Here's what some had to say in response to Mike's last column:
Cindy M. writes: This seems to be the typical attitude for many of the so-called celebrities these days. They make their fame and fortune on American soil and from the pocketbooks of working Americans, yet they take their American money and move half way across the world to get away from capitalistic America. These people have more money than most Americans could ever hope to have. So, why all of a sudden can't they discuss making money at dinner? Absurd. Their entire ambition was to become rich and famous. These are also the same people who don't watch TV or let their children watch TV, yet they make their living off of us watching them on TV or the Silver Screen. Maybe they should donate their salaries to those less fortunate. Now, that would make a nice topic for the dinner table.
Ann from Grand Rapids, Mich., writes: Other than "Please feel free to stay out of America," you pretty much said everything to the Almighty Gwyneth I would have liked to say. Kudos and thanks to you, Mike. I'm sure Gwynnie doesn't find her American-earned millions or her American Oscar very interesting either, so why doesn't she just return them and we'll be happy to find someone far more deserving?
Michael D. writes: Tell England they can have Gwyneth as long as they promise not to give her back...
Jen B. Brit and Paltrow Grrr: Kudos, Mike. You hit the nail on the head ... again. Paltrow's remarks are just one more ounce of proof toward "biting the hand that feeds" and using star power for all the wrong reasons. Forgive me, but talent doesn't afford celebrities the rights they think they have. Sadly for them, my pocketbook doesn't afford their movies, magazines or otherwise in return. Smart move, Gwyneth, and all your predecessors! I about fell out of my chair when I read Britney's response to her undie-blunder. Hasn't been out with friends? Hasn't celebrated a birthday? Who is watching those precious and unfortunate children while she exploits herself? I would think she'd put her children above her partying and no-good gal pals. Makes me wonder where the grandparents are in all this and why family services don't get involved in the welfare of these two babies.
Doug B. in GTO, Mexico writes: With all due respect, I am not surprised one bit with your response to Ms. Paltrow's comment. You do not know how true her feelings are until you leave America and watch just how Americans act when they come to another country. They are indeed crass, rude, expect to be waited on hand and foot and if they expatriate to another country, set about changing the culture, refusing to learn the language and assimilate into the culture. My wife and I are writers living in Mexico. The only culture shock we've experienced is watching how our fellow Americans act in someone else's culture. There is an entire city, Sam Miguel de Allende, owned and run by Americans, where you can come and see for yourself how Americans treat the locals like slaves and get their way whenever they want something changed. They often come to the city where we live and act like they were raised by wolves. Ms. Paltrow's remarks were not far off and your response in your column was predictable. How American of you.
Alexandra S from Charlotte, N.C., writes: Why do you care what she says? Why is it so offensive? What's the matter with so many Americans that any criticism we receive is met with such anger? This is America! Aren't we supposed to cherish the individual's right to express themselves? I mean, the Klu Klux Klan marching in D.C. wasn't met with the same anger that the Dixie Chicks, Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow were met with. What does that say about our great nation and its citizens? Haven't you looked around our precious country lately? You really don't think things are going a little downhill? Have you been overseas? I am American and yes, proud to be, but I spent most of my life overseas and let me tell you: many other cultures do have better manners and etiquette then we do in the States. Regardless, that is MY perception and MY opinion, just like that was simply HER opinion. You make a living from expressing YOUR opinion and you are so quick to jump on the bandwagon to put someone else down for doing the same thing. Assuming she even said that but again, so what if she did?? Why do you have to have this blind loyalty to really love your country, or love your mom, or love your kid or love whatever? You know, that's exactly the reason why people stay with their abusers.
Anonymous reader writes: I was born in England and raised in the U.S. In the U.S. there are the haves and the have nots. Money rocks most of the world but more so in the U.S. It seems so many people judge success in dollar amounts and not family or friends, so Gwyneth is used to talking about success in that way, but also has a great sense of family. It seems that she is probably getting away from all the people in her life that surround themselves with monetary success. Because she is now in England and possibly around low-key people, you start looking at the lack of compassion and understanding of what we have over here and at times take for granted. At the same time we as Americans always seem to want to shove our ideas and views on others. We need to learn to agree to disagree and not get our undies in a bunch if someone says something that we don't agree with. Cheers!
Scott from Houston, Texas, writes: I know you've covered this before and I wouldn't be surprised if you mentioned it in a near-future column, but how pathetic is it that has-been "actors/comedians" use shock and controversy to keep their name in the spotlight? Andy Dick -- I know, most people will say "Who?" -- is now in the media because he used the "N" word at a comedy club. Yes, he apologized immediately, but that was probably more to get the publicity but reduce the backlash than out of remorse, guilt or shame. What he should be ashamed of is his career (and I use the term VERY loosely). One report I read had him as the "star of Talk Radio." That was back in the mid-to-late '90s when it was tolerable (before Phil Hartman was killed). What's he done since? Nothing comes to mind, but maybe that's the actual result! Entertainers need to see the signs that are so obvious to their audience ... if a show needs to bring in a kid, or dog or some ridiculous stunt (like jumping a shark) it's time to call it a night. The same goes for a career ... if one has to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get some publicity, perhaps they should look at doing something else in the industry or going back to waiting tables. Either way, it's pathetic they need to resort to something like this, and even more pathetic that it actually gets coverage.
Lee S. from Arnold, Md., Grrr: Mike, my Grr goes out to all of the media. I am sick of how the media leaves out important parts of a story just to make it sound more important. Case in point, the New York trans fat ban. The story as reported said that some scientists and nutritionists believe that trans fat leads to heart disease. Then, instead of finishing the story, the most important fact is omitted. That fact is that is NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE supporting this claim. No scientific study has ever proven this to be true. In fact, three major studies which were released this year concluded that there is no link between fat, cholesterol and heart disease. I can't stand it. Stop trying to make news and try reporting it accurately!
A mother who didn't mind giving up party time to be with her kids writes: Give me a break! Britney was apparently disappointed because she hadn't "celebrated" her birthday in two years? Her kids are taking so much of her time that she can't "go out on the town with friends." Excuse me, but when I got to go "out on the town" for the first time after my second child, I made sure I wore underwear and I certainly did not position myself in such a way (on multiple occasions) so that everyone knew I had underwear on. Welcome to the real world of motherhood, Britney! It's called "accepting responsibility" and "setting a good example"! The only role model you need to be these days is to your own children. If you didn't want to give up your precious time to be a mother to your children, you shouldn't have gotten pregnant (they do have all kinds of things to prevent that these days). I wanted a career, too, so I waited until I had established myself in that career (USAF) and was at a point that I knew that I wouldn't look at my kids years down the road and say, "Things I gave up/couldn't do because I was busy with you."