This blog never even really went full retard on the Robsten thing, because I couldn't really fit my head around it. Was it real? Was it marketing? Was it real and also marketing? How much of one and how much of the other? How aware of whatever hypothetical business arrangement that may or may not have birthed it were the gossip mags who covered it? And the fans? How does one even become a "fan" of a theoretically romance between two other fellow humans? It was easier to talk about cyberbullying and publishing and Ashley Greene's stutter step career maneuvers and other things that I could like, understand.
And then sometime around the release of Breaking Dawn pt. 1, it became clear that they really were romantically involved. It was never official, but there were actual signals. We got them. And I shifted from avoiding even thinking about it (in the same way that I avoid thinking about calculus) to just deciding that they were both really cool and that was the end of it. Why isn't that the only thing anyone knows about Robsten? "They're cool. End of story." No. Instead, it's a whole other thing. It's a celebrity romance above and beyond and below all others, amplified by all factors. The fans, the mystery, the money, etc. Which is why today was pretty weird.
Rumors spread fast this morning that US Weekly was publishing photos of Kristen Stewart kissing the director of Snow White & The Huntsman, Rupert Sanders (who is married, and 41, with children, and who cast said wife in SWATH as Kristen Stewart's mother. UNPACK THAT ONE). Before gossip sites even had time to push and pull with each other, legit news blogs were running with the story. It was up at 10:05am on The Atlantic Wire. 8:38am on Gawker. And by 3pm, Kristen Stewart had issued a public apology. WHAT?
I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.
(Sanders issued an apology too, and it's so desperate as to be kind of appalling.) I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry. My advice to Kristen Stewart, in part, would have been: If you're going to apologize, don't word it in such a compelling, memorable way! Everybody in the world stopped for about five minutes to marvel at the directness of her statement. And then people started to wonder why it had to exist at all. Okay, not everybody did that. Some Twi-hards when into deep denial mode, cannibalizing each other in that familiar way:
(It's interesting to see that the bifurcated reality we've been dealing with for years in the political realm occurs so naturally and intuitively in the gossip realm. There's a chicken or egg thing going on. I hope Will McAvoy will touch on this in two years.) And others had the perspective to talk about who was REALLY hurt most by this.
The children the fans:
But CLEAR-HEADED people wondered why the fuck a 22 year old had to apologize TO AMERICA for sleeping with a man who is not the man most people assumed she was normally fucking. How do we know what kind of lines Stewart and Pattinson have, if any? They are, as previously stated, cool, and modern, and young, and mobile as fuck.
But maybe they're not so modern. Maybe this was legit infidelity, and Stewart really wanted to get it out there. Or maybe Pattinson doesn't care and the apology was for the wife.* I don't know!
Why did it happen this way? Why does this feel more like a politician's sex scandal than a celebrity's? Twilight has always been symptom and cause of our culture's righteous attitude toward sex. Are Twilight actors really in a different cultural sphere than everyone else in Hollywood? Are we seeing the edges of the Meyer Bubble for the first time? I don't know. I'm dangerously close to where I was a few months ago, throwing up my hands rather than contemplate this shit. What do you think?
(*Or maybe, just maybe, none of them care, and Hollywood is a big sunny orgy, and they're fanning the flames to make stodgy, unfucked Twi-hards squirm and burst into tears on YouTube. That might be the way the Gossip Establishment is going to run with it. Normal media outlets are taking away their bread and butter, and when the going gets weird, the weird have to get even weirder.)