Brangelina and the celebrity love story condition

On Sept. 20, the world witnessed the end of a marital union which contributed greatly to the definition of “true love” in pop culture: Brangelina. Looking back at how the tabloids depicted the relationship of both movie-actors, this Hollywood sensational romance had become, for most of us, the embodiment of what a perfect couple looks like; a successful career, generous, living in beautiful properties scattered around the world, very much in love, famous, beautiful physiques, etc. Yet, this modern-day fairytale ended about two weeks ago when Ms. Jolie filed for divorce.

All of us have witnessed the media-frenzy which followed Ms. Jolie’s declaration, and it is quite alarming to contemplate not only at how much coverage it received, but how much engagement there has been in return. Despite the countless appalled tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pics, or even YouTube videos of people crying, enraged, and desperate, I still did not understand why and how people could ever be so angry at a couple which just did not work. Was it the death of our contemporary ideal of love that had managed to survive amid the trashiness of today’s media? Or was it just the impossibility of a “Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2” ever coming out? To me, I do not think both of those are legitimate enough for anyone to be as engaged as people were on such a futile issue. Regardless of the reasons for the divorce, it is saddening to see such a disproportionately passionate answer. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe people need to engage and stand up for what they believe in, who they are, and what they want. Yet, engagement loses its appeal to me when we start asking people, along with our own selves, to classify ourselves as members of the #TeamAngelina, #TeamBrad, or even a #TeamJen.

“There is an endless appetite for trash, apparently”, told Justin Theroux, current husband of Jennifer Aniston, to Business Insider. When we witness every single day the numbness as answers towards the deaths of Afro-American civilians, the daily and everlasting presence of sexism and transphobia, and the biggest attack on Aleppo in Syria six days after the Brangelina breakup news went out, I do still believe that we can do better in trying to decide which information we choose to pay attention to. This break-up, just like Taylor Swift’s and Calvin Harris’s, cannot make us feel infuriated. I believe in anger, but I believe in well-spent anger, and this break-up is merely not a good enough reason for any of us to feel remotely passionate.