The Sixth Stage of Grief: Attacking Gwyneth Paltrow

I had a dream last night, and this is what I dreamed:

Bruce Springsteen announced that the E Street Band would be going back out on tour even though Clarence Clemons had died. I was surprised, but of course acquired tickets for the first show of the tour. The band opened with “Badlands,” which surprised me because I didn’t think they would play any songs that had iconic saxophone parts or solos, and there wasn’t a replacement sax player on stage. But right when the sax solo was due to start, Clarence appeared from the darkness behind the stage, walked up to the front of the stage in his usual spot — and sadly waved goodbye to the crowd, then receded back into the darkness. In the dream, I started bawling.

But life goes on, I suppose. Clarence is dead, The E Street Band is likely no more, but we press on because that’s all we can do. Life goes on. And for some of us, that means wondering if David Simon Cowell is alive, dealing with the ever-present reality of being a cog in the great American machinery, and blogging about how much we hate Gwyneth Paltrow.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hang myself in my garage.

Gwyneth Paltrow has a pet charity, you guys. And hey, I’m all for charity. It’s nice to help people. It’s nice to try to give something back and do a little good in the world. Yay for charity. (Controversial stance, I know.)

Emo Gwyneth

And what is Gwyneth’s charity of choice? To which worthy cause does she donate her time and money and good karma?

Bent On Learning, which “offers instruction in yoga and meditation to students in grades K through 12 in New York City public schools and youth centers as a means of reducing stress and improving concentration, self-esteem and overall health.”


Listen, I’m sure that Bent On Learning is really doing super great, important work, and that the youths of New York City are so, so grateful to learn how to do the Garland Pose and the Mula Bandha and the like…but are you fucking kidding me?

There are millions of charities in existence, and I know that Gwynnie devotes her time and money to a bunch of them, but there has to be one out there that is more capable of inducing real and lasting change in the world than Bent On Learning.

There are sick people out there. Lots of them. Dying, even. With terrible diseases. There are lepers. Still. There are sick and dying children. And babies. There are battered wives. There are people living on the streets in pools of their own fecal matter. There are war atrocities. There are rape victims. Maybe, just maybe, Gwyneth should be using her ample celebrity to support a charity that impacts one of those areas, instead of teaching children to be more flexible.

At a recent Bent On Learning event, Gwyneth Paltrow was honored for her “immense contributions to the yoga community.”

Cool. Cool thing to be honored for. Not the cancer patients community. Not the homeless children community. The yoga community. The most important community of all.

According to The Daily Mail, “Gwyneth is a long-term fan of yoga, which she combines with strenuous work-outs in order to maintain her slim figure.” So naturally, she wants to pay it forward and make sure the poor, yoga-neglected NYC schoolchildren also have slim figures.

Even if Paltrow devotes every day of her life to charity, and even if she only spends one of those days helping Bent On Learning, that is too many days.

Some of Gwynnie’s other favorite charities:

  • Prawns for Spawn — educating London’s poorest children on the difference between prawns and shrimp, to make sure they know what they’re ordering at Michelin-rated restaurants.
  • Common Name Support Group — holds weekly meetings for sufferers of dull, plain names like “Michael” and “Elizabeth,” to give them a place to vent against their cruel, unimaginative parents and find solace in the company of others.
  • Helping the Help — guiding and educating nannies, butlers, child-minders, gardeners and others who live their lives in the service of their betters. Ensures they’re up to date on the latest nannying and butling techniques, and offers advice on how to be pro-active instead of reactive when anticipating their employers’ needs.
  • Friendship Divorce Fund — What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don’t like a friend anymore? Luckily, the FDF is here to help. They provide financial and emotional support to people going through a crippling BFF breakup.


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Filed under Film Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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