The tough thing about parodying actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s much-derided Goop “lifestyle” website is that it already feels like a parody of itself, what with its advice on steam-cleaning the vagina and all. Still, that hasn’t stopped Gabrielle Moss from trying, in the hardcover humor title GLOP.
Mimicking the sterile, ice-queen look of Paltrow’s internet venture, GLOP delivers deliciously barbed contents in support of Moss’ subtitle of NONTOXIC, EXPENSIVE IDEAS THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS AND FEEL PRETENTIOUS. These articles address how to determine which shaman to bring along on your family vacation, how to decorate your home’s closed-off wings and how to throw a party “That Screams, ‘I Have Two Black Friends!’” (Just so you know, the latter includes such tips as offering a gift bag with “bowel-detoxing tea samples” and quoting the hip-hop lyric “face fucked you in your kitchenette.”)
As you should be able to tell by now, GLOP represents a savage takedown — but one wholly merited — of Princess Paltrow. Presumably pampered since day one, the daughter of Hollywood royalty has never experienced the concept of poverty, and appears not to comprehend how few Americans (whether they employ phony British accents or not) live an entitled existence in which price is no concern. And the book takes every possible opportunity to poke a pin at that stuck-up bubble, from her sexual practices (“Claith also sells a fabulous line of condoms spun from polenta proteins”) to her party games (“Write down the name of a favorite healing smoothie on a slip of paper. … Guests [have to] name the smoothie without mentioning any ingredients; only by dramatizing its various restorative properties.”)
Much of the book reminds me of THE ONION, in that Moss’ bits tend to give the punch line away right in the headline, landing so dead-on that what follows cannot possibly measure up — for example: “Everyday Basics That Cost $1,000 but You’d Understand Why if You Could Touch Them (You Will Never Touch Them),” “What to Buy Your Friend Who Lets Her Kids Eat White Flour” and “Are Wi-Fi Rays Why Your Baby Can’t Speak French?” Oui, oui, my fellow plebeians. —Rod Lott