Celebrating a celebrity

One of the fluffiest puff pieces ever written is floating on page one of today’s Globe and Mail. The focus is Timothy Caulfield, Edmonton author and academic at the University of Alberta. In the first few paragraphs we learn he can’t sleep for fretting about his projects, by day he is pensive, and in the evening he worries about the health and welfare of the world.

Even the professor can’t fully explain why he is so wired, saying, “I can honestly say I don’t know why I care so much.” For a best-selling author, star of a new Netflix show, and someone with a high social media profile he seems possessed with far too little self-knowledge. And what exactly ranks among his riveting concerns? Why, products like those fronted by actress Gwyneth Paltrow such as jade eggs that women put in their vaginas.

As a self-proclaimed debunker Caulfield’s perorations haven’t achieved much. Paltrow is still proselytizing at a great clip. Yet the so-called story continues inside to a two-page spread with two large photos of Caulfield looking pretty happy for a guy who purports to be so grumpy about pseudoscience. We’re told that “Caulfield (really) likes evidence” and how he “works to keep his own assumptions in check” as proof that he’s no skimmer of a skeptic. The writer describes him by saying “his square jaw, heavy framed glasses and glossy curl of hair recall Clark Kent.” Even his tattoo receives a rave review.

Isn’t all of this is a tad too much for someone who does nothing more than sidle into a spotlight already shining on someone else to see if in so doing he can cast at least a small shadow himself? Professor Caulfield, now that you have an audience, would you kindly tackle a cause that’s a little more worthy? Forget about jade eggs, colonics, and vaginal steaming. Even beauty pageant contestants care about world peace.

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