I DON’T care about Brad and Angelina’s divorce. I don’t care one bit.

That’s because I don’t care about mindless celebrity gossip. I only care about important things like saving the rhinos and recycling and world peace.

See, I’m a serious, thoughtful, intelligent adult who doesn’t have time for silly celebrity stories and ... OH WHO AM I KIDDING, OF COURSE I CARE, I’VE READ ALL THE REPORTS, I CAN’T STOP READING THE REPORTS, I KNOW ALL ABOUT IT AND I WANT TO KNOW MORE.

And if you’re not lying to yourself, you’ll admit the same.

I woke up to the news of Hollywood’s reigning power couple powering down on Wednesday, and was so shocked I immediately shared it on Facebook.

Yes, even though one in three marriages ends in divorce and even though celebrity couples are twice as likely to “consciously uncouple”, I was shocked.

Why? Because “Brangelina” was an indestructible force, a super-charged loved-up duo with a football team of beautiful children in tow who could surely never be ripped asunder. It was “Brangelina” who started that whole stupid couple naming trend in the first place, after all.

(Also I find it mildly interesting that now love is obviously dead, Hollywood has to find a new king and queen. I mean, who’s it going to be? Mila and Ashton? Please.)

Obviously I’m not the only one: the story dominated discussion on social media this week and was in the top three most read stories on websites around the country for days.

And yet look at the comments sections on any of those stories and you’ll see the familiar “this isn’t news” brigade pooh-poohing it as totally boring and stupid.

“Yawn,” they say.

“Who cares?” or even better: “Who are these people?”, trying to convince us they’ve never heard of two of the biggest stars in the world so that someone will perhaps give them a medal.

These are the same people who sniff “Oh, I don’t watch TV” when you ask them if they saw what happened on Survivor.

“Television? Oh no, we don’t have one. We READ,” they say, smiling patronisingly so you can tell they’re better than you.

The only thing worse than the sanctimonious types who claim not to care about celebrity gossip are the sanctimonious types who tell others they shouldn’t either.

But people’s interest in this story is simple: If Brad and Ange couldn’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Did Brad cheat? Is he addicted to marijuana? Is Angelina actually a witch? Is this all a big publicity stunt for a new film? Admit it, you want to know. Just a teeny bit.

And that’s OK. There’s no use pretending we’re above gossip, that we’re somehow “better than that”. I mean, better than what exactly? We’re not talking about some shameful behaviour, but just natural human curiosity and concern.

We shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty for being interested in the lives of others, it’s what humans are hard-wired to do. We’re highly social animals and when we’re bombarded with the images and voices of celebrities in TV shows and movies and the media, they become a part of our social circle, albeit in a weird, pseudo fashion.

It’s completely natural to be interested in celebrities’ careers, their relationships, their divorces, their real estate purchases, their children - as it is to be interested in those of our friends and family.

I draw the line at Mila and Ashton though. I mean, seriously.


First published in The Advertiser on September 23, 2016. CLICK HERE to read the original article.