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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Ahi serva Italia, di dolore ostello, nave sanza nocchiero in gran tempesta, non donna di province, ma bordello! Quoting Dante is, I admit, the last resort of a scoundrel or at least the indolent scribe. But this one, from The Inferno, is too apposite not to use. Roughly translated, it reads, 'Alas enslaved Italy, inn of sorrow, a ship without a helmsman in a great storm, not a queen of her provinces, but a whorehouse.' It was also the title of a book by Paolo Sylos Labini published posthumously in 2006; Sylos Labini was not only one of Italy's most distinguished economists, but a man of absolute integrity who consistently and very openly refused to compromise with Power (even 'power' with a small 'p'). His last work described, analyzed and criticized the Italy of five years ago. 'Why have we sunk so low?' he asked. 'I exhort my fellow citizens to carry out an unflinching critical examination of our civic consciousness if we want to rise from the abyss.' His appeal was more or less an economist's defense of the market economy and its rules, which defend the community against unbridled economic and political power. Italian prime minister and billionaire Silvio Berlusconi's massive conflicts of interest have made a mockery of these rules. Today's Italy has been battered by even more internal storms, as well as the obvious international economic ones; since then, the prime minister's residences have become brothels -- and not just metaphorically. Above all, the ship of state is close to being rudderless. So I am not the only person in Italy quoting Dante these days." (ForeignPolicy)



(image via NYTimes)

"David Patrick Columbia, the author of the Web site New York Social Diary, was sitting where he often sits, at the front table at Swifty's on the Upper East Side. He was talking about what makes the arts possible, the web of money, power and ambiguous motives that has for a long time successfully convinced the very rich that it's their duty to donate large sums to support paintings on walls and people dancing and singing onstage. 'I mean, look at Mrs. Astor at the Met and Mr. Kahn at the Met,' the 69-year-old said, speaking of two of the Metropolitan Opera's great Gilded Age patrons. 'Two different people in terms of their interest in being there and what it meant to them. His was actually more sincere because his was actually, shall we say, visceral, and hers was more social, though his was probably social, too. But he was actually affected by the art in such a way that he got off on it, while she got off on being there and being the queen. Both of those elements made the opera last.'" (Observer)



(Lady Amanda Harlech, John Richardson, and Daphne Guinness via NYSD)

"What interested me about the FIT Couture Council luncheon where they honored Karl Lagerfeld last Friday at Avery Fisher Hall was the way people dressed for the occasion. This was bigtime fashion New York with the editors of Harper’s Bazaar and Anna Wintour present. Most of the men, except for the paparazzi, were in suit and tie. Or blazers and tie. The older women (late thirties, on up) were mainly classically dressed, and often in Lagerfeld designs, to pay tribute. The younger women were all expensively dressed, in search of style. Very high stiletto heels that look hazardous to your health, one way or the other. And very short skirts often missing the great legs to back them up. It’s fun to look at. The bywords are 'chill' and 'relax.' 'And the hair ...' my young (early 30s) friend added to my remarks, considering her peers. Then there is Daphne Guinness. She was there and she’s all over the fashion pages this week. I don’t know Ms. Guinness but her recherche chic is just too good to pass up. I could just stare at her (I won’t, I won’t). She’s a very good looking woman, and there is great vulnerability behind that delicate and girlish face, and a comportment that speaks haut confidence that’s not necessarily true." (NYSocialDiary)



"After 22 back-to-back fashion weeks here in New York City, we are beginning to think we're becoming fashion WEAK....or maybe it's just the overindulging in martinis that brings us down? Either case, you know it's already been an AMAZING week when you're exhausted only four days in. It's fine. We're only being dramatique, bien sur! Nothing brings a Stan down. So who's the latest culprit to our fashion exhaustion, you ask? V's party for the New York Issue, No: 67 in the Boom Boom Room. No one throws a party like Visionaire. Well, we do, but we digress. Last night, the V crew brought out the New York centric celebration in full force. Statue of Liberty foam headdress invitations led you to street dancers on top of the bars at and a room full of Lady Gaga impersonators. Everywhere you went, there she was....in a different outfit. Lady Bunny was the DJ du soir, and those dancing to her beats while giving me side eyes included Marc Jacobs, Leighton Meester, Courtney Love, Prabal Gurung, Brad Goreski and Rachel Zoe (dying in a corner), Kelly Osborne, Terry Richardson, Dean Caten of DSquared, my boys Alex Wang and Joseph Altuzarra, supermodel Linda V., Vogue's Hamish Bowles, Lord Eddie Spencer-Churchill, Jean-Marc Houmard of Indochine fame and all the V masterminds .." (Papermag)



"Karl Rove is used to riling up liberal hosts like Keith Olbermann. Now he's being compared to them. 'I just finished watching Karl Rove trashing GOP Senate primary winner Christine O'Donnell,' wrote conservative author and blogger Michelle Malkin. 'It was on Sean Hannity's FNC show. Might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC.' Malkin is just one of the conservative commentators and bloggers taking shots now at Rove, the former top Bush adviser who is now a Fox News political analyst. O'Donnell herself responded Wednesday on Good Morning America. 'Everything that he is saying is un-factual,' O'Donnell said. 'And it's a shame, because he is the same so-called political guru that predicted I wasn't going to win. And we won and we won big. And again he is eating some humble pie and he is just trying to restore his reputation.' So how did Rove get in so much trouble on the right?" (Yahoo!)

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