Paltrow’s ‘war’ comment vexes Asperger’s community

Gwyneth Paltrow war remark controversy

Wikimedia Commons / Andrea Raffin

LITERAL, Ohio — Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is in hot water again, this time for using a figure of speech the nation’s nine million Asperger’s sufferers say crosses the line.

“What line?” said Christine Gilbert, president of the National Asperger’s Association. “I don’t see a line or hot water.”

Paltrow, the 41-year-old star of “Shakespeare in Love” and the “Iron Man” trilogy, ignited a firestorm of controversy recently when she said being the target of internet trolls was dehumanizing, like “in war.”

“She didn’t start a fire so don’t say she started a fire,” Gilbert said. “She made people frustrated because she said getting insulted online was like war but that’s false.”

Gilbert went on to explain that war generally involves the mobilization of a military, including troops, weapons, transportation and supplies like tents, canned food, socks, can openers, binoculars, binocular straps, pens, pen holders, extra pens and paper. War is usually waged between at least two countries, although war can occur between two or more groups within the same country, she said.

“Those who insult others online are often at home in front of a computer, or maybe they’re outside but they’re looking at a mobile computing device,” Gilbert said. “And the person who reads the insult is also on a computer, probably at home, so it’s not accurate to compare it to war.”

Paltrow joins former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as among the people most derided by those with Asperger Syndrome. Palin stirred controversy last year when she compared Chinese-held U.S. national debt to slavery.

Editor’s note: Sarah Palin did not actually stir anything, because based on our observations of a video of her Iowa address on November 9, 2013, not a single spoon, spatula or one of those wooden coffee sticks was within her reach. And another thing: the fact of owing money cannot cripple anyone, so we need to stop talking about crippling debt. It makes no sense. Things that can cripple: boulders, rickshaws driven recklessly, charging elephants, falling sofas, collapsing buildings and avalanches.

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