Posts Tagged With: gwyneth paltrow

The Devaluation of Truth

“Cosmic Intelligence has given us a will, so that we can make it the instrument of our higher nature by placing it at the service of a high ideal. The first step is to understand and apply some essential truths. Once you have understood an essential truth, use your will to put it into practice, in the knowledge that this is the only way to understand it fully. It is easy to state truths; anybody can go and find them in the works of a few sages and then repeat them parrot-fashion. By doing, so they may gain the respect of a few people blind enough not to see how ignorant and weak they really are. But deceiving the blind is not a very great achievement! In any case, there are others, who see things clearly and are not so easily fooled: the beings of light in the invisible world. In fact, it is these entities whose respect we must earn, and we will earn it by applying the truths the initiates and sages reveal to us. These truths are true weapons, and we will never find better ones for winning life’s battles. But we need an arm to be able to use them – that is, the will to put them into practice.”

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Chomsky and David Barsamian

Years ago, I remember watching an interview with Professor Noam Chomsky with journalist David Barsamian. I can’t find the clip in question but the gist of it was that Chomsky was saying that most people in academia and research these days, professors, researchers, scientists, are in fact professional liars, they’re actually trained to be as such. At the time, I didn’t and couldn’t understand what he was saying given that the way academia works is that research papers are submitted for publication for respected journals and usually have to go through a rigorous process of peer-review and questioning, which is usually meant to flush out any inconsistencies prior to publication.

It is only recently I’ve come to understand  that truth has a relatively insignificant value in public intellectual life, in academic life, in literary life. Ideology matters much more. Personal comfort matters more. Careerism matters more.  As long as you can prove things in theory and on paper, you’re golden but never mind how those theories may play out in the real world or who it may hurt or what kind of havoc it can create it its wake once they are put into practice. Economists in particular  use a word, “externalities” in their models to account and justify some of these unforeseen damages but yet they do fuck-all about it just as long as they can get those additional letters behind their name, get a cushy job in academia or consulting and watch the numbers increase in their bank account and train other students to think and act like them, preferably using their own research and ideas to buffer up their own legacy.

This is really encapsulated in Julien Benda’s book, “The Treason of the Intellectuals”, which is based in this binary notion that there are two competing sets of values in the world: fame and fortune on the one side, truth and justice on the other side. The gist of Benda’s book is, the more committed you are to truth and justice, the less you’re going to see of fame and fortune and the more committed you are to fame and fortune, the less you will see of truth and justice.
Sometimes you will see those with fame and fortune try to pursue truth and justice to devastating effect and they end up being blacklisted like babe-alicious actor and activist Viggo Mortensen.
King Aragorn has become a silver fox. Mortensen went on the Charlie Rose Show once with a T-shirt emblazoned with "No Blood for Oil" - afterwards, his Hollywood career stalled with the exception of working with visionary director David Cronenberg.

King Aragorn has become a silver fox. All this and a conscience too (Le sigh). Mortensen went on the Charlie Rose Show once with a T-shirt emblazoned with “No Blood for Oil” – afterwards, his mainstream Hollywood career stalled with the exception of working with visionary director David Cronenberg.

Other times, it just comes off as disingenuous, fake and trite like Princess Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent effort to feed her family on $29 a week on a food stamp challenge… and threw in the towel after 4 days. It would seem to me you’re better off pursuing truth and justice and in the course of doing so, you may end up with the fame and fortune later on…but there is no guarantee of that either.
Gwynnie-poo's $29 haul which was supposed to feed her family for a week. Do you really need 7 limes?

Gwynnie-poo’s $29 haul which was supposed to feed her family for a week. Do you really need 7 limes?

I remember in the early 1990s, you could only get Chomsky books via special order from his publisher Black Rose Books at anarchist bookshops. Nowadays, there are whole shelves devoted to his titles in mainstream bookshops and people like Radiohead have his books on their tour buses. It’s been interesting to watch the pendulum shift.
Yeah, I get that "orange is the new black" but seriously, you should be wearing orange in a prison Hillary, not as a pantsuit.

Yeah, I get that “orange is the new black” but seriously, you should be wearing orange in a prison Hillary, not as a pantsuit.

I see this dichotomy now over, and over and over again in practically every sphere of modern-day life. Whether it is politicians with checkered pasts making bids for leadership like Hillary Clinton, shady but highly influential academics (and their lesser-known lackeys) with very specific agendas like White Anglo-Saxon financial and militaristic supremacy at all costs or yoga celebrities who are suddenly doing a 180 degree turn to be more “diversity-sensitive” when they themselves first perpetuated those very unattainable models of beauty and fitness and body image acceptance in the first place which now need to be dismantled completely in certain cases.
Not a lot of women will ever have a body and ability like this, with yoga or not.

Not a lot of women will ever have a body and ability like this, with yoga or not.

(I’m talking to you Kathryn Budig – you don’t go from modeling toeSox butt-naked as a white, thin, super-bendy blonde California woman to suddenly being the champion of  “loving your body” and “diversity” for people who are anything but white, thin, super-bendy blonde and from California. That’s almost as bad as when Christopher Hitchens went from Noam Chomsky to George W. Bush  in the course of one day during 9-11. You only jump ship like that if you’re already looking for an “out” or if you’re an ideological opportunist to begin with and wanting to join a certain bandwagon because it is popular or lucrative.)
The astrological climate suggests that this is going to be a relatively calm, drama-free spring and summer. Usually when things are calm and easy, people usually get a bit lax and put their guards down. With all these upcoming elections in the US, Canada and the UK, in fact I would argue it might even be advisable to strengthen them up a bit. I think most politicians are full of rot anyway but I can’t shake this feeling that many of us are going to be asked in one form or another, in our own lives, what we personally stand for and value. Is it truth and justice (which will be the hard road) or the easier route of fame and fortune?
Your call, folks.
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

9 reasons why the current yoga scene can be likened to Gwyneth Paltrow (Take a freakin’ chill-pill, this is a Rant)

You know how there are some celebrities we just love to hate?

Not because we’re all envious or anything, we hate them because it’s fun! They’re either so obnoxious, self-involved or nonsensical that they invite disdain and derision because of the things they say and do.

Case in point: Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwynnie-poo (from people.com)

Gwynnie-poo (from people.com). Horse-y faced WASP-y Hollywood blonde.

I don’t know what it is about her that brings out the inner bitch of just about every gal I know. I don’t think it’s because she’s thin, rich, white and blonde and married to a rock star. I could describe Charlize Theron (or Kate Hudson) in the same way, but Charlize has a bit of an edge to her which I think makes her cool.

Another classic Hollywood blonde: Charlize Theron

Delicate-featured , classic Hollywood blonde: Charlize Theron

Charlize also comes from a bit of a dodgy family background which makes her a badass for having survived it and coming out ahead.

Gwynnie-poo on the other hand has had a silver spoon firmly ensconced between the cheeks of her “butt of a 22 year old stripper” (her words not mine) and everything given to her on a silver platter from Day 1.
I also think Charlize is much prettier that Gwynnie-poo.  In fact, I think there are many other high-profile acting sisters in the same age group who are prettier, full of more substance AND smarter than Gwynnie-poo and deserve more screen time than her.

(Gents: this is the one and only time I’m going to post girly photos here for your viewing pleasure. Ladies: My point is that beauty can show up in equal amounts of brains AND comes in all colors )

Like Monica Bellucci,

Italian beauty Monica bellucci, with classical features and a body of a Roman goddess, Monica is not only beautiful but smart as well. Did you know she studied law at the University of Perugia before going into modelling?

Italian beauty Monica Bellucci, with classical features and the figure of a Roman statue, Monica is not only beautiful but smart as well. Did you know she studied law at the University of Perugia before going into modelling?

Salma Hayek,

Salma Hayek is  of Spanish and Lebanese descent, and fluent in Arabic, Spanish, Portugese and English

Salma Hayek is of Spanish and Lebanese descent, and fluent in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and English

Thandie Newton,

Biracial beauty Thandie Newton is half English and half Zimbabwean. She read Anthropology at Cambridge

Thandie Newton read Anthropology at Cambridge

Rosamund Pike,

Statuesque blonde bombshell with the complexion of an English Rose, Rosamund Pike studied English lit at Oxford and speaks French and German fluently.

Statuesque blonde bombshell with the complexion of an English Rose, Rosamund Pike studied English lit at Oxford.

Lisa Ray,

Half Bengali-half Polish Canadian actress Lisa Ray academically excelled in high school and finished 5 years of high school in 4.

Half Bengali-half Polish Canadian actress Lisa Ray excelled in high school and finished 5 years of high school in 4.

Sophie Marceau,

11051-24593

Classic French beauty, former Bond girl Sophie Marceau is not only an actress, but she produces, directs and also is an author.

Ludivine Sagnier,

French actress Ludivine Sagnier, usually plays sexpots, but she had enough brains to stay away from Hollywood.

French actress Ludivine Sagnier, usually plays sexpots, but she had enough brains to stay away from the Hollywood machine.

Eva Green,

French actress and Bond Girl Eva Green has features which belong on an ancient roman coin or Greek statue.

Another French actress and Bond Girl Eva Green has features which belong on an ancient Roman coin or Greek statue. She hates shopping and has also nixed Hollywood.

Mylène Jampanoï,

Another biracial beauty, half French, half Chinese actress Mylène Jampanoï

Another bi-racial beauty, half French, half Chinese actress Mylène Jampanoï

And as for figures, while I agree clothes do hang very well on Gwynnie, she’s really nothing more than a clothes hanger…

Gwynnie wearing a Tom Ford creation at the Oscars in 2012 and trying to channel Grace Kelly.

Gwynnie wearing a Tom Ford creation at the Oscars in 2012 and trying to channel Grace Kelly.

…I still don’t think that kind of slenderness defined by the fashion world is very attractive.

Rather,  IMHO, women should strive to *BE*, first and foremost, HEALTHY and STRONG, say like the Brazilian National Women’s Olympic beach volleyball team for instance..

That's the way to do it Ladies! Maria Antonelli and Talita Rocha looking strong, healthy and feminine, curves, muscles and all.

That’s the way to do it Ladies! Maria Antonelli and Talita Rocha looking strong, healthy and feminine, curves, muscles and all.

…but I’m getting off-track here so on with the list….

1) The yoga scene is usually all about being thin, white and privileged.
Yoga: While things are slowly changing and awareness is definitely increasing, classes like queer yoga or curvy yoga are now popping up in many cities and there are now amazing Facebook groups as well as many great yoga blogs which are discussing these issues head-on, all of which are about making yoga more accessible to all, there is still unfortunately a long way to go. Average mean income of most yoga practitioners is around $75 000/year, far above the national average income level with many practitioners who are college educated with post-graduate degrees. Many of the younger girls I’ve come across could give a rat’s ass about the spiritual aspects or deeper health benefits of yoga but instead just want to get really lean and thin, mostly to get a boyfriend or a husband. Many instructors and studios are still failing to make visible, sexual and economic minorities and women with larger body-types welcome in the studio.

Gwynnie-poo: Gwyneth Paltrow is the walking definition of thin, white and privileged. Born into Hollywood royalty, her father was a TV producer of shows like “St. Elsewhere”, her mother is of Philadelphia Main Line stock and a thespian in her own right.  Gwynnie’s bi-coastal upbringing included Thanksgivings which were usually spent with the likes of Steven Spielberg in the Hamptons, going to the elitist Spence School of NYC and spending summers in Spain. She spends 14 hours a week working out with sketchy celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and unabashedly boasts about using nothing less that $60 olive oil. There is nothing normal, accessible or grounded about her at all which normal, working women can ever relate to.

Gwyneth Paltrow's at-home private studio. She had a separate building built just to work out.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s at-home private studio. She had a separate building built just to work out.

2) The yoga scene is full of instructors who sprout one thing on the mat yet live a totally different reality off the mat and somehow make the whole thing OK.
Yoga: Ubiquitous yogilebrity Elena Brower, a well-known instructor from the Anusara “tradition” admits that she smokes. This is after her going on ad nauseum about the beauty of yoga, about the beauty of a breath, about the beauty of health, blah, blah, blah.

Gwynnie-poo: Gwynnie waxes lyrical constantly about the importance of her workout, her instructor, her diet  and buying the most expensive food possible. In fact her latest cookbook, ” It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes that Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great” is all about eating a vegan, low-carb, gluten-free lactose-intolerant diet. No coffee, dairy, alcohol, sugar, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, corn, wheat, meat, soy or anything processed.  And how French Fries nearly killed her. Then she dropped a bomb last week when she admitted that she looks forward to her weekly Saturday night cigarette. Um…Gwynnie, do you understand why that would make some people upset?

You're a real role model, Gwynnie!

You’re a real role model, Gwynnie!

3) The yoga scene and living the “yoga lifestyle” can be expensive
Yoga: Like I mentioned earlier, yoga caters to mostly those people who are affluent. Yoga studio unlimited memberships are about $1200 per year in my city. Lululemon pants run at about $90 each. Designer mats can be as high as $100. And then you have to factor in the seasonal cleanses, the retreats to exotic locations like Bali or Tulum ($4000), the Vitamix blender for your juices and smoothies ($750), the regular colonics ($80 a poop), the membership in CSA farms ($250 /12 weeks) and the time itself to daily practice. It adds up quickly. It’s cheaper to become a Jain monk and get the same results.

Gwynnie-poo: One only has to visit Gwyneth’s “lifestyle” blog and online magazine “Goop” and read a couple of articles particularly about what to buy, what to eat and where to visit to realize that this is a magazine which should only be in private circulation among other Hollywood actresses, billionaire heiresses and vulgar wives of Russian oligarchs since they are the only ones who will EVER be able to afford this “lifestyle”.

Gwynnie's gourmet kitchen at her new $10 million dollar digs in L.A

Gwynnie’s gourmet kitchen at her new $10 million dollar digs in L.A

4) The yoga scene can be out of touch from reality (borderline delusional actually)
Yoga: No, I can’t eat kale everyday and I don’t want to. I especially can’t afford to shell out 5 times the going rate of “normal” kale for kale that’s been grown biodynamically on fertile volcanic soil in Hawaii which has then been blessed by a shaman under a full moon which is then supposed to give me more ‘healing” nutrients. I can’t and I won’t so kindly fuck off.

Gwynnie-poo: The latest edition of Goop! included Spring 2013 fashion “essentials” which comes out to a whopping $450 000. Almost half a mill, folks. That’s just clothes. For one person. For one season. Seriously. With that kind of cash, you can dress practically everyone in Mozambique and Bangladesh. Combined. For life. For real.

Gwynnie's everyday punk look (from goop.com)

Gwynnie’s everyday punk look (from goop.com)

5) The yoga scene can sometimes espouse a strange diet.
Yoga: A quote from Chris Rock,

“We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!”

Let me expand this to ask why is it that EVERYONE in the yoga scene nowadays seems to be lactose-intolerant, gluten intolerant, with allergies to wheat, rice, sugar, honey, coffee, dairy, alcohol, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, corn, meat, soy, nuts, grass, trees, air and sunshine?  While I agree having serious allergies is no laughing matter and following a vegetarian diet because of  strict ethical, moral and religious reasons because it’s a part of your being is admirable, I wonder how many people are making up their allergies or becoming vegans because it’s the cool thing to do? What you decide to put into your stomach is your own business and responsibility but personally,  I have to side with global bad-assed foodie Anthony Bourdain , that it is a construct coming out of too much affluence and predicated largely by rich, white kids who want to come across as doing something fashionable because being vegan is now fashionable “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans … are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit. They make for bad travelers and bad guests. The notion that before you even set out to go to Thailand, you say, ‘I’m not interested,’ or you’re unwilling to try things that people take so personally and are so proud of and so generous with, I don’t understand that, and I think it’s rude. You’re at Grandma’s house, you eat what Grandma serves you. I don’t have any understanding of it. Being a vegan is a first-world phenomenon, completely self-indulgent.”

Gwynnie-poo: Tinseltown blogger Perez Hilton summed it up best:

While we’re all for healthy children, we’re not so sure if leaving them hungry is the best thing! What kind of childhood is that?? Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet is SO STRICT that she admits sometimes her family is left hungry by her restrictions! BOOO! In her new cookbook called It’s All Good, all is most definitely not good, and she details the food she doesn’t let her kids have, like grains:

“Every single nutritionist, doctor and health-conscious person I have ever come across . . . seems to concur that [gluten] is tough on the system and many of us are at best intolerant of it and at worst allergic to it.”

We’re not so sure about that. We’ve written countless times on how a gluten-free diet is only really good for those who have celiac’s disease, otherwise you could be doing more harm than good! Then, she admits, the diet is not satisfying to her family:

“Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread or processed grains like white rice, we’re left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs.”

That’s such a bummer. We have to be honest here. We’ve always been under the impression that moderation is key, so we’re okay with limiting the amount of processed and carb intake, but we also realize that kids need to be kids — which most definitely includes the happiness of treats from time to time, and to not have to go through childhood hungry! Being extreme with your kids is not how you get well-rounded and happy children!

 Gwynnie's new book. (Photo: Raphael Brion/Eater)

Gwynnie’s new book.
(Photo: Raphael Brion/Eater)

6) The yoga scene can be pretentious
Yoga: Chanting for 45 minutes then pranayama work for another 30 minutes then 1 hour yoga practice and then posting all about it as your Facebook status. Sure. Whatever. Knock yourself out, Buddy.

Gwynnie-poo: Just go check out Goop!. No. Like seriously. Better yet, read the post when Gwyneth talks about meditation and though she doesn’t know how to do it, but because it’s “brilliant”, so it’s time she took it up.

You can do it Gwynnie! Just make sure you don't get your Jimmy Choo's wet while you get into the water.

You can do it Gwynnie! Just make sure you don’t get your Jimmy Choo’s wet while you get into the water.

7) The yoga scene is full of instructors dispensing medical diagnoses, half of whom have never even taken an anatomy course
Yoga: “Can’t do balancing handstands because of tight shoulders or triangle pose because of a slipped disk? Do more yoga! It solves everything “—> something I once heard a yoga instructor who shall remain nameless say after class one day.

Gwynnie-poo: In the intro. of her new book, Gwyneth describes an incident where she self-diagnosed herself as having a stroke in 2011, after having lunch in her London home’s garden. As it turns out, she was having a migraine headache and a panic attack AT THE SAME TIME. Here’s what she said about it:
“One sunny afternoon in London, in the spring of 2011, I thought — without sounding overly dramatic — that I was going to die. I had just served lunch in the garden at home . . . I had a vague feeling that I was going to faint, and I wasn’t forming thoughts correctly. I got a searing pain in my head, I couldn’t speak, and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was having a stroke.”

Gwynnie after she fainted lounging on the divan...(Photo: Vanity Fair)

Gwynnie after she fainted, lounging on the divan…(Photo: Vanity Fair)

8) The yoga scene wants to come across as “hardcore” or “badassed”…but isn’t.
Yoga: Sadie Nardini. Nuff said.
Gwynnie-poo: A nine-course tasting menu is NOT “punk rock”.

Both of you seriously need to get a clue.

Both of you seriously need to get a clue.

9) The yoga scene can get “old” very quickly.
Yoga: How much Krisha Das do I need to listen to, bushels of kale I have to eat, and conversations I need to have with people who do nothing but navel-gaze before I become a “yogi”? Is there a support group for recovering vegans? Recovering Yogi’s website shows that I’m far from the only one harboring these thoughts.

Gwynnie-poo: Gwyneth, do you realize that you’re one of the most disliked Hollywood stars in the world? Do you realize that being everywhere, doing everything and bragging about it all to the entire world endears you to no one? Stop being so obnoxious and start being a little more humble, take it down a notch and take a back-seat sometime. It’ll do wonders for your image. And your “heart condition” too…

gwyneth-paltrow-pic-peopl-c1-thumb-450x303-21227

Categories: Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up, Uncategorized, Yoga | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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