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New Excuse for Commitment-Phobic Men:

Courtesy of Brad Pitt: "I'm sorry honey, I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for us to get married when gay couples are denied that right." Not only can you weasel out of marriage, but you can claim points for being a sensitive social activist at the same time! Probably works better than, "I love you and want to marry you, but as a married couple our combined taxes will go up $5,000 a year."

Glenn W Bowen (mail):

"I'm sorry honey, I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for us to get married when gay couples are denied that right."


This is the very reason I have not married Brad Pitt.
9.8.2006 11:55pm
Minipundit (mail) (www):
This ain't new. I believe Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend are delaying until the 49 non-Massachusetts states pull their heads out of their asses.
9.9.2006 12:04am
fishbane (mail):
Bah. Me and my girl, we didn't bother to get married. We incorporated. It is actually much more binding, and has tax advantages too, if you're running a business alongside your personal life and do it right.

Social conservative types still look down on us.
9.9.2006 12:11am
Tony2 (mail):
"Besides, I lost my private parts in the war!"
9.9.2006 12:13am
Just:


Any chance, David Bernstein, that Brad Pitt actually believes in what he is saying and doing?

You might find his beliefs laughable,
but lots of people legitimately hold strong beliefs that others do not. It's not for us to judge.

(in other words: Any chance that Mr. Pitt just might have stronger beliefs and has found a way to express them, making him a better man than Bernstein? Sure, he got married and is duly providing for his wife and daughter "thePapa...tradition!" -- but Mr. Pitt may just be looking beyond himself. I wonder how the young kids in the world would spin this one... somehow committment phobic is laughable when you're talking Pitt and Jolie.)
9.9.2006 12:31am
Just:

And didn't you say, Mr. Bernsteinm, you met your wife through computer dating, wanting a woman compatible with yourself. *Not exactly traditional matchmaking, but still, heh*
9.9.2006 12:34am
Unjust:
Mr. Pitt just might have stronger beliefs and has found a way to express them, making him a better man

Fred Phelps has even stronger beliefs and has found many ways to express them. Does that make him a better man too?
9.9.2006 12:37am
BGates (mail) (www):
I applaud Just's resistance to judging the strongly held beliefs of others, as he has repeatedly demonstrated in comments on gay marriage, Israel
-oh, wait.
9.9.2006 12:51am
DavidBernstein (mail):
The point of my post has nothing to do with whether Mr. Pitt is sincere or not.
9.9.2006 12:51am
DavidBernstein (mail):
But, come to think of it, if he is sincere, why not get married in a country that allows gay marriage? That would get more publicity,and be more of a statement, than not getting married as a "silent protest."
9.9.2006 12:53am
Realist Liberal (mail):
Professor Bernstein,
I don't think it's fair to call it a "silent protest" considering that he publicly announced it and it is making enough waves to be mentioned here. With that said, I'm not sure how much effect this is going to have on anything. Many conversatives (and yes I realize I'm generalizing here) discount anything that actors say as being more of that "stuff from liberal Hollywood."
9.9.2006 1:16am
Just:
David Bernstein said: "I'm sorry honey, I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for us to get married when gay couples are denied that right." Not only can you weasel out of marriage, but you can claim points for being a sensitive social activist at the same time!"

The point of my post has nothing to do with whether Mr. Pitt is sincere or not.

************

I thought you were implying that Mr. Pitt was "weaseling out of marriage" and "claiming points for being a sensitive social activist at the same point." Not sure where I might have gotten that idea though.

If these beliefs were sincerely held though, then words like "weasel" and "claiming points" don't really fit here. Sorry to ruin a good joke, but the inconsistency threw me.
********

"But, come to think of it, if he is sincere, why not get married in a country that allows gay marriage?"

I don't know. Maybe if you care so much about the Pitt/Jolie relationship, you could write a fan letter and ask them ?

Personally, I try to keep my nose out of other people's intimate relationships. Live and let live -- tend your own garden, worry about your own hive, so to speak.
9.9.2006 1:17am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I can't say I've followed the Aniston/Pitt/Jolie et al. saga any more than what I see on the cover of the Enquirer while checking out at the grocery store, but it's Pitt, not me, who made a public issue of their non-marriage. But the point of the post was that this potential excuse comes from Brad Pitt, not that Pitt himself was necessarily using it as an excuse.
9.9.2006 1:26am
Appellate Attorney:
It's just another Hollywood publicity stunt. Relationship events, incidents, etc. are mostly shaped for PR fodder these days. The height of popularity is notoriety, and that is best sustained by regular news tidbits of questionable activities. Even bad things are good: DUIs, rehab, jail (Martha's richer than ever). Part of the notoriety in many cases is the questionable sincerity. Just another step in the race to the bottom.
9.9.2006 1:27am
Just:
"But the point of the post was that this potential excuse comes from Brad Pitt, not that Pitt himself was necessarily using it as an excuse."

Even with that qualification, I would still argue that this "potential excuse" comes from the conniving little mind who would twist Mr. Pitt's example for his own purposes of not committing.

You can just as easily envision another young man adopting Mr. Pitt's stance, and buying into the idea that these are sincerely held beliefs -- naive, young, ill-advised or not.

And believe it or not, I can actually imagine a young woman -- presumably like Jolie here -- who would not only accept but encourage this sincerely held view.

Not saying that has to be my stance or yours -- different strokes for different folks and all that. You are aware that the "unmarried" taboo in American society has lessened, for better or worse, right Mr.Bernstein?

Personally, I think it's for the better -- certificates of bastardry, "illegitimate" children -- those were really ugly judgmental times. If nobody is asking the state to pay for the welfare of the child (as surely Mr. Pitt and Ms. Jolie, and plenty of other unmarried parents, will not) and the child is raised in a healthy environment of love, what business is it of mine if someone commits to a monogamous marriage or not? No little brownie points just for that.
9.9.2006 1:36am
Just:
Upon re-reading, I see, it was the "Courtesy of Brad Pitt" line that suggested to me you thought those were his views. Quite misleading, but then that seems to be going around a bit tonight
9.9.2006 1:40am
Donald Kahn (mail):
Not having read the original story, I kept reading and reading waiting for some hint that this had been reported in jest: an Onion or Borowitz item!
9.9.2006 1:51am
BGates (mail) (www):
"Mr. Pitt just might have stronger beliefs and has found a way to express them, making him a better man than Bernstein"
"I would still argue that this "potential excuse" comes from [a] conniving little mind"
"-- those were really ugly judgmental times."
9.9.2006 2:08am
Lev:
Maybe he actually did go crazy while filming "Seven"
9.9.2006 2:51am
HLSbertarian (mail):

You might find his beliefs laughable,
but lots of people legitimately hold strong beliefs that others do not. It's not for us to judge.


Then why, for the love of God, do you keep posting here?
9.9.2006 3:56am
Grand CRU (mail):
Then why, for the love of God, do you keep posting here?

Perhaps he is posting for the hatred of God.
9.9.2006 4:13am
talboito (mail) (www):
I find it strange when someone protests they don't care about something (usually regarding celebrity trials)after having raised a whole long and winding ruckus about it.

Obviously, Mr. Bernstein does care very much about Brad Pitt focus time and energy on the sincerity of his beliefs.

By the way, some friends of mine had their wedding ceremony in a donut shop and donated the monetary difference to orgs supporting Gay marriage. People do sacrifice for ideals larger than themselves sometimes, whether they are celebrities or not.
9.9.2006 5:13am
Just:


Thank you Talboito.

I think if you give 20 random people on the street Mr. Bernstein's original post, they will wonder why he felt a need to mischaracterize or be skeptical of Mr.Pitt's views.

And thanks also for sharing that last paragraph Talboito. Obviously the worlds in which we, and the Volokh crew live, don't often overlap. What a pity for them to be so isolated like that, thinking everyone is of like mind...
9.9.2006 7:02am
Just:


Actally though,
I think Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert should be flattered.

The truth-worthiness of this blog veers into the doubtful entertainment realm with such posts as this one, and we're not even talking about the big I here.

But it makes Mr. B feel better about where he's at in life, so ... take that Brad Pitt!
9.9.2006 7:13am
Just:


Act-ally

Yep. Once the allies are acting (if they're not foreclosed from the democratic process in the future through amended Constitutions as Judge Wilkerson warns), I suspect the Volokhites will be scambling to spin in the other direction. Gotta stay in good with the crowd, of course.

Can't stand up and state your own opinions yourself; have to muddy the waters by implying these were someone else's views -- here Mr.Pitt.

I just wonder if it's so easy to pull out this style on these cheap little posts, how often this goes in in those highly technical legal-type posts? This is how credibility loss starts...
9.9.2006 7:17am
Owen Hutchins (mail):
This is one of the reasons that my partner and I have chosen not to marry. Civil marriage is a civil right.
9.9.2006 7:52am
Bottomfish (mail):
I've always thought of protest actions as involving at least some real risk, perhaps personal suffering or even death. For example: conducting a sit-in in a place where such an action is not allowed, other illegal conduct such as flying a doctored version of the flag, fasting, blowing up a building, hijacking a plane, and of course public suicide. Without some risk, the protest seems meaningless. The next day it rains and I decide to stay at home rather than visit the public library, I will tell myself that I am protesting high taxes in Massachusetts.
9.9.2006 8:05am
Anon252 (mail):
This thread is a very good example of why the p.c. left is often considered humorless.
9.9.2006 8:47am
Randy R. (mail):
And why the pc right is often considered self-righteous....
9.9.2006 9:08am
Just:

Amen Randy R...
9.9.2006 9:16am
Anon252 (mail):
In "the sixties", some men went to antiwar protests out of sincere belief, others were looking to get laid. The fact that the former existed doesn't negate the existence of the latter, and the fact that some men will sincerely decline to get married because they think it's a civil rights statement doesn't negate the possibility that others will find it a convenient excuse.
9.9.2006 9:18am
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
on the other hand, I wouldn't know who Brad Pitt was if he came up and bit my ass...
9.9.2006 9:49am
Just:

Wait, Anon252,
you mean those men just making excuses back then didn't even need to cast doubt on a celebrity's actions to legitimize their own?

What a concept.
9.9.2006 9:54am
Just:
"I wouldn't know who Brad Pitt was "

Glenn,
Ask DB. He seems to know the in's and out's of celebrity Hollywood, and maybe Mrs. Volokh the mother could set you both us with some fanzine pics, if you like. I heard she's also in that line of work.
9.9.2006 9:57am
NIMBY:
I think Brad just confessed that Angelina won't marry him.
9.9.2006 10:51am
lucia (mail) (www):
"on the other hand, I wouldn't know who Brad Pitt was if he came up and bit my ass..."

Then I assume someone buys your groceries for you?

Brad Pitt is the actor with the really cute ass in "Thelma and Louise". Oh, and he's in a bunch of other movies too.

It may not be important to know this sort of thing, but people who don't live under rocks know this sort of thing. :)
9.9.2006 11:09am
triticale (mail) (www):
As I understand it, his actual statement was "until everyone who wants to get married can legally do so". I presume this includes the retro-Mormons in the Four Corners region.
9.9.2006 11:38am
liberty (mail) (www):
LOL

This post made my day! Very funny.
9.9.2006 11:48am
Walk It:
"I wouldn't know who Brad Pitt was if he came up and bit my ass..."

I think you might be getting him confused with Marv Alpert. Mr. Pitt is bigger and better looking. :)
9.9.2006 12:15pm
DonBoy (mail) (www):
I knew a couple about ten years ago who had this same position; it was, in fact, more from the woman than the man. They are now married, mostly because they had a baby and various health coverages were only available to them as a married couple.

Anyway, Pitt's not making up something unheard-of here.
9.9.2006 12:24pm
Cornellian (mail):
An interesting comment considering Brad Pitt, unlike e.g. Sheryl Crow, is not known for running around making social statements about anything. However, upon reading the source article, it's not clear whether Brad is stating his own position rather than Angelina's position. Here's the quote:

"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19."

He doesn't say why this is their position and it's perfectly possible that it's Jolie's position, with Pitt being indifferent to the issue. The quote is even consistent with him wanting to get married immediately, e.g "I'd like to get married immediately but Angelina doesn't want to until gay people can get married as well, therefore [insert quote]."

If I had to guess, I'd say it's more likely that Angelina cares about same sex marriage than Brad does, or at least that she cares about it more than he does.
9.9.2006 2:29pm
Walk It:

If I had to guess, I'd say it's more likely that Angelina cares about same sex marriage than Brad does, or at least that she cares about it more than he does.

No need to guess.
Have Mr.Bernstein include that question in his fan letter to the couple...
Because Inquiring minds want to know!
:)
9.9.2006 3:15pm
JohnO (mail):
If they really wanted to get married, wouldn't they just go to Massachusetts to do it?
9.9.2006 3:21pm
JohnAnnArbor:

And why the pc right is often considered self-righteous....

Amen Randy R...

Um, pot, meet kettle.
9.9.2006 3:24pm
NickM (mail) (www):
triticale - "everyone" would also include adult brother-sister combinations who wish to get married. Of course, that might just create another reason for Anglina not to marry Brad.

I don't think "healthy relationship" and "Angelina Jolie" should be used in the same sentence.
summary article

Nick
9.9.2006 3:53pm
Walk It:
Um, pot, meet kettle.

Isn't it ironic, dontcha think?
But thanks for appreciating my choice of languange; OTOH, that pot/kettle quip is kinda old and overdone, but maybe you're just starting out...


"I don't think "healthy relationship" and "Angelina Jolie" should be used in the same sentence. "

Another inquiring mind, eh? I didn't realize those two were so big in these circles.
9.9.2006 3:59pm
Walk It:
"If they really wanted to get married, wouldn't they just go to Massachusetts to do it?"

Think that one through. You can do it.

If you accept the fact that they're acting in good faith in their beliefs, why would running out of the country or even to MA make an effective protest? If you don't understand this, out of cynicism or just not following, good luck out there.
9.9.2006 4:01pm
Josh_Jasper (mail):

"The point of my post has nothing to do with whether Mr. Pitt is sincere or not."

Quit lying. Or if you're trying to be funny, stop. It's not. It's insulting. Of course, if you wanted to come across as a bigot. In which case, carry on.
9.9.2006 4:03pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Brad Pitt is the actor with the really cute ass in "Thelma and Louise". Oh, and he's in a bunch of other movies too.

It may not be important to know this sort of thing, but people who don't live under rocks know this sort of thing. :)



actually, I live in an apartment, and work in the film business- and I know the accountant's name, which is preferable to giving a hoot as to Brad Pitt's identity.

I buy my own groceries...
:))
9.9.2006 7:10pm
Jay Myers:
I find it interesting that the universal assumption appears to be that marriage and commitment are identical. Were this the case then Mr. Pitt would not have picked up an std from Ms. Jolie during the filming of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".

Anyone notice the television commercial for Valtrex? I keep expecting it to say that 70% of people who had genital herpes got it from Paris Hilton.
9.9.2006 7:24pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
To carry Brad's statement to it's logical conclusion:

"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able,"

translates as:

"Brad Pitt says he and Angie will 'consider' marriage when Utah frees Warren Steed Jeffs."

Everyone is everyone.
9.9.2006 11:41pm
Eugene G. Bernat (mail):
Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston, even before Massachusetts recognized gay marriage. If he is sincere then he must have had a change of heart. On the other hand may be after we legalize gay marriage we can legalize polygamy, and then he can marry Angelia and remarry Jennifer.

For the record it needs to be harder to get married, harder to get divorced and marriage should be confined to one man and one woman.
9.10.2006 1:50am
Jonathan Foreigner:
"I'm sorry honey, I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for us to get married when gay couples are denied that right."

How about ...
"I'm sorry honey, the feminists say marriage is an oppressive institution foisted on women by the patriarchy. I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for me to subject you to such oppression."
9.10.2006 5:43pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Glenn:
I buy my own groceries...:))


Hhhhmmm... new theory: You shop at "Whole Foods" or someplace similar?

I honestly don't know how I could escape recognizing Brad Pitt (and a few other celebrities) unless I stopped buying groceries, having my hair cut, going to the dentist, or any type of doctor, never going to the pharmacy or shopping in some big box type stores! And that's not counting the magazine stand at the book store.

These people's faces are everywhere!
9.10.2006 10:01pm
triticale (mail) (www):
These people's faces are everywhere!
But they only have first names on the magazine covers. To me Pitt brings to mind a past Prime Minister of England.
9.10.2006 10:44pm
lucia (mail) (www):
People magazine sometimes includes last names. Example with Jessica Simpson. I make no claims about the relative frequency of last names, though I think they appear often enough to learn celebrity first and last names while running various errands even if you don't give a hoot about these people.

Anyway, to Glenn: I didn't say you should give a hoot about Brad's identity. I just find it difficult to believe your earlier claim that you actually wouldn't recognize him. Since you work say you work in the film industry, and know the man's accountant, I assume you were trying to use irony in blog comments? :)
9.11.2006 12:40am
Jonah Gelbach (mail) (www):
DB

This idea seems like it would be especially useful for the commitment phobes in all those couples who would get a marriage bonus (they're not nearly as fun to talk about, but there are just as many of them as there are penalty-types!)

Now, the commitment-phobe can even justify *forgoing* extra cash!

Jonah
9.11.2006 10:48am
cant get my account to work:

The point of my post has nothing to do with whether Mr. Pitt is sincere or not.

Compare this with the actual post:

Courtesy of Brad Pitt: "I'm sorry honey, I love you and I want to marry you, but it just wouldn't be right for us to get married when gay couples are denied that right." Not only can you weasel out of marriage, but you can claim points for being a sensitive social activist at the same time! Probably works better than, "I love you and want to marry you, but as a married couple our combined taxes will go up $5,000 a year."

And even the headline of the post: "New excuse for commitment phobic men"

Perhaps Mr. Bernstein does not, in fact, think that Brad Pitt is just looking for excuses, is commitment phobic, is looking to "weasel" out of thing, etc. - but you couldn't tell that from his actual words.
9.11.2006 3:29pm
BobN (mail):
Maybe there are a lot of straight men out there who refuse to marry until their gay brothers can tie the knot. Afterall, that would explain the right-wing claim that gay marriage will be a civilization-altering development.
9.13.2006 5:31am