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Friday, April 01, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"A lot of the talk-show chatter beats up on Obama for moral inconsistency: Why Libya and not Ivory Coast, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Some of those critics would like to see more intervention, but most would like to see less, or none ... Writing in Foreign Affairs, Michael Doyle recently asserted that the 'slaughter of civilians' does not 'automatically qualify' as a threat to international peace and security, and so should not trigger Security Council action. Would the United States protect its vital interests better by adopting such a view, keeping its powder dry until some hypothetical Rwanda-level genocide came along? The answer is obvious -- and Obama gave it by observing that the fact that the United States can't always act to stop mass violence 'cannot be an argument for never acting.' Rather, he said, the United States will "measure our interests against the need for action.' It's not a simple calculus. Obama might have saved more Libyan lives by acting earlier, before the Arab League and the Security Council had authorized an intervention. But by reminding the world of the Iraq invasion, carried out without U.N. support, he would have generated enmity that might have doomed the mission over time. The same is true with making regime change the explicit goal of the bombing campaign; doing so would rupture the coalition and lose Arab support."(ForeignPolicy)



"Over Oscar weekend in late February, art dealer Larry Gagosian held a private lunch at the $15.5 million home he recently bought in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles. His glass-enclosed house had been decorated for the occasion by the artist Richard Prince, so its walls were lined with his portraits of beach beauties and pulp-novel nurses. As guests including financier Ron Perelman and actress Renée Zellweger navigated the home's skylit hallways, Mr. Gagosian and his staff mingled with guests, discreetly passing a rolled-up sheet of paper between them like a baton. The sheet listed prices for nearly every artwork in sight. With an unrelenting focus on selling, Mr. Gagosian, 65, has become the most powerful art dealer in the world. He represents the estates and careers of 77 of the world's top artists, including Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Ed Ruscha. Dealers who track how he prices his gallery shows estimate he sells upwards of $1 billion worth of art a year. Sotheby's, by comparison, auctioned off $870 million worth of contemporary art last year." (WSJ)


"Debbie (Reynolds) also played a crucial role in my professional life, giving me my first big chance, as it were, when she hired me to write her autobiography for her. We met in 1986, introduced by Lillian Burns Sidney, the longtime acting coach at MGM who was Debbie’s mentor and as she herself said, her 'second mother.' It was Lillian’s idea that Debbie do her autobiography. She was in her mid-50s and she had had been a working actress for almost forty years. She’d been a big star, made and lost fortunes (thanks to one particular husband) and was still working 44 weeks a year on stage in theaters, auditoriums, arenas and state fairs across America from Las Vegas to London. She had a story to tell. By the time we met, I was in my mid-forties eager to make some money as a writer and get a good credit. When I passed muster after Debbie met me, I had no idea how I was going to write this book." (NYSocialDiary)



"But then I saw this stunning photo, which ran with a recent VF Daily post by my colleague Juli Weiner discussing Oprah’s gracious offer to give Donald Trump a make-over. Thanks to the miracle of harsh lighting, the photo appears to reveal one of Trump’s most tightly-held secrets. Look closely. See the cross-hatching in Trump’s hair? My baldly-stated thesis: this could be evidence of a rarely-sighted, possibly unprecedented 'double comb-over.' It looks as if a length of hair growing from the part on the left side of Trump’s pate has been combed left-to-right over the crown of his head, while a second length of hair, growing from the back of his head, has been combed back-to-front over the first length of hair. Salon-strength hair products likely play a role in the final construction of this lattice-like structure—which could also explain the 'ship’s prow' look one sometimes sees in side views of Trump. Granted, there could be other explanations for the cross-hatching in Trump’s hair, such as a wood-grain tattoo on his scalp. Further study is clearly called for." (VanityFair)



"As suddenly as it happened, it's over. Art dealer Kipton Cronkite's shock November marriage to Park Avenue real estate broker Larry Kaiser is ending in divorce after just five months. KiptonART founder Cronkite, 40 next month, and Kaiser, 70, never lived together. A friend said, 'They made a spontaneous decision to get married, but they are not lovers or boyfriends. They remain friends, but they are separated.' The wedding in Greenwich shocked society pals because of the age gap and because nobody knew they were an item. The pair confirmed they're divorcing, but had no further comment." (PageSix)

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