Monday, February 28, 2005
Here are 5 brief Oscar thoughts that The Corsair would like to let marinate in the blogosphere:
Above: The Corsair really wants to "do" the one in the white (Image via miamifilmfestival)
5) Waifish documentarian Zana Briski is wicked hott. And, to make things sexier, she's all "human-rightsy" and stuff, like Samantha Power. We'd love to -- how does one say this elegantly, and in a humanitarian, P.C. way -- "tap that ass." Really give her a robust rodgering. Just putting that out there.
4) The beatific image of Dustin Hoffman that the Oscar cameras kept panning to was, we are informed by Defamer, the visage of a gruesome winehead. Thanks, Defamer, like, alot: and we thought he was high on life. But no. The "grape"!
3) The camera pans to a laughing Kirsten Dunst, who famously didn't get along with no longer cool Toby McGuire during the filming of Spiderman -- acting, people! -- after Chris Rock poo pooed his star powers, saying:
"If you can't get a star, wait. Just wait. There's only four real stars. The rest are just popular people. Clint Eastwood is a star. Toby McGuire is just a boy in tights.''
1) Gwyneth Paltrow's constipated gasface after Chris Rock makes the requisite breast feeding of Apple joke. Priceless.
1) We liked Beyonce's song, okay, maybe we are the only one in the blogosphere that did. This morning, Howard Stern mentioned that his girlfriend, swimsuit model Beth Ostrowsky, is "fluent in french," and, eo ipso (Okay, Howard didn't say "eo ipso," we just added that to be fancy) Stern was annoyed that Beyonce Knowles sang the first song of the evening in French.
While we are sure Beth O can give a mean "French," (and probably take an okay "Dutch," and, we imagine, accept "The Greek Way") that doesn't particularly qualify her as a Francophile. Just a cunninglinguist.
PS) The Yo Yo Ma. Loved the Yo Yo Ma and the Bach sarabande. All memorials should be festooned with Bach sarabandes.
(Image via Radar)
In: Radar, Second Incarnation. History, said Marx, that fucking pinko slacker, repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce; Radar, it seems, also repeats itself, eventually, the first time as "tabloidal" and the second time as "blogish." It's all good, though. Mediaweek (Link via Romemenesko) says, "With the rise of the blog and the growing popularity of sites like Gawker.com, an essential part of the relaunch is Radar.com, which will feature fresh content daily." They plot thickens:
"A sneak peek at the next iteration of the 150,000- circ, bimonthly Radar during a visit to its spanking-new digs in Manhattan?s Flatiron District last week revealed a title that?s grown up a bit, though hardly lacking in the spot-on, sometimes piercing examination of the culture that was its hallmark the first time around. The magazine--flush with a $25 million investment from U.S. News & World Report and New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman and partner Jeffrey Epstein--started out skewering the likes of J.Lo and presidential niece Noelle Bush, and still has the rich and famous, and notorious, in its sights. (While editor in chief Maer Roshan didn?t want to publicize who might get the full-cavity treatment this spring, it?s clear talking to the guy that he?s got a jones for new Secretary of State, Condi Rice.)"
Sounds fascinating. Just ... please refrain from showing the "coochie" visual resulting from said "full-cavity treatment" of the current Secretary of State. Reserve that right to the proper Senate Subcomittee, for viewing at, oh, say -- 3AM on C-Span. We respect the office, admire the gravitas, and, quite frankly, that whole "Matrix-Dominatrix" outfit was -- how does one put these things diplomatically? -- de trop. We have no idea what would piss Maer Roshan off about Condi, but apparently he's locked and loaded. Then again, the Governorship of California doesn't appear to have built into it a strict moral virtues clause.
Out: Johnny Knoxville. We don't know what the ladies see in the star of "Dumbass" -- ahem -- we mean "Jackass." At least half of our lady friends rave about what they'd like to do to him (Averted Gaze). We're so fucking jealous, of course. According to the Page Sixxies:
"Johnny Knoxville gushed about working with Willie Nelson and Jessica Simpson on the set of the 'Dukes of Hazzard' movie. 'Willie is the coolest guy on the planet,' the well-lubricated Knoxville told us. 'He's everything you want him to be and more. So far he hasn't been smoking any pot on the set, but I think he might be doing it in his trailer.' The former 'Jackass' star also shot down rumors of marital troubles between Simpson and hubby Nick Lachey. 'It's such bull[bleep]. He visits her on the set, and she is just the sweetest girl.'"
Be careful Page Sixxies! We need you! We can imagine the skanky "well lubricated" actor slurring, bobbing, weaving, showing off his scar tissue, and, literally spitting up a veritable petri dish of super-resistant strains of bacteria. Don't get too close, guys!
In: What Went On at Bratislava Castle? Elizabeth Bumiller of The Old Gray Lady described it as, "One of the strangest kabuki dances of George W. Bush's presidency was his news conference last week with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Bratislava, Slovakia."
To be sure. Behind the scenes at the Bush-Putin press conference is what many of the Sunday Talking Heads shows went on and on about. Nothing definite was disclosed, however some pundits hinted that the tension was staged to provide Putin with what the Japanese like to call "face." Lots of speculation. Is the former KGB biggie so laughably provincial as to believe that George Bush had Dan Rather fired?! We know Kissinger spoke to Putin the week previous to the Bush-Putin mini summit.
Now, we hear word that Cheney and Condi Rice pursued back channel diplomatic meetings with the Russian President before actual the meeting at the forbidding Bratislava Castle in Slovakis. What happened? Inquiring bloggers want to know! Newsweeklies, get cranking! Howard Fineman: This means you. And now! shnell! Not fucking in 2009 in the memoir remixe. (Note: Newsweek has some dish online)
Out: Harvey Weinstein, Bitch. Our favorite studio bitch, Harvey Weinstein is all over the gossip pages, spinning the demise of a Weinstein-controlled Miramax. He's spinning like wino off his morning's Muscatel; he's spinning like a Thai hooker wacked out on some primo Afghani smack. Not ... that we'd know anything about either of those particular life experiences. But we digress. Page Six notes, "... it was hard to overcome the funereal mood as he and brother Bob celebrated what was likely their last Miramax pre-Oscar party. Having sold the company to Disney, it's probable the Weinsteins will be working elsewhere next year."
Lloyd Grove's Lowdown reports:
"The corpse of Miramax was handsomely laid out in a dimly lit party space at the Pacific Design Center on Saturday night.
"Huge black-and-white blowups of scenes from Miramax movies graced the yawning expanse of walls, shrouded in heavy black curtains that receded into the distance.
"But Harvey Weinstein - who's losing his studio to the Walt Disney Co. after a quarter-century of filmmaking - seemed positively jaunty.
"'In no way is this a swan song,' he promised a crowd that was obviously sparser than expected - folks with 'standing room' tickets found themselves seated at prime tables."
"... 'To quote John Paul Jones,' Weinstein went on, grandly citing the Revolutionary War naval hero, 'I have not yet begun to fight!'"
Oh, stay down, bitch, stay down.
In: Everything is on the Table. "By: William Half-Ire:
"I can't expect them to come to the table with everything on the table unless I come to the table with everything on the table," said the intellectually-challenged Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum on Meet The Press. Santorum borrows the language from the the Commander in Chief, who said in Europe recently, with regards to a hostile Iran, "The notion that the US was getting ready to attack Iran is absolutely ridiculous." Then he added: "That being said, all options are on the table."
Of which table does the President speak? Tablet comes from the latin tabula, and "boola," as we all know, comes from Yale's rousing fight song, "boola boola." 1901 Yale graduate Alan Hirsh has said of the song, "... It was euphonious and easy to sing and to our young ears sounded good."
We will not entertain the possibility that Rick Santorum was aping the President in a bid to sound more intelligent and authoritative than he really is. Perish the thought.
Oh, how we love our Page Sixxies, the clever guardians of the twin adamantine Gates of Fama and Fortuna, (The Corsair guillotines, then elegantly sparks up a Vegas Robaina Clasicos) who report so dutifully on what the elegant blogger James Wolcott called Graydo's Morton's bash, and, by implication, all Oscar bashes, namely "The Satyricon."
Only, this particular Page Six Satyricon wasn't Vanity Fair's infamous prestige party, no, no, no, true believers -- VF's bash was so very "first room" -- rather, this one was hosted by the "Arbiter Eligentiae" of the American -- not Roman -- Empire, Our ... Barry Diller, joyful HomeShopping Network pagan that he is, spewing black "Pan passions." (The Corsair sips the black wine of Cahors, elixir of Popes) And what not:
"OF all the Oscar parties, the best might be the lunch Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg threw the day before at their splendid estate in Coldwater Canyon. It was the ultimate mix of east and west, with guests lounging on Persian carpets and pillows arranged on a sunswept lawn, devouring roast duck, sausages and pasta."
Persian carpets? Sausages and roast duck? Did boys from Alexandria "pour snow water on the hands" of the guests? Such Imperial Overreaching Excess asks -- no, demands -- to be roasted on a "bonfire of the humanities," so to speak; and who, my dear readers, is more qualified that I, The Corsair, to have at such a lush and fertile target with my snarky abandon?
Having said that, We cannot fail to note here the passing resemblance of Diller's fete to our favorite scene from our favorite Ancient novel -- the first Western novel ever, in fact -- you guessed it, Petronius' "Satyricon," known to all Classical Greek Geeks like The Corsair as "Trimalcho Feast."
Quien es mas macho? Whose bash was the more decadent, more redolent of the overripe aromas of the zenith of an arrogant Empire? Trimalchio or Diller? As the immortal event -- Trimalcho -- was served:
"The first course was served and it was good, for all were close up at the table, save Trimalchio, for whom, after a new fashion, the place of honor was reserved. Among the first viands there was a little ass of Corinthian bronze with saddle bags on his back, in one of which were white olives and in the other black. Over the ass were two silver platters, engraved on the edges with Trimalcho's name, and the weight of silver. Dormice seasoned with honey and poppies lay on little bridge-like structures of iron; there were also sausages brought in piping hot on a silver gridiron, and under that Syrian plums and pomegranate grains."
Advantage: Trimalcho. Sorry Barry; Pasta does not compare. "Trim," as we like to call him, had us at the "Syrian plums." They remind us of Salma Hayek's pendulous dirty pillows at the Oscars. We'd even sell our sweet Ugandan ass to Lizzie Grubman for some Syrian plums served in Corinthian bronze. Further:
But back to Our Diller, who, not one to play second fiddle to any 1st Century Roman parvenu, "puts a little salt up in his game" in the guest list, which was a keen study in American power:
" ... The event this year honored Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, who was joined at the hip with his fianc�e, Anna Scott. Where else would you find the top moguls in the media ? Michael Eisner, Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, Howard Stringer, Les Moonves, Tom Freston, Peter Chernin and Brad Grey ? mixing with society figures like Reinaldo and Carolina Herrera, Aileen Mehle, Eric Wachtmeister and Tim Jeffries?
" ... Then add fashionistas like Tom Ford, Elle Macpherson and Andre Leon Talley. It's the one bash where the movie industry isn't triumphant, where you'll also spot L.A.P.D. chief Bill Bratton and his wife, Rikki Klieman, artist David Hockney, plus restaurateurs Brian McNally, Amy Sacco and Rocco DiSpirito, and writer Christopher ("Hellbound") Hitchens. In the minority were show biz types like Warren Beatty, George Hamilton, Anjelica Huston and husband Robert Graham, Robert Downey Jr., Peter Gallagher and Mariah Carey, who was holding hands with Brett Ratner for a few minutes."
Trimalchio only has the philosopher Agamemnon, some slaves, some sundry denizens of the Empire, and student adventurers Encolpyus and Aschyltus. Advantage: Diller. Now dress:
"Diller, setting the 'very casual' dress code, wore pajama bottoms and Converse sneakers."
Were the PJ bottoms inscribed "Juicy"? Did his ass fit snugly therein? Does The Corsair overstep the bounds of propriety by making such a lewd observation? Forgive us. Trimalchio, too, steps up his game:
"... We were in the midst of these delights when Trimalchio was brought in with a burst of music. They laid him down on some little cushions, very carefully; hereto some giddy ones broke into a laugh, though it was not much to be wondered at, to see his bald pate peeping out from a scarlet cloak, and his neck all wrapped up and a robe with a broad purple stripe hanging down before him, with tassels and fringes dingle-dangle about him."
Advantage: Again, Trimalchio. Come on, Barry. Make it a contest! Whatever happened to the leonine competitive spirit exhibited, so ferociously, at Fox? The Page Sixxies report:
"The best moment was when Angela Janklow showed David Geffen her Dolce and Gabbana purse festooned with the letters 'DG' in rhinestones. 'Maybe you should have this,' Janklow teased. D.G. declined."
But Trimalchio one ups:
"'A poor man and a rich man were enemies,' Agamemnon began, when: 'What's a poor man?' Trimalchio broke in. 'Well put,' Agamemnon conceded."
Winner: Trimalchio, TKO. Aww, we still have love for you, Barry.
Barry Diller's Bash
(Image via Shieldsnet.org)
"'He's not as easy to watch as [Peter] Jennings or [Tom] Brokaw,' said 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace in this week's The New Yorker magazine.
"'He's uptight and occasionally contrived. ... It's his style, and it's been a very effective style. God knows, I believe him. But I don't find him as satisfying to watch,' Wallace said."
Adam Lisberg, NYDailyNews
And now, in the aftermath of RatherGate and the ensuing Memo chaos, we turn to the soiled legacy of one CBS anchor: Dan Rather. Now that Dan Rather has been brought low by the steady stream of hot lead from the grimprecincts of the snarky blogosphere, one wonders: What was CBS thinking?
The Corsair believes that the main reasons the blogs were so hostile to Rather -- both left and right -- was because he was so manifestly unbelievable as a voice of Ultimate Reality. Bloggers are blessedly uninfected by the musty Establishmentarian Air that permeates joints like Elaine's. Thus, we look at Rather as the perennial third place finisher he is, flawed, silly, untrustworthy, gravitas-challenged. Really: How could Dan Rather be a "Wise Man" for 22 minutes of robust network news with the atmosphere of eccentricity that so consistently surrounds him, not unlike some otherworldly nimbus from the Crab Nebula? Holy fuck, keemo sabe!
Michael Wolff's interesting Vanity Fair piece on the "twilight of the anchors" says:
"After strained pleasantries, Rather inconsiderately failed to move on. Our small conversational group hemmed and hawed.
"'Really � how � I mean � ' -I began trying to circle the elephant-'do you think it is that you've become such a � I don't know � ' -I decided not to say doormat, or pustule, or piece of meat- 'buzzword � for the right wing?'
"'You tell me.' Rather stood like an old soldier, stiff, stuffed, painfully erect."
Such method acting! Do we have an Oscar at the ready for Dan's bravura performance of superlative "erectness"? Adam Lisberg's piece continues:
"Legendary anchor Walter Cronkite, who recommended Rather for a job years ago, told the magazine he preferred watching Brokaw - who retired last year - because Rather looked like he was 'showboating' - playing the part of a reporter on TV.
"And '60 Minutes' creator Don Hewitt, who likes watching Jennings, said America is voting against Rather with its remote controls.
"'If you're in a three-network race and you come in third, then the public is against you,' Hewitt said."
(A considerable pause filled with a tense, quivering righteous anger) Is there anyone at the CBS News division that has the confidence to watch their own anchor? Back in November 2003, The Corsair, neither right nor left, began to attack Rather. My motives were, I believe, shared by many other media bloggers in that Dan Rather did not appear to merit his $7 million a year salary. Call the cultural phenomenon of overly aggressive anti-Rather blogging as random acts of "resentment," or, call it, as The Corsair likes to, a clear view of reality that was validated by the fact that Rather's ratings sucked. Also chiming in, by the way, to distance themselves from Danny Boy are Andy Rooney.
Whatever the case, blogs will be all over this New Yorker piece penned by the always tastefully "mantanned" Ken Auletta today. And Andrew Hayward at CBS News, as well as Les Moonves, ought to be reading the writing on the wall. Get with it, or get bloggisected.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
The Corsair's inaugural column is on newsstands now in Razor Magazine. The one with the incredibly hott pictures of Shannon Elizabeth. My subject is "The Passion of Mike Tyson." Here's a taste:
"All manner of pop cultural wildlife grazes in the media tall grass nowadays, but to inaugurate this Razor Magazine column, The Corsair has elected to begin by hunting down the truly big game (The Corsair grabs his compact binoculars and rhetorical crossbow),namely, that coiled panther of in-ring violence: MikeTyson. And, we might add, we?re feeling kinda punchy(The Corsair swings wildly). The game?s afoot (antique French hunting horns blast), readers, let the chips fall where they may!"
Anyway, that's the energy The Corsair is bringing to this enterprise. Check it out.
In: Issey Blow. The fascinating Isabella Blow, currently in Milan for Fashion Week, is in need of a ghostwriter, reports Fashionweekdaily:
"Backstage at Missoni, Isabella Blow?in between puffs of her cigarette?divulged that she met with Harvey Weinstein on her recent trip to New York for Fashion Week, and the two are currently working on a book together. 'It?s a treatment in the works,' she said. 'It?s going to be loosely based on my life.' While the book has no title yet, she did admit that it will be ghost written. 'I have already fired my first two ghosts and am looking for a third. Know of anyone?' she asked The Daily."
That book would write itself. Issy has, among other things, studied ancient Chinese art while rooming with Catherine Oxenberg of Dynasty (and Yugoslav royalty), was a protege of ALT and Anna Wintour, befriended Andy Warhol and Basquiat, and is credited with discovering Sophie Dahl, Alexander McQueen, Phillip Treacy, Honor Fraser, Hussein Chalayan, and Stella Tennant.
Out: Naomi Campbell's Dad. Did you know that Naomi's father is Chinese? The Corsair had no idea. 99 times out of 100, a mixed race person is gorgeous (IMHO), getting the best qualities of both races. But we digress: Naomi's mom doesn't want her to know the name of her father -- even now that she's like 33. He must have been a real cracker jack prize, that guy, according to ContactMusic:
"The stunning catwalk star, whose father is Chinese, has no plans to go against her mother's wishes and find out who her dad is.
"She says, 'I never met my father. My mother doesn't want it and my birth certificate, which the whole world has run to pick up in England to see, it says cross, cross, cross."
"'She doesn't want it and I've always respected her wishes.'"
In: Steroids. As in, The Governor of California has No Regrets about using Steroids. Charmed, I'm sure, according to the AP:
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has acknowledged using steroids during his years as a champion body builder, said he doesn't regret using the performance-enhancing drugs.
"In an interview to be broadcast Sunday, Schwarzenegger told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "I have no regrets about it, because at that time, it was something new that came on the market, and we went to the doctor and did it under doctors' supervision."
Oh, then it's okay.
"America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
President George Bush, The State of the Union, 2005
Almost as if by some cosmic irony, the death of the founder of Amnesty International coincides with the apex of influence of unilateralist foreign policy. This policy peak consists of a vertical arrangement of the Iraqi elections, the continuing possibility of a Middle East peace accord, Togo, and the recent situation in the Ukraine. Or maybe we're being too superstitious, assigning some metaphysical symbolism to the timing of the founder of that human rights organization's mortality.
Still, George Bush's bold maneuvers -- of which The Corsair remains skeptical -- transformed The Ukraine. Of course, it was Colin Powell's swift and well played response, George Soros' money and, lastly, the will of all those frostbitten "Orange Revolutionaries" that were the true catalysts for change in that long-suffering nation. But it all occurred under George Bush's watch.
In the relatively smooth Iraqi election process -- where, we cannot fail to note, the sinister hand of Iran's Shiite theocracy was strengthened -- George Bush also presided. In Togo, militarily installed despot-manque Gnassingbe stepped down after massive international pressure, that, quite possibly, was congealed as it did because of Bush's pro-freedom State of the Union Address. (Bush issued veiled threats to the "Axis of Evil" in the 2002 State of the Union) Finally, now, at the crown of Africa, and Hosni Mubarak touting multiparty elections for the first time in the history of Egypt. We won't entertain the possibility that Condi's snub of Egypt had anything to do with this; we simply refuse.
It all seems so godamn incredible the amount of sheer change that has occurred in just the last few years. The effects of Togo and Egypt alone will reverberate mightily throughout the African continent for a long time to come. There have been downsides to such a bold, idealistic foreign policy. The abrupt, often clumsy, faith based maneuvering have upset the very foundations of Realpolitik, the arena where motives are calculated in an amoral distinterested manner. For all the benefits in Africa, future historians may look backwards and note that Russia and the United States' fragile friendship officially (RIP, 1991-2005) ended on the day we involved ourselves on the side of the Orange Revolutionaries against the Russian sphere of influence. That much at least was hinted at in the painfully tense (IMHO) press conference between Bush and his old pal "Pootie-Poot," who, quite frankly, looked more pouty than pooty, and more Mad-amir than Vladimir.
Russian anxiety in the Ukraine, so near it's borders, it's buffer against Western European opportunity and growth, has put them in bed with China and Iran -- one a competitor, the other an openly hostile regime to US interests. Was it worth the freedom of the Ukrainians? Of course it was. But the startling success of a way of being -- idealism -- so thoroughly discredited as "naive," by such formidable afficonandos of power as Henry Kissinger drives us to distraction.
Which leads me to the following question: Is this the death of political realism? Will Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger be relegated to the scrap heap of history, seen as interesting curios and objects of passing fancy for grad students in poly sci, along with Marx and Engels? Probably not. But it was a fun thought experiment anyway. More likely than not, they will be sent to the showers early and rise up again -- that "survivalist-at-all-costs" strain of thinking always rises after a fall -- at some other point in the near future. This is a time for idealism, for International Law, for Strauss.
Do interests or ideas directly dominate the lives of men? Todays news that Mubarak in Egypt is demanding electoral reform is a perfect example of how the combined effects of the Bush State of the Union. Note that there were 21 uses of the word "freedom" in the SOTU and the last word was -- "freedom." The SOTU, which Bush regards as a sort of covenant, a "promise kept" issued a direct challenge to nations who harbor terrorists. The future historian would be counseled to mark Bush's actions against his SOTU Adresses. Finally, Condi's bad cop diplomacy and a subtle combination of Natan Sharansky's "Town Hall Test" (Can a person protest the government in the public square?) and the House Resolution condemning Egypt for arresting Mr. Nour (Guess Mr. Nour proves Egypt couldn't pass the Town Hall Test). Congressman Adam Schiff D-Ca should be proud of himself. And Democrats should take note.
If Democrats want to be perceived as weak on Defense, fine. But if they do not, Adam Schiff has provided the roadmap. Work within the President's parameters. Get tough for the human rights cause, not just killing trees with all manner of impotent Amnesty International documents.
In that manner, perhaps the left ought to consider lobbying for some "regime change" in genocidal Sudan, a place where Osama Bin Ladin has resided and has wives, as well as a disgustingly genocidal regime. Very few troops would be needed to neutralize the Janjaweed. It's time, perhaps, to stop killing trees on earnest "human rights" papers, and join the 21st Century. Let us liberate the Sudanese.
It's all fun and games in XTinaworld. According to FemaleFirst:
"Christina Aguilera has revealed how fiance Jordan Bratman sent her on a scavenger hunt before he proposed to her.
"The 'Dirrty' singer was told by her music executive lover to look for a series of clues, which lead to her discovering he had bought her an engagement ring.
"The love mission happened after a romantic dinner Jordan had organised for Christina. She told America's Us Weekly magazine: 'He sent me on a scavenger hunt. The kind of treasure hunts my mom used to send me on when I was a kid.
"'It was unbelievable. Every cute thing he did, I totally thought was just a Valentine's Day surprise - he got me!'"
That's right XTina, you got Punk'd! Can you just imagine how that little scenario of scavenger fun and games unfolded? Hmm:
Jordan Bratman: (After dinner) Happy Valentines Day, honey. I've got a surprise! You know how you used to tell me how your mom used to send you on treasure hunts and stuff?
XTina: Yeah, only there was never any treasure. And when I went to tell mom and dad the bedroom door was locked and they were making funny noises.
Jordan Bratman: (A considerable pause) Uhm, yeah. Well. I've hidden booty.
XTina: No you haven't. You're booty's right here, honey (slaps Jordan Bratman on the ass).
Jordan Bratman: Yi! -- No, I mean buried treasure! No lying!
XTina: Oh, Jordan, you're so smart. You're my nigga. That's why you're the executive and I'm a singer. We make a great pair. I sing and you ... you ... executate! That's what you do, honey, isn't it.
Jordan Bratman: Uhm, okay. Let's start scavenging. Take a step to your right.
Jordan Bratman: You're other right, XTina. (sighs)
And so on.
Engadget writes about the hack heard round the world:
"We�re still not exactly sure how Paris Hilton�s Sidekick got hacked, but we just got word from a very trusted source who was able to get us some inside dirt about what was going on. Turns out that someone had been calling Paris on her Sidekick for a couple of months, telling her that something bad was going to happen to her and threatening to mess her up (remember how she had complained back in January that someone was reading her email?). Then last week while she was at Disney World (seriously!) she got one last phone call from the hacker telling her that today was going to be the day something finally happened to her (our source says he said something along the lines of 'It�s gonna happen now.'). A few hours later she started getting tons of phone calls from all sorts of random people (care to guess what�d happened?), at which point she freaked out and flew home on her private jet. Harsh."
Paris has a private jet? Anyway, Jason Calacanis blogged on February 21, "Well, I just got back from the All-Star Game where I was hanging out with Mark Cuban. He told me his phone started going crazy at midnight last night when the news story broke (his number was in her Sidekick) ... He has a new number already." Which ties into this interesting piece about the fallout of Paris Hilton's T-Mobile in pro basketball, from -- of all places -- Infoworld:
"The hacking and/or information theft from Paris Hilton's sidekick nearly halted a last-minute trade among NBA teams, this intrepid reporter has learned.
"How did I learn this? By listening to early morning sports talk radio. Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban, on the radio (KTCK 1310AM to be specific) defending the trade of Alan Henderson and Calvin Booth to the Milwaukee Bucks for Keith Van Horn, said he was nearly out of the loop on the trade because he had to get a new phone number because his phone number was among those found in the hotel heiress' cell phone.
"If Van Horn stiffs with the Mavericks, as many fans suspect, they may wish Cuban didn't get a new phone. Cuban said he received an amazing number of phone calls once the numbers were published."
So, like, the Paris hack story is reverberating in the world of professional sports? When will this end? When will we -- as a sage man once asked -- be over Paris Hilton?
Former "21 Jump Street" star Holly Robinson Peete went into labor at an Oscar Party, reports those intrepid Page Sixxies. Where were "The McQuaid Brothers" (AKA Hansen and Penhall; thank you ... thank you) when Officer Judy Hoffs had need of their slow hands.
Whatever happened to "Your friends will be there when your back is to the wall?" Huh?
Whatever happened to: "You'll find you'll need us cause there's no one else to call."
The Corsair belts out loudly: "When it was hopeless a decision is what you need ... You'd better be ready to ... be ready to jump. 21 Jump ... Street"
But we digress. Ahem. According to Associated Press:
"Actress Holly Robinson Peete, pregnant with her fourth child, was partying at a pre-Oscar bash late Thursday when she went into labor.
"'One minute she's grooving, the next minute her water breaks,' said Michael Lewittes, a producer for 'Access Hollywood' who was covering the party."
Aww Michael Lewittes, too much information! And, really, Holly, doing the "Ninja Outburst" when you're in the final trimester. Can someone say "country"?
"... 'Her mother Dolores then grabbed a table cloth off one of the tables and wrapped it around her daughter,' he said. 'She sat down for a few minutes' while waiting for the paramedics to rush her to a nearby hospital.
"'She was remarkably calm,' Lewittes said."
Now that the baby is safe and all, and we wish the family the best, we have to ask, we are compelled, with only the faintest aroma of snark, we say: When ... when Mama Delores just sort of ... "grabbed the tablecloth," as the AP reports, whisking it off the table --like so -- and wrapped her baby up all snug as a bug in a rug, did ... did she disturb the drinks in the process?
The Corsair wants to know: Did the Henny get disrupted? Did the Courvoisier get swept away?
"(Holly Robinson Peete's husband), Carolina Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete, was not at the party.
"The 40-year-old actress gave birth to a boy shortly after 6 a.m. Friday and was doing 'great,' her publicist Patti Webster said.
"The couple had not named the child yet, but were looking for a name that starts with 'R,' she said. Their other children are 7-year-old fraternal twins Rodney Jr. and Ryan (a girl), and 2-year-old Robinson. "
Here are some ideas: R for Rwanda, Oscar nominated film Hotel Rwanda; R for Rock, the controversial host (and the man whose surprise party she spent the earlier half of the evening attending); R for Ray, who's lead actor will probably -- unfortunately -- win Best Actor.
Jo Piazza of the Daily News writes:
"Ironically singer Wyclef Jean was performing 'No Woman No Cry,' when Peete was rushed off the dance floor.
"So many partygoers, among them Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs and Usher, dialed 911 that three emergency vehicles from the Beverly Hills Fire Department arrived."
Definitely country. Coordinate your hysterical reactions people!
Friday, February 25, 2005
Above: Roger Ebert "throwing up" the Underground Crip Gang hand sign for "Dogme"
Eminent Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert has thrown down the gauntlet on Matt Drudge's foot. He demands satisfaction. Sort of. We'd like to see the fight, anyway. According to Editor & Publisher:
"With the Academy Awards gala just two days off, Oscar mania is growing, but unfortunately for the big show it mainly surrounds the potential for great excitement or disaster due to host Chris Rock. But this afternoon, in an MSNBC interview, Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times (and other venues), pooh-poohed all that.
"Speaking from California, he said he had been touting the volcanic Rock as guest host 'for seven years.' He declared that 'no one' out there was worried about his performance. All the controversy, he said, stemmed from one source: 'the Matt Drudge site.'"
Oh, it's on like Gray Poupon!
What are we looking at by way of reprisals? Will Drudge drop Roger Ebert off his Blogroll? Will Ebert then write a column bashing Drudge after Chris Rock kills at the Oscars? Oh, we so hope.
Slate's John Swansburg writes:
"On Sunday night, Chris Rock is slotted to host the Academy Awards, to the displeasure of two people: Matt Drudge and Chris Rock. Drudge thinks Rock is dangerous. Rock wants people to think that he is.
"In two postings, Drudge warned that Rock's selection promised to throw the broadcast 'into complete chaos.' He hyperventilated about Rock's foul mouth�'One audio recording captures Rock firing off more than 35 F-words per minute!'�and told Fox's Hannity and Colmes that the comedian's off-color repertoire would tarnish the last remaining Hollywood institution where you can 'go for class, for a night of celebration where everybody cleans up.'"
Both Drudge and Ebert have had scraps in the past. They're old school like that. Writers are supposed to drink and fight and ... fornicate, in no particular order (But we'd suggest beginning with the drinking, then slowly easing into the fighting and fornication segments of the evening).
Ebert -- memorably -- feuded with disgusting, truly disgusting, vole-like indie filmmaker, Vincent Gallo -- did we mention that he is disgusting? Ebert gave Gallo an intensely bad (and richly deserved) review; Gallo promptly hexed Ebert; His whamajama bewitchment game must have been tight, because Ebert soon developed thyroid cancer; they subsequently made up. Ebert's doing fine.
Drudge himself is no stranger to a spot of rough and tumble. He -- memorably -- published false accusations that Sydney Blumenthal beat his wife. (A considerable pause) Ultimately, the court found that Drudge is not a reporter, a journo or a newsgatherer, but simply a "purveyor of gossip." Everyone walks away with their heads held high, and Drudge walks out only slightly more sleazy that when he walked in.
Ebert versus Drudge? So there.
(Above: Fred Durst prom photo via Stereogum)
In: Fred Durst Responds. America's latest impromptu porn star, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst creepily predicted (via Defamer) the hack on his website:
"well people, hackers, gotta love them and gotta despise them. it's the territory where we are all put in a position to be victims. kind of fun and dangerous at the same time. so don't be so gullible. i wouldn't open any chat anywhere else or i wouldn't send you email blasts about anything. i never have and won't start now. those things should come up as red flags to you. hacking isn't hard and making yourself seem believable to thousands of people through text is nothing genius to figure out. let's move on."
He concludes, with extreme crimnal-mindedness"i just wish they would concentrate on hacking the banks around the world and put millions of dollars in all of our accounts. that sounds like more of a pay off."
Out: Keanu Reeves, Hurling. The stars really are just like us! They spew! They hurl chunks! They get nausea! (And, what else can one do but take the "technicolor yawn" in the face of a meaningless and absurd universe?)
And here we thought celebrities just survived on the consumption of ambrosial nectars and, in due course, emitted sparkly pixie dust as waste by products.
But no. In this new, fastpaced world of easily affordable cell phone cameras, we are all papparazzi, waiting for the money shot. Defamer has a Keanu shot that you should definitely not view while eating.
And, to round things out, Below is my favorite Keanu Reeves quote of all time, from Premiere Magazine's fucking "Oral History of Keanu Reeves" (but you and The Corsair know that the true "oral history" of Keanu is splattered between Sunset Boulevard and North Beverly Drive):
On Shooting Dracula:
"Keanu Reeves: It was great to live in that environment going for a run in the morning, looking at the stars at night, going into (Francis Ford Coppola's) research library, spending time with him. You know, watching Tom Waits sing 'Waltzing Mathilda' to Winona at the piano, Winona crying. It was a beautiful life. Les enfants du paradis."
Response, from the opposite aisle:
"Ron Mwangaguhunga: Oui, c'est vrai Keanu. 'Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamais rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours leur donner des explications.' St. Expury. C'est tout."
In: Cathy Horyn. Cathy Horyn of the Old Gray Lady sounds positively "Penthouse Letters" in her review of the Alessandra Facchinetti's show for Gucci in Milan (Or, maybe we're just not getting enough). Observe:
"Young women in prim white blouses and sensible black skirts doesn't sound all that exciting, either. But when the label is Miu Miu and the schoolmarm is Miuccia Prada, you know the innocence is just a cover."
A cover? A cover for what you ask, all innocent and sotto voce:
"Under a checked wool coat with a Mongolian fleece collar she put a white slip layered over a black leotard, a gesture that went with her models' insolent faces."
"... Hard leather bags swung on motorcycle chains. There were plush fleece coats, including one in soda-pop grape, and cute leather tams crudely stitched with black yarn."
More on the "tough sweetness" of Dolce and Gabana's lacquered jeans, and how Alberto Biani's hem puts "some sauce in your step (eew)."
Out: Getting Horses Drunk. Not cool, obviously -- but we can see ... in abstracto, how this might be construed as quite amusing. From TheSun:
"TWISTED Queen?s Guards made a horse drink huge amounts of alcohol in a cruel prank.
"Soldiers forced eight cans of strong Stella and a bottle of red wine down the animal before it went out on parade.
"The claims were probed last night by the RSPCA and Army."
Now: did the horse hold down? Or did it bitch out, like some teenager chugging his first can of Schlitz. Kiiding. But, seriously, was he a thoroughbred or a foal?
In: Alexander Payne. The 44-year old director is going to lend his juice to world cinema. According to Karina Longworth of the IndieFilm blog:
"In an effort to draw more attention to Un Certain Regard, the world-cinema showcase element of the Cannes Film Festival, Sideways director Alexander Payne has been tapped to head its jury. The category was created in 1978 in order to subsume several other sidebar events, but has only been competitive for the past six years and, amidst all the Cannes hoopla, tends to get somewhat overlooked."
Indiewire's "On The Scene" reports on the mood in Hollywood, influenced by the rains, the various Awards and the ongoing corporate flux:
"With the recent heavy rains in SoCal, party planners have been keeping their eyes on the skies here in Los Angeles. Weather forecasters say that the blue skies that arrived overheard on Thursday will continue through Oscar night.
"While Spirit Awards nominees partied in Santa Monica on Thursday night, MGM and United Artists celebrated their Oscar and Spirit Award nominations with a party at popular LA restaurant Campanile. MGM vice chairman and COO Chris McGurk worked the room greeting well-wishers as guests noshed -- Thursday is grilled cheese night at the restaurant. It was a party with a bittersweet feeling. A consortium led by Sony is closing a deal for MGM and United Artists and once the deal is finalized both the studio and its specialty unit will face a huge shake-up that will see executives from the top down leaving.
"... Meanwhile over at the Pacific Design Center, ICM's Shaun Redick and others hosted the Indie Ball, toasting independent films and filmmakers. Numerous other parties are on tap, many catering to the Hollywood set. While indies are partying and honoring their own in Santa Monica by day, tomorrow night Miramax will toast its 25th anniversary at a Pacific Design Center party that will mark the end of Miramax as we know it, certainly for Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Just as MGM's top brass are leaving their company, Miramax's Weinstein's are widely expected to leave Miramax soon to start a new venture. The brothers are said to be in final discussions with corporate parent Disney this week in Los Angeles. So Oscar weekend, with Scorsese's 'The Aviator' in the running, will be a true swan song for Miramax."
And with regards to the sheer amount of swag being given out, one wonders just what is "independent film" anymore (and, like, how can The Corsair get some of that loot?), Indiewire dutifully reports:
"... Back at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, Sundance-style gifting goes to the beach with On 3 Productions again creating swag bags for Spirit Awards attendees. While all 1,400 attendees will take home a collection that includes booze, sweets, Kiehl's products, a 3-month Netflix certificate, and more, the real swag is available only for the big names. A special gift lounge backstage will offer an array of clothing, a Loews Cineplex annual pass, a lifetime membership to Netflix, Ray-Bans, electronics, and much, much, much more, according to a press release."
Of the swag The Wisconsin State Journal writes:
"A huge, perverse industry has sprung up that's dedicated to giving complimentary goods to those who can most afford them: celebrities.
"Remember that 'Saturday Night Live' sketch years ago in which Eddie Murphy disguises himself as a white man and people start approaching him offering money and free stuff?
"It's like that, but celebrities are the designated honkies."
Also regarding the awards, talk of "Big Money" and "David versus Goliath" scenarios will abound, as independent film undergoes some self examination. Indiewire also asks the interesting question, at the end of their article, whether the $7,000 filmmaker get the same swag bag as, say, Samuel L. Jackson, or Quentin Tarantino? Are there gradations of swag? At the Independent Spirits, of all places? They promise to give us the lowdown.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
(Image via Forbes)
As the date of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts exhibit of Ralph Lauren's cars approaches, the fashion designer, nee Ralph Lifshitz, is firmly in the drivers seat, being quite the little control freak. Page Six broke the story of Ralph's obstructionist ways, and it has snowballed from there. According to British Vogue:
"RALPH LAUREN still hasn't forgiven Michael Gross for the unauthorized biography that was published two years ago. According to PAGESIX.COM, the designer insisted that all Gross' work be removed from the bookstore in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts before he allows it to stage an exhibition featuring some of his most prized possessions."
The Boston Globe: (2nd item):
"An item in Vogue alleges Lauren is so upset about Gross's unauthorized bio 'Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren' that he demanded it not be sold at the MFA during 'Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection,' which opens March 6. Not so, says MFA spokeswoman Dawn Griffin, who said the museum planned all along to sell a different and authorized biography, Colin McDowell 's 'Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style.'"
And, a week later also in The Boston Globe (3rd item):
"Yes, Ralph Lauren despises unauthorized biographies. But no, the designer did not forbid the Museum of Fine Arts from stocking Michael Gross 's bio during the museum's show of his collectible cars. At least that's what the fashion mogul said when reached at his home in Jamaica. 'That question has never, ever come up,' said Lauren, asked if his peeps, as reported in the New York Post and elsewhere, demanded the book be kept off the MFA's shelves. Lauren did add: 'Any unauthorized biography is as good as nothing.'"
Finally, we give the last word to our pal, Michael Gross, who emails:
"The book the MFA is selling, by Colin McDowell, was delayed more than a year and then published the same day mine was. Supposedly a coincidence. Though it was full of imagery owned by Polo -- and I heard Polo controlled it-- Ralphie's foot soldiers kept making the astonishing claim that it was also unauthorized and Ralph had nothing to do with it!!
"So I guess that like a tweed jacket or challis skirt, the passage of time has made it better than nothing!!"
Ralphie Lifshitz, have you no shame?
In: Soho House Oscar Villa. The gossip columns were all about the (haughty voice) "Soho House Oscar Villa" today, which is, apparently, giving away all sorts of swag out to the truly needy, namely, the already pampered, superrich celebrities. What about the bloggers? Where's the love SoHo House? Where's the love? Fox411 said ofthe spectacle:
"... Meanwhile, Oscar arrivals to Hollywood are just about fighting with each other to get dinner reservations at Soho House over the weekend.
"One reason: The gourmet food and drink are FREE, since the club is private and foreign and not set up to take money as an eating establishment. And there's nothing actors like better than free food!"
And, in Page Six, "DREW Barrymore celebrating her 30th birthday with affectionate beau Fabrizio Moretti, Ed Norton and Willie Garson at the Soho House Oscar Villa, which is open for the week in a super-secret location in the Hollywood Hills."
But what's the function, aside from fabulosity? According to their press release:
"The intent of the Villa is to provide invited guests a place where they can relax, have meetings, eat and drink as well as retreat from the mayhem of pre-Oscar week. Therapists from the Cowshed Spas, Bumble and Bumble and Mac Cosmetics will be on hand at the house throughout the term ... Entry to the Soho House Oscar Villa is by invitation only."
So, invite us already, bitches.
Out: Peter Jennings. As The Corsair noted yesterday, the once respected and urbane presence in broadcast journalist, no doubt reeling from the repeated ratings bitchslaps handed to him by the likes of the milkfed Brian Williams, will presently tackle the pressing societal issue of .... flying saucers (Averted Gaze) tonight, on AB to the goddamnC. So sad to see a great man brought low by the bean counters.
Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post (link via Romenesko) offers a sober assessment of this now terrible debacle:
"Jennings, of course, is careful not to take sides in the long-running debate.
"But by fronting this exercise, Jennings has taken sides in an uncomfortable way. He has thrown in with the corporate bean counters who would rather have their anchor host a two-hour prime-time marathon about UFOs during February than, say, a straightforward, in-depth analysis of Social Security.
"At a time when the network is weighing the best way to dump 'Nightline,' serious journalism has all the appeal of a white paper on the trade deficit. UFOs are more fun."
It had to be said. Peter Jennings: from urbane internationalist to the "fun" (Averted Gaze)news anchor. (Update: Drudge reports Jennings UFO show got an 8.0/11 share in the artings. The selling of his soul yielded significant ratings. He got a good deal with Beelzebub)
In: Prince. According to Ananova, the reclusive singer will come in from the wilds of Minnesota, to a chorus of soft, feminine giggles, carrying about him the faintest hint of lavender mixed with a whisper of contrived exclusivity, to present an Oscar:
"The appearance of the 46-year-old singer onstage at the Oscars will be his first at the awards in two decades since he won Best Original Score for his 1984 movie Purple Rain."
Best Achievement in makeup?
Out: Michael Powell, Loudmouth. For someone in charge of the FCC, Michael Powell sure has "issues" with the art of communicating effectively. First Stern, now this. According to Unconventional Wisdom (link via Wonkette):
"So tonight I was eating at Tosca, one of Washington's finest Italian restaurants, and there sitting at the very next table was Michael Powell, the outgoing FCC chairman and son of the former secretary of state.
"Powell was eating with a mid-thirties white guy, decent looking. I don't know who he was; I do know that he has written a book.
"Anyway, what Powell wanted to talk about, far too loudly, was John Negroponte, the ambassador to Iraq who President Bush has nominated to become National Intelligence Director. In Powell's opinion, Negroponte was a bad choice because he's 'not ruthless enough.'
"The White House will not listen to him. Also, intelligence is not his field; he's a diplomat."
Not ruthless enough? This is the same John Negroponte who supervised the creation of the El Aguacate air base, which was ultimately used as a secret detention and torture center? That's not ruthless enough, Michael Powell?
In: Seeds of Peace Bid for Peace Celebrity Auction. According to Our Guy, David Patrick Columbia at NYSocialDiary:
Above: The Hip Hop Violin (Averted Gaze). You do your thing, Miri Ben-Ari ... you .. do your thing.
"The seventh annual Seeds of Peace Bid for Peace Celebrity Auction brought celebrities and over 1,200 New York professionals to the Copacabana on February 16th and helped to raise close to $850K for programs that empower young people from regions of conflict, including Israelis and Palestinians, with the leadership skills required to advance coexistence.
"This year�s event honored Christiane Amanpour of CNN; Former Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin; former US Ambassador to the UN Richard C. Holbrooke. Universal Artists� Miri Ben-Ari, the hip hop violinist and recent Grammy Award-winner for her collaboration on Kanye West�s 'Jesus Walks.'"
Stop there. You had us at the "hip hop violin." Looks like someone made band practice work for them. How do you think Ambassador Holbrooke reacts to this socially significant development? Does he appreciate the decorative high pitched trills? Or, more likely, did the Kosovo negotiator shout, "it's all krunk," then, taking off his jacket, throwing it to the ground, start "battle rockin" former assistant secretary of state James Rubin?
Above: Ubiquitous narcissist and Oscar nominee, Jamie Fox, displaying "ass" for the camera, an open invitation to "mount."
Height? Youth? Whiteness? So very first room, true believers. In the world of high fashion modeling, my dears, Jamie Foxx makes do with sheer massive dumbness and his near cosmic self involvement. According to Hello!Magazine:
"A galaxy of stars took to the runway for a charity fashion show on Tuesday in Hollywood. Oscar nominee, Jamie Foxx ultra-chic in a white suit and sky-blue, feathered hat, lead the A-listers as he struck a pose on the catwalk at the General Motors-sponsored fashion fest. Also featured in the gala were Hilary and Hayley Duff and Red Hot Chili Pepper lead singer Anthony Kiedis. The celebrity models, who strutted their stuff against a backdrop of GM concept cars, were joined by Grammy winner Kanye West, who performed at the event."
MTV.com also took in the decor, saying:
"Foxx, who was the guest of honor earlier in the night at a nearby party hosted by L.A. Confidential magazine, pulled double duty at the fashion show, walking the runway in Dolce & Gabbana behind the new Hummer H3 and joining Kanye during his performance afterward."
You know, this would all desist if we all stopped paying attention to him. Jamie Foxx is the starved for attention three year old, disrupting every conversation at the party. He sings. He does impersonations. He acts like a buffoon.
"As the encore to West's hit-filled set, which also featured Common and Keyshia Cole, Foxx took the stage beatboxing while West freestyled about the crowd, which included Quentin Tarantino in the front row, hands in the air."
What, QT? All out of syringes and ass?
"... Foxx then shot up from his chair and sang the hook from 'Slow Jamz' while Kanye rapped his verse. 'Give it up for future Oscar winner Jamie Foxx,' West commanded."
Commands, you say? Kanye ... take Jamie Foxx's dick out of your mouth; that's better, now, realize and accept the fact that Hollywood's worshipful airs towards Jamie are in clear violation of the first commandment.
"While Foxx was ubiquitous Tuesday night, he plans to spend the rest of the week resting and preparing his acceptance speech for Sunday's awards show, where he's favored to win Best Actor for 'Ray'"
How cool would it be if Don Cheadle won for Best Actor? The Corsair believes Cheadle deserves it anyway for the accent alone (The Corsair's mom, who is Tutsi, said it was perfect) Wouldn't you love to see the Foxx camera close up as the words, "And the Oscar goes to ... omigod!-- Don Cheadle!" In that moment, do you think Foxx would throw furniture and get all ghetto up in the bitch? Huh, do you?
"'I don't know if I can [top the Golden Globes speech],' Foxx said. 'I saw Sidney Poitier a few days ago. There was no speech I have ever seen like the speech he gave to his friends at his private birthday party. He is the book, I'm the preface. Maybe someday I'll develop into a book, that's what I told him.'"
Overly ambitious, Jamie. Your reach exceeds your grasp. Baby steps first. Let's begin with: Maybe someday you will develop into a porno mag. Or a Jehovah's Witness bible tract.
"I talked to (Sidney Poitier) and he said, [impersonating the veteran actor] 'I saw you one time and our eyes connected.' He was giving me advice. He said, 'I'm giving you responsibility to go out and keep doing your craft.' "
The Corsair sees a future of endless biopics and impersonations done for media interviews (in much the same way Robin Williams annoyingly breaks into his manic antics until reporters feign amusement) in Jamie Foxx's future (Tyson?), and, should he win the Oscar over the hugely talented Don Cheadle, a fatuous acceptance speech ... an endlessly fatuous acceptance speech will be our collective punishment for indulging his self indulgence.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Are we now witnessing the spectacular demise of that once significant cultural artifact, the network evening news anchor? Still, despite the acrid aroma of decline, the Three Wise Men, like the great marble busts of the Roman emperors, besiege a shrinking viewership nightly with their manly looks, their exuberant confidence, their expression of Stoic determination, and, most important of all, that fabulous hair. These talking heads -- granite pillars of respectability, all -- combine the saintly charms of the priest, the sagacity of the rabbi, the divine prescience of the minister with the warmth of your favorite uncle all wrapped up under one � strikingly ... beautiful helmet of robust hair.
Peter Jennings, for example, gives off the worldly impression of a long winter afternoon spent by the parlor fire in the company of old French novels. Tom Brokaw, recently retired, is a child of the Great Plains, an All-American outdoorsman, who would be at home hiking canyon trails, or, say, whitewater rafting in some red state. But Dan Rather? Well, he�s �colorful chap,� what can The Corsair say?
Rather�s eccentricities make us pine after the days when Walter Cronkite handled on-air anchor duties at Black Rock. Dan Rather�s infamous �What's the frequency, Kenneth?�episode is the stuff of explosive belly laughter if you are not careful. The story goes like this: In October 1986, Rather was roughed up while walking down New York�s Park Avenue in broad daylight. The ruffian, one William Tager, mercilessly kicked and pummeled the supine anchor, all the while repeating the mysterious phrase, �Kenneth, what is the frequency?� The Corsair can only hypothesize that Rather responded in a baleful pleading tone, �Not � the � hair!� Michael Stipe of REM, who later parlayed this quixotic little happening into a hit song, said of the incident, �It remains the premier � American surrealist act of the 20th century.�
To be sure, Dan Rather�s half-hour broadcasts venture unawares into the realm of outsider art. Take, for example, his odd penchant for phrasemaking. In his vague Texas twang, Rather delivers unintentionally hilarious metaphors via his unique consciousness, now commonly accepted in the broadcast news medium as �Ratherisms.� Of the tight 2000 Presidential election, Rather gamely opined on air, �This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach.�
Wildly inappropriate comes immediately to mind.
Also, why is this man allowed to break off into what can only be properly construed as �free verse� unmolested by a stiff reprimand from an Executive Producer? CBS Evening News was living la vida loca for a moment there.
And how can we forget The Anchorman�s infamous tantrum during the 1987 U.S. Open. After being told by producers that a match would run long, abbreviating the Evening News, Our Danny Boy mysteriously found someplace better to be, thus leaving the network with more than six minutes of dead air. Dan Rather, as anchorman, the ultimate �News Diva,� as Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair put it.
Meanwhile over at NBC, the highly implausible Wise Man, Geraldo Rivera actually once ran hard and hungry for the prestigious Tom Brokaw chair, a seat now occupied by the follicly privileged Brian Williams. Geraldo, you�ll remember, is the author of the salaciously titled autoerotic autobiography, �Exposing Myself,� � irony unintended -- a �tome� which starkly chronicled Rivera�s moist trysts with the likes of Liza Minelli, Bette Middler and Margaret Trudeau, the then wife of the sitting Canadian Prime Minister (Charmed, I�m sure); that this man would aspire to an urbane anchor chair is a supreme act of Daffy Duck logic. But Geraldo Rivera possesses cojones the size of honeydew melons, so Daffy be damned.
In an August 1998 TV Guide article, the man whose nose was famously �slam-jammied� in a scuffle with some puckish skinheads, brashly declared, �I'm running for the center chair at the desk of the wise men.� Don�t mock, reader, don�t scoff! Afterwards in another interview, in a characteristic exhibition of �the balls,� Geraldo trash talked the tragically mild but beloved ABC anchor, Peter Jennings, referring to him pejoratively as �Little Petey.� Ahem. Needless to say, that appeal to �the thug life� did not sit well in the staid precincts of network television news. Still, like a bad brandy, Geraldo lingers on, well past his introduction to the system, and is presently blowing hot air at large within the Fox News firmament.
But pity the oft-married Peter Jennings, who in a truly pathetic attempt to get ratings is selling his broadcasting integrity by "probing UFOs." Fucking: unidentified flying ratings. On his fourth marriage by our reckoning, so called �Little Petey,� a trusted name in evening news, ought to have conquered Tom Brokaw�s newbie replacement, the milk fed Brian Williams, and reclaimed the number one spot in the ratings in the wake of CBS�s Rathergate by now. That has not been the case. Instead, New Jack Brian Williams has scored some impressive bitchslaps over both Jennings and the soon to be retired Dan Rather in the ratings. This disturbing trend, if it indeed continues, cannot bode well for the future of Peter Jennings. It�s enough to turn even the most full-bodied and well textured anchor hair gray.
Ultimately, the future of ABC�s news may lie with Ted Koppel�s successor at the slumber inducing �Nightline,� now headed into its 25th Anniversary. Has anyone even noticed that milestone in broadcast news? Sugary-voiced beta male and former Clinton White House adviser, George Stephanopoulos has been mentioned as a possible replacement for that long winded magnum of chloroform (zzzz), Koppel. From there it would be only a hop, skip and a jump for George to replace Jennings. But we worry that �Nightline� would cut into George�s rather �athletic� sex life. Stephanopoulos� wife, the very frank Alexandra Wentworth, told the Washington Post last year that she and her husband make sweet love twice a day. That Stephanopoulos manages to host The Week for ABC in between these gymnastic booty calls commands our respect.
And so there you have it. Rather is on his way out, and no one is sure with whom or what evil CBS television overlord Les Moonves will fill the vacuum. (Bloggers, Les; we work cheap and have tons of opinions on the news) Peter Jennings is losing ground against the young upstart with the great hair, Brian Williams. And just about everyone else is watching Jon Stewart or 24/7 cable for their news. And that, in the end, might just be a good thing all told.
In: Michael Musto. And so, there we were, reading Liz Smith, when this leaps off the page:
"MICHAEL MUSTO, who is no longer merely the mouth that roars dish at the Village Voice, is now a part of the musical 'Newsical.' Once a month, Musto will provide the 'Newsical' producers with a 'hot scoop' that will then be put to music, as the 'Michael Musto Song.' The satiric revue has an open-ended run (Michael wouldn't have it any other way) and plays at Studio 54 ."
We are so there.
Out: Dan Rather, Stifle Thyself. The Corsair only has one thing to say to all of you people. Syracuse, 413. According to The Observer:
"CBS sources said that Mr. Rather has been officially muzzled: On March 9, when he steps down as anchor of the CBS Evening News, he will be limited to seven controlled interviews with the press to avoid questions about the scandal."
Will the muzzle have the CBS eye logo?
In: Warren Beatty, Porn Afficionado. The husband of the likely Best Actress Oscar winner, the priapic Warren Beatty knows his "fluffers" from his "reverse cowgirl." According to that significant cultural artifact, The National Enquirer:
"Ex-porn actress Sharon Mitchell, who now heads a group that monitors X-rated movie stars for sexual diseases, was introduced to Beatty on the set of his film 'Town & Country.' She told The ENQUIRER: 'I was struck by how extensive his knowledge was of the porn industry.'"
Why ... are we not surprised?
Out: Queen Elizabeth. Royal marriage for love? How quaint. But not necessarily socially acceptable, especially considering it's a second marriage on both sides, love be damned. And just when we were starting to feel good about the royals. According to Hello!Magazine:
"Prince Charles' parents won't be there to share the moment when he ties the knot with fianc�e Camilla Parker Bowles in April. The Queen and Prince Philip have confirmed reports they are not to attend the ceremony in Windsor's Town Hall, though Buckingham Palace insists their decision should not be interpreted as a snub.'The Queen's prime concern is that the civil ceremony should be as low-key as possible, in line with the couple's wishes,' explained a spokeswoman. 'Clearly, if she were to attend, the occasion would no longer be low-key. She is attending the service of dedication and paying for the reception - this is not a snub.'"
Not a snub, but so very fucking close. Asymptotically close. Always approaching, never quite reaching ...
In: David Hasselhoff. The Corsair is not sure what happened to the rap career that former pimp Ice T was promoting a while back, but Scarlett Johansson sure likes em big and square jawed, according to Contactmusic (link via Ananova):
"She said: 'I so fancied him when I was young, that to see my name on the credits next to his makes me go all girly. He was a hunk back in those days.'"
Yeah ... a hunk of cheese, Scarlett.
Out: Jennifer Love Hewett. "Love," as her close friends call her, is starring in a new pilot (link via Defamer). According to Hollywood Reporter:
"'Party of Five' alumna Jennifer Love Hewitt will play a psychic in CBS' untitled drama pilot centered on the work of James Van Praagh.
"Widely known as 'Ghost Whisperer,' the project revolves around a young newlywed (Hewitt) who communicates with the dead."
So not there.
In: Hypocricy. Have you ever noticed that the gasbags who go out of their way to defend Larry Summers are the same people who argue that Ward Churchill should be fired? The Corsair has no such hypocrisy issues: both Summers and Churchill are dicks who should keep their day jobs. James Wolcott makes an interesting point, though:
"Digby is also correct about the dumb-cluck level of the show's discussion of the Larry Summers Harvard controversy, with most of the panelists falling over themselves to disassociate themselves from 'PC.' Andrew Sullivan tried to make it sound as if Summers Agonistes is a pivotal Galileo moment in the fight over free inquiry ..."
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
In: Coke's Make It Real Campaign. Our favorite New York Social Chronicler, Our guy David Patrick Columbia of NYSocialDiary notes:
"Coca-Cola celebrated the launch of the new 'Make It Real' campaign at Marquee. The event highlighted Coca-Cola's recent partnership with two of the new generation's prominent creative forces, street artist Shepard Fairey and fashion designer Jennifer Nicholson."
Also at the party was the ever skankinescent indie film fungus Vincent Gallo, who, in a rare picture, appears to have found someone not underage. Brava. Her bewitched deer-in-the-headlights look, however, suggests that Count Gallo has only started feeding off of her young, nubile, actress platelets. The winter gear covers up entirely the harsh vampiric puncture wounds no doubt inflicted wantonly by the undead. Haul ass, baby!
Also, alleged "cracktress" Natasha Lyonne (sorry, Parker Posey) to be regaining some color to her cheeks ... and is losing her trademark malnourished "concave ass" look (Charmed, I'm sure) -- so ubiquitous, when appearing, skraggly, on the streets below 14th street all of last summer ...
Out: Mohammed Al Fayed. No one ever accused Al Fayed of having a sense of taste which overrides the bottom line. But the "Phoney Pharoah" has come such a long way from selling Coca-Cola on the streets of his native Alexandria (Averted Gaze). He's got "kult-cha"! According to Rush and Molloy:
"Members of Local 6 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union are flying to the U.K. to demonstrate in front of Harrod's, whose owner, Mohammed Al-Fayed, wants to open a store in what's now the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza hotel.
"Members of the Coalition to Save the Plaza Hotel oppose the new owners' plan to turn the landmark into luxury condos and retail space."
Nice. Smooth move, Ex Lax. Wikipedia notes, "(Al Fayed) was involved in the cash for questions scandal, having offered the Conservative MPs Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith money for asking questions in Parliament. He provided MP Jonathan Aitken's bill from the Ritz Hotel in Paris to Peter Preston at The Guardian, thus destroying Aitken's libel case against the newspaper and resulting in a perjury conviction for Aitken. He has a long running feud with Private Eye magazine, which, dubbing him the "Phoney Pharaoh", has often reported his alleged business malpractices and heavy-handed methods of dealing with staff at Harrods and in his other business ventures." A "classy" guy, to be sure; Mohammed always knows to blame "the hounds" when he passes gas at the dinner table.
In: Simon Doonan. ... "In" which we learn what Tina Brown has known for so long, namely, that Simon Doonan gives good "acid social observations." To Fashionweekdaily, The Doon dishes on Barney's, where we've always suspected so much more goes on than the conspicuous consumption of shoes:
"'Girls go to Barneys to snag a husband because rich guys will be there. They might date a starving artist from Brooklyn, but they want to marry a guy with a hedge fund. When they see the men heading over to women's clothes, where there are no changing areas, they strip down to nothing to show off those Bikram bodies, and coyly slip into their Marc Jacobs shifts. We've had to remove customers from the premises for indecent behavior and flaunting themselves inappropriately.'"
And, re: fashionistas:
"'There are the major fashion players who don?t want to be recognized discount shopping. They arrive in full disguise with burkhas, you name it. They have some kind of bizarre snobbery?it's hilarious.'"
Oh, Anna, why?
Out: Sumner Redstone, Electronic Gamer. Sure, methuselan media titan Sumner Redstone strikes The Corsair as the type of man more likely to be found engaged in a quiet game of "whist" (Averted Gaze) after his nightly sleepytime cocoa, but apparently for the sake of the shareholders at Viacom, the old boy likes to "get his game on," so to speak (wink, wink), in "the digital arena," according to iwantmedia, from Businessweek:
"It would be hard to find a video-game enthusiast more unlikely than Sumner Redstone. The 81-year-old chairman and CEO of Viacom made his fortune in theaters, then built an empire by buying such traditional media assets as the Paramount studio, CBS TV, and book publisher Simon & Schuster. But last May, Redstone increased his stake in Chicago-based Midway Games, taking control of the company that makes the successful video game Mortal Kombat but has been a longtime industry laggard, with $276 million in losses over the last four years."
Work those shot reflexes, Sumner! Right here's where you start paying ... in sweat!
In: CNN's Blog coverage. We're not kissing ass here (seriously), as the likelihood of The Corsair showing up on CNN as a talking head is unlikely, despite our long, lush Ugandan eyelashes that would look so fetchingly well on the small screen. Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources, however, as well as that cute CNN Blog reporter, Jacki Schechner, have done, arguably, the best "blog reporting" around. Reporting on what the blogs are saying is goddamn innovative for any news outlet, and, it seems, that they have somehow harnessed -- however slightly -- the vitality of the voices on the web. Is the blogosphere, like, a "beat" now? Quelle horreur!