blog advertising is good for you

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Why can't German leader Angela Merkel abide her own peers? She bristles at Nicolas Sarkozy, protests Gordon Brown's widely praised economic-stimulus plan as a 'pointless race to spend billions,' and appears immune to the charm of U.S. President Barack Obama, whom most other Germans seem to love. Merkel's standoffish manner is the outgrowth of a German foreign policy that has, since the end of the Cold War, grown increasingly independent of American influence and focused on German self-interest, whether in military adventures in the Balkans, Iraq, or Afghanistan or in handling the global economic crisis. And unlike her recent predecessors, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder, Merkel grew up outside the political mainstream, as a physicist in East Germany. As a result, her style is more businesslike, less backslapping. She is 'Ms. Cautious,' and growing more so as elections approach in September, says Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff of the German Marshall Fund. 'She's not just jumping onto a global hype.'" (Newsweek)



"Yesterday, I spent a little time ruminating as to whether Pakistan was really the most dangerous country in the world. And I promised to consider today which countries were, in fact, should worry us the most. To begin with, let's consider criteria and that means we need to ask 'dangerous to whom?' There are plenty of local actors who are the nearest, greatest threats to the neighbors. So, let's limit ourselves to actors who can cause the greatest disruption through their actions to the most people over the next decade or so. Here are my top 10 .." (David Rothkopf/ForeignPolicy)



"Well, there is so much to say about this retreat and I have a few photos. BUT I get up at 5:30a to be at the retreat on time for the first zazen—seated meditation– and am so tired right now .. This has been a more profound experience than I expected. Most of the 110 participants are therapists, mental health practitioners, as well as men and women in the chaplaincy program. They have come from all over this country and Europe. We are learning how the mind and brain are not the same but are co-dependent, how we can change the neural pathways in the brain by changing the way the mind processes experiences and how the mindfulness that comes with meditation practice can bring mental health and well being .. We do 3 hours a day of seated meditation. I am finding the meditation hard because I miss my sweetie and it’s hard to stay focused on the breath. Also, there’s no signal in the valley where we are so I can’t even call him when we get an occasional break but this afternoon I played hooky and drove into town where my blackberry would work and we spoke for long enough to ease the longing." (Jane Fonda/Blog)



"But irony of ironies, after literature was evicted from mass culture, pop culture itself began to fragment and lose its heretofore defining quality as the ubiqui?tous stuff that everybody consumed. In a typical week nowadays, fewer than 6 percent of Americans see the most popular scripted series on television. So we have arrived at a strange new historical moment. Literature is just another (minor) sector of the culture industry, but now even the mandarins agree that certain pop artifacts — 'The Sopranos,' 'The Simpsons,' Radiohead — are cultural creations of the first rank. Meanwhile, popular culture and mass media are no longer very popular or mass. By and large, both entertainment and art appeal to niches, cultural tribes that range in size from tiny to smallish. But our hunger for massively shared cultural moments has not disappeared. Thus the astonishing decade-long global frenzy for the Harry Potter novels, and our recent two-week obsession over Michael Jackson as a nostalgic artifact of the late super-pop era. And also the astonishing rise of Barack Obama. Obama’s presidency will undoubtedly influence the tone and substance of pop culture. But what’s most pop culturally interesting about him is not so much Obama as cause but Obama as effect." (Kurt Andersen/NYTimes Book Review)



"Photographers no longer follow his every move, and his first heady days in the Senate are now fading into the August recess. But for Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), there’s no rest for the newly appointed. 'We haven't had time to settle into a routine yet,' says Franken spokesman Jess McIntosh. Since Franken took office on July 7, the weeks have been packed with activity. Week One: Swearing in, moving in and making appearances. Week Two: Jumping headlong into Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Week Three: Offering his first bill, which passed in just 24 hours. Week Four: Moving into his new home on Capitol Hill. Week Five: Scrambling to keep up as the Senate roars through its work before recess. It might have been a quick jump into the deep end, but Franken had some time to plan his first senatorial actions: There were seven months between Election Day and his swearing-in." (Politico)

"Lenny Kravitz, below, fending off female fans at the VIP Rooms, SaintTropez." (3AMGirls)



"The second season of 'Mad Men' only sporadically matched the brilliance of the first, which makes the third-season opening pitch by this Emmy-winning AMC drama particularly gratifying. Despite series creator Matthew Weiner's "The Sopranos"-like approach of telling the stories he wants at the pace that suits him, the first hour hits the ground running a little bit faster, creating interesting plot lines for several of the returning characters while adding a compelling new presence.
Said presence, without divulging too much, is Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), the slightly imperious Brit whose company has acquired Sterling Cooper and is going about putting its imprint on the fictional firm. The repercussions of those moves seem destined to trigger some high-stakes chess within the agency, augmenting the not-always-so-blissful domesticity of ad man Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his model-pretty wife Betty (January Jones).Don's shadowy past remains fertile territory, but Weiner, director Phil Abraham and his uniformly splendid cast conjure up a delicious assortment of moments -- sexy, surprising and even, once or twice, pretty explosively funny. The early 1960s setting also continues to invite all sorts of nifty flourishes and references, from the advertising guys puffing away aboard an airplane to a woman comparing Don to "Ty Power." That's short for Tyrone, kids, and if the name doesn't ring a bell, look him up." (Variety)



"In 'A Perfect Getaway,' opening this weekend, two lovers are stalked by murderers on a Hawaiian island. So while we swelter out August in the office, we thought it was time to stalk Hollywood's power brokers who get to spend the summer on the water. It started with Ryan Kavanaugh complaining about a story from somewhere off Ischia, where he went to get an award. Then Peter Guber shot us an email about the Bel-Air hotel closing from the South Pacific. The final straw was Ben Silverman texting us about his decision to leave NBC from the azure depths off of Naples. Enough. (TheWrap)



"MySpace may be facing questions about whether it’s still culturally relevant enough to retain users and attract ad dollars, but the social network is winning on at least one front: It appears to be the go-to network for studios and content companies premiering original programming. Whether it can turn that advantage into a reliable revenue stream remains to be seen. The social net recently debuted King Rat, the Heath Ledger-directed video for the new album from indie rock band Modest Mouse. And earlier this year, Endemol partnered with it to launch the reality TV-style series Get Married On MySpace. In the latest example, Paramount will premiere the 10-episode thriller Circle of 8 exclusively on MySpace in October, complete with a social and mobile game that will let viewers hunt within the content for clues that ultimately help move the plot forward. While some data has shown that user engagement on MySpace overall is down, it is still the top social network in both video streams and time spent watching clips—and that’s an obvious selling point for studios." (Tameka Lee/Paidcontent)

No comments: