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December 05, 2012

Puffy Ego: Yeah, I Don't Think Ashely Judd Is Going to Play Well in Kentucky

@moelane sent this over, and old piece by Josh Trevino, posted at Free Republic. Apparently he spent some time with Ms. Judd on a YouthAIDS trip to Africa.

Some highlights follow.

As I read the Glamour piece, familiar things came back to me: Her need to mention her "perfection." Her relaying of third-party affirmations of her attractiveness and personal integrity. Her desire to make others' suffering about her. Her sly digs at her sister. And of course, her need to tell us all about it.

On religion:

She was prone to making pronouncements about her spirituality. After an interviewer asked her about it, she replied: "Church and religion are SO important to me. The God thing, the Jesus thing, the Buddha thing, so important to me."

On her own capacity to inspire:

My first meeting with her was in the South African Airways lounge in Cape Town. She showed us this photo of her rallying the Cats fans at a Kentucky basketball game. She said, "Have you SEEN this photo? I LOVE this photo. We weren't doing so well, and so I came out at halftime -- even though I was on crutches! -- and rallied the crowd. And they SAY...." -- dramatic pause -- "....that that made the difference in bringing us victory."

More on religion, and how You're Doing It Wrong:

The road to the De Beers mines in Cullinan is a long one, and so there was plenty of time for Ashley Judd, teapot in hand and this time with a cup, to hold forth on the critical issues of the day to the captive audience in her Land Rover. I sat behind her and listened to her monologues on her constipation, her preferences in clothing, and her water temperature preferences:

"You have to drink warm water -- body temperature is best -- because otherwise the cold makes your gut clench up and the body has to expend energy warming it. That's why I never use ice."

No one, including those who understood that this was utter nonsense, contradicted her.

Sidenote: The body does have to expend calories to warm cold water. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with that; it's good to raise one's metabolism.

After all, she also believes in qi energy and the manipulation thereof by healer-acupuncturists. And that's not all she believes in:

"We got this little wood ring....what was the tree called? Anyway, you burn it because, according to African folklore, it wards off evil spirits. Sort of like Native Americans and sage -- which I carry lots of and burn all the time."

And then there was her little amulet around her neck:

"That? That's Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of Montana."

No further explanation was offered. The amulet, by the bye, rested underneath another, cross-shaped one. [Ed. note: as I look up Lakshmi, I see that she is sometimes perceived as the Hindu goddess of money, so in fairness, perhaps I mis-heard that one.]

And then there was her participation in the great moral struggles of the modern era:

"I was so thrilled to meet Bishop Tutu. He has been such a hero to me.... He so inspired me, with his fight against these forces that totally perverted and distorted what spirituality and religion are supposed to mean. I really think that his fight then echoes my fight today in my own country. I've gone and spoken with so many of these Evangelicals and these conservative churches, trying to open their eyes to what faith is supposed to be about." Sigh. "It's so much like Bishop Tutu's struggle."

On egalitarianism:

"I will never fly Virgin again. Last time, Dario and I were in the first-class section, and they seated us where we could hear EVERYTHING going on in the galley. Clink, clink, clink, the whole time. I asked them to stop, and the little motherfuckers gave me such attitude. It was horrible -- my husband saw what was coming, and he reached out to hold my hand, and I bawled all the way from Los Angeles to London."

On her endless capacity to suffer on behalf of others:

Later, emerging from a Catholic-run mental-retardation care facility with some particularly horrific cases of human misery, she leaned over to confide, "My sister could never handle this. Not like I can."

But that suffering has limits, you know:

I asked the YouthAIDS senior person whether maybe Ashley was a bit spoiled, and she told me the story of how Ashley refused to do their first promotional tour to Cambodia unless she was allowed to fly British Airways first class all the way. "That's quite an expense for us as a humanitarian organization....but we ended up having to do it."

The whole thing makes me want to have The Conversation about her sanity. And I didn't even include the demand for a Chinese accupuncturist in the middle of Africa.


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posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

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