Asshole of the Year: Henry Kissinger. Oh, Planetary fucker (see pic above) the blush is now off the rose. Longevity is both a blessing and a curse, and Henry Kissinger's longevity is finally catching up to him. If one has lived "The Good Life," longevity usually means recognition and an ambrosial taste of one's historical legacy in this world (they call that, in Hollywood, "the Thalberg Award").
When someone lives what is generally recognized as A Bad Life -- one festooned with all sorts of unnatural crimes against humanity like, say, the killing of a unicorn -- there is the comeuppance. And that comeuppance, dear reader, is a bitch. International criminals and underworld swine usually, though not always, have the shrewd instincts to exit rather early, keeping their winnings, getting away with their abuses, dying "pretty." After all, tyrants are the way they are because they are the ultimate materialists -- they believe that you must snatch yours in this world in the here and now, consequences be damned. Death is just the big fade-to-black.
Those who stay on longer, however -- seeking both infamy as well as senectitude -- get to hear the first draft of History's summary judgement of how their lives affected civilization. Aloud. And it aint pretty for Kissinger, as the tapes of his actions are just beginning to leak down into the mainstream like a urinal overflowing. Joy.
There are the freakishly amoral utterances on the Holocaust. Kissinger's bitch-ish, mascotty acceptance of being called "my Jewboy" by his Master, the fundamentally broken Richard Nixon. Long gone are the days of fawning magazine profiles ("I wonder whose Kissinger now?"). Now we get to see the dark mechanics animating Kissinger's Machiavelian cosmology. Slowly by slowly. And the longer he lasts, the more we shall hear. Henry the K who ironically taught History at Harvard is sure to be its most prominent victim. Dishonorable Mention: Terry Richardson.
Worst Job Ever: Record Label Executive. At the very least, The Man cannot outsource the job of a janitor to India. It is a stinky thing to do to make ones living, but at least it has job security. Being a record label head -- one of the coolest jobs to have way back in the 70s -- is toast. C'est tout. The blow is all done, the groupies have left the building, radio is having a vertigo attack and there is no more serious pay-for-play (Even if there was, who would even notice anymore?). Bob Lefsetz, as always, is the last word on all things music industry related:
If running a record label were so damn good, would Jimmy Iovine be selling Beats headphones and trying to save sound with HP? Are these celebs truly that out of touch? America’s not that unsophisticated. Hell, just look at the sales chart. Stone Temple Pilots are predicted to move 60,000 copies of their new album next week, if they’re lucky, they may hit 70,000! Isn’t that like raving you’re the king of the minor leagues? That you’re the best BMX rider in a world focused on the NFL and Major League Baseball? You just can’t make it as a label anymore. And maybe if you’ve got a ton of money, you can shove your protege in front of the cameras. But who’s going to buy? Sure, there’s a pinnacle, a GaGaville where people click through for digital singles. But beneath that, it’s a vast wasteland. And GaGa is driving at 110 miles an hour constantly, how long can it last, what’s she gonna do next?
Right. Come to think of it, anything in the music industry related -- other than being on top of the mountain, however briefly -- is pretty much in jeopardy. Which brings us to ...
Spectacular Fall: J-Lo. Hey, 2011 may ultimately be her year. Just saying that 2010 clearly was not. JLo's new gig on American Idol notwithstanding -- a show arguably in decline, though still at the top of the TV ratings -- this past year was an annus horribilis. From Peter Lauria:
The Back-Up Plan, Jennifer Lopez's latest romantic comedy, opened this past weekend and grossed a lousy $12.3 million—and ably described what Lopez desperately needs right now, career-wise. This latest bomb cements a professional plummet that threatens to make one of the biggest stars of movies and music over the past decade little more than Mrs. Marc Anthony. At the height of her career, between 1997 and 2002, when she rolled with Puffy or Ben Affleck and a posse a dozen deep, Lopez made up to $12 million per movie. During this period, she made nine films, which grossed between $24 million and $94 million domestically. Since then, The Back-Up Plan has been more typical, in the mold of Gigli and An Unfinished Life, which collected an unrespectable $6 million and $8 million, respectively. Lopez's music sales mimic that trajectory.
Epic fail. The numbers are pretty staggering. From being a $12 million a picture star with -- it seemed at the time -- a million side projects and deals, to going back to television to be one of four judges on a show past its prime? It was wonderful to have a woman of color so high on the Hollywood totem pole, one that seemed -- at least from a distance -- kind. That space is now unoccupied and we are much the poorer for it. We do wish JLo the best of luck in 2011. Honorable Mention: the spectacular fall of Desiree Rogers
Bromance Gone Bad: Ron Burkle and Bill Clinton. That Bill Clinton, post-Presidency, runs with a louche crowd is not particularly astounding news. These "chums" are the human equivalent of fast-food, which the former President also loves but is now medically prohibited from consuming because of a bum ticker. Bill's buddies are, like fast-food, extremely rich and extremely bad for you. Still, that can't stop the man from Hope with so much "appetite."
Ultimately the fact that Clinton naively expected any sort of manly heraldic honor from this cast of characters -- this island of misfit boys -- is simultaneously amusing and a little heartbreaking. He is still, it seems, an Arkansan farmboy at his core despite all the interantional achievement and acclaim. We are all hostages, it would appear, to our own beginnings.
Quick Rundown: Burkle and Bill used to be BFFs. Earlier this year that bromance faded like an oil -- or should The Corsair say oily -- painting. The greasiness stems from Bill's perception of Burkle's "stiffing ( -- that's what she said)" of him to the tune of twenty large. From The Daily Beast:
The $20 million in question, a supposed “final payment” in connection with profits from their almost decade-long partnership, was discussed last year by The Wall Street Journal, which reported that Clinton was “walking away” from the money.
One Clinton confidant says a negotiation between the former president and the supermarket magnate went on "for months and months. They compromised and they agreed on different numbers and at the end of the day Clinton decided life's too short. We'll give it up and we'll just sever the relationship.”
Burkle spokesman Frank Quintero responds: “I’m not going to comment on things that aren’t true.” The Burkle camp denied the Clinton sources' version of events, and said that documents would be made available to support their point. Ultimately those documents were not produced prior to publication.
Say it aint so ... bro. Honorable Mention: US-Israeli relations, the year's other bromance gone awry.
Sexiest Big Reveal: Courtney Love and Kate Moss. Hey, it was the 90s after all. Stunning to find out though that Courtney Love had a fling with Kate Moss. Very sexy, that would that there was a photographic chronicling of that Sapphic event. The cryptic reveal happened on, of all places, The Howard Stern Show (which is kind of cliche). From Marksfriggin:
Courtney said that she has had guy say that she is great in bed. The guy from Blur said she was the best in bed and so did Kurt. Courtney said that she'll also party with girls. She said she's just 'gay enough' to do that. Howard asked Courtney if she will do chicks. She said she will do it but only if there's a guy there. Courtney said she only likes kissing and rubbing the titties. She said she will go further but she didn't want to talk about that ... Courtney said she did have a one on one this one time. Courtney told Howard about how she had this chick chasing her around the room and she figured that was the best person to do it with. Howard asked if it was Janice Dickinson. Courtney said it wasn't, but it was a super model. She said Janice had her day for like a month but that was about it. Courtney did an impression of the model and Robin guessed it was Kate Moss. Courtney said it wasn't her but she was denying it in an odd way like maybe it was true. Howard figured it really was Kate Moss.
Even after a decade The Corsair cannot help but find this story sexy.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Gary Coleman. Hollywood is a cruel, cruel town. It feasts on young blood. Gary Coleman was angry at his life, of being used, of being discarded once he was no longer a cutey-pie. But we like to remember Coleman as the adorable child in the 1970s with the silly catch phrase not the bitter, angry man-child that he became in his later years. If anything, Coleman's life should be a reminder of how brutal the American star system truly is. Don't raise your kids in Hollywood! Don't aspire to be a part of that shit.
Of course, his death changes nothing. Stars are the centers of Hollywood's solar system and when Coleman's radiance and cuteness faded, so did he. He was not the first and he will not be the last. The mindless masses will always want another young cute pretty that the Hollywood pimps are eager and willing to supply. And ruthless parents with stars in their eyes will gladly turn over their issue to fulfill their own frustrated ambitions.
Gary will live on in reruns on TVLand.
Honorable mentions: Louis Auchincloss, Lena Horne, the tragic Casey Johnson, Jamie Gillis, Dennis Hopper, Jill Clayburgh and Teddy Pendergrass.
15 minutes Almost Up: Jesus Luz. And Jesus wept. From Page Six:
Jesus Luz had a bad night in Rio on Sunday. Madonna's boy toy was deejaying at a party for the best samba schools that participated in Carnival when a guest came up and threw beer in his face, saying, 'Get out of here, I don't wanna see your face here anymore!' As reported by iG Gente magazine, Luz 'went to a corner and started to cry.'Evidently, Madonna liked her beefcake tender.
Most Stylish: Daphne Guinness. This woman sort of really rocks my world. Crazy hot yumminess. Peter Davis does this wonderful thing via his social networks. It is called "Your Daily Daphne" and it features one of her signature looks. He does this every day and it must be hard work because during the course of any single day Daphne sports many highly personal and quite beautiful "looks." Our favorite social chronicler David Patrick Columbia has also featured the amazing Guinness.
The woman is magnificent. Sophisticated, sexy, smart, ironic -- I love her Tweets (Jean Seberg stills, etc). AND SHE DATES PHILOSOPHERS! It is only a matter of time before the world discovers her, until then, she is our magnificent little secret. Shhhh.
Materialist of the Year: Jay McInerney. The difference between Daphne Guinness and Jay McInreney is that Guinness seems to recognize -- through her complicated relationship with philosopher Henry Bernard Levy and her clever, arty Tweets -- that there is actually something more to human existence than social and material pleasures as apprehended through the senses.
Memory. Objective Beauty. Time. If it cannot be apprehended through McInerney's five meager senses -- it doesn't exist for Jay. And his writing suffers from this paucity of imagination.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Is it possible to taste minerals in fermented grape juice? Can the roots of the grape vine somehow transmit characteristics of soil and bedrock to the grape itself? Is it a gross abuse of poetic license to detect marine elements in a wine grown on a former Jurassic seabed? You may never have asked these questions, but they go to the heart of the French notion of terroir—the idea that wine is a function of its place of origin. Nowhere do these questions seem more relevant than in Chablis ...Chablis is a great food wine, although some true believers seem to hate to mix it up with solids. Beastie Boy Mike Diamond, a serious fan of Chablis, says, 'It pairs so well with so many foods, yet it's almost an injustice to share a really good Dauvissat or Raveneau with food; I kind of prefer to hog it all to myself, savoring every sip.'
"Hog" is really le mot juste. Of course he married a Hearst. Just reading this materialist namedropping claptrap -- wholly devoid of any ideas or meaning -- transports me into the shallow soil, into the stones, into matter itself. And writing as an Art form at its best is supposed to transport us into the ethers, however briefly. Jay is incapable of that. The alarming number of wives, all discarded as they grow older -- one actually had plastic surgery to stay "in the game" with JMac-- all attest to the fundamental non-seriousness of this Ass. Fuck that shit.
Girl, We Need to Talk: Naomi Campbell. Dear Naomi: What's going on with you and Vladimir Doronin? We've been interested in your perambulations through pop-culture for some time now. Not to sound creepy, but we find you quite sexy, if somewhat diabolical and unscrupulous. So we are kind of -- but not much -- worried about your relationship with that shady oligarch who is already married with children.
We know that you are a supermodel. You have seen it all. Done it all. Fended off sheiks; oily Hollywood millionaires; tycoons; starfuckers. You've entered this with open eyes. But Vlad's fortune, born in post-Glasnost Russia's "Wild West" was probably achieved through indecent, violent and cruel means. Then again, you yourself are not quite known principle and human rights.
On second thought: You deserve each other. Enjoy.