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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.)

THE EXILE’S THIRTEEN TOXIC TALENTS:

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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