A Little of the Old In and Out
(image via steviewonder.free)
In: Stevie Wonder. The lukewarm critical reviews of Stevie Wonder's new album notwithstanding, The Corsair is loving the fuck out of it (Then again, keep in mind that we also love HBO's Rome, Eyes Wide Shut, Early Music and NBC's brilliantly written, but almost-certainly-doomed West Wing) .
Dorian Lynsky, for one, of The Guardian gets Stevie, if all those high falutiun critics don't. This calls to mind Gore Vidal's melancholy pronouncement that it is always those other than one's own countrymen that appreciate a genius. From The Guardian:
"He, too, wears his genius lightly. Being such a casual over-achiever is central to his charm. Sat behind his keyboard, he's an impish figure, teasing the crowds with the intro to All I Do, and adopting a baffling British accent for Sir Duke. He's particularly excited by the aphrodisiac qualities of Ribbon in the Sky: 'This is for all the lovers in the house. If you can't get a little sumthin'-sumthin', you can put this on and you can get sumthin'-sumthin'. And if you still can't, then you've got sumthin'-sumthin' wrong.'
"As the original one-hour time limit becomes a distant memory, and you wonder if it will take a tranquilliser dart to get him off the stage, he becomes increasingly merry. New single Positivity sees him duet with his daughter Ayesha Morris, who was last heard as a baby frolicking in the bath 30 years ago on Isn't She Lovely. He sings that song while her body language seems to say, 'Oh Dad!, you're so embarrassing!'
"He then introduces Motown president Sylvia Rhone, who is so incontinent with praise that, after several gushing minutes, Wonder has to dispatch her with a cheerful yet firm 'Get out of here'. But by the end of more than two hours of some of the greatest songs ever recorded, you know how she feels. This was sumthin'-sumthin' special."
It is. A Time 2 Love is fantastic; we'd like to dedicate "Positivity" to our stunning blog wife. Cheers, baby.
(image via shabakatvoltaire)
Out: Judith Miller. After those quixotic turning aspens, after a stint in the pokey, after her standing O in Vegas, and -- who can forget? -- her robust bitchslapping at the hands of Dowd, Judith, alas, is no more. We won't have "Wrong Way Judy" to kick around anymore, no. From William Keller's executive memo (via Romenesko):
"To the Staff:
"Judy Miller has retired from The New York Times effective today.
"In her 28 years at The Times, Judy participated in some great, prize-winning journalism. She displayed fierce determination and personal courage both in pursuit of the news and in resisting assaults on the freedom of news organizations to report. We wish her well in the next phase of her career.
Yes, well, considering the rumored "high six figure" retirement package, signing off the memo "Bill" seems entirely appropriate. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)
(image via mediabistro)
In: Lunch at Michael's. Laurel Touby of Mediabistro, the swishy organization The Corsair has been mentioned as a possible replacement for blogger-turned-novelist Elizabeth Spiers, gives us the scoop on Wednesday's mediaclusterfuck "Lunch at Michael's." To wit:
"Table 1: 740 Park was a definite theme today. Author of the book 740 Park Michael Gross was dining with Nancy Stoddardt (who used to live at 740 Park), Deborah Kurlewitch (apologies for butchering your name, Deb) of Estee Lauder's marketing department and Fayette Hickox (that's a made up name if I ever heard one!), also of Estee Lauder. [Corrections: Nancy Stoddardt's ex Peter Huang still lives there.]
"... Table 3: Rosanna Scotto, of Channel 5, with Lynn White of WB11 News.
"... 6: Bob Schieffer, CBS Evening News
"... 8: David Patrick Columbia with David, Viscount Linley (the nephew of Queen Elizabeth, son of late Princess Margaret, and first cousin to Prince Charles). We hear he's doing some kind of commerce here in the states. Also present: Wendy Moonan of the New York Times, Tim Knox of the John Soane Museum in London and William Blaney-Blair who works with Linley. [A little birdie writes: David Patrick lived at 740 Park (in a friend's mother's apartment) for months when he was a college student.]
"... 16: Kate Betts. Who were you with, Kate??
"... 24: The NY Post's Keith Kelly with Vanity Fair's Flackette Beth Kseniak, VF publisher Alan Katz, and Sara Switzer, also with the VF PR Department. Gee, wonder what they were discussing?"
A Keith Kelly Vanity Fair piece in the offing? Our favorite social chronicler lived in 740 Park? For the full list, which includes Democratic fixer Paul Begala, DC powerlawyer Bob Bennett and all around cool media dude, Chuck Pfeiffer (Who bless-his-heart once tried, at Elaine's, unsuccessfuly, to get me cast in a Michael Mailer produced film; Mailer, all-too-sober, wasn't biting) -- here.
Also: Our favorite social chronicler writes, "Shirley Lord was with David Monn and Spiros and Antonia Milonas. Esther Newberg with Random House editor (also editor of Michael Gross� book) Peter Gethers; Clinton biographer David Maraniss with editor Alice Mayhew" More David Patrick Columbia here.
(image via bbc)
Out: P Diddy, Courtier. In Balthazar Castiglione's instructive Book of the Courtier, he notes in the honeyed language of the perfect 15th Century diplomat, "vertue, and men with lyes and flatterie, and such naughtie meanes seeke to currie favour with them, the Courtier by the meane of those honest qualities ... ought to goe about so to purchase him the good will, and allure unto him ye mind of his Prince,"
At Tuesday's ACE Awards, Zack Posen's sugardaddy P Diddy brought his A-game of flattery to courting the fashion elite. We found his efforts thoroughly lacking (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). From Fashionweekdaily:
"(Naomi) Campbell, clad in a vintage Dior gown accessorized with Fred Leighton jewels ... was open to talk about her relationship with Diddy. 'He�s my brother and he called,' she replied when asked why she was presenting him with the Fashion Influencer award. 'He even went through the proper channels of calling my publicist first.'
"The teasing, meanwhile, continued as Combs accepted his award. 'If I could be born again, I�d be born the black, straight version of you,' he said, looking straight at Tom Ford, before doting on de la Renta, 'Everything about you is sexy; you even have a sexy tan.'"
Charmed, we're sure (Averted Gaze). But if Diddy intends to "pitch woo" to Oscar de la Renta, he's going to have to put more flavor in his funk.
Here's to you, Mr. Caribou. (image via nunavik-tourism)
In: ANWR. The Corsair has observed with an enduring interest Alaskan politics. Keeping Alaska's environment pristine is something we believe in strongly. When Senator Murkowski was reelected in a white-knuckle finish in 2004, we resigned ourself to the grim probability that drilling was immanent. It appears, though, that the pro-drilling forces in the House of Representatives have been handed their hats in intra-party quarrelling. Anwr drilling, tucked snugly into the budget bill, is too dodgy a proposition and so it's being dropped. Yay! From TheHill:
"Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was stripped from the House version of the budget bill last night as GOP leaders sought support from centrist Republicans for the difficult vote today.
"The concession came during a meeting of the House Rules Committee, the final stop for the Deficit Reduction Act before it heads to the floor. The sweeping bill trims government programs while simultaneously altering a handful of regulations - such as setting a deadline for television broadcasters to relinquish part of their spectrum to first responders and mobile-phone companies - in an effort to reduce the federal deficit.
"The Senate has already passed its version. That measure would allow oil drilling, which means, given the support of House leadership, that the final bill may still include ANWR drilling.
"But House GOP leaders have struggled to build support for the legislation, likely to be voted on today, even within the Republican Conference because members have proved reluctant to cast politically difficult votes for program cuts. Republican leaders can afford few defectors because they know Democrats are likely to vote no as a bloc.
"Taking ANWR out of the bill makes it more palatable for Republicans who are concerned about the possible effect oil drilling could have on the refuge, a stretch of wilderness used by caribou and other wildlife. Twenty-five House Republicans signed a letter circulated by Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) that stated they would not support the budget-cutting bill until ANWR drilling was stripped from it."
The full, intriguing story here.
(image via peta.org)
Finally, Also In: Stella McCartney. According to David Hershkovits, via the Paper Blog, under the title "Stella, Stella":
"No, it's not Marlon Brando calling Kim Stanley in A Street Car Named Desire. It's the mad shoppers at H&M in SoHo grabbing the Stella McCartney goods. As early as 9 am, they were snapping up everything in sight, including the clothes on the mannequins."