Gwyneth Paltrow’s furious backpeddling after her comments disparaging America at a press event in Spain over the weekend is really fairly pathetic. She says she mistranslated her own words into Spanish and would “never, ever” have said what she was quoted as saying. However, as the irrepressible Michelle Malkin points out in the above segment for, Gwyneth has said some things that are remarkably similar before. In fact, it seems she has quite a history of anti-Americanism. Malkin commented today, “The Oscar for Most Dishonest Performance By a Spoiled American Actress Trying to Dig Herself Out of a Public Relations Hole goes to… Gwyneth Paltrow.”

But perhaps this is beside the point? Possibly Gywneth’s comments are worthy of some consideration? Maybe, regardless of how offended anyone may be, she’s right? After all, the America of which she speaks is defined by its Bill of Rights, which includes the high value of free speech. It can’t, therefore, be a transgression to criticise one’s own country if it is deserved. I find it interesting that many of those pouring scorn on Paltrow’s head are not making any attempt to deal with the content of her remarks. What if she has a point?

Well, let’s see if she does.

Here are the words of Paltrow at the weekend: “I love the English lifestyle, it’s not as capitalistic as America. People don’t talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner.” And then there are her previous, almost identical, remarks made in the Guardian in January: “I love the English way, which is not as capitalistic as it is in America. People don’t talk about work and money; they talk about interesting things at dinner parties. I like living here beceause I don’t tap into the bad side of American psychology, which is ‘I’m not achieving enough, I’m not making enough, I’m not at the top of the pile.”

Obviously the Americans Paltrow has been hanging out with at dinner parties like to talk about nothing except work and money, and are malcontents. I’m not sure which Americans she’s been hanging out with, but, as a Brit in America, I don’t share her perceptions with any of the Americans I’ve been to dinner with. She also feels that America is more capitalistic, meaning that it is more favourable to and more practicing of capitalism… and she sees that as a bad thing.

Of course Gwyneth herself is no stranger to the comforts of capitalism. In 2004, she was paid $3 million for a three-minute film appearance… not exactly socialism in action. For someone who hates capitalism so much, she certainly seems to be benefiting from it. For someone who thinks America is too capitalistic, she certainly appears to have no trouble accepting its rewards.

So she’s a hypocrite. But maybe her hypocrisy says more about capitalism and less about Gwyneth. With her anti-capitalist ideology, she should be raking feces in a hippy shit garden somewhere in Cuba. But no… she chooses a capitalist lifestyle, which with her comments on the issue seems to suggest that she is confused on some level as to what capitalism actually is.

Not that that’s a surprise: she’s married to Chris Martin of Coldplay, who is a leftwing fringe lunatic who happens to make some great music. Spending all of your spare time with Chris Martin would likely make anyone confused about political ideology, and hearing his anti-capitalist, anti-American bullshit all day long would likely cause e’en the cutest of cute, naîve actresses to begin mindlessly repeating his kind of garbage. The fact that she uttered virtually the same sentence on America’s “capitalistic” nature, twice, over 10 months apart in two different interviews is indicative of how much she’s really actually thought for herself about capitalism and its evils or benefits. My best guess is that, on political issues, Paltrow is best described as ‘Chris Martin’s Parrot’.

Of course, as Malkin observes in the above video, Gwyneth has weighed in on this kind of thing even before last January: “Brits are far more intelligent and civilized than Americans. I love the fact that you can hail a taxi and just pick up your pram and put it in the back of the cab wiithout having to collapse it. I love the parks and places I go for dinner and my friends.”

What the hell is she saying here? What has an unfolded pram got to do with civility or intelligence?

And in her backpeddling earlier this week: “I always say in America, people live to work and in Europe, people work to live. There are positives in both.”

She clearly has no idea what she’s talking about! What ‘positive’ is there in merely ‘living to work’? She’s gone into spin mode, nothing else. There certainly isn’t any intelligence in these remarks. And again I take issue with the thrust of her words. Americans work hard; harder than most. But they play hard too. The vast American economy of ATVs, boats, RVs, motorhomes and so much else was astounding to me when I arrived here at first. Most Americans do not look at lazy European work ethics and turn green with envy at the long vacations and short work-weeks. They’d rather have a job they love to do and work hard at it so they can afford the things that Americans can afford. And who knows that better than Gwyneth Paltrow? To be rich and be glad about it is one thing; to be rich and condemn a system that rewards the hardworking is not only asinine but unpalatable.

Perhaps the best acclaim of capitalism and America to come from this story is that the reason Gwyneth Paltrow is apologising so swiftly is precisely because she fears it will affect her career — you know, work, and money — in America.

‘Nuff said!

John Wright