Why Brad? Because he is simultaneously reifying and challenging hegemonic codes of race, class, gender and regional or national identity. As one of this generation’s most popular actors, Pitt has explored many of the cultural and marital tensions of our emerging postmodern era. Depicting masculine American whiteness in various states of crisis and various hair colors, his characters enact complex postmodern agencies; they are never wholly coherent, they are often self-destructive, and they rely on a certain amount of play — between stability and instability, between life and death, between autonomy and alter-dependency, between control and abandon, between Maddox and Zahara. His characters explore the complex and changing postmodern cultural landscape. Tracing Brad’s work and personal life through a variety of theoretical texts and celebrity-interest publications, we hope to explain his multidimensional postmodernity and raise essential questions, especially given recent events, about whether or not he is God’s gift to women.
Which brings us to your inevitable question: What about men? Where do they fit in here? Bradsheet believes that any discussion of “Brad issues” must include men — hey, they still hold most of the power in the world, and, well, almost all of us live with them, work with them, love them even if they’re not Brad. So expect plenty of editorial input from our male colleagues, especially Farhad Manjoo, who has been one of the biggest boosters of Bradsheet since the beginning. Men are crucial to any discussion and we want to bring them into the conversations we’ll be having every day. And if Salon’s history of spirited debate between readers and editors is any indication, we’re sure you guys will show up in our comments area too and tell us what you think.
Welcome, everyone, to this new corner of Salon.