As all you hungry people know, stuck in line at the Corporate Supermarket, we are only allowed to peruse gossip magazines at the cash register line these days. No more LIFE. Mo more crossword puzzles. News? You must be joking. There’s not even a gardening digest on my local racks anymore.
The only title at my checkout are the Star, the Enquirer, the Globe, and whatever else that anthrax-plagued Floridian publisher is disemboweling every week. They all push the exact same content, give or take a random diet tip.
The back and front end of Celebrity Consumerism has revolutionized my grocery shopping.
On the receiving end, as with music, clothes, and breakfast cereals, I get miniscule choices of content with an ever-titillating array of marketing positions. That’s the the bottom line: a choice between: this crap!— or that crap! It’s not lucrative enough to publish and promote a variety of cultural/news interests. Global-minded publishers are not going to endure the pathetic small margins they enjoyed in the past. That’s not enough to rule the world, and Rupert Murdoch has proved that there’s not much gain in anything else.
Now, on the celebrity end, any “star” with enough money or sense to stay out of the tabloids, DOES. There is no secret to discretion: you pay for it and you relish it. Sure, sometimes you catch a frumpified Hollywood actress on camera as she bends over and reveals some cellulite— but note!— she has a movie coming out! If she didn’t have a movie coming out, she could walk bare ass and botox-free down Sunset Blvd., and no one would raise a lens.
Now, every once in a while, a celebrity does something so over the top, that it appears on a police blotter. That’s the one time I will not accuse them of publicity-mongering. How about Phil Spector gunning down that nightclub hostess, for example? Here's a major force in popular music committing murder... and look at how little we know about it. It’s masterful PR— the bare minimum has been expressed. We can hardly remember the incident occurred. No, Tara Reid and Paris Hilton just flashed their boxes again at some nightclub desperate for a caption!
The “scandals” we see are vividly orchestrated, and even when they are embarrassing to the subjects, the shame of their Broken Heart/Fat Butt/Jello-Shot-Swilling lifestyle is nothing more than a selling point to promote their career, or the ambitions of the sycophants surrounding them. In worse circumstances, their “storyline” is a ploy to cover up something much more catastrophic.
You’ve heard the old publicist saw? — If you read about a “drinking problem,” it’s really narcotics. If you read about pills, they’re shooting up. If you read about mainlining heroin... well, there’s been an arrest, and no one paid off the cops or the coroner.
I think everyone has tabloid suspicions, that it’s all baloney, but sometimes you wonder how to tell between the veracity and the mendacity. After all, didn’t the Enquirer break some of the true sleazy details of the Clinton sex scandal? Well, they didn’t call Kenneth Starr the Leakmaster for nothing. And Monica needed to pay those legal bills with something besides handbags.
I lived, as an adolescent, in the Hollywood colony, and I baby-sat for some of this crowd, “the industry people.” I partied with their teenage offspring. I frequently took note that the serious shit was completely hidden. Whatever you saw in print, was the opposite in real life. The celebrities’ children suffered the secrecy and the abuse of their parents’ grime machine more than anyone.
But despite my sordid history, I don’t know "Jad" or "Bren" or anyone in their families. No, my rant is pure speculation based on what I consider to be the immutable laws of celebrity gravity— and gravy.
I remember when the Rock Hudson/AIDS expose flattened the earth, I thought, “Wow, this is a rare glimpse.”
People thought Hudson was an anomaly, but his life was the norm— that is to say, his sexuality was at odds with his screen persona. He kept up a beautiful front.
As a successful entertainer, pretense is life, illusion is your career. You cover up your
kink/tantrums/drugs/diseases with a photogenic face, because that is The Celebrity Way. Unless there’s an arrest— violence, exploitation, and physical intimidation is simply your family’s way of life.
This is why I feel free to bet, with cynical confidence, that Brad and Jen are NOT breaking up over Angelina Jolie. Nor are they separating because Jennifer is a vain bitch who refuses to have a baby even while Brad begged her for female quintuplets. HA!
Gossip Rule #2: the more the scandal emphasizes heterosexuality, the queerer the truth is. No one had more heterosexual gossip coverage than Rock Hudson. Cary Grant. Robert Mitchum. Everyone, please wake up.
Let me present what I consider a much more plausible story line (with thanks to Kenneth Anger, who wrote the book on this sort of thing):
In my analysis, Brad has always been bisexual, and Jen has loved gay men for as long as she can remember. When you're a fag hag or a dyke daddy, the best you can shoot for is a nice bisexual arrangement, and hope that you meet someone who is situated right down the middle of the Kinsey scale.
Or, you look for someone with whom you share domestic and family values, while you have pursue your naughty affairs offsite. You seek a sympathetic arrangement. Many celebrities find it.
But times and opportunities change. Think of Cole Porter, or better yet, go see the movie. Brad’s had a year around the world on his own, no doubt encountering sexual/intimate enlightenment. He’s 40. He can’t bring himself to go back to the Dutiful Husband gig anymore. Meanwhile, Jennifer can’t carry on being anorexic and sexless when she doesn’t have her husband’s romantic and platonic support. She needs him proximate to keep her chin up.
But BraddieBoy is bowing out; he’s distracted by the fireworks he’s discovered elsewhere, and the sinking feeling that at middle age, it’s his last chance.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted children, but what a deluded fantasy on both their parts. This is a girl who hasn’t talked to her mother in years— although maybe they’re having a chat right about now. Aniston was once a lonely zaftig young woman, who was estranged from both mom and dad, at different times, since toddlerhood. She lost a tremendous amount of weight, and any clinician can tell you what that did to her libido. Bye-bye! God knows when the last time was she menstruated.... I’m not being mean, this is just what fasting and bizarre dieting does to you. This is why every would-be Hollywood mommy is seeing a fertility specialist. Their diets are ruining their wombs, not to mention their orgasms. What an tragic deception.
In my world, the headlines read:
Brad Dumps Jen for Gay Life in Europe!
They’ll Always Be Friends Because They Always Were... Friends
Jennifer— So Hungry for Calories and Nurturing She Could Just Die!
I want to cook for that little Jennie, and wrap her up in a big blankie and let her suck her thumb for a while. Brad’s a selfish guy, breaking their pact, but what else is new? Jen was raised by narcissists, so that’s what she’s trained for. If Mr. Pitt was selfish, sex-driven, but also smart and courageous, he would come out. But he’s no Ian McKellen, either as an actor or as a proud sexual liberationist. More’s the pity!
You heard it here first, from Hedda-Sue, Hair Hopper to the Stars!