Before this week, few outside of France knew his face. But no doubt, millions have been busy Google-Image-searching the name "Guillaume Canet." Yup, bel homme. He is also an accomplished actor and director, and happens to be the husband of the already internationally known French actress, Marion Cotillard. And that, as you are disturbingly likely to know, is how Canet has now made it onto our collective radar. For those just tuning in, Cotillard has been the chief collateral damage of the Hollywood mega-divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Having just filmed a movie with Pitt, the famously private Cotillard was forced late last night to publicly deny rumors she was the cause of the "Brangelina" breakup. She wrote it in French and in English — and she put it on Instagram.
Gossip of course dates back to ancient times, and the modern cult of celebrity is very much a 20th-century creation. But the current digital information revolution is upping the stakes, on both truth and decorum: Just look at the U.S. presidential elections. Typically, in the face of the Internet maelstrom, we blame the forces beyond our control, the fame seekers and media personalities, or even the technology itself. But a recent essay by former superblogger Andrew Sullivan suggests we look at ourselves. Here's a snippet of a piece entitled "I Used To Be A Human Being".
"I tried reading books, but that skill now began to elude me. After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard. I tried meditation, but my mind bucked and bridled as I tried to still it," he writes. "But over time in this pervasive virtual world, the online clamor grew louder and louder. Although I spent hours each day, alone and silent, attached to a laptop, it felt as if I were in a constant cacophonous crowd of words and images, sounds and ideas, emotions and tirades — a wind tunnel of deafening, deadening noise. So much of it was irresistible, as I fully understood. So much of the technology was irreversible, as I also knew. But I'd begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living." The entire essay is very much worth a read, if you can keep your fingers from twitching toward the next Brangelina link on your screen.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Poland's parliament debates new abortion bans.
- World Rhino Day — here's looking at you!