A Little of the Old In and Out
In: People are still raving about Calvin Klein's party on Saturday. Apparently this was really an existential event of quite some consequence, imagine our surprise. Every fucking glossy worth it's weight in platinum has chimed in on the cultural significance of this particular party. "With a waiter to guest ratio of one to three, the party was just grand enough to suit its venue, the sprawling Gothicised Southampton mansion that Klein paid $29.9 million for last year," says British Vogue. "He must have spent $600,000," one source salaciously told my favorite gossip duo, NY Daily News' Rush and Molloy. "And it was all done with class, taste, sexiness and fun." Guy Trebay of the New York Times wrote with a sort of Evelyn Waughish Brideshead Revisited melancholy-flourish, "... it appeared as if it was the Pines of that era that was being evoked at Calvin Klein's big party in Southampton last Saturday, an event that was by turns enchanted, confounding and suffused with nostalgia for a period when Mr. Klein, and the world of fashion as it is now, were still young." After reading Trebay gushing forth unselfconsciously, I thought I almost -- almost -- heard Jeremy Irons' world weary narrative voice coming from PBS. Gawker's source was snarky, the realist in the crowd, putting things all into perspective and snapping us out of our Bovaryesque reveries:
"the party calvin threw at his spookycastle/beach house on saturday was the most over the top bizarre. i mean, i am gay, but it was too gross to watch 200 young ("hired"?) half-naked men lounging around on pillows and bed-like furniture on the beach at night, with snickering old guard southampton socials staring in disbelief and laughing at them.
" ... there were even rumors that (ex studio 54) party planner robert isabell bulldozed the beach in preparation for the party. sick. the guest list was supposedly 200, then 400, try 800 of his 'nearest and dearest.' but crashers abounded and no one was even checking the guest list. the page sixers were there, trolling for items, and calvin was deeply conflicted, or confused, because we saw him ask patrick mcmullan to stop taking pictures... why invite him then? ps no body was wearing his clothes. yes, this was a $600,000 party that backfired."
Out: Teresa Heinz Kerry, willful blabbermouth, picklehead. Can someone put a fucking muzzle on her already? I know, I know: not four days ago, here I was, on this very blog, fascinated -- in true shallow Gemini fashion -- by her Mozambique-by-way-of-Swiss accent, and now? What? I repent. I can't take her eccentric $500 million twaddle. Teresa is form without content, an elegant international-flavored accent without the appropriate thoughtfulness, sophistication or polish: don't get distracted by the odd accent, the woman is dangerous! In many ways, she reminds me of stupid self-indulgent billionaires, like Ross Perot, or plantation owners, or British lords; they are so used to servants or slaves hanging on their every word, that thoughtfulness goes by the wayside and what we get, in due course, is logorrhea. According to Page Six, "THAT Teresa Heinz Kerry surprised and worried some of the 1,000 guests at Friday morning's Women for Kerry breakfast when she looked out at the crowd and said, 'We had better get you women some birth control, there are so many of you here!' Yikes."
In: IWantMedia's interview with "Outfoxed" Producer/Director Robert Greenwald captures the discomfort that some conservatives The Corsair knows (yes, The Corsair socializes with conservatives) have with the Fox News:
"IWM: What did you discover that surprised you the most while working on 'Outfoxed'?
"Greenwald: I thought going into this we would discover what we all knew -- that Fox News is a conservative news network, with an opinion relative to a conservative look at the world. But what I found is more troubling, more upsetting and more critical to democracy: Fox News is a Republican news network. It takes a Republican line, which is different from a conservative line.
"There are many well-meaning, thoughtful conservatives who disagree with the Bush administration about the war, about the tax cuts, about the economy, about [ex-White House terrorism advisor] Richard Clarke ... None of that is ever seen on Fox News because they consistently support the political line that the Republican party will take at any given time, which is different from a conservative philosophy or approach."
In all fairness, Fox has blasted back. Howard Kurtz has torched the film. And Variety gave it a mixed review.
Out: Gena Lee "Swollen" (AKA Gena Lee Nolin). That significant cultural artifact The National Enquirer informs us, mirabile dictu, that, "Gena Lee Nolin has finally made the journey from 'Baywatch' to 'Pay Watch' -- her long-awaited X-rated video has hit the Internet!" Charmed, I'm sure.
In: Models. So hott, everyone loves the aristocratic model, gliding down Prince Street in Soho ("the existential catwalk"), munching on rabbit food, portfolio in hand, ignoring the catcalls of the construction workers. (The Corsair sighs) Incidentally: Vladimir Nabokov's poetry appears to be all but forgotten in these United States of Amnesia, not to mention the works of John Dos Passos, Hannah Arendt and Jean Toomer, among other American artists who have vanished in the pop cultural buzz.
But Vladimir Nabokov's Ode To A Model is particularly relevant:
"I have followed you, model,
in magazine ads through all seasons,
from dead leaf on the sod
to red leaf on the breeze,
"from your lily-white armpit
to the tip of your butterfly eyelash,
charming and pitiful,
silly and stylish.
"Or in kneesocks and tartan
standing there like some fabulous symbol,
parted feet pointed outward
? pedal form of akimbo.
"On lawn, in a parody
of Spring and its cherry-tree,
near a vase and parapet,
virgin practising archery.
near a parapet of alabaster.
'Can one' - somebody asked -
rhyme 'star' and 'disaster'?"
And why do I bring up models? Fashionweekdaily notes the cover models of the August fashion magazines (Natalie, Scarlett, Halle, Naomi, the Presleys).
Out: The VH1 'I Love The 90s' program really, kind of, well, it sucked, true believers, I won't sugar coat it simply because I occasionally write for them. I'm keeping it real, nigga. It's waaay waay too soon to have a retrospective on the 90s. You've got to let an era marinade a bit. Whatevs.org has scored it just about right, with sports metaphors:
"caught the first installment of 'I Love The `90s' yesterday while sprawled on the couch suffering from quite the hangover. can't say that I was impressed by the pundits' commentary on 1990. something was just missing, and it took me almost 24 hours to come up with a suitable analogy. fortunately for you, it just hit me (pun intended). when thinking of this episode, i recall famed longball hitters like Rob Deer and Dave Kingman; while these batters were armed with legendary power at the plate, they just never quite learned that you can't try to hit every single ball out of the ballpark. instead of swinging for the fences and brutally striking out, occasionally a nice Texas Leaguer will do. knowwhatimsayin? so Hal Sparks is kinda like Rob Deer and Michael Ian Black is kinda like Dave Kingman; for every speedball that gets hit into the proverbial lights of The Kingdome, there's a whole lotta whiffin' goin' on."
Whiffin, to be sure, and, one imagines, it is not inconceivable that some huffin' is also involved here, as in -- glue. I Love the 90s might have been better served marinated until, oh, say, 2010, when we could look backwards with the proper ironical distance. This project was ill advised and too hurried.
In: Admit it, Barbara Bush is sexy, with those foxy eyes brimming with intelligence, a site so rare in the Bush family.
Out: Prison Magazines. In today's above-the-fold story on the hardscrabble origins of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times writes:
"These people, who knew Mr. Zarqawi until he disappeared into the terrorist murk of Afghanistan four years ago, acknowledge that he may have changed. But they say that while the man they knew could be capable of great brutality, they have a hard time imagining him as the guiding light of an Iraqi insurgency.
"'When we would write bad things about him in our prison magazine, he would attack us with his fists,' said Yousef Rababa, who was imprisoned with Mr. Zarqawi for militant activity. 'That's all he could do. He's not like bin Laden with ideas and vision. He had no vision.'"
Prison Magazine?! What the fuck?!