Facing Fear, Courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow

We’ve had the NetFlix envelope with Contagion in it sitting around like a big, unexploded bomb for a while.

Because, pandemic. Like I don’t have enough worrying to do. I’m too busy with Super Volcanos to add something to my list.

But boy, viruses are scary. I’m watching Downton Abbey and am dreading the influx of the Spanish Flu. Can they just skip that part of 1918, please?

But there’s lots of things that are freaky as heck and we have no control over them. I wanted to expose myself to a movie based on pure fear to remind myself that I need to let go. Exposure to a realistic doomsday scenario was the best way I could think to do so.

So I watched Contagion. I have notes.

First of all, I am one of those people who reluctantly love Gwyneth Paltrow. I don’t know why. I know she should bug me with the silly quotes and the three hour workouts, and the advice about the $500 sea salt. I guess maybe I admire her self-esteem. How rad would it be to feel as awesome about myself as she clearly does about herself? Also, she’s a rare visible woman who is around 40. Gwyneth is the best thing in this movie: as the mysterious, glamorous woman who maybe sets off the virus. Who else but Gwyneth, in her super-cute Chinoiserie outfit, drinking cocktails with orchids on them in a casino in Macau, could bring along the end of the world so fetchingly and annoyingly? It reminded me that I have always wanted to go to Macau and look glamourous at the casino too! Bucket List item.


For those who hate Gwyneth, you get to see her die an ugly death.

I mean, I learned stuff. When a virus breaks out, buy enough canned goods and bottled water to last about a year. Load up on Purell. Work from home. Homeschool. Also, you might want to get yerself a firearm.

Whatever. What I mostly did by watching the film was expose myself to fear and let go. Control is an illusion. We could all die tomorrow. But it’s fun to laugh about the bugaboos that makes us afraid. That may be the best answer to fear: laugh at it. Wasn’t that what Professor Lupin taught us?

Do you find it helps to laugh at what you’re afraid of?



Filed under Fear

3 responses to “Facing Fear, Courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow

  1. I’ve been wanting to see this movie after I heard an interview with the scientific consultant for the script on NPR (what a nerdy sentence!). Last night I was watching TV while reading blogs, not really paying attention, and a commercial for this show “Doomsday Preppers” came on… and THEN they mentioned super volcanoes. I’d never heard of them before your post & now I’m going to notice them everywhere. (The show is on the Nat Geo Channel which we don’t have, sad face.)

  2. I love Gwyneth Paltrow too! I’ll have to watch that one sometime.

    I have to laugh at myself sometimes, when I know I’m being silly. Like when my husband wants to watch Ancient Aliens, I always say I’m going to have nightmares, but I usually don’t.

  3. What I like very much about Gwyneth is that despite everything, she is still very much married in that glitzy, shallow world of showbiz. It surely is not easy, I think. And yes, her goop site is silly and the quotes make me laugh at best, yet I can’t say I hate her, like the rest of almost everyone I know.
    You had to mention volcanos… I try to stay away from documentaries for the moment, they scare the living lights out of me. I have enough scares already, thank you very much. 🙂

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