We were just talking to our friend Abby on her podcast (“We Have Notes,” which I believe will come out this week) about Ben and Jen, and how satisfying it is to have two massive, massive stars giving us something harmless to talk about when we need it most. It’s like gossip comfort food. Now that they’ve debuted in Venice and then smooched backstage at the Met Gala, we might start to see more of them. Ben presumably was hanging out in part because Jennifer performed at Global Vax Live or whatever it was called. (I am very curious to learn what a concert in the States to promote sending vaccines elsewhere is going to do, in any kind of real way, about actually getting those vaccines where they need to be, given that there are a lot of regulatory and logistical hurdles… and also did they sell tickets, and wouldn’t a lot of the funds have to PAY for these concerts? We talked about this a little when they did an event in L.A. and I still can’t tell if I think this is anything more than posturing, but I guess if live music makes everyone feel optimistic about the future, that’s not nothing.) And the walking and laughing and smoking and smooching had shades of Ben and Ana Take Los Angeles from the summer of 2020. Part of what was so appealing to me about them this time was how tightly they were controlling when and how they were seen; this is more a return to the Bennifer 1.0 era. Hopefully a temporary one. A sense of mystery is a powerful thing.