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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Time was when a dictator like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, watching his hold on power crumbling in the face of an uprising, had plenty of retirement options. Odds were he could find a quiet life in one of Europe's posher watering holes: Mougins in the hills above Cannes, on the shores of Lake Geneva, or maybe a smart Belgravia townhouse. He generally had plenty of cash parked outside the country and often would take a last dip in the treasury on the way out the door. To be sure, he had to keep his wits about him to avoid anarchists and assassins, and he had to avoid too much obvious meddling in his homeland's politics lest this jeopardize his host's grant of asylum. But he could usually look forward to a peaceful and comfortable run for his waning days. So why is Mubarak trying to squeeze a few more months out of his three-decade career in office and avowing his intentions to stay in Egypt rather than packing for the Riviera? It may be because exile isn't what it used to be; over the last 30 years, things have gotten increasingly difficult for dictators in flight. Successor regimes launch criminal probes; major efforts are mounted to identify assets that may have been stripped or looted by the autocrat, or more commonly, members of his immediate family." (ForeignPolicy)


"Last night Elizabeth Peabody hosted a small birthday dinner (menu by Glorious Foods) at her apartment overlooking the East River for Liz Smith, the Aquarian’s Aquarian. Long the belle of the Broadway beat, savior of literacy, Liz personifies all kinds of encomiums which might sound like a press agent’s hype dream, but are nevertheless true. Within reason of course. There were ten of us including old friends Rex Reed, Sean Driscoll, Iris Love, Joe Armstrong as well as newer friends – such as Valentina Fratti, Amy Berlin, Bill Stubbs ('Moment of Luxury' via PBS) and this writer." (NYSD)


"But the topic of Michelle Obama's attire, which seemed to have settled into a zone of curious chatter, light banter and, I like to think, measured analysis, seems to once again be taking on the kind of outsize importance it had in the early days of the administration. It's a kind of prominence that Obama had worked mightily to tamp down. Over the last year, Seventh Avenue managed to calm itself. The first lady liked clothes! Deep breath. She availed herself of trends! Deep breath. In the beginning, it was almost too much for anyone who cared about fashion to bear. Everyone was understandably verklempt. But then folks got used to seeing her bare arms; they understood that she was the kind of modern woman who did not wear pantyhose; and, yes, it seemed that her fashion taste was eclectic, ranging from J. Crew to Azzedine Alaia. Still, the industry managed to get a grip on itself. The online photo galleries were quietly maintained. Conversations about the first lady's clothes didn't end, but people were spending significant time and energy talking about her Let's Move initiative to combat childhood obesity. She's been spending the last month trying to focus public attention on mentoring and on military families and the extreme sacrifices they've been called to make. It seemed that there was balance." (Robin Givahn)


"A definition: this list is limited to creative figures—stars, directors, producers—and to the money they earn from film. Thus we include no executives or agents, and we don’t count earnings from non-film-related projects, such as Steve Carell’s fees for starring on The Office or Jennifer Aniston’s for appearing in SmartWater ads. We did our best to ascertain a star’s up-front advance for a given film as well as his or her share of the movie’s profits, assuming there were any. (Often, the lion’s share of fees for a 2010 release may have actually been paid in 2009 and thus is not counted in this year’s list.) Worldwide box-office figures were culled from the Web sites Box Office Mojo and Box Office Guru. Revenue figures from DVD sales—for the first three quarters of 2010 anyway—were supplied by Screen Digest; we devised our own revenue estimates for fourth-quarter DVD sales by applying a conservative formula based on a movie’s performance at the box office. While nine-figure windfalls such as James Cameron’s and Johnny Depp’s are still rare, Hollywood’s post-crash aversion to $20 million paydays and gross-point deals seems to be easing. The fact that a mid-range star such as Vince Vaughn asked for—and got close to—$20 million to appear in The Dilemma proves that the big studios are once again hungering to shell out Goldman-like bonuses for (somewhat) proven commodities." (VanityFair)


"Kanye West seemed enchanted by Russian model Irina Shayk, girlfriend of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, at the Nylon/Diesel party for 'Gossip Girl' actress Leighton Meester at W New York Downtown. After dinner with several other guests, the rapper and shapely Shayk chatted in a private corner booth until they were interrupted by female fans clamoring to take photos with West. While Shayk mingled with the likes of Minka Kelly and Jared Leto, a source said West 'watched Irina like a hawk.' The two became friendly after Shayk starred in his video for 'Power' last year. They left the party separately at about midnight." (PageSix)


"Admittedly it’s odd that I started a blog. Especially one which focuses on my dogs. You may ask yourself why did she decide to start a blog? What’s the story behind it? Is it out of boredom or is there a point to all of this? Although it may confuse those of you who are close to me, there is in fact a method to my madness ... My dad made Rizer’s Goldens into one of the best Golden Retriever kennels in the country. I grew up with him toting his adorable dogs to shows, grooming them religiously and sharing ice cream cones with them. In my dad’s words 'I know every single thing, good and bad that go into my dogs mouths and believe me, they’re mouths are far cleaner than most humans’. Sadly, my dad lost his life to HIV/AIDS in 1992 and was never able to see his dreams for Rizer’s Goldens come to fruition. After my dad died his partner, Scott Discount and Scott’s (happily now) husband Seann Coffee continued the kennel and have bred and shown some of the most beautiful and well-respected Golden Retriever’s in the world. I have been fortunate enough to have owned a number of these Golden’s which include my beloved Arthur, Phillip, Henry, Albert, and now Beatrice. I also have to include Bo who is my sister’s Golden and also Henry’s sister. Anytime I am home visiting my sister and her adorable family Bo somehow ends up in my car, home and eventually my bed until the end of my trip. She’s my rental GR and I love her dearly."
(supermodel Maggie Rizer)


"TO.GET.HER, a thriller about five teenage girls who come together for a night of 'no consequences' during a beach getaway weekend, was painful to watch. A limp thriller at best, the film shows each of the girls suffer from typical growing pains—anorexia, getting into college, sexual confusion—adding up to an unentertaining television movie-of-the-week. The group is led by perhaps the most unlikable character of the bunch played by a London “it” girl, teen Jazzy De Lisser. It doesn’t help that the movie is shot in a strange light filter and has poor dialogue about Twitter and Facebook updates in an effort to be extra-2011. By the time the twist is revealed in the final moments of the film, it’s just unrewarding." (Vmagazine)

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