Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Big D

I Wish the Best for You - Emerson Hart (mp3)
How to Survive - Lori McKenna (mp3)

Celebrities obviously didn't become famous for being intelligent. Not a damn one of them. Don't wanna go marching down an already-tromped trail, so no need to wax about our culture's freakish obsession with their lives and our even freakier desire to be one of them, lust for fame at whatever cost.

Although I've only read Slate's take on it, I can't deny a morbid fascination with the Christie Brinkley divorce. Even more than the predictable R Kelly acquittal, this courtroom drama of irreconcilable differences to the power of google is a real head-scratcher.

First, the pathetic stereotypes. The husband is the horniest bastard on the planet. Except for, that is, all the other males. As for Christie Brinkley, the very same woman who made horny bastards all over the planet envy Chevy Chase for 20 minutes in Vacation, she's the nun-like woman scorned, somehow capable of marrying the Horniest Bastard on the Planet, having two children by him, and never realizing that he was spending more than I earn every year on porn and God only knows what else, either hookers or more Vaseline than you can fit in a large master bathroom.

But here's the kicker. This woman has been in the spotlight so long, the heat from those lamps have burned what few brain cells she ever possessed in the first place. She insisted -- no, fought tooth and nail -- for the right to have her circus drama unfold in the public eye. Let me repeat: She wanted us to gawk at their mutant marriage. Her sole motivation? Anger. The desire to reveal her future ex as The Horniest Bastard on the Planet.

Christie claims she wanted it going public "for the kids." Yes, I'm sure your children will be forever grateful that you have shown that half your DNA comes from a scuzzbucket. Everytime they're mocked at school for having such insane parents, they'll be like, "Ohhhh thank you Mom! We're sooo popular!" Fortunately, she's probably so vapid she won't ever realize this. Besides, they can afford therapy for the kids, so what's the big deal?

I reckon she got what she wanted. Ironically, if any sane person believes Christie's ex is going to struggle to find 50 women hotter than Christie Brinkley willing to give him a chance -- or at least a job -- you might as well check yourself into the same anger management psychiatric ward that Christie needs. Here are the stereotypes romping around in the current story:
  • Man = Horny Bastard
  • Woman = Clueless, sexless, vengeful and full of wrath beyond reason
  • Supermodel = stupid and clueless, marries rich man for the money
  • Rich Men = marry trophy women for the cute family portrait over the mantle, then screw every other supermodel (and waitress, and sometimes hooker) they can get their sweaty palms on 
  • Other Women = Totally willing to screw around with a rich man they know is a Horny Bastard
  • Media = Sharks in shock for being invited to a bloodbath
  • Americans = Tourists staring into the aquarium to watch it with perverted envious glee -- it's a lot cheaper than online porn, and those rich celebrities deserve to be miserable, 'cuz it's karma!
It's no coincidence that Maureen Dowd's weekend column, "An Ideal Husband," was an instant hit. Lots of us -- even folks who don't care about celebrities -- find ourselves wondering what the hell these people are doing getting married. And not just Christie, but other people we know. We see 'em, and we think, They'll never make it, not in a million years.

And we're right. They don't make it. Usually not even for three years, much less a decade. But people keep doin' it. Getting married to the wrong people. And not, like, slightly wrong. We're talkin' totally, completely wrong. Your own personal Anti-Spouse is wearing a ring with your initials in it, and you wake up every morning staring the person in the face, wanting to throw up all over them like some Linda Blair in The Exorcist punishment.

(DISCLAIMER: To my friends who have been through the meat grinder of divorce (and there's more than a few of you out there), please forgive, because I'm not trying to reference you and your shitty marriages in this. I'm trying to speak more generally. Your marriages ended for unique and nuanced reasons, and I've only once said aloud to someone, prior to a wedding, "They'll never make it," and they were hardly friends. Most of your marriages didn't get shitty until sometime later.)

(SECOND DISCLAIMER: Sorry I called your marriages shitty. 'Twas a pathetic attempt at humor. But they were kinda shitty...)

And another thing. How the hell can a celibate Catholic priest understand so pristinely what more than half of us marrying types don't understand one whit? Meanwhile, the preacher who conducted the premarital counseling sessions required by North Carolina law gave Jenni and me only one piece of memorable advice in four hours' worth of meetings:

HIM: If you wake up, and your wife is in the kitchen cooking you breakfast, and maybe y'all didn't have a great night the night before, or maybe y'all had a little fight, or maybe you can just sense she's a little down that morning, or maybe you're not feeling very happy. You know what I like to do at times like this? I like to go over to my wife, and I just peench her boob.

ME: You wha?

HIM: Peench a boob. Just go up and give it a tweak. Always makes the day a little brighter. 
I said it was memorable advice, not wise advice. And no, I'm not making that up. Sometimes I think it's a miracle that even 50% of marriages survive.

"I Wish the Best for You" is from Emerson Hart's solo album, his first after the demise of Tonic, Cigarettes and Gasoline. "How to Survive" is off Lori McKenna's unbelievable Favorite Album of 2007, Unglamorous.


Bob said...

So where is your boob-pinching preacher from? Jamaica? Mexico? I can't quite get the accent.

It sounds like Jenni was in the room, too. What did she say?

Billy said...

Actually, I think anyone who pronounces it "peench" is generally from somewhere where they call them "Veye-eeena" Sausages.

And no, we had three group sessions and one individual session with him, so this was part of his personal husband-to-husband advice.

Daytimerush said...

It must have been husband-to-husband advice, cause he's clueless. I don't know one woman that would think that a boob-tweaking after a fight would make the day a little brighter. It would make my husband's nose a little bloodier!

jbradburn said...

Most Hollywood marriages are doomed from the start because those in this career are, in my humble opinion - incredibly self-centered.

Unless you've met that one person who shares all of your interests - marriage is about compromise - or at least living w/ the compromises of not compromising.

I would also tell you that I think that hardships and sacrifices - if they don't break a marriage - make it stronger.

And that's part of the problem w/the Hollywood marriages - what kind of hardships are they going to face? When they face them - what's important to them? I mean does anyone think that Angelina and Brad will still be together in 5 more years? When they have a fight and decide they've had it, what exactly are the consequences of them breaking up? It doesn't help their likelihood for success that they both can find another person in less time than it takes me to write this either.

jennifer said...

My friend says "peench". Her parents are Okies. It is like fingernails on the chalkboard to me.