Bill Muehlenberg

More Celebrity Wisdom

I expect that some might argue that what I said in my title is a glaring example of what is known as an oxymoron. To that I can only plead guilty as charged. That our over-paid and over-egoed celebs can actually offer us anything remotely resembling wisdom is, I realise, a really big ask.

Yet that has not prevented many of them from trying to inflict their great learning upon us mere masses. We have far too many examples of various celebs pontificating on all sorts of important social, moral and cultural issues. Even intellectual issues.

On a regular basis our enlightened ones from Hollywood, popstardom and elsewhere will graciously bestow upon the rest of us peons their golden nuggets of wit and wisdom. Without their elevated thoughts and glistening guidance we would all undoubtedly be so much worse off.

Indeed, it is not enough that they have to bore us to death with their monotonous pop songs and box-office disaster films, but they feel the need to wear us all down with their celebrity commentary. I am not alone in dreading this assault of the celebs. In fact, whole books have been written about this.

For example, back in 2009 Andrea Peyser penned a neat little volume, Celebutards (Citadel Press). In it she examined a number of celebs, all card-carrying members of the zany left. All the usual suspects were there: Sean Penn, Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Sheen, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and many more.

It is worth noting that Peyser is no redneck hillbilly; she is “live-and-let-live on a variety of social issues, including abortion and gay rights”. But she can spot a celubutard a mile away, and provides a valuable service here in naming and shaming these serial pests. Her book begins this way:

ce – leb – u – tard (suh – LEB – yu – tard) noun 1. A famous person with a grandiose notion of his own importance and contribution to the known universe. 2. A human being of sub-par intellect, oversized ego and colossal bank account, whose existence represents a drag on the food chain, waste of oxygen and severe annoyance. 3. An egregious moron. (Origin: from the Latin celebutardus Paris Hiltonus maximum Baldwinus).”

Thus a celebutard is a term used to describe “lazy and egotistical thinkers, stars equipped with abundant money, fame, idle hours and yes-men, who feel secure enough in their own influence and intelligence to create insane foreign or domestic policy in their spare time”.

The only problem with her book of course is that another volume is already long overdue. Plenty more showcases can be mentioned. The media continues to cough up one bizarre example after another of these folks. Indeed, I have documented many such cases myself on this site.

As to the latest instalment, consider this headline in today’s press: “Gwyneth Paltrow says humans are flawed and respects, admires people who had extra-marital affairs”. The article says this: “‘I am a great romantic – but I also think you can be a romantic and a realist,’ said Gwyneth Paltrow, who has two children Apple, seven, and Moses, five, with husband, Chris Martin, the singer/songwriter of UK band Coldplay.

“‘Life is complicated and long and I know people that I respect and admire and look up to who have had extra-marital affairs,’ said Paltrow, who spoke about the difficulty of marriage last month. ‘It’s like we’re flawed – we’re human beings and sometimes you make choices that other people are going to judge. That’s their problem but I really think that the more I live my life the more I learn not to judge people for what they do. I think we’re all trying our best but life is complicated’.”

Thank you Gwyneth for sharing with all of us these pearls of wisdom. That makes life so much easier now – or should we rather say, complicated? Imagine us foolish mortals thinking that human beings actually were able to make moral choices and not just excuse their bad behaviours as if they were nothing but animals.

It is so good to know that life is complicated. We used to foolishly think that Hitler was evil – end of story. But now with this new found Hollywood wisdom, we know that the poor guy was a complicated soul, and we have been far too harsh on the Nazis. After all, as you so rightly remind us, “we’re all flawed” and we have to “learn not to judge people for what they do”.

It is a pity the Nuremberg trials could not have been put on hold until you could have straightened them out on their mean-spirited judgmentalism and their obviously foolish notions of binding, absolute morality. Boy, what an uneducated and Philistine lot those guys were.

But now thanks to you, we can soon have universities offering Paltrow Ethics 101 and other helpful courses. There we will learn just how unhelpful it is to judge, to make moral decisions, or to exercise ethical discernment. We can be liberated in the knowledge that we are all “flawed – we’re human beings and sometimes you make choices that other people are going to judge.”

This is such a liberating concept. Next time I run a red light, I will just run that line past the judge. Surely it will get me off the hook. Next time I decide my wedding vows are far too tedious and embark upon a string of adulterous affairs, I will simply mollify my wife with the words, “Hey, we’re all flawed you know – and life is complicated!”

Next time a brain-challenged celeb makes some moronic comments about some important social and ethical issue, and someone seeks to put her out of her misery with his Smith & Wesson, we will be so relieved to know that they have no moral case to answer for. After all, life is oh so complicated, don’t you know?

Life will now be so much easier and straightforward, thanks to young Gwyneth sorting us out about all those ethical dilemmas. We now have the Ten Commandments nicely boiled down to just one: “Thou shalt not judge anyone because life is complicated and we are all flawed.”

And there we allowed all this archaic ethical teaching of the centuries to make our lives so cumbersome. Thank you Hollywoodians – you have made our lives so much more easy (even though it is because we have been informed that it is actually so complicated!).

Thanks so much Gwyn, I feel as if an enormous burden has been lifted from my shoulders, just as it must have been for you as well. I am so delighted to know that when your husband of eight years walks out on you and the kids for a new, younger model, you will be so understanding and accepting of all this.

Ah, the bliss of walking through life with the wit and wisdom of the celebs to guide us along the way. Where would we be without them?

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