Saturday, May 6, 2017

Brad Pitt Is in Therapy

Ever on the lookout for glimpses into the hermetically sealed world of therapy, we chanced upon Brad Pitt’s interview in GQ. Actually, it was not entirely by chance. Jan Moir, in the Daily Mail, found this interview with Angelina Jolie’s ex, a man who, when his marriage collapsed, went scurrying off to therapy to heal his psychic wounds. Like all of us I am seriously indebted to Jan Moir. After all, she also wrote the definitive article about incipient French president Macron’s marriage to his mother.

Moir has seen through the piffle and to understand that Pitt has become a new Charlie McCarthy, a ventriloquist’s doll through which his therapist speaks. We note that Pitt really likes his therapist.

Moir summarizes the case of Brad Pitt and offer some of the blinding insights his therapist has provided:

You see, it’s not that Brad likes smoking pot and drinking too much that caused the end of his marriage. Well, actually it is — but apparently he only spliffs up and boozes on down because he grew up in Missouri where men were men, cowboys were cowboys and no one admitted to having feelings, even if they fell head-first off a bucking bronco or stubbed a toe on the front porch, no siree.

Clearly, this is what his new therapist has told him, along with the updates that he is an ‘emotional retard’ who is ‘running away from his feelings’; a man who ‘won the lottery’ but threw it all away; a fool who chased ‘hollow pursuits’ while self-medicating with ‘pacifiers’ — or cigarettes, as you and I call them.

Astonishing that Pitt is allowed to use the word “retard.” In other contexts such language would send you to the stocks, if not the gallows.

Moir is seriously upset that Pitt’s therapist has been trafficking in sentimental self-pity. Then again, one imagines that sad Brad would have had some serious difficulty accepting that his own dumb choices got him where he is:

You have to wonder why this, no doubt lavishly remunerated, counsellor didn’t just say, listen you 53-year-old, multimillionaire, chronically pampered man-baby, why don’t you try growing up? And instead of feeling sorry for yourself, start taking responsibility for yourself?

A man-baby, whoever thought such a thing. Of course, sad Brad is an actor. He excels at pretending to be someone he is not. The notion of him actually functioning as an adult seems to have escaped both him and his therapist.

Moir is on a roll:

Today, Sad Dad Brad is thinner, greyer, haunted-looking and says everything is his fault.

Like other Hollywood sad dads, including Ben Affleck (reportedly slept with the nanny) and Tobey Maguire (hangdog after splitting from his wife), the defence strategy seems to be to present himself as a sorry, repentant fool.

Sad Brad has learned how to regress, to pretend that he is a child, one who has roughly the maturity of Prince George. A caricature of a therapy patient, Brad is trying to get in touch with his creativity, to express his feelings and what not. Just in case you thought that the Ask Polly columns were a caricature of therapy, we understand that sad Brad’s therapist must be among the best that Los Angeles has to offer:

In the meantime, he has consoled himself by taking up sculpture — of course he has — and spends ‘up to 17 hours a day’ trying to find ‘a moment of bliss with the clay’ while listening to ballads. Prince George does much the same thing with Play-Doh.

Is it wrong to imagine that this artistic output consists of giant female statues wearing pointed black hats moulded by Brad’s own trembling hands? Perhaps the word WITCH sprayed on the studio wall in a really artistic way.

Has he started wearing a beret? It can only be a matter of time.

Oh come on. I am not unsympathetic to the breakdown of his marriage but this is all so terribly . . . teenage.

And besides, whatever happened to Jennifer Aniston? Do you think that sad Brad is gaining insight into how it happened that he got himself seduced by Angelina Jolie into becoming yet another child in her collection?

And sad Brad has gotten in touch with nature. He builds his own fires in the morning and evening. Ruffles and flourishes to follow. Moir is not impressed by the nature boy shtick:

Sad Brad also says he gets solace from building a fire every morning and evening.

Most of us had grandparents who did exactly that every cold day of their lives, without getting all noble and lonesome prairie about it.

However, if you are a guy who hasn’t washed a teacup or picked up your own socks since you rose to fame in Thelma & Louise, well, then you might get to thinking this makes you some kind of home-making hero.

You know, therapy really is a wonderful thing.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Moir is especially critical of what psychotherapy has become. Where have we heard that before? She says:

However, something corrosive has happened to the very concept of psychotherapy these days, elevating it to a position of sacred eminence which cannot ever be criticised.

Therapy is represented as a cure-all for everyone, be you a duchess with complicated feelings following the birth of your second child, a serial axe murderer hungry for victim number 17 or a Hollywood film star who has just been dumped.

Sad Dad Brad’s indulgent psychobabble makes him sound worse, not better. Like a man on the run from himself and his obligations and not someone who understands his dreary role in the painful failure of a marriage.

Moir sees sad Brad running away from himself, failing to take any responsibility for his own bad decisions and his own failed marriage—or should it be, marriages. Therapy does not help him to man up, to be an adult. It teaches him how to introspect, to regress, to get in touch with his feminine side and to embarrass himself in the pages of GQ. We are not dealing with James Bond here.

For your extra added edification, I have selected a few choice quotes from the GQ article:

First, the author’s description of Brad’s new life:

The loneliness of this new life, he said, is mitigated by Jacques, who spent most of the interview beached in a narcoleptic reverie at my feet, snoring and farting.

Second, how Brad now feels life, from making fires, most of which, I am confident, are not alive:

When I ask Pitt what gives him the most comfort these days, he says, “I get up every morning and I make a fire. When I go to bed, I make a fire, just because—it makes me feel life. I just feel life in this house.”

Sad Brad’s attempts are self-awareness quickly move from Greek tragedy to scatology. He says:

Any of my foibles are born from my own hubris. Always, always. Anytime. I famously step in shit—at least for me it seems pretty epic. I often wind up with a smelly foot in my mouth. I often say the wrong thing, often in the wrong place and time. Often. In my own private Idaho, it's funny as shit. I don't have that gift. I'm better speaking in some other art form. I'm trying to get better. I'm really trying to get better.

Now that he is or seems to be off of alcohol or other banned substances, he is back in touch with his feelings. As Polly would say, he is feeling his feelings. Tell me that this makes you respect him more:

But me, personally, I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I'm running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know—things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I've got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that's part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.

He added this:

 I think I spent a lot of time avoiding feelings and building structures, you know, around feelings. And now I have no time left for that.

Had enough therapy?


Sam L. said...

I'd say he has overdosed on therapy. He needs to hug a frozen turkey.

Webutante said...

Absolutely classic piece. His big mistake was getting shed of Anniston and getting involved with a man-eater....I mean with a boy disguised as a man....believe me, this blubbering in CQ will only repulse Ms. Jolie more as she searches for her next victim.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: After all, she also wrote the definitive article about incipient French president Macron’s marriage to his mother.

From now on, may I refer to Melania's marriage to her father? Is this how serious people speak these days?

Ares Olympus said...

I see celebrity culture is also good enough for the BBC:

It's hard to know why any of us should care. Or the only good thing to care about should be the well-being of their adopted children, if at all possible, so if he needs to restore his image, cut drinking at least, and not try to fight his ex in a public battle of he-says, she-says, it looks valiant to me, not that I'll read the GQ article.

I think I would agree with Webutante, that Jolie was damaged goods from the start, and had her own mental time bomb. I don't know what I'd do if my wife was so afraid that she's willing to have her breasts cut off on a theoretical genetic risk of cancer. The scale of self-hatred there is almost as large as what some transgender folks must feel in their quests for wholeness.

I've never used marijuana, but I can imagine there's an attraction if I made a crazy decision to get married to a crazy person and adopted kids before I woke up to reality.

Is there any chance Brad is more mentally sane, and negotiate from weakness to keep access to his children, and give them some positive masculine balance point.

Anyway Trump's marriage to his daughter definitely doesn't seem so bad in comparison.

James said...

These days and times people use the fact they are in "therapy" to shield themselves from consequences, it's like pulling a cloak of safety down around you. Of course the rich and famous have the money to hire people (who are also making a pile) to facilitate this for them. Kinda like the "Betty Ford Clinic" thing. Tell you what Brad, walk the straight and narrow for another 2 or 3 years and come back and tell me all about it, maybe I'll care enough to listen by then.

Anonymous said...

One of the funniest things I've ever read.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Methinks Bradley smokes too much grass.

Anonymous said...

He's a heel.

nefaydaliolabilir said...
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