Brangelina, the Infliction Economy, and Fly Fishing Graft

 Brangelina, the Infliction Economy, and Fly Fishing Graft

Dear Matt,

What do you think of the news that Brangelina is no longer? Also, completely unrelated, how might you suggest a news website increase its traffic and social media impressions?

Michael W.

I’m only human, so Darbi, of course, I was left hollowed out and broken by the devastating news last week. Not by report of the terrorist attacks in New York and Minnesota, or of the Charlotte race riots, or the largest data theft in U.S. history—500 million Yahoo users, of which I am one, seeing their info compromised by mercenary hackers. (Full disclosure: Yes, I am a sad person who still uses Yahoo Mail. Which I hope crashed on the hackers as often as it does on me.) Like most Americans, I have become entirely accustomed to current-events calamities since they seem never to stop. Instead, I now take my victories and defeats vicariously through celebrities. So what rocked me was the word of the conscious uncoupling of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, i.e., Brangelina, the most instantly recognizable celebrity portmanteau since “Frill” (Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol.)



I’ve not yet decided whether to throw in with Team Brad or Team Angelina —that will require lots of thoughtful prayers. Plus, I’m still waiting for all the facts from my points bible (In Touch magazine.) Oh, I might feel a little more naturally sorry for Brad since Angelina will be just fine in the re-coupling department, but how will that ugly mug ever find a woman again? Though I’m sure that time will heal all wounds as both A-listers get back to doing what they do best: for Brad, smoking weed and nailing co-stars; for Angelina, getting inked with questionable body art, collecting children from developing countries like a cat lady hoarder, and not eating. (Brad may no longer give Angelina what she wants, but what the skeletal star seems to need most immediately is a bag of cheeseburgers with all the fixings.)

With online rumor mills ruminating over what caused Jolie to file for divorce (speculation has ranged from Pitt having an affair with co-star Marion Cotillard—which she’s adamantly denied—to a drunk Pitt allegedly roughing up one of their children during a fight with Jolie on their private plane), all the background leakage seems curiously managed by Jolie “intimates.” You’ll forgive my skepticism, but I’m old enough to remember Jolie before she became a revered feminist icon and St. Angelina of the U.N. Refugee Agency. I recall when the pillow-lipped star was still knocking around with Billy Bob Thornton, wearing vials full of her beloved’s blood, making out with her brother at awards shows, collecting spears and battle axes and other weaponry while explaining her cutting habit (“You’re young, you’re crazy, you’re in bed, and you’ve got knives. So shit happens.”). All the while, she vowed that her love for Billy Bob would last “forever.” Though forever ended by 2002, after just two years of marriage. Jolie sells the Audrey Hepburn/Mother Teresa/Susan B. Anthony acts pretty hard these days, but lest we forget, she put the “crazy” in “crazy love.”

Dennis Bailey

Professional beer geek. Alcohol ninja. Social media scholar. Award-winning twitter fanatic. Writer. Basketball fan, mother of 2, audiophile, Saul Bass fan and communicator, collector, connector, creator. Producing at the sweet spot between simplicity and purpose to create strong, lasting and remarkable design. I'm a designer and this is my work.