If it wasn't enough that Johnny Depp called America dumb last September to a foreign media outlet from his comfortable home in France, Gwyneth Paltrow tried to match his degrading insults by saying America is "over-patriotic." Only this time the anti-American rant from an American came out of London.
American actress Gwyneth Paltrow said she will not raise her child in the United States because apparently this country is too dangerous and has too much pride. The Oscar-winning leading lady, who lives with her husband Chris Martin in London, is pregnant and fears the American lifestyle for her offspring.
"I worry about bringing up a child in America," she said, according to the World Entertainment News Network.
"At the moment there's a weird, over-patriotic atmosphere over there, like, 'We're number one and the rest of the world doesn't matter,'" Paltrow said.
Then comes the kicker-comment: "And the guns in school – it's not great."
Uh-huh. But I guess we can't blame Paltrow because she fears the guns in our schools. Maybe she should raise her child in in England, where only one in 10 schools have reported incidences of guns being brought onto their premises, according to the Guardian. It doesn't matter that sixty three percent of teachers polled said weapons were a problem in schools.
Hopefully Paltrow's child won't be in that one out of 10 schools that has a gun problem. But maybe she should stop worrying about guns and instead focus her attention on more common weapons, such as chairs, cigarette lighters, tables, bats, bricks, axes, metal bars and homemade bombs.
And she thinks American schools are unsafe! Not only does she have to worry about the presence of guns in schools, but also the insane number of American flag-wavers and patriotic citizens who still love their country, even the ones who don't bring home a seven-figure paycheck.
Like many Hollywood celebrities, Paltrow opposes the Iraq war. A BBC Radio 1 entertainment column noted Paltrow had been speaking out about the conflict, but was careful not to take her comments too far. She noted how much she loved her country despite her concerns, the BBC radio column said.
"It's pretty amazing how high the anti-American sentiment is in a lot of ways," Paltrow said of her adopted British home. "They call Tony Blair the vice-president!"
"I love America (even though I don't want to live here) and I completely stand behind America (even though I'm too scared to live here)," she said at the time. "But at the same time I'm a free thinking person (just like every American) and I question motives too and I question this war and the motives behind it (just like the millions of other anti-war Americans who still appreciate what it means to live here)."
OK, so let's get this straight: Mrs. Paltrow doesn't want to raise her child in America because we're a nation that's "overly-patriotic" yet the United Kingdom is perfectly suitable because over there it's "amazing how high the anti-American sentiment is." One more time: America is too patriotic for your taste but England isn't too anti-American so you've determined that's the place to raise your child?
I'll stress again that I don't take offense to Americans being anti-war or disliking Bush. With the death toll reaching the 500 mark this weekend, there are legitimate reasons to raise questions, however I will push my three-point system on Paltrow as apparently she didn't read my column when I offered it to Johnny Depp and the Dixie Chicks.
1. You don't have to like our country. Call America "stupid" or in your case Mrs. Paltrow, "over-patriotic" but do so at your Hollywood movie premiere, or if you're the Dixie Chicks, say you're ashamed to be from Texas during a sold out show in front of a Texas audience. See how quickly your movie bombs and how fast your sold out audience heads for the back gates. But that shouldn't matter to you, at least you will have expressed your first amendment right as an American, and I will respect anyone who does that. Show your disgust by refusing to sign record deals and movie contracts. Now that's courage.
2. It's fine to say that you don't want your kids growing up in America and that they should view it as "a broken toy" -- whatever that means -- or in your case Mrs. Paltrow that there are too many guns in our schools, but do so after filming your last American movie. I can understand an actor wanting to try new things, and the foreign markets are desperate for talent. Again, I'll have no problem with any celebrity who criticizes this country when they stop making money in it.
3. If you don't like our president, that's cool. But if you're going to blast him, why not be productive in the process? Preach in front of a large American crowd and hope to persuade people who actually matter. That's right, French audiences and German magazine readers have as much political influence in this country as Saddam's two sons currently rotting six feet under in the blood-soaked dirt.