A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Boo Jolie, Yay Aniston

I'm not one for popular culture, especially television. I couldn't tell you who's winning on Survivor this week or what city The Real World is in this season. Truth is, I don't know and I don't care.

However, people often do fascinate me ... even TV people.

I've kept half an eye on Angelia Jolie's career for years, because I find her interesting. Yes, she's really hot, but it's more than that (Hollywood, after all, is filled with beautiful women). Jolie always struck me as different; agressive, outspoken, and unafraid, not to mention tattooed and into knives. I never thought it was weird that she kept a vial of her lover's blood on a necklace, nor was I ever scandalized by her frank sexual openness. Those things are cool, I like them. Strong, unique women are sexy.

Jennifer Aniston, on the other hand, was someone I cared little for. Once again, yes, she is easy on the eyes ... and once again, so is just about every woman in the entertainment industry. She was always just "the hot one from Friends" - a show I've seen maybe two dozen times, and most of those back in college - and the chick who married Brad Pitt. Other than her recent divorce, I can't think of a single time Aniston has made it onto my radar in the last five years.

But the aforementioned divorce did cause a blip. That's because Jolie was involved, though to what extent I'm leery of hazarding a guess. Did she intentionally pursue Pitt on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Or did she just befriend him while he happened to be falling out of love with Aniston? Knowing Jolie's media face, it's hard not to assume the former; one doubts there is anything accidental about her relationships. There's little evidence to support such a speculation - well, little that isn't purely circumstantial - but it feels correct.

My head tells me no one knows but the three of them. But my gut tells me Jolie saw something she wanted and took it. And I can't help but be dissapointed in that; I believe that loyalty and honesty are among the highest human virtues, and it sucks that someone I'd always crushed on a little has no regard for them. I'm trying hard to reserve judgement because Jolie really might not have done anything wrong ... I guess no one may ever know for sure.

But in any case, GQ has named Jennifer Antiston their "Man of the Year" because "she exhibited a lot of poise, unbelievable amount of grace and good humor this year." It's the first time in a decade that they've so honored a woman, and I think she does deserve it. And for precisely the reason mentioned: Grace and good humor in the face of great personal adversity. Kudos to Miss Aniston.