Stand by your manicurist?

The other day, the Better Half and I were watching some show on some network when an ad for the CMA Awards played. [On that note, confidential to Leann Rimes -- crying during a softball interview is not sufficient penance for stealing someone's husband.] Just as the ad was closing, I turned to the Better Half and said "Holy crap, was that Gwyneth Paltrow?" Thanks to the magic of DVR, I can confirm that it was Gwyneth Paltrow, erumpent country star.

Before I proceed, let me make clear that I am not making fun of country music. While it's not my favorite music in the world, there are some songs and artists I enjoy. The whole Dixie Chicks brouhaha was unfortunate, but in general I don't have a beef with the twangy side of the dial.

In fact, I'm a wee bit offended on country's behalf. To digress, there are a variety of jobs I know I will never hold. Supreme Court justice, for example. Starting forward on a professional basketball team. (I don't even know what a starting forward does.) The next James Bond. You get the idea.

To that list, you may add "rap star." I have a perfect combination of lily whiteness ("Jewish on one side" seems unhelpful, at best, in this particular instance), lack of appreciation for the form and an abiding dearth of talent for same. Rap fans the world over would recognize me as wholly deficient in legitimacy when it comes to their music of choice.

And so it is with Gwyneth Paltrow. Few women seem less country that Gwyneth Paltrow. She went to Spence. She used to be besties with Madonna. And she is the creator of the world's most pretentious website, perhaps of all time. She makes Jessica Simpson look like Loretta Lynn.

I know this is all probably just publicity for her new film role, but the CMA ad certainly seemed to be selling her performance as some kind of country debut. I don't expect her to spend a decade laboring on a failing sorghum farm, but isn't Gwyneth Paltrow clearly foreign to the ethos of country music? Am I wrong in finding this blatant co-opting preposterous?

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