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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"La Rive Gauche rigole. Bernard-Henri Levy, France's loudest voice of the 1970s school of nouveaux philosophes, who rarely appears on TV with his shirt buttoned beyond the waist, has been had. In his latest book, On War In Philosophy, BHL, as he is generally known, had a pop at Immanuel Kant, calling him 'raving mad', saying that the little-known French philosopher, Jean-Baptiste Botul, had proved that once and for all ' . . . in his series of lectures to the neo-Kantians of Paraguay, that their hero was an abstract fake, a pure spirit of pure appearance.' Only it was Botul who was the fake, the invention of a French journalist Frederic Pages. There were clues. Botul's supposed great work was The Sex Life of Immanuel Kant and his school of thought, Botulism. Not to mention a Wikipedia entry describing Botul as a fictional French philosopher. But BHL managed to miss all this and now he has been caught out, he has pulled the philosophical two-step of claiming, 'Hats off for this invented-but-more-real-than-real Kant, whose portrait, whether signed Botul, Pages or John Smith, seems to be in harmony with my idea of a Kant who was tormented by demons that were less theoretical than it seemed.' But no one's falling for this one." (Guardian)



"Rep. John P. Murtha ’s death Monday has undoubtedly left a huge void in the Pennsylvania delegation and the Democratic Caucus, but it also sets up a competitive special election contest that both parties will heavily target. The 12th district is politically competitive, to say the least. The southwestern Pennsylvania district voted by a small margin for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race, and often elects Republicans to local office. Murtha, meanwhile, has always won re-election by convincing margins. In 2008, he won by 20 points despite a last-minute gaffe about his own district on the campaign trail in the waning days before the election. CQ Politics is moving the rating of this race to Tossup due to the makeup of the district and because the manner in which both parties will pick their nominees makes it anyone’s game." (CQPolitics)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"I started out the day at the Leviev salon ('Extraordinary Diamonds') on 700 Madison Avenue where Leviev along with Nina Rennert Davidson and Heather Mnuchin were hosting a luncheon to benefit City Harvest – one of the really great and important food charities in New York – in anticipation of their annual fundraiser An Evening of Practical Magic to be held April 14th at Cipriani 42nd Street." (NYSocialDiary)



"It was four days before the beginning of Fashion Week, but Mazdack Rassi, founder of Milk Studios on West 15th Street—which, with MAC Cosmetics, will be producing 32 shows and presentations this season—appeared utterly relaxed. Sitting behind a glass desk in a large, industrial office stacked high with art books, Mr. Rassi, a hunky 38, had just returned from a two-week vacation on Necker Island, the tropical island owned by Virgin’s Richard Branson. Mr. Rassi and his new wife, the waifish fashion editor Zanna Roberts of Marie Claire, had sailed with Mr. Branson on the latter’s 20-foot sailboat. 'I beat him in poker,' Mr. Rassi said, beaming. He had a deep tan. On his computer screen was an invitation to brunch at Sam Talbot’s Surf Lodge—not the original at Montauk, but a simulacrum at Milk to be set up during Fashion Week, joining one big noisy migration of fashion-industry coolness (from Proenza Schouler to Patti Smith) to the meatpacking district. By centralizing shows that have been happening off-site for years (and providing free BMW 740s to shuttle editors back to midtown, should they still want to go), Mr. Rassi and MAC are in effect staging a punkier, younger, more downtown Fashion Week, and challenging the sleepy Lincoln Center–bound tents, wilting in their last season in Bryant Park, as Fashion Week’s ground zero." (Observer)



"The financial crisis of 2009 is morphing into the fiscal anxieties of 2010. This is particularly true inside the eurozone. Spreads between rates of interest on Greek bonds and German bunds touched 3.86 percentage points in late January. The risk has emerged of a self-fulfilling confidence crisis that would have dire consequences for other vulnerable members. Much attention has focused on what might happen if the crisis were not resolved, with talk of bail-outs, defaults or even exits from the euro. But what would need to be done to resolve the crisis, without such a calamity? It is the demand, stupid. Conventional wisdom in the eurozone is that the crises are the result of poor policy-making in peripheral countries. In particular, fiscal policy has been too loose and economies too inflexible. The wages of such sins are austerity. Then, after a lengthy penance, the lost sheep returns to the fold of stability. Greece fills the role of such a sinner to perfection, as I noted three week ago: its government admits that the country has fabricated its figures. Yet Ireland and Spain have also experienced dramatic fiscal deteriorations, with the general government financial deficit forecast by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to deteriorate by more than 12 per cent and 10 per cent of gross domestic product, respectively, between 2007 and 2010. These countries were not long-term fiscal sinners." (FT)



"Last night the Cinema Society hosted a screening of 'How to Make It in America,' HBO's new comedy series from the creators of Entourage. Adrien Grenier, Chloe Sevigny, Zoe Saldana, Lake Bell, Bryan Greenberg (starring in the series), Agyness Deyn, Zoe Kravitz, Olivia Palermo and Rachel Roy caught the advance viewing at Landmark Sunshine Cinema, before the Valentine's Day premiere. After the show, the crowd headed to an after party at the Bowery Hotel, to get some fun in before the storm hit, discuss some compelling performances and maybe even relate to the storyline." (Guestofaguest)

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