blog advertising is good for you

Monday, March 29, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Is it just me, or does Barack Obama seem different since health care passed? He’s sticking it to the Senate by appointing 15 nominees while it is on recess; he’s sticking it to Benjamin Netanyahu by not backing down from demands that Israel halt building in East Jerusalem; he’s sticking it to the banks by aggressively pushing financial reform. It’s hard to believe that only two months ago, Paul Krugman announced that 'I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.' What’s happened? ... With the passage of health care, Obama has now had his air-traffic controllers’ moment. When Scott Brown won in Massachusetts, it convinced many political observers that the old rules still applied. The country was still basically suspicious of big government, and thus, the only way for a Democratic president to survive was to do what Bill Clinton did after 1994: content himself with incremental change, accept the political parameters that Reagan established, be a Democratic Eisenhower." (Peter Beinart/TheDailyBeast)



"I wish Rod Blagojevich would stop telling everyone he sees on the streets of New York that he did nothing wrong. Move forward! Summer Sanders served as the women’s project manager. Let’s just say she’s one of those leaders who expect others to make her look good. They did. She had no idea what she wanted. I would not want to do business with her. I would decline doing business with most of these celebrities, in fact. If I were on a team with them, I would make sure I was the coach because they are creative and do well with tasks. Most do not lead well. So, who will be eliminated next? If the men lose again, they will find a way to get rid of annoying Bret. If the women end their winning streak, silent Selita Ebanks will quietly leave the room." (CNN/Marqueeblog)



"FEW modern myths about art have been as persistent or as annoying as the so-called death of painting. Unless, of course, it is the belief that abstract and representational painting are oil and water, never to meet as one. The two notions are related. The Modernist insistence on the separation of representation and abstraction robbed painting of essential vitality. Both notions have their well-known advocates. And both, in my mind seem, well, very 20th century. Pictorial communication — signs, symbols, images and colors on a flat surface — is one of the oldest and richest of human inventions, like writing or music. It started on rocks and the surfaces of clay pots and in the woven threads of textiles, then moved to walls, wood panels, copper and canvas. It now includes plasma screens, Photoshop and graphic novels. Even so, paint on a portable surface remains one of the most efficient and intimate means of self-expression. As for representation and abstraction, historically and perceptually they have usually been inseparable. Paintings — like all art — tend to get and hold our attention through their abstract, or formal, energy. But even abstract paintings have representational qualities; the human brain cannot help but impart meaning to form." (NYTimes)



"Kate Moss is taking the acting world by storm - making her stage debut in the Tempest. The supermodel, 36, has landed a minor role as a nymph in an upcoming version of Shakespeare's play. It follows a series of meetings and phone calls with Kevin Spacey who is overseeing the production as part of the Bridge project at London's Old Vic. Our spy tells us: 'Kate has had several acting lessons and is keen to broaden her horizons. She and Kevin go back a long way and they met up again last week at the W Doha bash at Chinawhite, where her part was confirmed. It's only a small part but Kate hopes it could be her big break.'" (3AMGirls)



"If you think this latest Israeli-American flap was just the same-old-same-old tiff over settlements, then you’re clearly not paying attention — which is how I’d describe a lot of Israelis, Arabs and American Jews today. This tiff actually reflects a tectonic shift that has taken place beneath the surface of Israel-U.S. relations. I’d summarize it like this: In the last decade, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — for Israel — has gone from being a necessity to a hobby. And in the last decade, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — for America — has gone from being a hobby to a necessity. Therein lies the problem." (NYTimes)



(image via NYSD)

"It was Sunday night. I’d just finished the above paragraphs about a queen of another age and the men in her life. Last week I had such a good time Richard Lawson’s witty, belly-laugh inducing portrait on Gawker of the new Tinsley Mortimer show 'High Society,' that I thought I’d have a look at something so 'today.' And so 'real.' It’s a sitting duck in terms of criticism. It’s 35-year-old women sitting around mumbling like teenagers about the kind of things teenagers think about. But I like watching Tinsley. I like her looks and she is definitely the star in this crowd with those long Mary Pickford locks (now called extensions in reality). She’s definitely got the charisma. She doesn’t have the voice though. She could use some vocal training to get it out of that pretty turned up nose of hers, just to take the edge off the ice." (NYSocialDiary)



"OK, so it wasn't exactly the newsboy strike of 1899. But over the past several days, a class struggle of sorts broke out between a handful of New York bloggers and blog owners over the value (or lack thereof!) of writers in the age of SEO (search engine optimization) and slide-shows. Henry Blodget, the CEO of Business Insider, got things started last week when he fired John Carney, a talented and well-liked financial blogger. Foster Kamer, of The Village Voice, (having already broken the news) then took to his personal Tumblr to criticize Mr. Blodget's 'toxic' long game and to argue that the only thing which had previously justified Mr. Blodget's business model was the employment of writers 'who're much loved, who love their work, and who work hard' ... While New York's first blogger strike might still be a long ways off, we suspect the tension between influential bloggers and the publishers who employ them is just getting started." (Observer)



"Elliott Abrams, who ran the Middle East desk at the National Security Council during the George W. Bush Administration, has unloaded a longish essay on the Obama Administration's policy toward Israel in the latest Weekly Standard. You'll be shocked to know that Abrams doesn't like the policy. Still, I can't dispute much of what he says...about the past. The historic Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli peace gestures has been disastrously stupid; the historic Palestinian inability to govern their own territory honorably and effectively has caused Israel to be rightly wary; the historic Palestinian policy of using lethal force against innocent Israeli citizens--and the continuing policy of groups like Hamas, who refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist--has caused the Israeli public to assume not merely bad intent, but also a barbarity, on the part of their neighbors and rightly so. But. I do have a problem with the things Abrams doesn't say--which stand as a purposeful distortion of the Obama Administration's policy (as does the hysteria emanating from neoconservative quarters on this issue, the foreign policy equivalent of Tea Partyism). Abrams simply is not honest about the current situation." (Time)



"Barbara Ehrenreich’s latest book, Bright-Sided, offers a damning indictment of the ideology of positive thinking, which she sees as the fundamental flaw in American life. When she found herself diagnosed with breast cancer, Ehrenreich was shocked to discover that doctors, fellow patients, and counselors all urged her to treat the diagnosis as a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to enjoy a range of infantilizing consumer products (such as teddy bears adorned with pink ribbons)--to embrace the idea that cancer might be “the best thing that ever happened to her,” rather than respond with any of the emotions that Ehrenreich herself found natural, such as horror, grief, and anger. Ehrenreich suggests that the problem of relentless positive thinking, and the corresponding refusal to acknowledge reality, is largely responsible for all kinds of social ills, including our current financial mess. She argues that only if we begin to recognize hard facts--such as the presence in our society of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and debt, as well as cancers that can kill us no matter how much pink we wear--will we get sufficiently angry about these things to fight for a cure. If Ehrenreich is right--and, broadly speaking, I think she is--then it makes sense to start looking for alternative ideologies with which to equip ourselves more adequately for hard times. Ehrenreich herself traces the roots of American positive thinking back to American Calvinism: she sees our insistence on mindless cheeriness as a backlash against the gloom of our forefathers. But pure gloom, of this particular Christian variety, is not the only philosophy designed to help people respond realistically but calmly to suffering. There is another obvious alternative, a more ancient one: it is Stoicism, a philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno in the fourth century B.C.E. as a version of the philosophy of Socrates. Stoicism developed and flourished for at least another five hundred years, into the later Roman Empire. The last major ancient Stoic was the emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 C.E.), whose Meditations amply demonstrate his deep engagement with the philosophy that he learned with Rusticus, his tutor." (TNR)



"A Bunyonesque muscleman with stuffed squirrels crawling up his tree-trunk-like legs and an 8- foot-tall fashionista are just two of the outsized works in 'Skin Fruit: Selections From the Dakis Joannou Collection' at New York’s New Museum. The show marks the debut of artist Jeff Koons as curator. He seems to like things big, just like the owner, a Greek- Cypriot construction tycoon. Another example of gigantism: two mountainous towers of chipped white chocolate made after the fall of the World Trade Center. Being here is like walking into a nightmarish world of creatures who are lonely at the top and just want to be loved for what they are." (Bloomberg)

No comments: