the national interest

Ryan Gosling Actually History’s Greatest Monster

Actor Ryan Gosling sighting on the set of the movie 'All Good Things' in midtown Manhattan on June 25, 2008 in New York City.
What have you done? Photo: Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic

Yesterday, Ryan Gosling grabbed a woman before she could wander out in the street and be hit by a car. At first it seemed like he was a hero. It is now starting to look like the worst thing Gosling has done since “Young Hercules.”

The woman he saved, Laurie Penny, turns out to be one of those leftie-types who is so sanctimonious they make you want to vote Republican out of sheer spite. She objects to “being framed as the ditzy damsel in distress in this story.” Then don’t wander out into busy streets! Bernie Madoff probably objects to being framed as a Shylock figure. That could have been avoided by not swindling people.

Penny has actually taken to Gawker to scold the world for caring about the fact that Gosling saved her from likely death:

Americans are very strange. They can and do hyperventilate about the most everyday happenings as if they are the most important thing in the world, and then they act completely normal when public conversations are had about war on Iran and war on women’s bodies and when Rick Santorum is considered a serious presidential candidate. The real heroes I’ve met in America are risking everything to make sure that the United States doesn’t slide further into bigotry, inequality and violence whilst everyone is distracted by the everyday doings of celebrities.

In other words, the real heroes are people like Laurie Penny, who only wandered into the street because she “was thinking about an article I’m writing about birth control and the importance of reproductive freedom to women’s rights, and I didn’t remember to look the right way.” Penny is consumed with Real Issues. So consumed she cannot look before walking into the street.

And she believes we all should be likewise consumed. No stories about celebrities saving people from speeding cars, at least not until we have conquered racism, inequality and violence! Of course, if we follow this strict logic of moral utility to its conclusion, maybe we should be scolding Gosling for saving Laurie Penny rather than shoving her in front of the car, harvesting her organs and donating them to terminally ill children in Bangladesh.

Ryan Gosling Actually History’s Greatest Monster