Culture

What We Learned From Pop Culture This Week: Belieber Edition

Culture

What We Learned From Pop Culture This Week: Belieber Edition

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How is everyone this week? A little emotionally frayed? Eager to get back into a routine of comforting pop culture fluff which doesn’t so heavily rely on political jokes that you’re not sure you fully understand? Don’t worry, so is everyone. After all the dust settled on the squawking, brutal chicken fight that was the presidential election, we were finally able to get back to what really mattered — caring deeply about the lives of celebrities and whatever new song or movie is being released this week. And Hollywood didn’t disappoint, giving us a week so turbulent and upsetting, I almost considered acknowledging my own family again — but then I remembered, no, they are fat.

Right out of the gate, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez broke up , though some news outlets are reporting that they’re already back together. (Given the question marks littering the “reunited already” articles, though, it’s probably a safe bet that the news desk was just running a little slow and Bieber and Gomez being within a ten-mile radius of one another was enough to justify “speculation” and get more of that precious, precious traffic off of their names.) In any case, at least for the time being, it’s safe to say that the golden couple of young love (a couple which, at least when compared to most of the crumbling psyches and substance-abused bodies of other child stars, seems relatively well-adjusted) are no longer together. The breakup is being touted as a shining example of maturity and respect, though I could imagine the PR machine that exists around these two like a haunted cloud of shame-fearing ancestors wouldn’t want “He repeatedly called her face ‘strangely smushed-up’ and she hit him with a shoe during a particularly zesty cocaine bender” to be the first thing Us Weekly prints. We’ll probably never know the story for sure, but given that they’re, like, 12, I’m not sure there’s all that much to know.

 

On a lighter note, sincerity junkies everywhere can rejoice as Lincoln enjoyed a limited release (soon to be followed by a nationwide release), one of the two-ish movies Daniel Day-Lewis has deigned to do since the mid-1950s. Everyone can now look forward to a veritable tsunami of interviews and promotional essays in which we get to hear about out exactly how DDL “creates” his character, using language more self-important than a surgeon doing free, lifesaving procedures on impoverished children has ever even heard of. We will all get to intimately “know” his “craft” once more, and how truly lucky we are. For people who are equally into drama but like it with more than a dollop of cheese and musical numbers, the Les Miserables trailer will have to tide you over for now. Full disclosure: I shed more than one stoic tear while watching this trailer for the first time, but that does not mean my heart will ever fully mend itself from the Anne Hathaway casting choice.

 

Over on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from anything that will be a shoe-in for the Oscar race or possibly go down as one of the greatest musical adaptations of all time, Breaking Dawn is coming out tonight. For the last time, everyone (including its own cast) can give their obligatory soundbite about how poorly-written and misogynist this clusterfuck of a series is, before turning our saber-toothed pens over to something more worthy, like the inevitable 50 Shades of Grey movie.

 

We also have the new Chris Brown/Rihanna duet that was just leaked, which, despite not even being the first song they’ve done together since their infamous domestic abuse incident, has already shaken into action the yawning, insatiable behemoth that is the Let’s Speculate About Their Relationship monster. No matter how many other men in Hollywood have either been accused or convicted of domestic violence (et tu, Sean Penn, et tu?), this relationship alone will be the one we continue to drive into the ground with commentary until one or both of the involved parties is given the sweet, cold reprieve of death. I, for one, greatly look forward to the 60-page comment section debate on Jezebel that is guaranteed to ensue the second they get a whiff of this couple being once again back in the studio and, dare we irresponsibly imply, back in each other’s hearts.

 

And in news that is almost too exhausting to even discuss, Lindsay Lohan’s anal polyp of a father has a half-daughter, and he went on some sketchy talk show no one has ever heard of to discuss the results of the paternity test, as one does. While, at this point, discussing anything strange/awful/clearly a publicity stunt that happens in LL’s life is like kicking a dog when it’s down, one almost wants to lend a little significance to the discovery that a family has a new, previously unknown member. A sister, a daughter — all of these things are very real, and in anything resembling a normal circumstance, would be a time for real reflection and understanding. But then you remember that all of this intensely complex family business was handled on a bottom-of-the-barrel talk show and farmed out to the highest bidder to make another cheap dollar and second of notoriety, and you feel gross even acknowledging it happened. I hope this family gets better, but I hope it in the same way I hope that the Westboro Baptist Church is going to come out one day and announce that they’re actually working for the Democratic party by steering even the most bigoted Republicans away from their insane agenda. It would be nice, but it’s probably not going to happen.