I know. I know. Up is down. Left is right. Super-couple Brangelina is breaking up into mere superstars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. What’s even the point anymore, you know?
But the worst part about all this — and I know you didn’t think there was a “worse” possible, here in this bottomless pit of despair — is that the person who stands to benefit the most from this uncoupling is Donald Trump.
“NEITHER THE TIME OR THE PLACE, CHARLIE,” I hear you say, shaking your head, tears still moistening your itchy red eyes. You’re still in mourning. I get it.
Here’s the problem: As horrible as this development is — there, there, here’s another Kleenex — this story has the potential to dominate the news cycle. Already, CNN’s homepage has given itself almost entirely over to the Jolie-Pitt mitosis. But you know what might have gone there otherwise?
How about Tuesday's article in The Washington Post which found that Trump spent $258,000 in charity money to pay for his personal legal problems? Or recent reporting by The New York Times that Trump directed $25,000 of charity money to the campaign fund of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, with the timing suggesting he did so in order persuade her not to file charges against the beleaguered Trump University?
You need time, of course. You need to go through the stages of grief. You need to watch By The Sea, not because it was great (it wasn’t), but because you need to remember. I get all that.
But it’s also important to remember that there are multiple reports indicating that Trump played fast and loose with charity rules. In a news cycle that is looking increasingly bad for Trump, Brangie's split might save him from the brutal scrutiny he so richly deserves.
And what about Shiloh Nouvel, Vivienne Marcheline, Zahara Marley, Maddox Chivan, Pax Thien, and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt? What will happen to their hyphens? Won’t somebody please think of the children?
You couldn’t be more right. This is precisely the time to be thinking of the children. To be thinking about those six children, and the nearly 74 million other Americans under the age of 18 who won’t be eligible to vote in November to safeguard their own future. To think about the nation that Vivienne and Sahara will grow up in when their president mocks and bullies women. To think about the lives that Zahara, Pax and Maddox will lead as people of color in a country willing to elevate a racist to the White House.
It is dark times, this 2016, to be sure. We’ve lost a lot: Bowie, Prince, Professor Snape, and now… Brangelina. But even in our darkest moments, there is one thing we can’t afford to lose: our dignity.