The New York Times, in its infinite wisdom (it comes with being The New York Times), decided that one of the paper’s reporters, one Brooks Barnes, should write what amounts to a fluff piece (it’s not actual reporting) splintered with quotes in the “Fashion & Style” section about actor Ben Affleck’s supposed maturity and all-round goodness. Affleck, who we like to refer to as Life President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is held up as “Hollywood’s New Role Model” and as the “new Hollywood paradigm for masculinity.” His qualifications are being a husband, parent, and, yes … “eastern Congo philanthropist.” So the DRC is a prop for “the way to be cool now” in Hollywood. I know someone’s going to tell me this is all good fun. Thank you Brooks Barnes. Link.