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Friday, January 08, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"I was fortunate enough to know Gore a bit in those days. The price of knowing him was exposure to some of his less adorable traits, which included his pachydermatous memory for the least slight or grudge and a very, very minor tendency to bring up the Jewish question in contexts where it didn’t quite belong. One was made aware, too, that he suspected Franklin Roosevelt of playing a dark hand in bringing on Pearl Harbor and still nurtured an admiration in his breast for the dashing Charles Lindbergh, leader of the American isolationist right in the 1930s. But these tics and eccentricities, which I did criticize in print, seemed more or less under control, and meanwhile he kept on saying things one wished one had said oneself." (Christopher Hitchens on Gore Vidal/Vanity fair)



"Mega-billionaire Paul Allen continues to battle cancer bravely. Sources tell me he did indeed have his annual party aboard his yacht, Octopus, back on December 30th in St. Barth’s. But the party was scaled down to just about 150 people and not the usual 500. Allen, they say, had just finished a round of chemo for non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and wanted to celebrate. As usual, Allen did manage to play some rock and roll with his house band. His good friend Jon Bon Jovi joined in at one point. Bon Jovi’s David Byron, who wrote the Broadway hit, 'Memphis.' played keyboards. But one guest overheard Bon Jovi express surprise when he first saw Allen. The Microsoft co-founder is said to be quite thin, and has lost most of his hair during treatment. Nevertheless, Allen did entertain a crowd that included his other music pal, Robbie Robertson, of The Band, as well as Usher, Orlando Bloom, George Lucas, Lorne Michaels, Larry Gagosian, and Bob Shaye. And, of course, lots of pretty girls." (Showbiz411)



"When he was 26—and still in law school—his father, Harold Ford. Sr., decided to end his career in the U.S. House after 11 terms. Thanks to his name, the younger Ford had no trouble succeeding him. He then spent the next decade positioning himself to move up, routinely taking positions that put him at odds with the Democratic base (and grabbing the spotlight while doing so) in an effort to position himself for a statewide campaign—which he launched in 2006, when Bill Frist opted to retire from the Senate. That Senate campaign—launched in an optimal national environment for Democrats—was supposed to be Ford’s big moment: The Democratic tide would lift him to a narrow victory, he’d become a national star in the Senate, and talk of a future White House bid would soon follow. Too bad he lost to Bob Corker by 3 points. Not only did that defeat arrest Ford’s charmed political ascension, it also introduced him to a harsh reality: If he couldn’t win a statewide race in Tennessee in 2006, he probably wouldn’t be able to win there ever. That is even more true now, with Barack Obama’s presidency fostering an ugly and irrational backlash among many white Southerners that is, nonetheless, politically significant." (Observer)



"'I sometimes use the expression like this: There are first-person actors and third-person actors. De Niro is a third-person actor. He can see into all these different characters. And then Paul Newman is a first-person actor; he seems to bring himself to every role. I’m not passing judgment. Laura Linney seems to be a first-person actress. You completely buy her as the person. The subtext can be different and change, and she’s one of my favorites, but it’s sort of like Sean Penn. Sean Penn understands a certain kind of guy. He doesn’t understand every kind of guy' .. 'I have to be careful,' (Ethan) Hawke says. 'I love what I do. But the big business of movies is a young person’s game. There’s a few people, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Caine, who last, but you shouldn’t assume that you’re that person. Directing is exciting, it teaches me more about acting, it keeps me nervous and scared and putting myself in a position where I can fail, and it prepares me for a second profession. When I can’t be the lead of a movie, I’ll have something to do. I just think it’s smart all around.'" (TheDailyBeast)



"She’d got into a public argument with a Hollywood celebrity who calls herself Tila Tequila whose maiden name is Tila Nyugen. The two met only a few weeks ago. For some reason, probably to gain public attention, the two announced they were getting married. This was a joke played on the media, and the media of course fell for it, and so of course did everyone else. P.T. Barnum had a famous word for it. The alleged 17-carat diamond that Tequila/Nguyen was sporting was a giant zirconium ring. The twitterings about conjugal circumstances were pure fantasy that made good tawdry copy. Almost a week later, the media is still listening to her rap." (NYSocialDiary)

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