blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"When Mitt Romney denounced the new START treaty in the Washington Post last week, he didn't simply demonstrate that he's determined not to allow Sarah Palin to outflank him on the right. He also affirmed something else -- the decline and fall of the Republican foreign-policy establishment. Of all the potential contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney, who was a moderate governor of the state that once was the bastion of what the legendary Washington journalist and snob Joseph Alsop referred to as the 'WASP ascendancy,' might seem like the most logical candidate to restore the traditions of pragmatic Republican internationalism after the neoconservative domination of the past decade. Instead, he has offered a potent reminder that anyone serious about seeking the nomination of today's Republican Party has to establish his or her right-wing bona fides on foreign policy by acting as though Russia -- not to mention the State Department and the CIA -- remains an enemy of the United States ... Perhaps Romney truly thinks that the new START is a sellout to Moscow, but he appears to be less an avatar of the right than its most prominent hostage. He might even be suffering from a kind of Stockholm syndrome. The treaty, after all, has won the enthusiastic endorsement of a host of Republican foreign-policy eminences, including Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and James Baker. Much of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, in fact, adheres to the prescriptions laid out by that generation of Republican realists -- relying on diplomacy in dealing with Russia and Iran, cultivating good relations with China, and recognizing the limits of U.S. power." (ForeignPolicy)



"After months of refusing to cooperate, supermodel Naomi Campbell has now agreed to testify in person at the 'blood diamond' trial of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. The decision by the international tribunal to subpoena Campbell came following an ABC News report about allegations that Taylor had given her uncut 'blood' diamonds on a trip to South Africa. 'Whilst she would rather not be involved in this case at all, she will nevertheless attend to assist the court as requested,' her lawyer, Gideon Benaim, told ABC News Tuesday. Campbell will fly to The Hague in early August to give her version of events the night she met Taylor at the home of Nelson Mandela in 1997. She had initially been asked to appear on July 29, but the date has now been moved to August 5." (ABCNews)



"Down at Michael’s the place was packed. Last night I went with a friend to La Grenouille. Again, the place was packed. Both restaurants, not so incidentally, quite different in style are two of the most beautiful long time restaurants in the city, famous for their cuisine as well ... La Grenouille has been in business since 1962. They opened a week before Christmas on a 'quiet night in the midst of snowstorm.' It was created by Charles Masson Sr. and today is run by his son Charles Jr. The current Charles is a serious painter of still lifes (several of which are hung in the main dining room and the private dining room on the second floor). He is also famous with his clientele for his love of flowers and his talent for personally creating dramatically beautiful arrangements that are the finishing touch on a very glamorous and distinguished d├ęcor. Red and gold and red and flowers ..In its early days the restaurant became famous for its fashionable lunches. Indeed, John Fairchild, the innovative Boswell of an editor/publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, held court there at the lunch hour during the week. His presence drew the fashion crowd – designers, merchants, the chic ladies who lunched – like moths to a flame." (NYSocialDiary)



"Dennis Hopper, whose 55-year movie career included memorable performances in 'Easy Rider,' 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Blue Velvet,' was also an accomplished, versatile artist. Yet few Americans have had a chance to see the late actor’s work -- until now. The first major Hopper retrospective at a U.S. museum is on display at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art through Sept. 26. Titled 'Dennis Hopper Double Standard,' the exhibition at MOCA’s warehouse-like Geffen Contemporary space is curated by artist Julian Schnabel, who was a friend of Hopper’s. 'You’re never a prophet in your own country,' Schnabel said during a press conference at the museum. 'Dennis was a sponge and conduit for so many things.' Hopper died of prostate cancer on May 29, six weeks before the show opened. He was 74. His eclectic artwork included assemblages, abstract paintings and digital photographs created over six decades. The exhibition includes his final piece, a life-sized fiberglass statue of himself as a cowboy completed this year ...The Hopper show also marks a debut for Jeffrey Deitch, the former New York gallery owner and art consultant who was named director of the financially troubled MOCA in January." (Bloomberg)



"After weeks of high drama, self-destructive starlet Lindsay Lohan has self-surrendered at the Lynwood jail in Los Angeles, where she’ll experience markedly different treatment than celebrities are accustomed to—and markedly different treatment than most prisoners receive ...Jail time is actually quite different from prison time—moment by moment, I’d say it’s worse, though jail sentences tend to be much shorter. I spent 11 months in a women’s federal prison in Danbury Connecticut, but the conclusion of my 13-month sentence was in a federal jail in Chicago. (I was transported there in shackles on “Con Air,” which really does exist.) Jails are crowded, chaotic, dirty places, and people would always arrive at 'real prison' from county or city jails disheveled, and with profound relief on their faces. City and county jails often house folks who live on the edge of homelessness, have been arrested for very low-level offenses, or are on their way to bigger prisons and longer bids. Tragically, the three largest mental health facilities in the country are Rikers Island, the Cook County Jail, and the Los Angeles County Jail, and I assure you that incarceration does not improve the condition of the mentally ill, who are endlessly recycled through the prison system. For those of us lucky enough not to struggle daily with insanity, the worst part of jail time is the utter boredom." (TheDailybeast)



(Sienna Miller and Damon Dash via VV)

"On a recent muggy evening, veteran Houston rapper Bun B performed in the basement of a luxe Tribeca gallery. It was a dark, crude space, packed to the gills, as if a Bushwick loft party had burrowed up through Manhattan topsoil. Empty Budweiser cans collected in corners, smoke clogged the air, and condensation gave the walls the slick glisten of a slug's belly. 'This is the hottest place in the world,' Bun marveled, a sheen of sweat reflecting off his bald head. His live backing band eased into the opening bars of 'International Players Anthem,' and the crowd voiced approval. Among that congregation was Damon Dash, grinning, giving out hugs, and chortling with laughter, back in the thick of things. Dash's new gallery, DD172 (his initials and the Duane Street address), is a different world from the dank catacombs beneath." (VillageVoice)



"One morning not long ago, a team of analysts at a major New York bank walked into work and found their lives turned upside down. The IT department had set up Web-browsing restrictions on all of their computers. Suddenly the young financiers could not access their personal email accounts. Suddenly they could not G-chat. It didn't take long for one of the guys — a math-minded 'quant,' who had 20 years experience writing code — to work out a small program to override the restriction. 'We ran it on our computers, it saved some files in the right places and then changed our Internet configuration so that it circumvented the security,' said one of the analysts who benefited from the heroic hack. Ever since, he has been happily chatting and sending emails to friends using a hard-to-read, black-and-green Gmail scheme called 'Matrix,' which makes it so that supervisors walking by his desk think he's running some highly technical DOS-based financial model. This is what freedom looks like in 2010 for young people working at large corporate firms around the city that have been cracking down on employees' Internet use." (Observer)



"The New York Post is reporting that the world’s least intellectually satisfied Slate columnist will earn between $500,000 and $1 million—and it’s closer to the former—as the co-host of a new prime-time CNN show. 'Insiders say CNN isn't spending a lot on talent for the 8 p.m. show because its chances for success are slim,' the tabloid explains. (Look—the Post called (Eliot) Spitzer 'talent'!) By way of comparison, CNN mainstay Anderson Cooper reportedly signed a multi-year contract in 2007 for around $4 million. And the outgoing Larry King’s annual salary is estimated to be $14 million. As governor of New York, Spitzer’s salary was a comparatively modest $179,000, and, although we’re sure Slate pays competitive freelancing rates, his writing contract did not likely net him a fortune. Actually, Spitzer’s wealth comes from his father, Bernard, a New York real-estate baron who happens to have developed the very Fifth Avenue apartment building in which his son currently resides.." (VanityFair)



"IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN that a bleeding-edge gallery from Bushwick is forced to compete for attention with an oblivious herd of alpacas, but such was the unusual situation in which Guillermo Creus’s start-up Fortress to Solitude found itself on a Saturday afternoon. Occupying a homemade pop-up booth in Callicoon Creek Park for NADA’s County Affair, Creus and crew made the best of an unusual setting, sipping iced lemonade as excited children and adults skipped past their neat display of paintings en route to the gawky animals’ enclosure nearby. But the collective members were scarcely the only city types braving the sun in the upstate New York burg; half of Brooklyn seemed to be in attendance at this laid-back outdoor event ...Also making the rounds by now were artist Michele Abeles, writer Domenick Ammirati, Foxy Production directors Michael Gillespie and John Thomson, and Red Art Projects director Maureen Sullivan. And following up on a vague tip from NADA boss Heather Hubbs—'Someone said that Brad someone-or-other from Shutter Island is here…'—we discovered Mark Ruffalo, holding court and looking the part in wide-brimmed straw hat and stubble." (ARTFORUM)



"The iPhone 4 antenna may be causing static for some Apple investors, but the company is showing no signs of slowing down. People lined up at an Apple store in London when the iPhone 4 went on sale. Apple said on Tuesday that its net income rose 78 percent last quarter, driven by strong sales of the iPhone, the iPad and the Macintosh line of computers. The results show that Apple is continuing to outpace its competitors in its three major lines of business: computers, phones and tablets. And Apple would be selling even more iPhones and iPads if it could keep up with demand. 'More and more, people’s lives are dependent on desktop and mobile computing,' said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray. 'People realize that and are willing to pay up for it, and Apple is capitalizing on that.' Apple executives said they were pleased with the results, which topped Wall Street’s forecasts." (NYTimes)



"The new civilian order for AfPak: In new proof of his stature, U.S. AID Administrator Raj Shah traveled with Secretary of State Clinton to Pakistan and Afghanistan -- on her plane and, along with Special Representative Holbrooke, at her side at every meeting. Shah rated his own Blackhawk on the movement to the Kabul embassy -- a sign of growing respect for Shah, already a West Wing favorite. (For those keeping electoral score at home, Shah has deep roots in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Washington state.) Upon arrival at the compound, Clinton, Holbrooke and Shah were briefed for an hour in the ambassador's residence by General Petraeus and Ambassador Eikenberry, before heading to a private and intimate dinner with President Karzai." (PoliticoPlaybook)



"When President Obama steps Wednesday onto the stage at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to sign Wall Street reform into law, many of the titans of Wall Street will be absent. Among those who did not receive an invitation to be among the 400 people at the 11:30 a.m. bill signing: Morgan Stanley's James Gorman, Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein, Wells Fargo's John G. Stumpf and -- somewhat surprisingly -- J.P. Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon. Dimon, of course, was an Obama confidant of sorts during the president's first year in office and was one of the most frequent guests in the West Wing, according to White House visitor logs. But, as with the others, Dimon actively spoke out against the president's legislation, breaking with the White House and arguing that his reform plan was bad for the banks and the economy. Friend or no, that was enough to leave the mailbox empty this week ..." (WashPo)

No comments: