Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out

20covdc

(image via businessweek)

In: The Microsoft-AOL Rumors. The more The Corsair thinks about the possibility of this happening, the more amazing it all seems. Just imagine: in 2002, AOL-TW bled $100 billion. While we hear that there is a lot of tension between the Virginia-techie AOL crowd, and the more socially sophisticated Time Warner types, Richard Parsons would be foolish -- although we can imagine him as tempted in this second internet gold rush -- to sell AOL to MSN outright.

AOL is a fucking gold mine; we didn't see the rationale at first, but after Murdoch's latest Dotcom moves, and the future that said moves telegraph, we see a bright future in store for the company within the stable of content rich Time Warner. The Merc spells it out, pimp-style:

"The rumors of a deal emerged at a time when companies such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Barry Diller's IAC are scrambling to gobble up Internet users in a bid to make themselves more appealing to advertisers.

"IAC, already an Internet powerhouse, recently acquired search engine Ask Jeeves and is starting its own search advertising service. And News Corp. recently acquired popular social networking site MySpace.

"Whether Microsoft ends up with AOL's customers or AOL gets Microsoft's Internet users, the result would be a company much better positioned to compete.

"'These media companies are trying to aggregate traffic and reduce their reliance on Google,'' Devitt said.

"'Google's gone from being an underdog to dominating an industry, and sentiment changes,'' he added. 'It's almost like the Yankees. It's easy to hate them. That's when you get companies willing to do deals outside of the dominant power.''

"Both Microsoft and AOL have been aggressively working to chip away at the dominance of Google and Yahoo."

More here.

spielberg

(image via elperiodico)

Out: Steven Spielberg: Napoleonic? Granted, Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" inaugurated the Summer tentpole blockbuster (A phenomenon, arguably, that is at present in its last gasping throes); and, granted, to be sure, Spielberg has gone on to make the most popular, profitable and, oftentimes, artistic of films. In the Hollywood cosmos, Steven Spielberg is, sui generis, the Golden Hollywood Sun. That having been said (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), those intrepid Page Sixxies have once again come through with some rather disturbing information about Herr Director, and his unfortunate --ahem -- self-consciousness of his own world-historical importance (Averted Gaze):

"IS Steven Spielberg taking lessons from Barbra Streisand? According to the Budapest- based Web site pesticide.hu, the director is continuing his diva act in Hungary, where he is filming 'Munich.' In addition to closing off streets and generally inconveniencing the locals, Spielberg has supposedly asked his employees to have their underlings sign contracts with some bizarre conditions. One is that they address him only as 'Maestro,' and another is that they never make eye contact with the director, a rule Streisand herself is said to have imposed on workers."

"Maestro" is, of course, a term of the highest respect that Italians, or actors working with the great Italian directors -- like, say, Fellini -- give out rather sparingly (Arched eyebrow; The Corsair sips a marture Madeira). We have never heard of that as being something to be included in a contract, though. That's a new one by us, and we've seen everything under the sun. Issuing the sobriquet "Il Maestro" is usually a spontaneous occurrence (The Corsair absently sparks up a Partagas Series S).

8

(image via brooklynvegan via stereogum)

In: The Thin White Duke. The Corsair has been a fan of David Bowie since, oh, Let's Dance, when he goes (The Corsair is filled with wonder), when he goes -- ".. Because my love for you/ Would break my heart in two/ If you should fall /Into my arms /And tremble like a ... flower," which sounded, to our 12-year old fevered imagination, like inspired madness.

Damn (The Corsair whistles), we would have liked to have seen Bowie and Arcade Fire. According to the AP (via The Globe and Mail):

"David Bowie made a surprise appearance with the indie Canadian rock sensation Arcade Fire during their concert Thursday night.

"The 58-year-old Bowie joined the band at the end of their concert in Central Park, and the audience roared at the sight of the rock icon.

"In town for New York Fashion Week, Bowie took to the stage in a white jacket and pants -- which stood in stark contrast to Arcade Fire's all-black attire. After performing a song of his own with the group, Bowie strapped on an acoustic guitar and joined Arcade Fire's Win Butler in singing the band's Wake Up.

"It was just Bowie's second performance since having a heart attack last year."

May there be many more.

kate_moss

(image via mediawatchyouth)

Out: Kate Moss. H&M may have accepted her feeble apology (The Corsair shakes his fist, impotently), but we cannot -- will not -- forgive "Our Kate," the one with the "highwater booty," for being engaged to that ... to that no-talent, non-entity (The Corsair paces the room, clearly distraught). Says Reuters:

"Fashion retailer H&M said it would use British supermodel Kate Moss in an upcoming advertising campaign after hearing her explanation and regret following accusations she took illegal drugs.


"A spokeswoman for Hennes & Mauritz told Reuters on Saturday company representatives had met with Moss following the publication of pictures on Thursday in the Daily Mirror, which the British tabloid said showed her snorting cocaine.


"The model has not commented on the story since it was published and her agent was not available for comment on Saturday. Moss has previously denied taking hard drugs.


"'We strongly disapprove of her actions," H&M spokeswoman Liv Asarnoj said. 'We think that this is very unfortunate. We have strict policies for engaging models.


"They should be healthy, wholesome and sound and we are strongly against drug abuse -- we have made this clear to Kate Moss."

Good luck in finding a model who is, as they put it, "healthy, wholesome and sound (The Corsair gives a world-weary knowing wink)." They continue:


"After hearing her explanation and her regret we have decided for the time being to continue the campaign."

richard-botto-cigar

(image via richard-botto)

In: Richard Botto. Richard Botto, who published Razor Magazine, is a friend of mine and a kick-ass editor, besides. Granted, the media business is a rough and tumble arena -- but, still, he was inaccurately portrayed in the media and not allowed a chance rebuttal. We had a fun 7 months as Contributing Editor and columnist at Razor -- what is 7 months in media years? -- but, alas, it's over, as all good things must ultimately end, and we have nothing but good memories and fond feelings about the whole experience. Razor let The Corsair be The Corsair; Razor raised our profile and exposed us to new eyeballs. Anyway, here's Richard's statement (About a week late; sorry, RB), which The Corsair is publishing as is, by way of letting our onetime boss and forever friend get the last word on the end-of-Razor:

"Earlier this week, our management team made the final decision to cease publishing Razor Magazine. The reasons behind this move were many.

"I couldn�t be more proud of our accomplishments over the last five years. Despite reports of a dwindling circulation, Razor had announced a rate base cut over a year ago, a fact that was not included in the aforementioned reports. In fact, Razor was one of only three men�s titles (out of 15) to show a double-digit increase (12.8%) in single copy sales according to the latest ABC statement. Additionally, since I took over as editor in June of 2003, I oversaw our top 9 best selling issues of the 44 we published overall, a triumph I share with my incredibly talented editorial crew.

"My staff battled though the many challenges facing an independent publication in the 21st century. We had to fight ten times harder for every inch of ground and for every ounce of respect. We also battled through things beyond our control including the worst ad recession the magazine industry has ever seen. Through it all, I had as loyal and dedicated a workforce that anyone could ask for.

"Although we are not currently printing the magazine, this is not necessarily the end of the Razor name or brand.

"There have been many inaccuracies in the reporting of the events leading to this point as well as in the reporting of personal information regarding myself. Much of what has been reported thus far is simply incorrect.

"For any questions or to set up an interview regarding Razor or the state of the men�s magazine category, please call Wendy Colemanat 480-797-3357. Finally, my heart goes out to all those who have experienced suffering and loss at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. Although it has been repeated many times, my hope is that all people with means visit http://www.redcross.org/ and make a donation."

Like The Corsair said, a week late (If you haven't already donated, though, nows the time). Cheers, RB; RIP, Razor Magazine, (but not the brand).

aj149

Baby. (image via idontlikeyouinthatway via bestweekever)

Out: This Blind Item. We refuse -- refuse!-- to entertain the possibility that this blind item is about our dream woman, Angelina Jolie (Kate Moss is so last post; we've already moved on), but who else is an "A-List actress" with "pouty lips"? Who? Jennifer Anniston? Kirsten Dunst? We're baffled! Baffled, we say. Email guesses to: papermag@yahoo.com In the meantime, according to the 3AM Girls:

"WHICH A-list actress has sparked rumours of an eating disorder on the set of her latest film? The rail-thin pouty babe orders enough nosh for 'at least three people' in her trailer at mealtimes and spends 'four times longer on bathroom breaks' than other actors and crew."

Oh no they didn't!

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