I Want To Have a Better Summer Than These Divorced Celebrity Men

On celeb antics when publicly going through a breakup, Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, some thoughts about dating.

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It’s no secret that I spend far too much time reading, writing, and tweeting about the antics of celebrity men.

It’s embarrassing, clichéd, annoying, not-very-Good-Communist-behaviour, and reinforces the hyperinvasive chasm between “regular people” and “people who go on Kimmel because it’s their job”. Men aren’t even interesting. They’re notoriously boring, often cruel, politically deplorable, and, to quote Hunter Harris, in their flop era.

But this week, as Gemini Season pulls up with chaos in tow, Hollywood’s Most Divorced really gave the paparazzi something to snap photos about. Chet Hanks was wrong (unsurprisingly), it’s not a White Boy Summer. I fear it’s a Divorced Dad Summer.

A part of me can’t help but be jealous. I think I want to be talking about all of this because my love life, for once, has been quiet and uneventful. I wish I recovered from my breakup the traditional, messy, Gemini way to honour my moon placement. Like, no one is breaking my heart right now, isn’t that weird? I kind of like it! But at the same time, I want to be doing Hot Girl Shit. But alas, I have yet to be vaxxed and I don’t want to be out here catching COVID-19, let alone anything else. It isn’t fair that Ben Affleck gets to spend his Triple Frontier royalties flying around during a global pandemic with his ex! It’s simply not fair!

He’s Still Benny From the Block

Dunkin Donuts guerilla marketer and Man With Many Groping Allegations, Ben Affleck, once again made headlines after being spotted in Miami with former but current paramour Jennifer Lopez.

The pair were papped leaving their accommodation, Jenny all smiles and Ben wearing the same watch she gave him in the Jenny From the Block music video. The “we get it, you guys had sex” eye roll you’d give your aging parents or friends of friends that are a little too comfortable with you are all over these images.

I hope A-Rod knows that Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is available to stream on all platforms to get him through this difficult time. I think he would really like 1 step forward, 3 steps back. I’m expecting it on his Instagram story soon. It’s times like this that I wonder if Ben Affleck has seen Hustlers, the same way I wonder if Jennifer Lopez has seen Triple Frontier. I can’t believe 2021 is just a shoddy remake of 2004, with a new Lindsay Lohan film on the way and everything. What’s next? Ben Barnes entering another singing competition? Chad Michael Murray1?

A Thorsome, If You Will

If this is what it’s like filming Thor: Love and Thunder, I genuinely cannot fathom what the press tour will be like. When I had first heard murmurs of a Rita Ora cameo in Love and Thunder, I thought you internet folks were just saying whatever fresh hell popped into your heads. What would she do? A Matt Damon? Would she appear in Loki’s latest production of Asgardian Hamlet featuring a musical performance of her 2012 breakout single How We Do? How We Do In the Shadows?

I was unaware that Rita Ora was so embedded in the Thor eco-system. She was spotted cycling with Russell Crowe, rumoured to be portraying Zeus in this upcoming Thor: Ragnarok sequel, and she got off a private jet with Chris Hemsworth (Real Thor), Matt Damon (Fake Loki, friend of Ben Affleck), and Waititi after “spending a weekend away together”. She and Waititi were also spotted at the (ultimately disappointing) premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.

The Mail described this image as “two gal pals getting cozy.” Who’s trying to be my gal pal this summer, then, hm? I want to have a better summer than these divorced men! Will Brie Larson be teaching Rita Ora how to play Fortnite too, in preparation for her cameo as Noobmaster69, sworn nemesis to the Son of Odin and his friend made of rocks? Would Brie Larson like to teach me how to play Fortnite? I’d do it.

What I really want to know is how Rita Ora even met Taika Waititi. My knowledge of Ora’s celebrity comes via osmosis of years within the One Direction fandom; she used to run in the same circles as Jason Sudeikis saboteur Harry Styles (with Nick Grimshaw, Alexa Chung, et cetera) and she collaborated with Liam Payne on a track for one of the Fifty Shades movies. Does this mean Taika Waititi is technically one degree of separation from Liam Payne?

I think this is a cute picture:

Also, here’s some that made me laugh. It’s Taika cosplaying Ben Affleck. Has he gotten a phoenix back tattoo yet?

God, It's Brutal Out Here

Once again, I love seeing the Filipina girls win! Southeast Asian excellence! Whilst the teen that resides within me is still wildly envious of this Disney TV Show to Hit Record pivot, I feel like a proud auntie right now.

I haven’t stopped listening to good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo. I know I talked about the music video a couple of weeks ago and all its references to movies that I actually like (Audition, Jennifer’s Body, The Princess Diaries, Taylor Swift’s Picture to Burn video which in itself is a movie), but the song is sitting in the number one slot of my On Repeat playlist on Spotify. To the point where it’s starting to concern me.

I love pop-punk. It’s one of my many not-so-guilty pleasures. I love teen angst, and I love popular media when it openly and honestly talks about adolescent feelings. You know me, you know what I write about, I love dredging up shit from when I was a teenager. Like many people on Twitter complaining about not being able to relate to dating in high school, I’m exactly the same. I prom-posed the guy I went to prom with a card trick and it worked.

good 4 u reminds me of the Avril Lavigne concert I went to in Year 7 and the sound Miley and Demi popularised in the mid-2000s. It also reminds me that even if the song was written by an 18-year-old experiencing (publicly) her first heartbreak, the feelings are still very much the same. The experiences may have not been the exactly to the letter, but I could relate to what she was trying to say even in my early 20s after a gaggle of embarrassing romantic errors. brutal, good 4 u, and jealousy, jealousy are my top three simply because I’m living for the pop-punk-rock nostalgia these songs evoke in me. The sound of my youth! This is what people who immediately loved Stranger Things must feel like!

brutal specifically is so much fun. That line “And I’m not cool / and I’m not smart / and I can’t even parallel park” just hits. And so true! Olivia Rodrigo and I are both people with driver’s licenses that cannot parallel park! How refreshing! 1 step forward, 3 steps back interpolates the only song on reputation that I like, and is a lyrical descendant of Taylor Swift’s Dear John, a song about tempermental older guys dating younger girls only to break their hearts (“wondering which version of you I might get on the phone tonight” from Dear John vs “I’m the love of your life until I make you mad” and “which lover will I get today? from 1 step forward, 3 steps back). deja vu always has me singing along and the Billy Joel lines make me laugh even more than the Glee one. She’s as honest as she could have been and you can hear in the lyrics, the production, the vocal arrangements that Rodrigo just wanted to make something she would enjoy listening to as much as her audience would.

One of the other standouts on the album for me was favorite crime, which has a VEVOLift performance that I’m simply obsessed with.

SOUR isn’t perfect, but I definitely think it’s a strong debut. What I really appreciate above all about the project that it’s a project about teen angst by a teenager as they are and where they are in the present, not one based on adult hindsight or corporate-manufactured (I’m well aware of Rodrigo’s Disney credentials) pandering. If this is the kind of music Miss Rodrigo is making at age 18, I can’t wait to see what she does at 23, where popular dating culture is much more annoying.

It really is brutal out here. Over the past week, I got to really reflect on some dating experiences with a couple of friends. I was really surprised to learn that I wasn’t the only one that thought about how dire everyone thinks the dating landscape is. And it probably is quite dire anyway! We talked about how there’s this universal disdain for the dating “scene”, apps, or dating app success stories, and our relationships past, present, and future. I’m single right now, happily for the first time in a long time. In the last five or six years, I don’t think I ever really gave myself time to be alone; I was always either chasing after someone or entangled with someone that shouldn’t have treated me the way they did or someone I shouldn’t have treated the way I did. And now, sequestered in my parents’ house, not really meeting anyone new in person, finally starting to bounce back from a very terrible heartbreak (wow dramatic! very on theme!), I don’t know if I’m really ready to have a better summer than the Real Divorceés of Hollywood Boulevard after all.

It’s not about being ready either, I think. I’m not even sure I want what that entails. By that same token, if you all have friends that look like Archie Renaux and aren’t introducing them to me, what are you doing? How could you do this to me? I spent so much time growing up wondering “when my time would come”, or what my life will look like in a monogamous romantic relationship that it drove me to believe that I’ll always be inadequate in some way because I was lacking this coveted relationship status. It’s not the only road to take, I know that now. And on that note, I really need to get a life. Or at least make the most of the one I have now.

Going back to SOUR, at it’s core, I think lots of people older than Rodrigo are enjoying her music because it represents this odd glimmer of hope. Like, this girl is feeling what she needs to feel and writing about it at this specific moment in her life. I think its hope that we both can and will move on from our heartaches, whilst finding a sense of community in someway by holding that younger part of ourselves with more compassion than we used to.

Also! I think this TikTok is so cute; I absolutely adore album promo pop-ups!

Some Housekeeping

My darling readers, I’d love it if you’d complete this Reader Survey for me. I want to monetize Hyperfixate someday, hopefully by this time next year, and I want to get a sense of where you, my reader base, would be feeling about that. You’d still get your Wednesday newsletters absolutely for free, but let me know what sort of content you’d be interested in paying for. I have a couple of suggestions in the survey, but feel free to add your own! This is a two-way street, and I want to thank you for being a part of this with me. I’m forever grateful that you don’t mind having my meandering thoughts in your inbox every week.

All the love,

Ari.

P.S. If you’re troubled by Mark Ruffallo’s recent spineless backpedaling, I’d like to recommend this very comprehensive mythbusting available on the Decolonise Palestine website.

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(Edit: when I wrote this on Tuesday, I was not aware yet of Chad Michael Murray’s involvement in an upcoming Ted Bundy film. It really is 2004 all over again. Ben Barnes, stay quiet.)