blog advertising is good for you

Friday, March 05, 2010

Media Whore D'Oeuvres



"There is no better illustration of the life cycle of a great power than The Course of Empire, a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole that hang in the New-York Historical Society. Cole was a founder of the Hudson River School and one of the pioneers of nineteenth-century American landscape painting; in The Course of Empire, he beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day. Each of the five imagined scenes depicts the mouth of a great river beneath a rocky outcrop. In the first, The Savage State, a lush wilderness is populated by a handful of hunter-gatherers eking out a primitive existence at the break of a stormy dawn. The second picture, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, is of an agrarian idyll: the inhabitants have cleared the trees, planted fields, and built an elegant Greek temple. The third and largest of the paintings is The Consummation of Empire. Now, the landscape is covered by a magnificent marble entrepĂ´t, and the contented farmer-philosophers of the previous tableau have been replaced by a throng of opulently clad merchants, proconsuls, and citizen-consumers. It is midday in the life cycle. Then comes Destruction. The city is ablaze, its citizens fleeing an invading horde that rapes and pillages beneath a brooding evening sky. Finally, the moon rises over the fifth painting, Desolation. There is not a living soul to be seen, only a few decaying columns and colonnades overgrown by briars and ivy." (Niall Fergison/ForeignAffairs)



"What Oscar-winning director is married to a woman, but tales still surface of male hustlers who used to visit him for more than just conversation? Which closeted boy bander conspicuously left a party with a movie star's daughter, but observers noted that they then went into separate cars, never to see each other again? Which fellow bandmate gleefully tells people about the guy, 'He's gay!'? Which young, rumored-about TV star was found making out with a guy in a club bathroom, but explained to the writer who'd caught them, "I'm not gay. I just like to have fun'?" (Musto)



"In his speech today in the White House East Room, President Obama clearly indicated that he is going to press for a comprehensive, and not a piecemeal or 'skinny,' health care reform bill. He also made it abundantly clear that he will accept, if necessary, a party-line simple majority vote in the House and the Senate in order to get the bill through. Reconciliation here we come. Obama’s speech represents a major departure from the politics of his presidential campaign and of his first year in office. In his campaign, Obama pledged to defy partisan gridlock and to 'change the way Washington works.' During the campaign, some liberal commentators believed that he was merely employing a clever tactic to highlight the rigid partisanship of his opponents. 'If we understand Obama's approach as a means, and not the limit of what he understands about American politics, it has great promise as a theory of change,' Mark Schmitt wrote in The American Prospect." (John Judis/TNR)



"Mick Jagger and Angelina Jolie got satisfaction and spent more than one night together during a torrid affair, according to a bombshell new book. The puffy-lipped rocker and actress, who's 32 years younger than Mick, first hooked up in 1997 when Jolie appeared in the Rolling Stones video 'Anybody Seen My Baby,' author Jenny Paul claims in her tell-all, 'Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie: The True Story.' Jagger was then married to model Jerry Hall, while Jolie was hitched to British actor Jonny Lee Miller. The pair got their sticky fingers on each other again in 2003, Paul writes, the same year Jolie got divorced from Billy Bob Thornton. The next year, Jolie began shooting Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the art-imitates-life movie that helped her snare current boyfriend Pitt. Reps for Jolie and Jagger did not return our calls." (PageSix)



"Howard (Stern) said Simon Cowell called him last night right before Idol came on. He said he was right about what Simon wanted to talk about. He said he was trying to have some fun with the comments he made and he thought it was getting into a feud. Howard said he told Simon he was just having fun with it too. He said he told Simon he still thinks that he's the whole show... He said the call he got from Simon was good and he would let him call back. He went on to say that Simon asked him where he was when he called and he felt like a child talking to Simon. He said that Simon must be in his 40s and he's 56 but he feels like the kid talking to the guy. Howard said Simon asked him if he's ever in L.A. so he told him he's never there. Howard said he hates flying so he never gets out there. Howard said there are also a lot of vapid people out there that he wouldn't want to deal with." (Marksfriggin)



"The ethical woes facing Democrats are piling up, with barely a day passing in recent weeks without headlines from Washington to New York and beyond filled with word of scandal or allegations of wrongdoing. The troubles of Gov. David A. Paterson of New York, followed by those of two of the state’s congressmen, Charles B. Rangel and Eric J. Massa, have added to the ranks of episodes involving prominent Democrats like Eliot Spitzer, Rod R. Blagojevich and John Edwards. Taken together, the cases have opened the party to the same lines of criticism that Democrats, led by Representatives Nancy Pelosi, now the House speaker, and Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, used effectively against Republicans in winning control of the House and Senate four years ago." (NYTimes)

No comments: