The Monday Mailbag: Aniston v. Jolie – the Rumble in (if we’re lucky) a Nearby Hot Tub

Welcome to the Monday Mailbag on Tuesday, where if we did iPod listy things like Paul Wells does, every single slot would currently be filled by TV on the Radio’s Dancing Choose, and not only because of its reference to a “foam-injected Axl Rose.” Though partly because of that.

As always, these are actual questions actually submitted for some reason by actual readers.

Scott: I am having trouble wrapping my head around this recent Sarah Palin quote.

“My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.”

I know I should give up and let it be, but seriously, what is she talking about? – K.R., Ottawa

K.R. –

Uhh, she’s dumb.

I mean, I don’t want to give away any spoilers if you decided to shut yourself off from the world and wait for the film version of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, but this Sarah Palin person (who, for the record, should be played on the big screen by either Tina Fey or a very pretty potato) is not smart. How not smart? This is a woman who probably thinks Meet the Press is the one with Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro.

That said, there are a couple of very enjoyable aspects to the quotation you cite. First of all, did you catch her sly reference to “the continent?” After the election, the McCain camp leaked the fact that – upon joining the Republican ticket – Palin did not know that Africa was a continent. But now she does know Africa is a continent! She is capable of learning – just like the evil computers in Terminator and some domestic pets.

Second, she is beginning to speak out about countries that on most days she is unable to see from her kitchen window. Baby steps. Those 5.5 million atlases she’s been given as gifts – one from every person who saw her interviewed by Katie Couric – are finally paying off.

Third, Palin mentions “atrocities” but in the end admits that her primary concern as it relates to Darfur is “dollars.” Maybe she’s more like a typical world leader than we realize.

Scott: How do bicycle couriers decide what to wear on casual Fridays? – Kevin, Ottawa

Kevin –

Casual Fridays do not apply to bicycle couriers. They wear the same thing to work everyday: a look of irritation and a fully extended middle finger. (This does not apply to unicycle couriers, who wear suspenders and clown shoes.)

Scott: What are your feelings on the recent ‘super secret’ marriage ceremony Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds participated in? – Lester, Barrie, Ont.

Lester –

I guess more than anything I was just hurt that I wasn’t invited. After all, I’ve been with Scarlett through so many triumphs in her life. I was there when she broke through in Lost in Translation – in fact, no one in her life was more supportive in terms of sneaking into theatres just long enough to watch the opening shot of her underpants. I was there when she arrived on the red carpet at the Oscars – believe me, no one calling her name that night was more enthusiastic and forcibly restrained by security than me.  And I was there when she got undressed that one evening with the curtains partly opened until she saw the rustling in the bushes down below and, well, the court order prevents me from revealing much more. (Completely unrelated fact: Tasers leave a mark.)

So to be left out of such an important celebration in her life is enough to make me totally think about stopping this whole business of hiding in the backseat of her car right now.

Who is in the right in this Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie feud? – Neo, Ottawa

Neo –

A piece of advice for anyone confronted with the above question: the odds of your response getting back to Angelina Jolie border on the infinite – but if your answer does get back to Angelina Jolie, and your answer is not the right answer from her perspective, then it’s pretty much 50-50 that Angelina Jolie will hunt you down and stab you to death with your own femur, then adopt your corpse and make it share a room with her 27 other children. Frankly, it’s hard to see much of an upside in this scenario.

By way of contrast, the worst Jennifer Aniston would do to you is yell a bit or maybe force John Mayer to write a powerful ballad that expresses her disdain for your opinion in insipid lyrics and needlessly long guitar solos.

At least, that’s what I originally thought.

But then I was introduced to lengths to which Jennifer Aniston would go, and the depths to which she would sink, to seek her vengeance.

Mere hours after I had thought through my answer to Neo’s question and arrived at my pro-not-being-stabbed-with-my-own-leg-bone answer, I took a seat at a screening of the new James Bond movie. I arrived just in time for the coming attractions. And that’s when the contours of Jennifer Aniston’s cruel, cruel revenge took ominous shape – for the actress, keen to put me in my place, had gone so far as to actually star in a film adaptation of a book about a mischievous dog… then arrange for the trailer for this awful, awful film to be presented before Quantum of Solace – a two-minute blur of cute puppy and exasperated Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston repeatedly yelling the only word she apparently has in the entire script (“Marley!!!!!”) and – oh God! GOD!! This thing HURT SO MUCH TO WATCH!!!! Can’t. possibly. endure. again.

So to answer your question, Neo: Jennifer Aniston is in the right in this feud.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.