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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Congressional officials are in the process of finalizing transportation and security arrangements for the dozens of lawmakers expected to fly to Boston on Friday to attend Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral service. Lawmakers themselves are scrambling to rearrange their weekend plans so that they may attend Kennedy’s funeral service in Boston on Saturday, where President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver one of the eulogies. An extreme example is Rep. James McGovern, who heard the news of Kennedy’s death while on a congressional delegation trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. McGovern cut that trip short and embarked on a marathon 26-hour journey from Kabul to Boston, with stops in Kuwait and Germany along the way, to ensure arrival in Boston for the Kennedy funeral." (TheHill)



"What does it take to be a great social chronicler? Perhaps one of the key attributes is an understanding of what it feels like to fall from grace. Dominick Dunne, the best-selling novelist and defining voice for so many years of Vanity Fair magazine who died of cancer Wednesday at 83, was living proof that the best qualification for a writer’s life is a checkered past. I met him for the first time in July of 1983 at a dinner party—of course (hosted by the writer Marie Brenner at her Manhattan apartment). Dominick was a keen-eyed leprechaun in owlish glasses whose chief charm was his voice—mellow, humorous, and suggestive of past lives and forgiven sins. It was a writer’s voice for sure as I realized after two hours of listening enthralled at the table to his observations of people he knew and stories he had heard in Hollywood and high society. At the time, he introduced himself as an erstwhile movie producer who 'was finished with all that' and now, after some lost years in bad shape and A.A. and shunned by Hollywood, he had begun again as a writer of novels .. forte, unsurprisingly, became crime. Nick loved nothing more than to be dispatched to study the foibles of such Dynasty-era divas as Aaron Spelling’s wife Candy in her preposterously large Beverley Hills mansion and turn her into a delicious cartoon of Reagan-era excess. But his real forte was the dark side." (TheDailyBeast)

"Michael’s was busy but not its usual pandemonium. Summer’s not quite over. The beautiful and (not adolescent) sexy Patricia Duff was lunching with Joel Silverman. At the table next to them, Paula Zahn, looking like Jane Fonda’s younger sister, was lunching with a group ladies and gentleman. Around the room: Francine LeFrak, Nick Simunek, David Adler, Herb Siegel, Dan Wassong; Pamela Fiori with Carolina Herrera; Jerry Inzerillo, Henry Schlieff, Peter Price, Rob Weisbach, Ted Forstmann, Jon Dolgen, Fredi Friedman, Stuart Sundlin. And dozens more just like ‘em. Dominick Dunne died yesterday morning at his East 49th Street penthouse apartment. It has been said that, for reasons unknown to this writer, his family had tentatively planned to keep his passing a secret briefly, at least until the Senator Ted Kennedy's demise came down a font or two in the media. All of this is ironic, considering the subject." (NYSocialDiary)



"GRAYDON Carter has put his 83-year-old mother, Margaret, to work. The restaurateur, who edits Vanity Fair on the side, has a new dessert at his Monkey Bar -- Mrs. Carter's Butter Tart. 'Yes, they are indeed my mother's butter tarts,' Ottawa-bred Carter informed Toronto columnist Shinan Govani. "I felt it important to have Canada's national confection on the menu, inasmuch as folks like Dan Aykroyd, David Steinberg, Martin Short, Bruce McCall and other such north-of-the-border notables are frequent customers.' But Mom is a perfectionist. She found them good, but, 'They did not precisely conform to her rigid specifications,' Carter said. 'We are therefore continuing to engineer them to a more Canadian level of butter-tart excellence. Even in their present state, though, they are a huge hit with the Americans. For them, it's like tasting an oyster for the first time -- you just can't believe anything so disgusting-looking could taste so good.'" (PageSix)



"If you ask Manhattan’s female authors—specifically of the urban chick-lit genre—whom they would want to option their novels, the answer is often Sarah Jessica Parker. They would also like her to produce the film adaptation, star in it, and maybe even have a say in the wardrobe, if she has a spare moment. This has made Ms. Parker, 44, very busy. Currently in development at her production company, Pretty Matches, is The Washingtonienne, an HBO comedy series about the lives of three 20-something women working on Capital Hill, based on Jessica Cutler’s naughty novel of the same title; The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, a film adaptation of Amy Cohen’s memoir about how she and her father both entered the dating world after the death of her mother; and a Project Runway–style art competition picked up by Bravo a year ago. Just last month, Pretty Matches also optioned Amy Sohn’s novel, Prospect Park West, about child-rearing and sex among the Park Slope mommy tribe, for a half-hour HBO series. Having Ms. Parker option your book has become a badge of honor." (Obseerver)



"As the long, hot summer of our discontent came to a close, vacationers the world over reluctantly reshelved the books they had dipped into during their precious days of leisure, as they sought escape from the anxieties of the global recession. In the best of times, such reading is more attentive and suffused with wish-fulfillment than the harassed skimming that book lovers manage during the busy work year. But these are far from the best of times. This year, as Italians, French, and Spaniards drove to the mountains or to the Mediterranean; as Russians with rubles headed to Sochi and Cyprus; as Germans flocked to Baltic Sea cottages; as the Japanese jetted to America or Europe or trained to Tokyo's Shonan beach; and as Britons went anywhere with a forecast for sun, they packed engrossing reads they hoped would plunge them into imagined worlds more satisfying than the reality outside the printed page. Rarely has this kind of distraction been more needed than now, in the midst of an economic annus horribilis that has seen inflation, unemployment, and fiscal crisis rise and spread across the globe. Americans had a great hand in causing this tumult, but it was an American author, the Mormon fantasist Stephenie Meyer, who was most useful in beguiling both overseas and American readers away from their troubles -- at least for a while -- as they devoured the four volumes of Twilight, her red-hot, cold-blooded teen vampire series. Those books were bestsellers on every continent that has a bestseller list -- even if the euphemistic French romantically rechristened it Fascination and the Germans called it Bis(s), meaning 'bite.' It's interesting to see, through Twilight's global reach, that American cultural hegemony persists, even as the economic catastrophe Americans helped feed has taken a bite out of everyone else's peace of mind." (ForeignPolicy)



"Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer together again? Get out! It’s true—and this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly goes on the set with Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards, who joined old pal Larry David for the new season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Over the last six seasons, viewers have come to expect the outrageous from Curb, Larry David’s comedic exploration of a man named Larry David. For season 7, the co-creator of Seinfeld decided it was finally time to reunite the gang from his old, pathologically revered NBC sitcom, who up until now had resisted the urge to re-emerge." (Popwatch)



"A Sundance Film Festival selection, Big Fan premiered last night, followed by an afterparty at Headquarters gentleman’s club. Kristian Laliberte, Adrien Field, Alexandra Alexis, Briana Swanson, Melissa Berkelhammer, R. Couri Hay, Tia Walker and David Chines were among the film and party goers, eager to see this directing debut from the writer of 'The Wrestler.'" (Guestofaguest)

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