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There are Two Kinds of Divorces in Hollywood: Those We Mourn, and Those We Laugh At

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 26, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 26, 2014 |

There are two kinds of post I really don’t like doing: Celebrity obituaries and celebrity divorces. With obituaries, no matter how you handle them, it feels exploitative, like we want to capitalize on the death of someone for page views. Every publisher on the f**king Internet races to post first because we’re all callous assholes, I guess. I feel stuck between two possibilities: That our readers will accuse us of exploiting death for profit, or that our readers will accuse us of not properly honoring a revered figure. Basically, my position is to try to be as matter of fact as possible about it, and to refrain from milking it with dozens of follow-up posts about cause of death or theories or the amount of drugs in their system. But you gotta know, right, that when Philip Seymour Hoffman died, I was completely devastated, and the last thing I wanted to do was turn that tragedy into a lousy few dollars. That f**ing hurt, and part of my instinct to get a post up marking it was so that I could grieve along with the rest of you.

The other thing I don’t like to write about is a certain kind of Hollywood divorce. I mean, your Will Arnett and Amy Poehler divorce, or your Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson divorce, or the kind we mourn, those are sad, but easy to write about. They usually take on a particular flavor, like “Love is Dead!” or “If these two can’t make it, there’s no hope for the rest of us.” (And I was so unbelieveably bummed about Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson, y’all).

But then there’s the Gwyneth Paltrow divorce. Or Katy Perry and Russell Brand divorcing. Or a Kardashian divorce. One of those divorces that we all feel like are inevitable, and when they arrive, we often laugh at them. That’s our cruel nature, and I’m certainly not immune to it. No one feels bad for Gwyneth Paltrow because we’re too busy mocking her for the pretentious way in which she announced the divorce. Or because many of us think that she’s been sleeping with the guy from Snow Patrol or something. Because ultimately, we’re all assholes. When Danica McKellar divorced, I turned it into a joke, and then I felt terrible about myself.

I mean, I guess it’s OK to be an asshole about the lives of people we don’t know, as long as we can admit as much. But I’m sure beneath the superiority complex, Gwyneth probably has some feelings buried underneath there, and for God’s sake, she’s been with this guy for a decade. They have kids. A history. Gwyneth Paltrow might actually be capable of romantic love. And Chris Martin, for some reason, may have actually loved her. Katie Holmes might have actually loved Tom Cruise at some point and vice versa (OK, maybe not so much the vice versa). One of those Kardashian women might have felt something for those men their publicists hire to marry them. I don’t know.

Divorce sucks, man. And when there are kids involved, it really sucks. It’s devastating. Those children’s lives will never be the same. There will be custody arrangements, and back-and-forth shuttling, and the non-custodial parent is probably going to fade into the background of their child’s’ lives and an entire history together will sink down the drain.

What am I saying here? Am I saying we shouldn’t point and laugh at the failed relationships? No, of course not. It’s in our nature. I’m just saying that, after we point and laugh, we owe it to ourselves to feel a tinge of guilt. Let’s at least experience a modicum of remorse together.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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