stuck in the internet vortex: Gwyneth Paltrow

The event horizon of the internet appears to be growing. More and more frequently I find myself unable to go back after crossing an invisible line.  I find myself in the worst places imaginable,  held fast by a force I cannot explain and did not even know was taking hold, intrigued and exasperated, and completely unwilling to depart. If you’ve ever been to Buzz Feed you know what I’m talking about. Oh this list is funny, you say, then, 15 lists later as you look at a GIF of a panda on a playground, you think, wait, what time is it?

Today, it was at the Daily Beast. I stopped by for David Frum’s blog, and got held fast by an article titled “Why Do We Still Hate Gyneth Paltrow?”  I read all 1600 words on the subject. All the while I was thinking 1) I don’t, in fact, hate Gwyneth Paltrow, and 2) this author obviously does, even though he’s writing about the need to stop hating Gwyneth Paltrow. The author’s capacity to be smugly condescending to both Gwyneth Paltrow and haters of Gwyneth Paltrow could front the syllabus of Smug 101 (which I think Gawker is teaching this year).

Anyway. More interesting to me than Kevin Fallon’s take on society’s take on Gwyneth Paltrow, is the actual decision of a site like Daily Beast to publish a feature length article investigating the “recycled conversation over Paltrow’s personality,” while participating gleefully in that recycled conversation. Not only their decision publish it, but, even more vexing: my decision to read it.

Why? Who knows. There must be an internet law about why one reads garbage online? But now the online-infection is spreading deeper into my brain, because not only am I reading useless copy on the internet, I’m producing useless copy on the internet about how useless the useless copy taking over the internet actually is.

The essay is the a perfect example of how to write entertainment articles on nothing at all: Ask a question about a celebrity that doesn’t matter, then, ignore that question and criticize the celebrity, then come back at the end and say it all doesn’t matter and leave the celebrity alone. It’s a closed feed-back loop of glacial proportion. Drum up an idea like “Why do we still hate Gwyneth Paltrow,” then criticize that idea as “something we have just conjured ourselves”.

More specifically, Mr. Fallon, you conjured it, because I didn’t know we hated Ms. Paltrow in the first place.

Oh well, add another 380 words to the useless subject care of TTMY. I’m sure Gwyneth will be adorable in Iron Man 3.


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