blog advertising is good for you

Monday, March 28, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"There are plenty of smart objections to America’s Libya intervention. But when President Obama addresses the nation on Monday night, he should rebut the stupidest one: that America shouldn’t wage humanitarian war in Libya because we’re not doing so in Congo, Zimbabwe and every other nasty dictatorship on earth. The consistency argument, it’s important to understand, has nothing to do with Congo and Zimbabwe. Most of the people who invoke those ill-fated countries showed no interest in them before the Libya debate and will go back to ignoring them once Libya is off the front page. Ask someone who demands moral consistency in humanitarian war how exactly they propose to intervene in Congo and you will quickly realize that the call for moral consistency is actually a call for immoral consistency. The point of invoking the horrors of Congo is not to convince the US to act to stop the horrors of Congo; it is to ensure that, out of respect for the raped, murdered and maimed in Central Africa, we allow innocents to be raped, murdered and maimed in North Africa as well. The Congolese, presumably, will find it comforting to know that the great powers are as just as indifferent to savagery in other lands as they are to the savagery in theirs." (Peter Beinart)


"From the minute I landed in Bombay—as everyone here still calls it—the rapidly shifting nature of contemporary India was apparent. Instead of waiting in agonisingly long queues at the airport, I breezed through immigration, customs and bag collection in only 45 minutes. That’s faster than one can make it through most terminals at Heathrow or JFK these days. Outside the airport, cranes building a new terminal towered over those waiting with signs to pick up arriving international passengers with names like Padamsee and Singh, but also Takahashi and Levine, signs of the globalisation that is quickly transforming this city into an international melting pot. The last time I attended a fashion week in India was five years ago, so when IMG kindly invited me to attend this season’s Lakmé Fashion Week, I was curious to see how things had changed. With GDP growth racing along at a blistering 8 percent per year, and a growing sense of national pride, there were bound to be changes in India’s fashion business landscape as well." (BusinessofFashion)


"This morning’s Telegraph of London is running an obituary of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, the sister of the late Prince Rainier’s and aunt of Prince Albert and the Princesses Caroline and Stephanie. The princess, who died ten days ago at age 90, was considered by some to be eccentric, by others to be wild in her younger years (which extended well into her 70s), and definitely a lady who did as she pleased. The obituary will tell you the whole interesting story. The most interesting aspect of the princess’ story, which has never been unknown but rarely ever discussed in print, is the Grimaldi families lineage, which runs up and down both sides of the social ladder and fits nicely with allusion to the principality’s roots, in Somerset Maugham’s famous quote about Monte Carlo being a 'sunny place for shady people' ... It might be said that the Grimaldis have the most colorful genealogy of any royal family in Europe of the past three or five centuries. The first Grimaldi took over the palais one dark night in the 13th century, dressed as a monk, with a knife concealed underneath, knocked on the palace door one night and immediately murdered the owner and took over the place. Those were his politics." (NYSocialDiary)


"It’s not a secret that the states are a mess. All over the country, the collision of decades of expansive social programs, federal tax cuts for the richest, and the aftermath of the global financial slide has produced oceans of budgetary red ink. Governors, unlike Congress and the president, are legally required to balance their ledgers each year. The drama is playing out in a variety of ways across the national stage. In Wisconsin, Republican Scott Walker has tried to smash the public-sector unions; protesters flooded Madison while the state’s Democratic senators fled to Illinois. In New Jersey, Chris Christie has used ridicule and threats against the same targets, making him a conservative darling and a YouTube star. Out in California, Democrat Jerry Brown has tried a more cerebral, compromising approach, to little effect. All of which has given Andrew Cuomo an enormous if risky opportunity to define a new Democratic path, between confrontation and capitulation, left and right: progressive austerity, achieved through equal parts brute force and seduction, bringing business, labor, and politicians together to work it out semi-peacefully. Thus far he’s played the politics brilliantly. 'Like Nixon and Johnson, Andrew is always gaming everything. And he’s very good at it,' says a New York party leader. 'He has figured out how to turn his electoral victory, which he’s claiming is a mandate, and his popularity to keep people off balance in Albany.'" (NYMag)


"Presidential aspirants, in what they offer, and voters, in whom they support, typically react to the immediate past. After the scandals of Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter promised virtue. After Mr. Carter gained a reputation for small-bore fecklessness, Ronald Reagan pledged robust leadership that did not sweat the details. After George H. W. Bush won the Persian Gulf war, Bill Clinton vowed to focus on an ailing economy. And after the younger Mr. Bush embraced his role as 'war president,' Mr. Obama stood out among his major challengers as an opponent of the Iraq war since 2002, even before it started. Mr. Obama said then that he opposed 'dumb' wars, not all of them. By increasing forces in Afghanistan, President Obama fulfilled a pledge to reinvigorate a mission he argued Mr. Bush had neglected. The Libya intervention is different. Mr. Obama initiated it, applying two lessons drawn from his predecessors. One is the 'responsibility to protect' innocents from slaughter, as Mr. Clinton failed to do in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Mr. Obama judged Colonel Qaddafi’s vow to show Libyan rebels 'no mercy' such a case. The second is the need for greater international coordination than Mr. Bush relied upon." (John Harwood/TheCaucus)


"Last month, a group of American investors assembled by former sommelier Robert Bohr purchased Domaine René Manuel, about 20 acres of prime Meursault vineyards for some €13 million ($18.5 million), sealing a trend whereby wealthy American oenophiles buy into the fabled vineyards of Burgundy ... Was this just a friendly confederation of well-heeled Burghounds looking for bragging rights and first crack at some old bottles for their personal cellars? Was it part of an incredibly intricate scheme for wine-world domination, possibly some sort of prescient countermove against the nascent Chinese interest in the rival region of Bordeaux? Or was it yet another example of the influence of Becky Wasserman, the American-born Earth Mother of Burgundy, who acted as the matchmaker in this particular Franco-American union? I say the latter. Ms. Wasserman grew up on East 77th Street in New York, the daughter of a Wall Street broker she describes as 'an elegant alcoholic' and a Hungarian ex-prima ballerina. She attended the Rudolf Steiner School on East 79th Street and Hunter College High School, where her teacher Madame Brody introduced her to the French existentialists and she associated 'with terrible girls with pretensions peering at Dylan Thomas drinking at the White Horse Tavern.' After a year at Bryn Mawr and several years of marriage to 'a Harvard fellow,' she sailed for France with her second husband, 'who had left Merrill Lynch to go to art school.' They found a crumbling barn in the town of Bouilland and restored it, in part with castoff materials from neighbors who were replacing their ancient flagstone floors with linoleum. Her husband, she says, 'collected Burgundies and au pair girls.'" (Jay MacInerney)

No comments: