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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"This week's battle between pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters for control of Cairo's Tahrir Square only deepened the mystery over where Egypt's latest revolution is headed. Mubarak has promised to step down after presidential elections in September, though it remains to be seen if he'll have to make an exit much sooner than that. What will follow, no one can say. The U.S. government has long granted a generous foreign assistance package to Egypt in order to maintain Mubarak's support for critical interests in the region. Regardless of what form the new, post-Mubarak government takes, the financial price the United States will have to pay to keep Egypt on its side will almost certainly go up. Whether the next government is authoritarian or representative, the street protests of the past two weeks will force it to do more than Mubarak ever did to reflect popular will. The Mubarak government was as pro-American as U.S. policymakers could reasonably hope for; its successor will almost certainly be less so. Its level of dependence on the United States will start out the same, but its level of antagonism will very likely go up." (Foreign Policy)



"SYLVIE CACHAY started the morning of Dec. 8 the same way she started every day before it, wondering what she could do to get her swimwear business back off the ground. She was a promising young designer, but one who was frustrated by having to work for someone else's company, not her own. That day, her friend Lesa Wright McHale had e-mailed her with some news: after a decade as a partner in a fashion public relations company, she was starting one of her own. Ms. Cachay's response was, as usual, full of encouragement, humor and expressive punctuation.'Where's the office???' Ms. Cachay wrote back. 'Can I rent space? Or, be there for free, haha!!! Okay, no — I'm kinda serious and would consider both... work for you??? Again, seriously!'  Ms. Cachay had closed her swimwear line, called Syla, in 2008, and she often asked Ms. Wright McHale for advice. She asked all her friends, in e-mail messages, on the phone, at dinner. She was determined to succeed with a drive and a single-mindedness that escaped no one. In that note to Ms. Wright McHale, Ms. Cachay wrote: 'I was just in Miami and I swear random women were asking me about my suits! I mean how much more of a hint do I need??? Now, money — that's the question!'" (NYTimes)


"He took himself out of the debate. The kiss of death was when he said he was going to be nice. That's like Dick Cheney caring what the public thinks, that's like Sarah Palin suddenly saying Obama's great, that's like Paul Krugman saying trickle down economics work. A LEOPARD CAN'T CHANGE HIS SPOTS! In other words, you'd better make it on who you really are, because if you want to change midstream, you're in trouble. Perez has a fatal flaw. He wants to be liked. Don't forget, Sally Field acknowledging her weakness, that she had low self-esteem and cared what people thought of her, and this dented her career, she went from winning multiple Oscars to nowhere and then TV. Marlon Brando refused to show up to accept his Oscar. Didn't hurt him a whit. In other words, once you start giving the public what it wants, you're doomed. You've got to follow your own path, tick to your own inner clock, or else you'll get blown away by the whims of the public. Perez was successful because not only did he reveal gossip, he commented upon it. At first people flocked to his site because he broke the news. Ultimately, TMZ did this better than he did, but Perez's audience stuck with him because of the attitude. TMZ is faceless. Whereas Perez was all about personality... HIS PERSONALITY! An overweight immigrant gay who was not accepted by society. Perez invented himself, played by his own rules, and became not only a star, but a starmaker. His fans listened to him and wannabe stars played up to him, because of the huge audience he controlled. Then Perez drank his own Kool-Aid." (Lefsetz Letter)


"Los Angeles Graffiti artist RETNA (of the world famous Seventh Letter crew) has always blurred the line between street art and fine art, dexterously "altering" billboards and other advertisements or patterning his Old English-inspired script. The visionary's solo exhibition, 'RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour New York,' makes its New York debut with a big Fashion Week party on February 10th, which is being presented by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld (son of former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld) and Andy Valmorbida. The two jet-setting art dealers have been long supporters of graffiti, and in the past have supported such artists as Richard Hambleton, who PAPER once dubbed 'The godfather of street art'" (Papermag)


"'Shakedown is a black lesbian club in Los Angeles,' says Leilah Weinraub, director of the near-finished documentary that bears the club's name. 'The strip shows there are the darker, faster, younger version of the club's predecessors. SHAKEDOWN [the film] is a window into that world.' For six years, Weinraub documented the shows at Shakedown every Thursday and Friday and eventually evolved the project to follow the dancers home to document their lives outside of the club. In doing so, she was able to 'track the dollar from inside the club into the lives of the dancers and the community by documenting their family life, daily routine, costume production, weave and nails and following them back into the club where the cycle repeats itself,' says the film's producer, Venus Jazmine Soto." (VMagazine)

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