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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"One early evening in February 2006, John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator then gearing up to launch his second presidential campaign, was hanging out in the bar of the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue with one of his donors and his young traveling aide, Josh Brumberger. A woman sitting at a nearby table with some friends walked over and introduced herself. 'My friends insist you’re John Edwards,' Rielle Hunter said. 'I tell them no way—you’re way too handsome.' 'No, ma’am. I’m John Edwards,' the candidate replied. 'No way! I don’t believe you!' Brumberger saw this kind of thing all the time. Women were always hitting on his boss. He and Edwards had a well-oiled system in place for dealing with these situations tactfully and politely. 'He is John Edwards,' Brumberger interjected, 'and I’m sorry, but we’re in the middle of something. Thank you.' 'Oh, I’m sorry,' Hunter said, and retreated to her table. Brumberger thought that she was trouble from the get-go. She looked like a hybrid of Stevie Nicks and Lucinda Williams, in an outfit more suitable for a Grateful Dead concert than an evening at the Regency." (NYMag)



"Some say the dance-club scene started in the 1960s in New York City, with discotheques—Regine’s, Le Club, Shepheard’s, Cheetah, Ondine, and Arthur, which was opened by Sybil Burton after Richard Burton left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Arthur—named after George Harrison’s quip in A Hard Day’s Night ('What would you call that hairstyle?' 'Arthur')—featured D.J. Terry Noel, who may have been the first person to play two records simultaneously to create a mix. Arthur drew the same celebrity crowd that had been slumming at the Peppermint Lounge, a hustler bar off Times Square, where Judy Garland and Jackie Kennedy did the Twist with dance instructor 'Killer' Joe Piro. Some say the 1960s Parisian club scene—Chez Castel, Chez Régine—started it all. These were sophisticated spots where, by the end of the decade, one heard such erotic songs as Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s steamy duet 'Je T’Aime … Moi Non Plus' and Isaac Hayes’s dreamy, 12-minute version of 'Walk On By.' But most agree that none of this really mattered until the early 1970s, when gay underground dance clubs in New York — the Loft, Tenth Floor, 12 West, Infinity, Flamingo, and, later, the Paradise Garage, Le Jardin, and the Saint—spawned a disco culture that brought with it open drug use, on-site sex, and ecstatic, nonstop, all-night dancing. No one who was there then and is still here now remembers it the same way. The clubs, the music—the experience is recalled in an almost psychedelic haze. Flashing strobe lights, amyl nitrite, quaaludes, swirling sweating bodies, and a pulsating, four-to-the-floor (boom-boom-boom-boom) high-energy rhythm—all energized by the music that became known as disco." (VanityFair)



"Burmese rubies are famous for their distinctive dark 'pigeon's blood' color. Both the United States and the European Union ban Burmese gems, but outside groups estimate the junta still reaped almost $300 million from rubies in the 2006 fiscal year." (ForeignPolicy)



"After long boasting of plans to reinvent television, embattled NBC executives made it clear Sunday that what’s old is new again at the network. Jay Leno will return to 11:35 and new shows will be coming from producers as established as Jerry Bruckheimer, J.J. Abrams and Dick Wolf. The network is even planning a remake of The Rockford Files, for heaven’s sake. 'Going back to basics is probably our smartest play,' said Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment. But as he met the ravening press at a gathering of television journalists in Pasadena, Gaspin couldn’t answer the big question still hanging over the network: Whither Conan O’Brien, who is said to be unhappy at being ousted from his 11:35 p.m. perch? 'My goal right now is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy [Fallon],' Gaspin said. 'As much as I would like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true. The talks are still ongoing.' Gaspin stressed in his comments that NBC wanted to stick with Leno at 10 p.m. for a year but was facing a revolt from affiliates." (TheDailyBeast)

"One of the characters that played a role in the media’s portrayal of Casey Johnson’s life out there was a person who was said to be successfully blackmailing a very famous (idolized by millions) television personality with 'proof' that this man has been having an up-close-and-personal relationship with another very famous (idolized by millions) television personality (male). And that this 'proof' was, more or less, paying the rent. Someone asked me why I thought people in Show Business were so closeted. It’s probably because 1. they’re afraid it’s bad for business, and 2. They don’t want their mother to find out. I’m sorta kidding about the last one, but not really. Very often people who become big stars or very famous, develop a self-perception that matches their applause-o-meters. In other words, they think they’re pretty special. Sometimes in every way. Almost like an ideal. If it’s true that these boys are bosom buddies, I suppose it will come out someday, as these things always do. And when it does, it won’t wake you up if you’re napping. In fact, it might even put you to sleep." (NYSocialDiary)



"'I'm sorry, excusez-moi, je suis désolé, pardon?' So sang Evercore Partners Inc. banker Jane Gladstone, dressed in a nun's habit, at an annual roast of Wall Street's elite Thursday night. In a take-off on the Sound of Music tune 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?' she was sending up Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its chief executive, Mr. Blankfein. He and Goldman took the brunt of the jokes at the 78th induction ceremony for Kappa Beta Phi, a secretive and exclusive Wall Street fraternity. More than 175 people gathered to induct new members in a ceremony that's a throwback to a chummy world long before television and the Internet. The group dressed up in drag, sang satiric songs and threw dinner rolls at the new members -- known as 'Neophytes' -- at a ballroom of Manhattan's St. Regis Hotel. With Goldman's bonus and compensation pool slated to surpass $20 billion this year, the bank has become a subject of wide public attention and criticism, even among its peers. Ms. Gladstone's parody, 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Lloyd Blankfein?' captured the investment bank's current image problems and was described by many attendees as the evening's highlight." (WSJ)



"Avatar's three-day tally was easily the biggest gross ever for any film in its fourth weekend of release beating the old $28.7M record from 2,746 sites of Titanic from this very same frame twelve years ago. At today's ticket prices, that would amount to $45M and it wasn't in 3D meaning the two films sold about the same amount of tickets at this stage of the release. The 3D adventure's third and fourth weekends now rank as January's two biggest weekend grosses ever. The month's biggest opening frame is $40.1M by 2008's Cloverfield. No other films, debuting or holdover, have ever broken $40M in a January session. Avatar smashed the $400M mark on Saturday in just 23 days making it the second fastest movie in history behind The Dark Knight which only needed 18 days in 2008. After 24 days, the Pandora film is running a mere 3% behind the pace of the Joker flick which had amassed $441.6M at this same point in its run. By this coming Saturday, Avatar should surpass the pace of Knight and eventually finish ahead of that film's monster $533.3M cume." (BoxOfficeGuru)

1 comment:

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