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Monday, October 18, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"What is unique, and uniquely concerning, about digital media is the speed with which properly packaged (dis)information can spread and how hard it is for fact and reason to catch up. Sarah Palin quickly adopted Twitter perhaps because it enabled her to blast forth dramatic proclamations that, given the 140-character limit, she couldn’t be expected to explain or defend. Henceforth, election-changing controversies will be ginned up with simple, misleading phrases such as death panels or Ground Zero mosque. The fact that the Islamic cultural center in question is being built two blocks away from Ground Zero is immaterial, because laborious explanations of the truth—or even relentless mockery by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert—cannot stop the meme from propagating like a contagious disease. Palin’s handlers like to refer to 'the message' ('As the message continues to succeed, the messenger will continue to be attacked,' etc.), which is prima facie incontestable because it is not an argument. Once the meme is out there, it’s very hard to quash. No amount of evidence will stop a certain segment of the public from believing that Obama is a Muslim or foreign-born, in part because GOP leaders continue to stoke such ideas, as Newt Gingrich did with his grotesque references on September 11 to the president’s 'Kenyan, anticolonial behavior.'" (Michael Hirschorn/TheAtlantic)


"If previous seasons are any indication, Sunday night's finale of Mad Men will likely pull the rug out from the audience yet again. After a tumultuous season that upended the life of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the staff of newly formed agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, numerous questions are swirling around the fates of the show's numerous characters. Will Don's radical attempt to get new business save the company or doom it? Will Joan (Christina Hendricks) choose to remain with her doomed husband (Sam Page) or create a life with Roger (John Slattery)? Will icy Betty (January Jones) punish Sally (Kiernan Shipka) by moving away? The Daily Beast spoke to Mad Men creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner to discuss the overall themes of Season 4, the origins of Miss Blankenship (Randee Heller), Don's journal and his journey, Sally Draper, and what the future holds." (TheDailyBeast)


"One of Hollywood's biggest directing gigs looks done. Darren Aronofsky's deal to direct 20th Century Fox's X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 is close enough that discussion has turned to shooting the sound stage portions of the film in New York so the filmmaker and Hugh Jackman don't have to inconvenience their families. A March start date is being eyed so that Aronofsky has time to open Black Swan and be available for the inevitable awards season obligations. When the New York scenes are completed, they'll head to Japan to shoot the bulk of the Christopher McQuarrie-scripted movie." (Deadline)


"And that's the essence of what's hurting the mainstream music business, it's just not cool. Focusing on money first, there's no heart, no genuine quality that bonds you to the acts. You know they're being purveyed by money-hungry fucks. And you might want to go to dinner on their dime, but you don't want to give them your money, not much of it anyway. Don't confuse this with the hip-hop ethos. It's almost as if the whole country believes it's African-American. The blacks have been second class citizens in the U.S. of A. from time immemorial, literally the beginning. To see a former dope dealer triumph in the entertainment and business spheres made you want to thrust your arm in the air in appreciation. Yes, Jay-Z beat the big boys at their own game, he got his. Same deal with Russell Simmons. Then again, did they win relative to the real big boys, the bankers? In order to make it and sustain in the music business, it can't be about the money. I know, I know, this is the last thing you want to hear. But that's why you're never going to make it. If you're going to make it, it's got to be about the obsession, the need to make it. That's what Mr. Nocera points out in his column. Facebook may have been the Winklevoss twins' idea, but they never would have made it successful. They were obsessed with rowing, Mark Zuckerberg was obsessed with coding, with changing the world. Are you obsessed with music? And, if you are, do you own the musical equivalent of a Harvard degree? If I mention some obscure band from the seventies, do you know it? You'd be surprised how many successful young musicians do." (LefsetzLetter)


(Sette Mezzo via NYT)

"Friday night I had dinner with friends at Sette Mezzo on Lexington and 71st. You don’t hear about it much from me but it’s one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. I’m not alone; it’s almost always packed, as it was Friday for dinner. For a lot of the guests, it’s also a neighborhood destination. Among Friday night’s crowd: Tracy Ullman and friends; Caroline Kennedy and Ed Schlossberg and their daughter Rose; Henry and Marie-Josee Kravis, CeCe Cord and Maurice Sonnenberg, Ellen and Ian Graham; Casey Ribicoff with Adolfo and Alex Hitz; Jackie and Gene Williams. I had the Potato and Pumpkin Soup and the Fusilli al Pesto. This was followed by a table-shared Lemon merengue tart. Couldn’t be more perfect." (NYSocialDiary)

 "I’m not sure why you'd actually want to know how to pick up a young hipster woman. We’re all too-skinny obnoxious know-it-alls who sneer at you for listening to last year’s Billboard Charts topper (unless it’s Lady Gaga, of course). Maybe you like the masochism, I don’t know. Maybe you have a tattoo fetish. Maybe going to rock shows and eating all-organic locally sourced beef and/or vegan meals found in dumpsters is cheaper than that new Ferrari you’d otherwise get in your quarter or mid-life crisis. Maybe you’ve been reading the collected works of Mystery the Pickup Artist and want to expand your repertoire (in which case, stop; there’s a strong chance you shouldn’t be dating any girls, anywhere, ever). Maybe you’re a slightly nerdy boy in a low-fi surf rock band who loves to bake his own pies but is too desperately shy to work up the nerve to talk to the gorgeous brunette with half her head shaved and a tattoo of some Joy Division lyrics on her thigh (in which case, you’re adorable, email me). Whatever your reason, it’s obvious you’re going to need some help. Because I've seen you doing it wrong.  Here’s the big secret about dating hipster girls: we’re just the same as everyone else, only cuter, better dressed, and know way more about music and pop culture than you do." (TheAwl)

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