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America May 28, 2008
13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
By Eileen Jones Browse author Email

Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them.

People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got. Rather than furtively following the exploits of assorted clap-ridden Britneys and Parises and Lindsays while pretending we’re not interested, let’s attack the problem head-on. What we need are fewer and better celebrities. When it comes to stars, we’ve gotta have ‘em, so why not make sure they’re prime stock?

In order to control a star population that’s gotten seriously out of hand, we follow the established procedure:

  1. Roundup
  2. Health Inspection
  3. Thinning the Herd
  4. Birth Control Injections
  5. Tag and Release

Let’s say we’ve already accomplished Step 1, with the use of helicopters and high-powered rifles, and our celebrities are now milling around in their enclosure. Step 2, Health Inspection, poses some specific problems. How do we judge the health of a celebrity? Not personal health, that is—nobody cares about that—but star health. A star is healthy when it’s capable of fulfilling the function of a star, which is to be fascinating, so fascinating it casts an attractive glow on everything around it, the movie it’s in, the talk shows it appears on, the people it dates, the products it shills for, etc.

Right away we know how to start Thinning the Herd, don’t we? Somehow we’ve allowed a slew of low-wattage bores to become celebrities and hang around for years eating free food. Now they’ve got to go: Ben Affleck, Halle Berry, Jude Law, Ashley Judd, James Franco, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Ethan Hawke, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Dempsey, Keanu Reeves…well, there are too many to name. But fortunately they’re dumb and slow; we can pick them off at our leisure.

Before we can even take aim at yawn-inducing Richard Gere, though, we’ve got a crisis to deal with: an outbreak of Mad Star Disease. It’s a pernicious menace threatening the entire celebrity herd—nay, even the human population could be at risk! More infectious than syphilis, this toxic fungi infiltrates the celebrity host’s brain and, if left untreated, spews its poison spores out of every orifice, increasing the celebrity’s innate obnoxiousness a thousandfold, and covering everything near them in repulsive stinking rot. Nothing infected stars touch can stay attractive for long: not gorgeous co-stars, not spectacular film and TV projects, not the noblest cause ever espoused by humankind. Even restaurants and clubs they go to, just for the opening, are tainted forever.

We’ve seen the dread symptoms of Mad Star Disease at work in a hundred cases. Here are thirteen of the most dire:

(Please Note: If you’ve been exposed to any of these celebrities and feel your brain softening and your innate obnoxiousness increasing, get tested immediately. Expect long lines.)


Oprah Winfrey

Mad Star Disease might never have been diagnosed if it weren’t for Oprah Winfrey, who’s been contagiously awful for so long, the whole world was forced to recognize it. "Oprahfication" is one euphemism for her grim pathogenic effects. She secretes a neurodegenerative goo that slimes everything she touches and, like so many carriers, she insists on touching EVERYTHING: movies, talk shows, reality shows, magazines, charities, politics, no area of public life is safe. Books that once seemed interesting get chosen for her infamous Book Club and become repellently stupid overnight. Celebrated guests on Oprah gibber and drool, and every member of her TV audience is afflicted with the pop-eyed staggers. Even Barack Obama, who’s above all earthly taint and therefore immune to the disease, looked slightly less beautiful after Oprah’s endorsement. (Just so you know, in case it’ll help you decide how to vote, he’s a member of a more highly evolved alien species that’s come to earth to help us move beyond racial prejudice, as foretold in Star Trek.)

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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