Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pity poor Gwynnie

What is it about Upper East Side-educated, Oscar-winning, musician-marrying Hollywood A-listers that makes everyone so testy? I have been reading about the GOOP backlash for a few weeks, first with amusement and then with growing irritation. Even The New York Times got in on the act recently.

For those of you who don't spend all your time on gossip sites, GOOP is the brainchild of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. It's a lifestyle site that sends you a weekly newsletter with tidbits like "Police your thoughts." I had never visited it until today and what I found, though hardly groundbreaking, wasn't as insidious as I had been led to believe. Yes, Gwynnie is a very rich, very fortunate and very famous woman. And no, she doesn't necessarily have the qualifications to be a lifestyle guru, or a gym owner, or a food show host, or (and I'm being mean here) an Oscar-winning actress (come on, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep were both nominated that year!).

But since when has a lack of qualifications stopped anyone from blogging?

I can't believe I'm saying this, but cut the poor girl some slack. If we had to be qualified before we were allowed to expound on a subject, there would be no Internet. If there's one thing I can count on every day, it's that I will read reams of information from complete know-nothing nobodies who are convinced that their opinions are sound and not to be questioned. This is the entire foundation on which conservative talk radio is based! To mouth off on matters of which you have little knowledge or experience, this, my friends, is what it means to be an American.

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