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Monday, November 22, 2010

Media-Whore D'oeuvres



"In 1974, the military became all volunteer. In the 1980s, the Reagan tax cuts began a huge transfer of wealth to the already wealthy, top 1 percent of American society. Normally we don't connect these two events, but with the passage of time, I suspect we may come to see them together as the moment when the wealthy checked out of America and moved into physical and mental gated communities. I've already talked about how over the last 30 years, the proportion of wealth going to the top 1 percent has gone from 10 percent of annual national income to almost 25 percent, a greater share than in the Roaring '20s. And many of the readers of this blog have contributed thoughts about the All-Volunteer Force, especially how many American parents no longer have a sense of skin in the game ..." (Thomas Ricks/ForeignPolicy)


(Karen and Richard LeFrak via NYSD)

"There was a surprise 65th birthday party on Friday night for New York real estate mogul Richard LeFrak, orchestrated by his two sons Harrison and Jamie, and presented at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th and Seventh. Event planner/creator Bronson van Wyck designed the shindig and at least 300 or four or five attended. A lotta people. Mr. LeFrak’s wife Karen got him there by telling him they were going to see a ballet piece she was working on and that his mother would be there to join them. Oh com’on, on his sixty-fifth? He believed that 'ballet'? That was the best you could do Karen? Well. I would guess he might have been suspicious at least by the time they drove up to the Hammerstein with all the taxis and limousines double parked outside. It was easy to see this was somebody’s night. The company they keep. A great deal of the town’s wealth was present including New York’s two richest men (as far as anybody knows), Mayor Bloomberg and David Koch, who between the two of them are said to have the aggregate wealth of a hundred billionaires. Not that there weren’t quite a few other billionaires in the room, not to mention the most famous one, The Donald, who is now always backlit for any public occasion, thanks to the paparazzi trailing behind. These New Yorkers not only share business interests (when they do) but also see each other coming and going in the Hamptons and in Palm Beach" (NYSocialDiary)


"... (T)his is a potent list of Silvery Fox Men you've thrown down. I think I speak for all women and the 110th Congress when I ask: does it count as fisting if the dude only has four fingers? Even outside the parameters of this salt-n-pepper trifecta, Rahm ranks in single digits of my FUCK BUCKET LIST of all time. On looks alone he’s a hot piece of bone: hooded eyes, sharp cheek bones, and hands-on-hips Israeli paratrooper posture. It all just makes a girl like me (i.e. one who digs men of The Tribe) tingly. Though my unyielding sexual attraction to Rahm mainly stems from his persona: a totally Machiavellian, calculating, corrupt, real politik power broker. He’s a cad — villainous, even! He’s in part responsible for one of the most abhorrent strands of the modern political era: The Clinton Democrat." (Hairpin)

"On the night of the midterm elections earlier this month, Sarah Palin stayed up until 3 in the morning. From her hotel bedroom in Manhattan, she and her husband, Todd, followed the returns while she wrote e-mails on her iPad — congratulating winners, consoling losers — while reading others from people who wanted her to know that they had cast their vote for her daughter Bristol on 'Dancing With the Stars' the evening before. Like much of her recent life, Palin’s day had been replete with reminders of the clout she had rapidly acquired. She had spent most of her time ensconced at the Fox television studios, though she managed to squeeze in a jog in Central Park — which she promptly chronicled on Twitter: 'Beautiful!' ... It was indicative of the competing demands on her time that her participation in the campaign’s final days was weirdly anticlimactic. In the three weeks before the elections, Palin was bombarded with campaigning requests, many of them sent to her personal e-mail account. But her young son, Trig, was to have an operation — routine but still worrisome — on the Friday before Election Day, and so the mother was loath to commit to anything. Trig’s procedure went well. That evening, Palin’s political adviser, Andrew Davis, pulled an all-nighter arranging for her to make a Saturday drop-in on behalf of John Raese, the West Virginia senatorial candidate who was trailing the Democratic nominee, Joe Manchin, the popular governor. Raese’s wife, Elizabeth, had issued a personal plea to Palin to save the day." (NyTimesMagazine)


"Vincent Gallo is sick of Twitter impostors. Two faux Twitter accounts impersonating the actor-musician have amassed nearly 16,000 followers and caused him grief with crude and weird tweets. Fans have even bombarded Gallo with maple syrup at concerts because @vincentgallo promised it will get them backstage. 'At a farmers market, somebody was selling organic maple syrup and was all excited that I was there,' Gallo told us. 'I didn't know what this guy was saying about maple syrup.' Other tweets are nastier, with digs at Sarah Silverman, Kanye West and Milla Jovovich among others. 'Had a dream my agent tricked me into having sex with @sarahksilverman. Even in my dreams my agent is a [bleep]hole,' the poser tweeted. Gallo said, 'I have no agent, by the way.' He's worked tirelessly to have the account removed, but no luck. 'It is embarrassing having anyone believe I would sign up for and communicate with Twitter,' he said." (PageSix)


"In conjunction with this lecture’s academic character, I should like to draw attention to our scholarly conclave’s origin—the symposium. Plato gave us the symposium’s classical prototype. The Greek symposium was a booze-up. The word is derived from sympotein, meaning 'to drink together.' There you have it: Western civilization was born in the haze of a drunken Greek debauch. This, by the way, is quite an improvement over Greek culture’s origins in the Pelasgians’ unspeakable goat-and-satyr orgies. The relationship between culture and drink was nicely and succinctly put by William Faulkner: 'Civilization begins with distillation' ... The Ugandans, ranked as the world’s leading per-capita alcohol consumers, make a gin from bananas called waragi. So the Dark Continent has contributed its own ethereal stars to the spacious alcoholic firmament on high ... Let’s mop things up with some notes on after-dinner drinks of class. I’ve got no problem with port, but like wines, it’s a question of the vintner, year, and other variables that can disappoint. Forget Cognac; in France it’s a drink they give to Germans and other peasants. Your Froggy connoisseur drinks Armagnac. Grappa is an Italian firewater that tastes like lighter fluid. First they make wine, then distill it into Cinzano. A further distillation produces STP, the valve-treatment additive. Finally there’s some horrible dribble left in the distillation column; out of that they make Grappa. Always order the cheapest in the house. It’s total piss, anyway.("Bunky Mortimer")


"Big news for Lost fans: series co-star Jorge Garcia has joined another J.J. Abrams drama about an island. Garcia is set to play a lead on the Fox pilot Alcatraz, which is executive produced by Lost co-creator/executive producer Abrams. The project, described to be 'about secrets and the most infamous prison of all time,' centers on a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day. It chronicles the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance thirty years prior. Garcia will play the hippy geek Dr. Diego Soto, the world's foremost expert on Alcatraz. Actor-comedian Garcia, who landed his first TV series role on the CBS comedy Becker, rose to fame as one of the key cast members on ABC's hit drama Lost. He was the first actor cast in the Lost pilot, just like he is now on Alcatraz." (Deadline)


"A relative unknown has been tapped to provide the sex and drugs Lindsay Lohan can't. Malin Akerman, whose biggest roles to date were in 'Watchmen' and 'The Heartbreak Kid,' will take over the role of Linda Lovelace in the new biopic about the 'Deep Throat' porn star, according to Deadline Hollywood. As The Post reported Sunday, Lohan was booted from the film, 'Inferno,' because she was unreliable and uninsurable, director Matthew Wilder said."  (PageSix)


"Gallery show openings and Art Fairs are beautiful & inspiring but nothing beats getting to see your favorite artist in action on some abandoned street in Bushwick. After a dump of a day in the office, we fell off the work-week-wagon and headed straight to Factory Fresh for a sneak peak of the artwork going up for Saturday’s Bushwick Art Block Party with All City. A quite epic moment, we witnessed Faile & Bast stenciling together! This hasn’t happened in years!! That gate is now PRICELESS!! Totally unhinging the gate immediately after the block party.(Plaztikmag)


"Sup? To celebrate the new movie Burlesque, starring Cher and X-Tina, I thought i'd help y'all out by giving you a step by step guide to dress like this woman. What would happen if she could actually turn back time? Maybe she wouldn't have worn this. 1. The Hair - Some say it's a wig, some say it fell out of the sky, some say she was born with that exact length and frizz. Either way, this look can be created with half a pot of honey, and 3 cans of hairspray and a hot stick. 2. Nose - She's only slipped under the radar, because a certain MJ's was a lot more obvious, but let me tell you, shes had a lot of work done. Either big or small, you'll get away with it. 3. Jewellery - Jewellery from a flea market, the cheapest you can find is perfect. 4. Clothing - Im not sure if they're clothes of not. I believe she's wearing some sort of body tight, and i believe the darker bits are duct tape. Try and complete the duct tape procedure the best of your ability, and make sure you shave before hand. 5. Vajazzle ..." (TheBeatJuice)


"At age 64, Charlotte Rampling remains an icon of sex and decadence. Once described as being able to have any man she wanted, she maintains a powerfully carnal presence in films ranging from Never Let Me Go to StreetDance 3D. Born into a military family in Essex, England, the bilingual Rampling has long divided her time between London and Paris, where she is referred to as 'La Légende.' The last ten years have marked some of her most powerful and psychologically penetrating work, particularly in collaboration with the director François Ozon, but she’ll likely be remembered as the embodiment of a certain kind of twisted glamour, like the concentration camp victim entertaining Nazi officers bare-breasted in braces and a cap in the pervy 1974 film The Night Porter. Speaking over the phone from her home in Paris, it’s clear that she doesn’t suffer fools gladly—she keeps the conversation rattling along at a fair old pace, offering her thoughts on everything from aging gracefully to the state of style publications today. 'Fashion in magazines has to be sublime for me, it can’t be ordinary,' she decrees in a cut-glass English accent. One of cinema’s great beauties, Rampling knows how to wear her clothes. 'I’ll throw a few things on, but they’ll be good things—couture, Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander, usually quite masculine things. I don’t have to bother about it, I just put them on and think that’s who I am, as far as I know who I am,' she laughs. Rampling seems at ease with her age. Her face is proudly untouched by the surgeon’s knife—she once said that the idea of waking up with a younger face was monstrous—and she speaks warmly about her grandchildren, though an inquiry about whether she spoils them gets a sharp retort: “I wasn’t spoiled, so I wouldn’t know how to spoil them.'" (VMagazine)


"In 'The Smartest Guy in the Room,' published in the September issue of Vanity Fair, contributing editor William D. Cohan reported on the controversy surrounding the life of former 'car czar' and Democratic supporter Steve Rattner. On the heels of the lawsuits filed against Rattner yesterday, VF Daily checked in again with Cohan, who worked alongside Rattner at Lazard Frères and wrote about him extensively in The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. VF Daily: What did you think of the news? William Cohan: Part of me was not surprised. The reporting we did turned out to be kind of prescient and accurate and has been proven out by the events of the last few weeks, which included the rumors about the settlement with the S.E.C… and his failure to settle with Cuomo and the resulting two lawsuits. We heard that Rattner strenuously objected when he heard you were writing the story and told anybody who would listen that you were biased in your opinion of him. That’s right. I didn’t care whether Rattner cooperated or not. I’ve known Steve a long time and I was just going to let the facts speak for themselves." (VanityFair)


(Victor Vasquez via Papermag)

"There was no combination Taco Bell or Pizza Hut, just Das Racist, Tecate and fans at the Mishka Boutique Thursday for Victor Vazquez, Himanshu Suri and hype man Ashok Kondabolu (or Dap) last live New York show of 2010. It was no secret they were there to promote the brand Mishka, who outfitted the group, and co-presents Das Racist's latest mixtape 'Sit Down, Man' with Diplo, Mad Decent and Greedhead Entertainment. 'Buy these things! Buy these things!' they chanted to the crowd after joking about Drake's Sprite commercial, which they referenced throughout the show. 'Do you guys like Sprite?' The room's soft drink of choice was never determined, but it was clear that the crowd who turned out for the evening were very partial to Das Racist. 'Who's That? Brooown!' got things hype, then a few tracks were performed with guests Aleksey Weintraub and Alec Reisenstein for a short and sweet set. You have to hand it to Das Racist -- these guys are not rapping about struggles, they are exploiting the world they live in right now (Brooklyn!) without trying to be anyone else. It's been a big year for Das Racist, who released two free mixtapes ('Shut Up, Dude' in March and 'Sit Down, Man' in September) and are about to head off on a world tour." (Papermag)

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