george clooney is getting married

so as you may or may not have heard, mr. and mrs. nick clooney are gearing up to go to the engravers because their son, george, is getting hitched to amal alamuddin.

AND WE ARE ALL AMAZED. because he’s been saying for twenty years he’d never marry again. (seriously, the daily mail can milk this for a “george clooney proves scientists were wrong: men CAN change!” headline for years.)


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so this is interesting to maybe only me

it’s from the comments section of a gawker post about the 60 minutes interview with angelina jolie (so… y’know… a direct source)…

That said: I’ve read at least a couple interviews now where Aniston says Brad Pitt did NOT cheat. So are we hating on Jolie forever more because she was ‘next?’ Because she ‘exists’ for Pitt to fall in love with? Are we assuming she ‘led Brad astray,’ and CAUSED him to leave Aniston? According to reports that pre-date Jolie, Aniston and Pitt were not the golden couple their PR managers who hooked them up as Pitt was rebounding from his busted engagement to Gwyneth Paltrow want you to believe. Several months after Pitt officially separated from Aniston, I never heard or saw Angelina hanging in Malibu, smoking doobs with the Cox-Arquettes. I didn’t see Jolie, riding around Beverly Hills on the back of his bike.

What I saw, was Brad Pitt in remote African villages with Diane Sawyer, on the beaches of Kenya playing with Maddox, at Jolie’s UK estate where she lived with her son, promoting ONE with Bono, traveling to Ethiopia with Jolie to adopt HER daughter. I know it pains you to admit, but that shows HE was pursuing HER. He was out to change FOR HER. HE wanted to emulate her, because he admired HER. I know, THAT possible truth, is painful for some women. It’s easier for us to believe some SIREN stole our man against his will, than ADMIT, a man may have walked away due to incompatibility issues, boredom, and/or misery with us. “She stole him,” goes down a LOT better than HE CHOSE HER AFTER LEAVING YOU. Somehow, giving the man free will, and autonomy in deciding what the rest of his life will look like is frightening…


obviously, the whole lover/scorned wife/adulteress thing is not unique to pitt/aniston/jolie. it’s just fisher/reynolds/taylor or burton/fisher/taylor all over again. but what is interesting is that nearly seven years after aniston and pitt’s divorce and the beginning of pitt’s relationship with jolie, the notion of a love triangle is still the driver of the tabloid press coverage for all three.

(admittedly, this is in no way helped by the fact that for the last seven years, they have all of them have made a host of compellingly stupid comments that either directly or cryptically reinforce the connection the tabloids are trying to forge.)

gossip is narrative, not truth. yes, there may be truths within the narrative, but the narrative is the key. that isn’t to say it’s logical or consistent, but rather that editors will, without fail, push the narrative in the direction of the most drama, because that is what sells magazines.

this is really, really hard to remember. even when you have set up camp in the magical realm of celebrity studies, it is still really, really hard to remember.

yesterday, there was an article about how khloe kardashian is doing IVF. i forwarded it to a friend who’s doing research on the role of reality tv in the destigmatization of infertility. she wrote back that kardashian was likely just taking the preliminary step of consulting a fertility doctor.

this blew my mind.

i have set up camp in the magical realm of celebrity studies and yet, still, i assumed the kardashian story was 100% true. i should’ve known better. it was the kardashians, after all, and gossip.

and if we’re going to take gossip as narrative and not truth, that has got to hold across the board.

this is difficult because (a) the pitts and jolies and anistons of the world do press junkets and say provocative things, and (b) their friends and publicists are, in turn, all blabbing to the magazines. nearly all modern celebrities are actively engaged in shaping their own narratives, so there is a veneer of truth. it’s just not the whole truth and it’s couched within a highly subjective version of events.

pitt may very well have left aniston because he was bored and unfulfilled, and then hooked up with jolie later on and that may have been what he was trying to communicate during the moneyball rollout when he wound up producing a string of damningly insensitive soundbites instead. but from a storytelling perspective, that story is très dull.

the magazines are in the business of writing stories. stories that are provocative enough that they’ll be picked up and repeated on the daily beast or CNN, where we will consume them as though they were news and, maybe, one day buy one of the magazines.

the trick is they are not news. they’re just stories. it’s shocking how readily we’ll accept them as truth.


dear brad pitt


hey, let’s chat…


you have been a celebrity for like 30 years. for the last 7, you’ve been a member of the world’s favorite tabloid triangle, the biggest thing to have happened since eddie fisher jilted debbie reynolds and ran off with liz. it has been SEVEN YEARS since you divorced and yet the tabloids still cover it as though it were yesterday. you are the eddie fisher of today. you should know better by now.

but this country’s celebrity industrial complex is infinitely tricky, so i’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. i’m going to assume you maybe didn’t think anyone read parade magazineanymore (a valid assumption- i didn’t know they did either) so that’s why you told them you were “pathetic” during your marriage to jennifer aniston. 

but here’s what i don’t understand. in the last four days, during which this has turned into a shit storm resulting in an aniston-fan fatwa, why the hell have you been trying to correct the record

i’m doubting you’re surrounded by academics who can tell you about the ripple effects of these things but this seems like pretty rudimentary stuff. it should be in your knowledge basket by now. 

you should know that there is no correcting the record. that once you’ve said something it has been said and, despite your best efforts, anything you say subsequently will only serve to make everything go to total shit.

this is elementary. it’s celebrity studies 101. if you contend the tabloids are creating drama that doesn’t exist, it appears that you are trying to conceal a drama that does exist, which will only further fuel the drama that doesn’t exist.

dear brad pitt, you are being an idiot. i realize you’re promoting a film and doing a press tour and you really really want an oscar for this one* but, for the love of us weekly, shut your mouth


*[ps. on the oscar front, lainey’s analysis is brill: “He wants Moneyball SO bad. So bad he even sat down for Moviefone!!! You can watch the full interview here. Put it this way – he’s taking questions from “fans”. Put it this way – this is whatTwilight people do to promote their work. Put it this way – George Clooney isn’t doing Moviefone.”]