Good riddance

The purportedly glamorous but in reality off-putting and creepy couple who have been a curse on the collective consciousness for the last four years, who like a specter you couldn’t escape looked out at you with the same smugly narcissistic yet morose and joyless look every time you walked into a supermarket, who broke up one marriage and formed their own “family” without benefit of matrimony, while self-importantly declaring that they would not marry since homosexual couples can’t (though they didn’t marry when homosexuals could marry in California for several months in 2008, so I guess that wasn’t their real reason), who very publicly had six children in bewilderingly rapid succession, three natural, three by adoption from a carefully chosen mix of non-white countries creating a multiracial designer family, even as, with this rapidly multiplying brood of small children in their home, they kept appearing in an unending string of movies, photo shoots, publicity shots, glossy magazine spreads, and awards dinners, thus sending the message that they had adopted three children from the other side of the world in order to leave them in the charge of nannies—who probably also came from the other side of the world—while they pursued their star careers. This relentlessly in-our-faces couple, who turned their “family” into a post-modernist assertion of the alienated and entitled ego, and who were never criticized by our sick culture for any of this, only gawked at and celebrated, is finally breaking up. Here’s coverage from News of the World and The New York Daily News,

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Ben W., who sent the item, writes:

Subject: Apocalypse of Liberalism

First Massachusetts, now Brangelina. It’s all over.

LA replies:

Kyle Smith in today’s NY Post had a column entitled, “The Best. Week. Ever.” He went through the various liberal defeats. You’re right. The breakup of Brangelina fits the current pattern of liberal idols crashing all around us. He should have included it.

Kristor writes:

This is what happens in real lives when they are used to implement the uber-gnostic ethics of Hollywood. Things fall apart; the center does not hold, because Hollywood recks no center. Brangelina were playing gnostic pretend on a scale inconceivable to most couples, erecting a Potemkin village of a family that could not be sustained. Think about it: these two have made a fortune on the profession of pretending, and they carried that over into their real lives.

In human terms, I have to say I feel sorry for Brad. I doubt that very much of this frantic activity was really his idea. He used to seem like a really cheerful guy (this was much of his appeal), but in the last few years he has been looking deeply unhappy, in fact absolutely wrecked, as if he were under constant, unremitting stress. He’s aged 10 years in the last two. And that ridiculous beard! Is it not a repudiation of this whole absurd unreal glamorous situation in which he finds himself? As if the bloody testosterone-soaked hero of Fight Club were trying to get out from deep inside him.

LA replies

I once liked him. He seemed intelligent and interesting. Now I despise him for imposing this narcissistic freak show on us. I would never see one of his movies.

I don’t see the “deeply unhappy, absolutely wrecked” look that you see. In every photo I see the same impossibly smug, “I dig myself so much, I’m better than all of you combined” expression. Though, now that I think about it, in the endless number of magazine covers showing the two of them at some awards dinner or other, dressed formally and standing rather stiffly, he (and of course she) does look grim and unhappy. And you wonder, these people don’t have to go to these dinners. And they do have six children at home. If they dislike these dinners, why do they go to so many of them? To get away from their kids?

Kristor writes:

Oh, he always seemed happy with himself, to be sure; and that smugness is not gone, I guess. But lately he’s been grim, angry, humorless, with an increasingly bitter expression about the eyes. I have been thinking more and more, with every visit to Safeway, “Jeez, Brad looks like s**t. I bet they are headed for a crackup.” And I got this from just glancing at the magazines (I can never look at the covers for more than a second anymore; the whole show is so pathetic and stupid).

Kristor continues:

But it seems to me—I know nothing, of course, I just surmise from what I know of the two of them from what I have seen onscreen—that this narcissistic freak show has been imposed on him, too. Before he got involved with Angie, he was not apparently the sort of man who goes about thinking, “I want six kids, some not my own.” Before he got with her, he was a blithe spirit. She was not. She was always grimly determined; beautiful and damned, was the visceral feel of her. I think Brad got sucked in.

How pathetic is it that I—I, the guy who thinks about metaphysics while he drifts off to sleep—know this much about these two? Honestly, what is wrong with me, for crying out loud?

LA replies:

Hey, no one forced him to do anything. He was a full partner in the freak show.

Kristor replies:

Granted. Totally granted. He could have put his foot down at any time and said, “no way.” But he didn’t, and now he pays for it.

LA writes:

And her—what’s going on with her? I got it. She has the same spirit as Obama and the Democrats. Like them, she’s not connected to anything real, all she has is her will, which she keeps asserting against reality—the Obamacrats, to achieve this horrible health care bill no matter what, no matter how much it’s frightening and angering the whole country, because they’ve convinced themselves that it will be the greatest political achievement in history; and she, to keep expanding her unnatural “family” while simultaneously appearing on every magazine cover in the universe because she sees herself as the ultimate Hollywood star, but she has nothing truly star-like about her, as she shows not an ounce of charm, not an ounce of enjoyment in life, but instead is broodingly absorbed in her own negativity. I see a trio of gnostic icons here,—the liquid metal assassin in Terminator 2, the Obama Democrats, and Angelina Jolie—all expressing the same truth about modern liberalism, the remorseless drive of the alienated self to impose its will on the world.

Then what about Pitt? How does he fit into the picture? He’s a Blue Dog Democrat. He went along with her projects, he was on the team, but he wasn’t a true believer as she was, and at a certain point the cost of the gnostic rebellion got too high and he bailed out.

John M. writes:

I feel sorry for the children. Even though their parents were not married, having your natural parents split is a horrible thing to bear; I know this being the son of divorced parents. And now their children will grow up thinking divorce/breaking up is just a way of life, and thus the cycle of broken families will continue into the next generation. Brangelina is a symbol of how degenerate white America has become, and sadly I don’t see this fall as a repudiation of the liberal worldview, but more of a triumph of those who want traditional society to be destroyed for good. I was hoping that at least Brad and Angelina would get married and try to raise their family seriously; make the some good out of the evil. But that chance is gone now, and so it’s Mission Accomplished for the enemy.

LA replies:

I don’t see how there was any realistic hope that this celebrity freak show cum family would end well, any more than that if Obamacare were passed it would turn out to be a great piece of legislation.

January 25

Richard S. writes:

I have to tell you that I have a sister who embodies pure willfulness and it is the most evil thing in the world to deal with. That is why I was so struck by your spot-on assessment of Angelina Jolie as “pure will.” Once experienced, pure will can never be overcome, not really.

LA replies:

Very interesting—do you want me to post this?

Also, you wrote:

“Once experienced, pure will can never be overcome, not really.”

Do you mean that once the individual has the experience of his own pure will, he can never give it up? Or that other people cannot stop that person?

Richard S. replies:

Yes, please post my comment. What I meant when I said that it “can never be overcome” is that a purely willful person wounds those who have to deal with him/her in ways that can never be overcome, the wound that is.

The only way I can put it is this: there is a malevolence in the purely willful that is as close to the devil come to earth in human experience. I doubt Brad Pitt, a quite ordinary guy when you get past his looks, will ever recover from Angelina’s arrows. Not that he won’t go on functioning. But he’ll never be the same, never again be remotely carefree.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 24, 2010 08:30 PM | Send

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