Monday, 31 March 2014

Has Gwyneth Paltrow Unconsciously Uncoupled Herself From The Entire World?

There are two sets of guidelines that make a movie star and you either follow one of them or the other.
You're an enigma or you're an open book. You're aloof or you're down to earth. You're iconic or you're approachable. You're certifiably insane or you never speak out loud in public.
Stray from these boundaries or try and coast along in the middle of the road and you're heading for a career disaster, and it's going to be huge. Even bigger than the iceberg that sank the Titanic and launched Kate Winslet's career.
Poor Gwyneth Paltrow.
Once the beacon of all that was glossy, shiny and beautiful about Hollywood but now the flickering candle of all that is wrong and wretched with those that live within its glare.
It's not been easy for her of late. She's suffering from the curse of too much money, too much fame, too much smugness and too much macrobiotic diet.
Not content with alienating her (Apple) core fan base by stating it would be easier if she was a working mother working a 9-5 job, she also evoked and encouraged rumours of diva like behaviour by trying (and succeeding) to stop the publishing of a supposedly scandalous profile of her in Vanity Fair.
In Gwyneth's case it seems that not all publicity is good publicity.
Her website 'Goop' states that 'for many, Goop has become their most trusted girlfriend on the web', but in reality Gwyneth speaks down to and looks upon those many 'girlfriends' like she's Marie Antoinette at a Pilate's class and her public are the peasants at the Palace gates.
Although instead of letting them eat cake, she believes this bunch of plebs are only hungry for a dish of slow-cooked Kale, Pancetta and Breadcrumbs.
And that's fine, if she just kept to that image.
She herself said:
"I am who I am. I can't pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year"
and that's exactly how we like to think of our movie stars. Living a fantasy life of excess and glamour, popping pills and dripping diamonds, knocking back shots of tequila and knocking out paparazzi with a spike heel and a fist full of dollars.
But she then ruins the whole thing by saying:
"when I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat".

I mean seriously Gwyneth? A Zucchini makes your heart skip a beat? Imagine what a vial full of propofol or a pipe full of crack would do? That's the stuff that real stars are made of. Zucchini's and butternut squash are for the featherweights and the boring. Although to be fair, she did once say out loud to a bemused interviewer:
"I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin."

Does cheese even come in a tin?
It must be hard for Ms Paltrow to function in a normal way. Even a marriage to Chris Martin and a friendship with Beyonce and Jay Z couldn't elevate her to the realms of aspirational edginess or crank up her coolness. You'll never fit in at a Hollywood orgy if the only thing on your mind is:
"It's what makes life interesting, finding the balance between cigarettes and tofu"
and you'll never endear yourself to the general public or the Hollywood elite by declaring:
"Even actresses that you really admire, like Reese Witherspoon, you think, 'Another romantic comedy?' You see her in something like Walk the Line and think, 'God, you're so great!' And then you think, 'Why is she doing these stupid romantic comedies?' But of course, it's for money and status."

Gwyneth Paltrow is a conundrum, caught up in a riddle, wrapped in some organic rice paper and then lightly toasted over a crystal meth pipe in a $25 million home in the Hollywood Hills. Is there anyone that understands her, empathises with her or with all those ridiculously self-righteous quotes ever wants to hear another word from her again?
For someone who once held an Oscar in her hands and made an (hilariously embarrassing) emotional speech in a Ralph Lauren ball gown we'd expect histrionics, drama and self absorbed craziness and that's exactly what we've got. Except she's morphed into some kind of schizophrenic earth mother who can't decide if she wants to have Botox or bake homemade bread.
The final (false) nail in the (biodegradable) coffin of her public persona came with her announcement of her conscious uncoupling from Chris Martin.
I initially thought she was talking about falling unconscious after undergoing some cupping (another one of her ways to live a better life) but no, she's consciously uncoupling from Chris who fronts Coldplay, and that's more than I can get my tongue twisted around. It would have been so much easier to understand if she'd said 'we're splitting up but staying friends'.
I can't remember the last movie I ever saw her in but I do wonder if playing and winning the Oscar for the role of Viola de Lesseps in 'Shakespeare in Love' may have caused her to speak in some kind of dialect that only she can understand?
And on that Shakespearean note I shall leave you with probably the last time she spoke anything of any sense:
"Nurse, as I love you and you love me, you will bind my breast and buy me a boy's wig".

Follow Daniel Warner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/picnicdontpanic

Thursday, 20 March 2014

So What If Your Child May Be Gay? Get Over It

If I was to go and try and get my 'gayness' reversed it would probably open up a plethora of Pandora's boxes. There would be demons, there would be horror, there would be sin, lustfulness and an absolute shed load of glitter, feathers, fun and debauchery.
My childhood would be looked upon as being the perfect text book homosexual 'breeding ground'.
Every religious zealot and every bigot would point to my hate of football, my emotional distance from my father and my absolute adoration of my mother as the reason I never wanted my hair cut shorter than my shoulders and why I had a habit of wandering around the house in my mothers dressing gown and (occasionally) lipstick.
It wouldn't take long to understand why I wanted a pushchair and a doll for my fifth birthday rather than a gun and a hand grenade and I'm sure my insistence on singing 'Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)' at the tender age of eight would not be taken as my having a good ear for a perfect pop song, but rather an insatiable and unnatural deviance that would soon turn me into a raving and unapologetic homosexual.
I am sure any aversion therapist would consider me a classically trained gay, a queer cliche and a suitable candidate to put on the breaks, slam into reverse and then speed away from the horror of homosexuality.
I was never told to temper my behaviour or be anything other than what I was as a child. I only ever remember once being told to curtail the endless 'wiggling and giggling' by my mother because I think my doing a Marilyn Monroe impression in a Dr's surgery was even a bit too much for her to comprehend. I have no recollection of this but at the age of six I had to be observed (for a week) by a child psychiatrist at my school because I had a tendency to swap shoes with the girls, my favourite colour was pink and my teacher could never 'drag' me away from the dressing up box. My mother and I have never really talked about this episode in my 'growing up gay' but suffice to say the psychiatrist advised the school and my mother that this was 'just a phase' and that I would grow out of it.
Thankfully my mother didn't much care if I grew out of it or not, she was happy if I was happy.
My obvious 'femininity' had all but disappeared by the time I went to secondary school. I still hated football but with puberty came a hair cut, facial hair and an absolute love for fashion (you can't keep a good gay down). I didn't like the colour pink anymore and the swapping of the shoes had died a very sudden death (I'd been chosen to attend an all boys school). Outwardly I didn't show any signs of being 'typically gay'. I'd butched it up, learned to fight and instead of being the class queen I now took on the role of class clown. My sexuality wasn't discussed. I wasn't even aware of who or what I should find attractive and my teenage years settled into a kind of casual normality, except with good shoes and a nice haircut.
But not all children who outwardly show signs of not fitting into the standardised regiments of 'normal' behaviour are lucky enough to have a mother or father as understanding or as tolerant as mine were. I was always allowed to be myself, so I never thought asking for the Bionic Woman doll rather than the Bionic Man at Christmas was odd. Instead, I woke up to find Santa Claus had delivered both and I could decide which one I wanted to play with. I find it more incomprehensible that we teach children to believe in a fat man in a red suit rather than allowing them to choose whether Barbie or Action Man is their toy of choice.
Fast forward 35 years and I'm gleefully gay, a happy homosexual and I look back at my childhood as being perfect. I didn't have an overbearing mother or an absent father. So what if I played with dolls and wandered around in my mother's shoes? I still listen to Abba every now and again and I can still remember cutting off all of the Bionic Woman's hair and turning her into Action Man. I'd be interested to know what an aversion therapist thought of that?
What I'm trying to say is that my 'gayness' wasn't nurtured. I wasn't taught how to be gay. It came naturally to me. I was the little boy who for around three years behaved like a little girl but I did grow out of it.
The only thing I didn't grow out of was being gay. I grew up, grew a beard, got some muscles and learned to just get on with it.
So to anyone who feels ashamed of themselves, their childhood, their gayness or even their gay children?
It's not something you can change, suppress or run away from.
The only way you can deal with it is to grow up, get on with it and get over it.
 

Follow Daniel Warner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/picnicdontpanic