YES I AM! Except for the blonde part. In we go…

Make. Go. Get. Do. Be. See. These are the pages within this magical world and I can barely wait to start nourishing my inner Aspic. When you enter “Get” Gwyneth breathlessly tells you all about her fab everyday uniform. Now I assume, these are the looks our new BFF thinks every gal should own. 

Gwynnie recommends every girl have a pair of Guiseppe Zanotti Booties, an uber high-end brand where the sandals(!) start at $595. I can only imagine what the Booties go for. My rent? Probably. Her plain black Shift Dress by Shell Kare is a mere $545, $610 with a belt! I cannot continue in “Get” because you know there are more inanities and I simply cannot travel down a road where spending $600 on the simplest of shifts is deemed necessary for a woman’s wardrobe. 

Clicking on “Do” her chipper voice tells us: “Do dance cardio five times a week for at least 30 minutes and by summer you will see a change you will be proud of!” Well that and not having to work full time, take care of the kids (gasp! No nannies?), feed the family (no chef), clean the house (no maid), pay the bills (no business manager), sleep with the husband (well, have you seen most husbands??) …and so reveals the totally out-of-touch, self-absorbed narcissist.

As I got sadder and more insecure in the knowledge I will never be cool or rich enough and neither will my friends, I can only muster up the energy for quick bites. 

“See” is where her preposterously faux-literati “friends” show us how stupid we are by explaining Serious Literature to us. An example of a friend’s pick: “My mom is reading this book right now, which reminded me of how provocative and exciting it is. One of my favorites, The Life of Pi is a fantastic discussion igniter about religion and other important stuff.”) Okaaay…Next is “Make” which makes me feel HYPERLINK “http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/inconsequential”inconsequential because I can’t gush at how lucky I am to eat at my fab famous chef friend Mario Batali’s house!! Lastly is “Go” When in Paris stay at the Ritz, eat foie gras, and throw those Zanotti’s at the peasants. 

This reality-deprived, spoiled adult does not seem to have any idea that in February alone the number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by about 5 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.3 percentage points. 

We leave the clueless one thinking it absolutely normal to spend what amounts to my rent on a pair of boots that will likely be worn about twice, to turn our attention to Gwynnie’s one time mentor, Super Freak Numero Dos. Madonna. 

Now, while Gwyneth and her Marie Antoinette-ish attitude merely irk me, this crazy old Cougar infuriates me. Why she feels this need to adopt more innocent children from Malawi is beyond me. Her nannies must be overwhelmed as it is.

I don’t mean to make light of adoption, but this psychopathic egoist actually believes she will mother this new child. When exactly? Between her toyfriends? Husbands? Tours? Gratuitous photo shoots? Kabbalah worshipping? Various Photo Ops? Recording new (unasked for) albums? 

The gym alone must take 8 hours a day to create that string cheese look of her arms. Don’t tell me that little boy, David Banda, she adopted last year feels like she’s his mother! My sister has 2 children and is a stay at home mother. I see how hard she works, how involved she is with her kids, their friends, activities and school, all the while looking fabulous, organizing charitable events, keeping her house beautiful and her husband happy, all by herself. Trust me, her kids know damn well who their mother and primary caregiver is.

I cannot comprehend the level of selfishness you have to have to buy another child only to hand them off to a nanny to raise.  Although, by all accounts, the Material One will make the journey so she can show how much she cares. But what then? She isn’t finished with her Sickly Sweet tour or her latest romantic conquest, the young and pliable Jesus. So what, she drops the new kid off at one of her homes into the hands of an overworked nanny? This is a four-year-old child. Not a baby who nurses and sleeps. This little girl, ironically named Mercy, will feel scared, different, lonely, and confused without the comfort of familial love to keep the scary things at bay.  

Save The Children has asked Her Materialness to please refrain as they say international adoptions are unnecessary, some feeding the criminal “adoption industry.” They said that, barring exceptional circumstances, children should be kept in the care of their extended families or within their communities. 

In essence, children are not items to be crossed of your to-do list. But as we all know, The Musically Challenged one knows better than us common folk and will continue to do whatever she wants to whomever she wants.  Even though this child has living relatives, including a grandmother fighting for custody, I have no doubt that this adoption will go through and the family’s desires will be overruled so Mercy can have a seemingly better life.

 I wonder how much money changed hands. Seriously, how much does a little African child cost? A school? How many boxes of David’s used baby clothes, like those she sent to his village a few months ago, did it take?

Malawian law requires an 18- to 24-month assessment period before adoption. But not for Her Momminess. Apparently, this law is only for people like me. Yet, Austin Msowoya, legal researcher with Malawi’s Law Commission, played down concerns that a second adoption by Madonna would violate any laws. 

Msowoya said the best interests of the child needed to be considered, whether this was staying in an orphanage in Malawi or getting “an education with Madonna.” Huh? Does he imagine this AARP pop star spending time home-schooling her new addition? Really? 

This is the most transparent violation of a law to appease a famous celebrity and it really makes me angry. Being a celebrity these days is like living on Mt. Olympus. You are impervious to any laws, be it US or International. Drink too much and crash your car? No jail time! Beat up your girlfriend with the pictures to prove what a monster you are? Not Guilty! Buying children from poverty stricken countries? Come on in! 

Maybe this is what happens when your star shines bigger and brighter than most of the people in the world. Maybe one forgets where they came from (Detroit, Madonna, not London.) Maybe the fawning, sycophantic assistants and employees that surround them give a surreal sense of reality.

Imagine you have all these people surrounding you, assuring you how special, important, talented, beautiful and most of all how Right you are.  Maybe even cynical me might just start believing my own press. 

Until I get to test that theory on my own, it just makes it harder for me and my fellow performers to answer the question “What do you do?” Because of the outlandish, self involved, and plain stupid behavior of some performers-cum-celebrities, I feel self-conscious saying I’m an actor. Because you get the look, the raised eyebrow, and the immediate feeling like you were just judged and it didn’t go well.  It is embarrassing to say ”I am an actor,” and just know the person in front of me is thinking, “weirdo.”