Ever since politics became a form of pop culture entertainment, I have nearly lost sight of what used to be pop culture–you know, the world of vacuous entertainers and movie stars. So, this week, let’s take a look at something other than tweetstorms and fake news. Let’s examine some really serious stuff, like the breakup of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.
Every morning as I eat my cereal and almond milk (I hate myself for being so trendy), I peruse one of my favorite apps–Apple News. Yes, I dutifully take a look at world news and so desperately hope I have clicked on my entertainment section instead. Once I realize I have not done this, I quickly move to the section labeled “Entertainment” and settle down for some real news. And it seems that this week (which will be “last week” by the time you read this) the news is obsessed with the dissolution of the “perfect” eight-year marriage between Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. As the piece from USA Today that I read informs us, “The Internet took it hard when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split up. When Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow decided to ‘consciously uncouple,’ hearts were broken. But no one saw this coming. Hollywood super couple Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced late Sunday they’re calling it quits after eight years of marriage.” Before long distraught people with nothing better to do sent out their condolences with tweets like #LoveisDead. And the most urgent question seemed to be “If your favorite Hollywood couple’s marriage doesn’t last, then what’s the point of love?” Never mind that North Korea is threatening to destroy Guam or even Alaska. Life as we know it has already ended with this unthinkable breakup. I have created a folder in my Evernote app called “Who Cares?” for this kind of thing, and I am ready on the verge of running out of space.
While you mourn the death of love, let’s turn our attention to another interesting-yet-meaningless tidbit. According to yet another article from USA Today, infamous dog whisperer Cesar Millan is partnering with Audible to create a new service called Audible for Dogs (my cats are already filing for discrimination). Yes, it’s true–your dog can now become a bibliophile and should lead a happier life after listening to literary works. Audible lists a Hartpury College study conducted in 2015 that “showed that listening to audiobooks rather than music reduced stress in animals” (including cats, perhaps?). Millan’s Dog Psychology Center (yes, it exists) has found that “76% of dog owners who played audiobooks for their dogs reported an increase in calm, relaxed behavior in their pets over a four-week period.” Wonder what happens during the fifth week? Needless to say, Audible has created a web page specifically for this new books-for-dogs project. Books listed on this page include “The Art Of Racing In The Rain,” “A Dog’s Purpose,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “A Journey To The Center Of The Earth,” “Winnie-the-Pooh,” and of course a selection of Milan’s own book like “Cesar Millan’s Short Guide To A Happy Dog,” and “How To Raise The Perfect Dog.” Conspicuously missing from this list are titles like Stephen King’s “Pet Semetary” and “Cujo.”
You can always depend on DailyMail to keep you up-to-date with really important news like “Naomi Watts flashes her mega-watt smile in saucy red heels in NYC.” We learn by reading this breaking news column that Naomi “looked chic in a white dress, matching shades, patent leather red heels, and a matching Fendi clutch selected by stylist Jeanann Williams.” We can all feel more safe and secure knowing that Naomi Watts is so fashion conscious, can’t we? And we will feel even more secure after we learn that “Megan Fox dons sky-high wedges for lunch with Brian Austin Green.” My favorite need-to-know flash, however, comes from (you guessed it) People magazine. Can you believe that “after her morning workout, Jennifer Lopez looks both ways before crossing the street on Tuesday in New York City”? If you have any doubts, a photo accompanied this revelation. What’s next? “Taylor Swift was spotted putting one foot in front of the other as she walked down the street in Des Moines, Iowa.” Photo included.
Do we have time for one more item? This one comes from my favorite subscription service, “Texture,” which offers a selection of magazines I try to read (i.e. skim) each week. Just to keep up appearances, i include “The New Yorker,” “Atlantic,” and “National Geographic” in my reading list. But this item comes from the irresistible “US” magazine. One of the zaniest features is “What’s In My Bag?,” a periodic look inside the purses and bags of celebrities. The August 14th issue features “Sharknado” actress Cassie Scerbo, who empties the contents of her bag for all to see–something that is very well planned, no doubt. After all, would you want to show the real contents of your bag? In a rather mind-numbing expose, Scerbo delights us with confessions like “As a kid, it was all about pink. Now I go opposite and everything is plain black. I was gifted Marshall headphones, which are cool, but I also use the iPhone headphones,” “I take the Wellness Formula supplement from Whole Foods. I’m obsessed with it. I feel like it’s the cure to everything,” and “I have to keep a miniplanner. If I don’t write something down, I won’t remember it. Alerts or reminders set on my phone will not work. I’m so old-school.” Will the knowledge never end? I vote for a regular feature called “Let’s Look Under My Car Seat And See What We Find.” Should be very interesting.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into a welcome side of pop culture. Now we have to be dragged screaming and kicking back into the world of fake news. But first, let’s shed some more tears for Chris and Anna.
See you next week.