Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via

In: Diplomacy. It took the Bush Administration 5 years to "get" the concept of soft power. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) Ambassador John Bolton, putting away the stick and using, instead, the carrot -- as he ought to have done at the outset of his posting -- is starting, slowly, to make headway among the prevaricating international band of aristos gathered at Turtle Bay.

Condi Rice is newly favorite as Donald Rumsfeld is, reportedly, in the Presidential doghouse -- shall we mourn .. collectively? -- among the courtiers in DC (The bungled war's beginnings, they say, were the proximate cause). The State and Defense Departments are, it is said, to be in perpetual organizational conflict with one another.

Remember Rumsfeld? This, from Joespeh Nye, at the Council on Foreign Relations:

"I recount this little anecdote about talking at a conference of generals, in which I was the morning speaker and talked about soft power. And one of the generals must have been convinced, because he asked Rumsfeld, who was the evening speaker, what he thought of soft power. And Rumsfeld said, 'I don't understand it.' And my reaction is, that's part of the problem. [Laughter.]

The pendulum swings. Now, according to

"U.S. Ambassador John Bolton's second day as president of the U.N. Security Council on Friday was more successful than his first: The 14 other members agreed to his request for daily briefings on U.N. peacekeeping operations and global hotspots.

The council members decided to try the daily briefings on an experimental basis while the U.S. holds the rotating, monthlong presidency in February.

"... Bolton exulted that 'sweet reason prevailed' on the daily briefings .."

And -- lo and behold: The UN will send peacekeeping troops to Darfur, Sudan. (The Corsair pours himself a glass of Chateaux D'Yquen) The Godotish standstill over the genocide is over; and the United States was the only one who could cut through the horseshit.

In addition, it appears that the United States, in order to get cooperation from China vis a vis the Iranian showdown, has opposed Japan's proposal to a seat on the Security Council. While a sad development, this -- we feel an American-allied nuclear Japan would curtail rising Chinese aggression in the Pacific -- the beind the scenes compromise means that the Bushies are developing a more sophisticated understanding of international politics; growing up means having to make tough choices in the national interest. (The blunt and adolescent rhetoric has. unfortunately, been inherited by paleoconservative 2008 frontrunner, Tom Tancredo; you do your thing, Tomcat ... you .. do your ...thing)

Whatever your opinions of the Bush Administration (love, loathe): Their newfound appreciation of the Art of Diplomacy -- beyond the merely cosmetic --is ... a good thing.

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(Image via cnn)

Out: Marc Jacobs, Late. Again! This chronic lateness -- last year, Jacobs was 90 minutes late -- is becoming either a PR stunt or an overabundance of perfectionism. According to Fashionweekdaily:

"Push forward those dinner reservations! A delay in several deliveries of shoes, accessories, and select articles of clothing has caused Marc Jacobs to announce that his fashion show, scheduled for 8:00PM on Monday, February 6 at the New York State Armory, will be delayed until 9:30PM. A last delivery of goods isn�t scheduled to clear customs until late Sunday night, preventing staffers at company headquarters from accessing various fall collection pieces until the morning of the show. Jacobs issued a statement late today in the hopes that the message will reach the audience of its well-attended show over the weekend with enough notice to prepare."


(image via cavalierdaily)

In: Dane Cook. MySpace's most successful networking member, Dane Cook recently sold a movie to The Weinstein Company by a single sentence of a pitch. (And, by any chance did you read the lovely Phoebe Eaton's brilliant profile of the Weinstein's in NYMag?) According to The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit (via ew):

"Dane Cook has sold a comedy pitch to The Weinstein Company. At the same time, the actor-comedian is in final negotiations to play opposite Steve Carrell in 'Dan in Real Life,' a romantic comedy Peter Hedges is directing for Touchstone Pictures.

"The sale to The Weinstein Company came about when Cook was making the rounds pitching another project. He told execs a one-line idea, and they went for it. Details are being kept under wraps, though it is known to be a relationship comedy with heart and broad elements."


Yeah, Dave: But -- Why? (image via oprah)

Out: Why Did Dave Chappelle Walk Away From Comedy Central? Fuck if The Corsair knows ... But we cannot imagine that the executives at an edgy, upstart comedy channel would interfere with his show to such a degree that the number one show on the network wouold bolt.

If we were to rate Dave's appearance on Oprah, we'd give it a "B-minus." It was entertaining -- yes; but we have no sense of: the Why?

For the life of us, we have no fucking idea -- still -- why David Chappelle left one of the most successful comedy shows ever while it was on the upswing. Oprah tried. She threw everything but the kitchen sink at Chappelle, but he was very rehearsed and glib and, ultimately, nothing stuck. We heard everything in the way of excuses and oblique references -- from hints of interference from "the suits," as well as the fact that they -- always THEY -- wouldn't let him do the show that he wanted.

Then, oddly, there was mention that Dave wanted to give away money to ... people (Even Oprie -- "it's a national show" -- had to warn Dave to cool-out on that).

There's something really odd going on with Dave, and, unfortunately, Oprah didn't get to the bottom of it. But -- dammit! -- I watched; a dude actually watched Oprie -- twice in as many weeks! That damn Oprie; damn her.

More: Damn Oprie here.

In: Fashionweekdaily's GemmAwards. The coverage of Fashion Week at Fashionweekdaily is top drawer. And, as if that weren't enough they add "The GemmAwards," with little roasted chestnuts like:

"Most Costume Changes Award: GLENDA BAILEY She loves Donna, Lanvin, Chanel, Dior, Calvin, and Ralph�often in the same night! The question is: Where exactly does she change clothes, in a Bazaar mobile dressing unit?

"... Award For The Most Overexposed: TOM FORD From Lauder�s Dew-y dude to maybe-aspiring Hollywood director to child dominatrix instigator (or so 'Page Six' reported), Tom�s affair with the spotlight is a little out of hand."

Add Eva Longhoria as honorable mention. More here.


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