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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"One of the many fascinating angles to this unfolding State Department cables story has been the character of Julian Assange himself -- mysterious, flamboyant, and uncompromising. It often seems as if he were sent by Central Casting to play the role of WikiLeaks frontman -- with his angular Teutonic features and his obvious yen for the spotlight, he could be a villain from Die Hard or a Bond movie (one joke making the rounds before Assange turned himself in to British authorities was that if anyone really wanted to find him, all they'd have to do was pose as a photographer).  But villain is obviously a subjective word -- many view Assange as a hero speaking truth to power. So is he an activist, then? A transparency advocate? Neither term seems to quite capture the ambitions of a man who obviously has pretensions as an intellectual, as his voluminous writing makes clear. In the manner of leftist radicals of old, he seems ideologically driven not simply to expose secret communications to the light of day but to bring down 'the system' as a whole. The way he writes and talks, it's as if he believes that some day he will find the Holy Grail of documents in which the Big Lie that governs the world will be found. Is he a journalist? He claims rather grandiosely to be practicing 'scientific journalism' -- which 'allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on.' And he calls himself the 'editor in chief' of WikiLeaks. But journalists are in the business of contextualizing news stories, adding color, detail, and perspective to documents or events that in and of themselves don't tell the whole story. Assange is more like a middleman for journalists -- he has created a platform encouraging insiders to leak information exposing alleged malfeasance or corruption, and he partners with news organizations who can sift through the dross and identify what is truly interesting and important. Is he a terrorist, as some are claiming? Obviously not -- Assange is not using violence to carry out political objectives. So what is he?" (ForeignPolicy)


"This past Monday night, as is his wont at this time of the year, Euan Rellie assembled a list of what he calls an A-Z of fashion, 120 in all, media and socials, at the Park Avenue Tavern for dinner to celebrate his wife Lucy's birthday. From Alina Cho, Amanda Ross, and Amy Sacco, to Gretchen Mol, Hamish Bowles, India Hicks and Ivana Lowell, to Peter Som and Prabal Gurung, to Mary Alice Stephenson, Meredith Melling Burke, Steven Alan and Zandy Forbes. Uptown and downtown ('and New Jersey too', said Gilt Man Editorial Director Tyler Thoreson) had congregated together at this 'hot new drinking den,' close to Grand Central. Lucy, who you may know is a stylist and children's clothes designer. She launched her own line. Her husband is a 'semi-reformed investment banker,' although you’ll have to ask him precisely what that means. They've clearly picked up some friends along the way. An array of pregnant women were in attendance. "That hasn’t stopped Gretchen (Mol) taking her clothes off on Boardwalk Empire once a week" noted the host." (NYSSocialDiary)


"There is an old Republican saying that 'a government strong enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have.' This statement contains an essential truth that liberals have no right to overlook. But it is negated, not amplified, if it comes festooned with racism and superstition. In the recent past, government-sponsored policies of social engineering have led to surprising success in reducing the welfare rolls and the crime figures. This came partly from the adoption by many Democrats of policies that had once been called Republican. But not a word about that from (Glenn) Beck and his followers, because it isn’t exciting and doesn’t present any opportunity for rabble-rousing. Far sexier to say that health care—actually another product of bipartisanship—is a step toward Nineteen Eighty-Four. Ten percent unemployment, on the other hand, is rather a disgrace to a midterm Democratic administration. But does anybody believe that unemployment would have gone down if the hated bailout had not occurred and GM had been permitted to go bankrupt? Why not avoid the question altogether and mutter about a secret plan to proclaim a socialist (or Nazi, or Jew-controlled: take your pick) dictatorship? Again, there is a real debate about the pace and rhythm of global warming, and about the degree to which it has been caused (or can be slowed) by human activity. But at the first Tea Party rally I attended, at the Washington Monument earlier this year, the crowd—bristling with placards about the Second Amendment’s being the correction—was treated to an arm-waving speech by a caricature English peer named Lord Monckton, who led them in the edifying call-and-response: 'All together. Global warming is?' 'Bullshit.' 'Obama cannot hear you. Global warming is?' 'bullshit.' 'That’s bettah.' I don’t remember ever seeing grown-ups behave less seriously, at least in an election season." (Christopher Hitchens/ Vanity Fair)


"This is in praise of younger men. An outrage will take place at Preston Crown Court on January 7, 2011, when beautiful 27-year-old ballet teacher Sarah Pirie will be sentenced for an 'improper relationship with a 15-year-old' who was not named (unlucky chappie) for obvious reasons. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is dead wrong. If Pirie’s sentence is harsh, it will be the cruelest decision since the Athenians sent poor old Socrates down for corrupting the young. Mind you, the Brits tend to be undersexed, underfinanced, and, most of the time, under the table with drink, but this is ridiculous. Is there a greater gift a 27-year-old beauty can bestow on a 15-year-old boy than sex? Not the other way around—a 27-year-old man should not have sex with a 15-year-old girl, although in our promiscuous times finding a 15-year-old innocent is like winning the lottery. No, a girl has to be of age, but certainly not a boy. The greatest rite of passage takes place between the sheets when an older woman takes a young man to bed. The greatest rite of passage takes place between the sheets when an older woman takes a young man to bed. Take my case. It was September 1952 and I was returning to America with my parents on the SS Constitution, a great liner, sister ship to the SS Independence." (Taki Theodoracopulos)


"My slave dumped me. Sad face! Apparently now that he’s a jobless loser he can no longer afford to buy me books or pay my rent. Also, he claims I didn’t give him enough attention, and that I wasn't very good at insulting him, which in turn makes me a 'bad dominatrix' thus not worthy of 'what little money he has left.' Well FUCK YOU, you needy little bitch. No but seriously TBH, I was sort of upset when I received the break-up email, as over the past few months I’ve grown pretty fond of getting sent free stuff. Fortunately, I recently received a Facebook message from some fat pathetic creep guy, offering me what appears to be similar services. He’s been sending me photos like the ones you see here. I am hoping that he will take up where the last slave left off." (Karley)

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