All right, hearing about it on the radio is one thing, but now that it’s been mentioned on The Daily Show, I’ve got to say something. I am calling shenanigans on the saga of Brad, Jen, and Angelina. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, God bless you. This week I heard on the local variety radio station that people were actually seeing the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” to see if Brad and Angelina were really together. It’s bad enough that people are paying money to view a fake relationship to determine how a real relationship is going. I also hear that people are boycotting the movie in support of Jen, whom Brad dumped in favor of Angelina. At that point, I definitely have to call shenanigans, because this setup makes brilliant business sense.
All three people stand to make way too much money from this tabloid drama. In a little while Brad, Jen and Angelina are going to be settling their differences by flinging benjamins instead of plates at each other and laughing all the way because this situation is faker than the Rock’s burning desire for revenge against Hulk Hogan. Nothing is better for a movie’s business than a boycott. People will go to “Mr. and Mrs Smith” compulsively just so they can be delightfully disgusted by Brad and Angelina’s cavorting, and those who boycott will compulsively see Jen’s next movie out of sympathy for her no matter how bad the movie is. And where will I be? Watching something else, thank God. I’ve got a full first season of “24” in my DVD player and it’s a hell of a series, by the way.
I could shoot my mouth off all day about how it’s disgusting how we as a people focus on these fevered egos with fake relationships and even faker hair-dos and not on the real, readily available people all around us. But when I stop and think about it, this rigamarole does make a certain amount of sense. I can say whatever I want about Brad, Jen, and Angelina, and they either won’t care or wouldn’t be able to sue me for enough to carry out their legal costs. Further more, if I was the type to fawn over celebrities like that, I could develop a kind of relationship with these people pieced together from People magazine pictures and late-night talk show interviews. I could know so much about them, yet I wouldn’t have to worry about them knowing about me, not just the good things, but the failures and foibles that make me human. With real friends and family, we are drawn closer together by knowing each other completely, sharing all emotions, not just the good ones. I find that humility is one of the best emotions people can share with each other. It is an equalizer, a way that two people can tell each other that they occupy the same space in life, warts and all. By definition it’s a sharing emotion.
Then again, life isn’t usually like that. When we see someone do something stupid or contrary our first impulse is to point and laugh or scream like the pod people from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Creating meaningful relationships is often trumped by the need to make ourselves feel big. It’s nothing to feel really bad about, because everybody does it. All I’m saying is, cherish your friends who tolerate you after you screw up, but also cherish them when they screw up. Be nice to them, otherwise you’ll find yourself up at 1am screaming at the TeeVee because Brad and Angelina are on.