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Monday, February 07, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"From Cairo to London to Brooklyn, too many young people are jobless and disaffected ... In Tunisia, the young people who helped bring down a dictator are called hittistes—French-Arabic slang for those who lean against the wall. Their counterparts in Egypt, who on Feb. 1 forced President Hosni Mubarak to say he won't seek reelection, are the shabab atileen, unemployed youths. The hittistes and shabab have brothers and sisters across the globe. In Britain, they are NEETs—'not in education, employment, or training.' In Japan, they are freeters: an amalgam of the English word freelance and the German word Arbeiter, or worker. Spaniards call them mileuristas, meaning they earn no more than 1,000 euros a month. In the U.S., they're 'boomerang' kids who move back home after college because they can't find work. Even fast-growing China, where labor shortages are more common than surpluses, has its 'ant tribe'—recent college graduates who crowd together in cheap flats on the fringes of big cities because they can't find well-paying work. In each of these nations, an economy that can't generate enough jobs to absorb its young people has created a lost generation of the disaffected, unemployed, or underemployed—including growing numbers of recent college graduates for whom the post-crash economy has little to offer." (BusinessWeek)


"Kanye West appears on the cover of VMAN 21: The Thrill of the Game Issue, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld and wearing Louis Vuitton. The accessories make the outfit, however, when you consider that 1 in every 10 issues hitting stands next Tuesday come with a real dollar bill stuffed into ‘Ye’s mouth. The dark, twisted, fantastical emcee is putting his money where his mouth is; a prompt we should all probably take this spring. Check out the video of VMAN’s Model Assembly Line below. Starting Monday at 11AM, New Yorkers can stop into 11 Mercer Street to purchase an advanced copy of the issue from our model factory workers… and get a dollar back!" (VManMag)


"Simple yet ultra fabulous portraits of all the celebs we’d like to party & do bad things with in a hot tub time machine at Studio54 or The Factory. Taken between 1970-1986 with Andy Warhol’s favorite instant camera the Polaroid Big Shot. And you wonder why Polaroids have such a hipster following ..." (Plaztikmag)

"The suspense didn't last very long, not even five minutes. In the introduction to the show featuring intellectual guest star Cornel West, Craig Ferguson announced that lend this episode a little class and gravitas on this, the first day of Black History Month, there would be 'no robot' and 'no dancing horse.' I'm just glad you couldn't hear the curses streaming from my direct vicinity. I watched the show anyway, just so nobody would think I was prejudiced, even though there was nobody else around. And it was an entertaining, interesting show--I confess to digging Cornel West's rhetorical hepcat rococo--but I still think he and Geoff the skeleton robot sidekick would have 'hit it off.' I understand that Jay Leno is going to honor Black History Month by freeing the members of his band from the cruel oppression of being forced to laugh at his opening-monologue jokes and having to pretend his lame-ass stuff is funny." (JamesWolcott)


"Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess? —Ludwig van Beethoven... To the first question I have no more of an answer than did Beethoven; as for the second, I consult his piano sonatas, a few of which I once was able to play and in the listening to most of which I discover the enlarged sense and state of being that is the presence of the great goddess. The liftings of her veil in this issue of Lapham’s Quarterly concern the uses of art as a medium of exchange, the gift in the hand of its creator alive in the mind of its beholder, converting the private to a public good and thereby adding it to the common store of human energy and hope. The embodiment of the spirit in the flesh to which Tolstoy refers as 'a means of communion among people … the capacity of people to be infected by the feelings of other people,' by 'feelings, the most diverse, very strong and very weak, very significant and very worthless, very bad and very good.' The spread of the infection rejoiced in by Montaigne, who approached his library in search of an escape from the 'tedious idleness' and 'disagreeable company' in the prison of the self. The supposition that art is a gift as opposed to a collectible, something that doesn’t try to sell you anything, runs counter to our contemporary notions of what constitutes a meaningful exchange. If I couldn’t deduce the fact from the price paid for Damien Hirst’s shark afloat in formaldehyde, I was reminded of it some months ago when asked by the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan to mount a discussion about the role of the artist in postmodern American society. The auditorium serves as a trendsetting display case for the city’s high-end cultural merchandise, and the booking agent requested participants—an author, an actress, possibly a musician or a film director—deserving the cost of ad space in the New York Times." (Lapham's Quarterly)

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