Conscious Ostentation: The Paltrow/Martin Divorce

This morning, when someone asked me if I had heard about Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s break-up, I made a noise that I can only describe as, “Vince McMahon orgasming at a body-building competition.”




It’s like Christmas for fans of pretension run amok. I don’t even know what to do with myself. OK, yes, I do. Let’s read Gwyneth’s statement on Goop.

It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.

Gwyneth & Chris

First of all…nope. Not “&  Chris”. There is no way that a divorcing Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin sat down together and carefully crafted a message to their fans to be published on Goop, giving each other sad but friendly glances as they debated word choices and comma placements. No. No way. The most likely scenarios:

1) Gwyneth’s publicist wrote this and published it, without Chris Martin even knowing what Goop is. All these years, when Gwyneth has been like, “Honey, did you read my new issue of Goop? There’s the most fabulous piece about découpage that I outsourced…” and Chris has been like “Of course, dear, very nice,” while not really listening and watching Tottenham play or whatever.

2) Gwyneth’s publicist wrote this, sent it to Gwyneth’s agent, who sent it to Gwyneth’s lawyer, who sent it to Chris’s lawyer, who sent it to Chris’s agent, who sent it to Chris, who grunted his assent. The same way they always made love.

3) Gwyneth’s cookbook ghostwriter wrote this, then was immediately killed for the dangerous knowledge she now possessed.

4) Gwyneth’s team of assistants wrote this, and slipped it under the door of Chris’s study, where he was listening to “Everything’s Not Lost” on repeat and staring out the window. It went unnoticed.

Second of all, ” in many ways we are closer than we have ever been”? Yes, perhaps. In many ways they are closer to some things. Like: closer to a divorce. Closer to never seeing each other again. Closer to Coldplay getting back in the public’s good graces. Closer to an edgy Chris Martin solo album. Closer to Gwyneth marrying someone richer, more famous, and more tolerant of eating her ghost-chef’s kale stew for breakfast within the next 6 months. Closer to Chris having a child with a human name. Closer to each other though? Probably not the case.

“We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time.” Absolutely. I would never dream of disrespecting Apple or Moses, or daring to rob them of any of the privacy you’ve guaranteed them.

“We have always conducted our relationship privately…”



But the real highlight of this latest issue of Goop comes after Gwyneth’s statement, when she posts a 2,000 word self-help treatise on divorce from a pair of doctors. Because, you see, if it’s happening to Gwyneth, it’s happening to all of us.

Gwynnie’s team of experts helpfully explain that life expectancy is longer now that it was for cavemen, so it’s harder to stay with one person for all those years! And oh, boy, does it get worse from there. Just a jumbled mess of ersatz spirituality, self-help cliches and pseudoscience telling us all that — don’t worry — Gwyneth isn’t a bad person.

Some fun mildly out-of-context quotes:

“To understand what life is really like living with an external shield, we have to examine the experts: Insects. Beetles, grasshoppers, and all other insects have an exoskeleton.”

“Life is a spiritual exercise in evolving from an exoskeleton for support and survival to an endoskeleton. Think about it.”

“There’s a scientific theory by Russian esotericist, Peter Ouspensky, that the creation of insects was a failed attempt by nature to evolve a higher form of consciousness.” — not just a theory, a scientific theory! Little known fact: Gwyneth is a long-time Ouspensky-head.

“The truth is, the only thing any of us have is today. Beyond that, there are no guarantees.” — Mind. Blown.

“If we can recognize that our partners in our intimate relationships are our teachers, helping us evolve our internal, spiritual support structure, we can avoid the drama of divorce and experience what we call a conscious uncoupling.” — brb going to get a divorce

“It seems ironic to say that a marriage coming apart is the cause of something else coming together, but it’s true.”

“When our masculine and feminine energies reach equilibrium once more, we can emerge from our old relationship and consciously call in someone who reflects our new world, not the old one.” — I…I just…I just can’t…


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Filed under Film Has AIDS, Music Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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