As another celebrity marriage ‘bites the dust’, hundreds of schools were disrupted by industrial action this Wednesday. While the erosion of working conditions and pay may have demoralized educationalists, it is the thought of the ‘golden couple’ no longer being together that has really galvanized the National Union of Teachers (NUT). Striking staff have demanded that the Department for Education give assurances that Chris Martin will still continue to create ‘insipid ballads’ and that Gwyneth Paltrow will prolong her ‘patronizing lifestyle advice to the muggles’.
Often seen as the perfect ‘husband and wife combo’, Martin(37)/Paltrow(41) provided an inspiration to thousands of scrawny artists in need of a good wash and some home cooking. In turn, their caring centre-left vision of how a humble multi-millionaire should live found a resonance with the same challenges facing an NQT on a 60 hour week and £20k a year. As one teacher explained: ‘I’ve been coping fairly well with these arbitrary curriculum changes, but imagining Chris and Gwyneth apart is too much to bear! I’m struggling to get out bed on the weekend and mark two hundred essays – it’s almost as if a light has been extinguished. A rather smug, some would say skinny couple of lights…that had never actually done a real job in their lives’.
The parallels between the Hollywood couple and militant teachers is uncanny; while one group battles ‘the forces of darkness’, the other does kabuki-themed yoga with Madonna, a nose flute and a large bowl of lentils. Mr. Martin found fame in 2000 with his iconic ode to a dehydrated urinary stream ‘Yellow’, while Ms. Paltrow is renowned for her reprising her role as bland, fawning, blonde girl in twenty eight sequels to the Iron Man franchise.
Ultimately it is the schoolchildren who are left to suffer, wandering the streets in search of education, easy-listening pop and the true meaning of ‘Sliding Doors’. Members of the NUT have vowed to win concessions; including ‘alternate weekends with the divorcees’, ‘a fair division of the remaining members of Coldplay’ and a cast iron guarantee that ‘Brangelina will never split’. In a blog post titled ‘Conscious Uncoupling’, Martin/Paltrow explained: ‘After ten years of marriage you begin to realize something is going wrong…in the same way after 10 minutes of any Michael Gove initiative you know the s@$t has hit the fan.’