blog advertising is good for you

Friday, April 15, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"MY COLLEAGUE and I have something in common: we both think concentrations of power in alliances between gargantuan business instititutions and gargantuan government institutions are generally terrible. My colleague and I don't have much in common in how we analyse the formation of those concentrations of power, or what we think should be done about them. Another thing my colleague and I have in common is that we each think the other guy's approach to this problem is hopelessly naive. And another thing we don't have in common is that I largely agreed with Joseph Stiglitz's article in Vanity Fair, which my colleague describes as an example of self-refutingly absurd liberal ideology. To sum up the basic thrust of what I agree with in Mr Stiglitz's piece: I think the rich are getting much, much richer, while regular people (in the developed world, which is what we're talking about here) are at best treading water. I think that wealth brings power, and the fact that the rich are getting much, much richer relative to everyone else means that the rich also exert increasing influence over the economy, government and society." (The Economist)


"U.S.-Saudi relations are in crisis. King Abdullah thinks the Obama administration's love of universal freedoms is naive and inappropriate for conservative Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, when the big threat is Iran. Washington is upset about the king's alleged offer to bail out Egypt if Hosni Mubarak had decided to cling to power. And there's also the oil factor: With U.S. gasoline prices climbing and despite Riyadh's promises to make up for lost Libyan hydrocarbon sales, the Saudis 'throttled back production in mid-March,' according to the International Energy Agency. So when Tom Donilon, the U.S. national security advisor, sat down with the aging Saudi monarch on April 12, there were indeed 'a number of issues of common interest' to be reviewed at the meeting, as the Saudi Press Agency dryly reported. Having initially warmed to the newly elected U.S. president, Barack Obama -- who in return offered apparently obsequious deference -- King Abdullah feels let down by the White House on pretty well everything from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to Iran, and especially Iran.  The Donilon meeting was particularly interesting because of the reported presence of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the onetime Saudi ambassador to Washington and now the seldom-seen secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council. For many years, especially when Prince Bandar was envoy to the United States, King Abdullah distrusted him: Too many of the snide stories that Prince Bandar told around town about the then crown prince got back to the kingdom. But Prince Bandar had, and perhaps still has, political and diplomatic talents that King Abdullah needs, especially now." (ForeignPolicy)


"Over at Sotheby’s they held their Magnificent Jewels sales, achieving a spectacular $39,367,350. total, exceeding the estimate of $35.6 million – the highest ever total for a spring auction of jewelry at Sotheby’s New York, and the highest total for any jewelry sale in New York this season. A collection from a 'Distinguished Family Collection' featuring romantic diamonds and Cartier designs brought $7.885 million. An emerald-cut diamond of 30.52 carats, D color sold for $3,386,600 or $110,960 per carat. In case you’re wondering where some of the very rich are putting their money. More than 30% of the buyers were Asian.  I had lunch at Michael’s with my friend John Loeb, a native New Yorker, scion of a distinguished New York family, businessman, ambassador, historian and philanthropist. And what did we talk about? What we always talk about: New York and its history and its families, the world today, the world of our fathers’ day and before." (NYSocialDiary)

"Graydon Carter's adventures in Hollywood continue. The Vanity Fair editor has been cast in director Nicholas Jarecki's financial thriller Arbitrage as head of an investment bank trying to snap up a firm from a hedge-fund magnate, played by Richard Gere. Carter was on the set with Gere yesterday, filming at Manhattan restaurant Le Caprice, and will be shooting again today. The film also stars Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth. Carter recently played himself in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, but this is only his second dramatic role after an appearance in the disastrous remake of Alfie.'" (PageSix)


"Perusing the lineup of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival—announced Thursday, and listed in full here—you can see this year's festival should be an all-out, art-house glamour year. It's been no secret that Terrence Malick's highly anticipated The Tree of Life—with Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain—would premiere at the festival. Now, the giddy excitement it's set off in film-snob circles has set the tone for Cannes this year. Also highly anticipated is Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris, which is the festival's opening film. Considering it's set in the City of Lights, that Allen is an ironic god in France, and that he cast French First Lady Carla Bruni, it's practically a law that this film should open Cannes. The premiere of Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides rounds out the glamour quotient, guaranteeing that Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz will grace the Croisette with their presences. Surprisingly, Jodie Foster's The Beaver will also screen out of competition, and provide Mel Gibson a shot at a phoenix-like artistic redemption for all his seemingly irredeemable color commentary. In the Un Certain Regard selection, Gus Van Sant's Restless will bow; surprisingly, Sundance's Martha Marcy May Marlene will also screen—its lush visuals and haunting atmosphere delighted us this year in Park City, and our bet is that it may just impress Euro crowds too." (VanityFair)


"Lucy Sykes played sleeping beauty Wednesday night, dozing through a dinner party thrown by her financier husband, Euan Rellie. He co-hosted a rooftop fete for men's clothing line Isaia, with guests including the line's Jim Shay, Helen and Tim Schifter and Becka Diamond. But guests wondered why Sykes' seat stayed empty, prompting Rellie to keep saying, 'She'll be here any minute . . .' Turned out the children's fashion designer had taken a disco nap and was down for the count at home. Rellie finally announced, 'I have absolutely no idea where she is.' Sykes had apparently been out too late Tuesday at a New Yorkers for Children benefit." (PageSix)


"'You give it five years, it's going to be scary,' he told David Browne in SPIN magazine. 'In the past, that great new group would headline Lollapalooza. Now people are going back as far as the '60s and early '80s to book the headliners. What does that tell you? It's like global warming, man. The water reserve is getting smaller.' At the time, it was easy to understand his concern. Three years after converting his band's iconic traveling rock extravaganza Lollapalooza into an annual weekend blowout in Chicago, the summer music festival market had glutted with more than a dozen major events. Mega-concerts in San Francisco, New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, and elsewhere had sprung up, each a multi-day experience boasting hefty ticket prices, high-profile headlining acts, and swarms of lesser-known performers. Meanwhile, a vital resource for the industry appeared to be dwindling: bands that could attract 'palooza-sized audiences. That year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.—arguably the originator of the model that Lollapalooza and others adopted—boasted a staggeringly nostalgia-heavy lineup. Prince, Roger Waters, and Portishead, each legends of past decades, got top billing ... The reviews out of Indio in 2008 were rapturous, but as critic Bill Wyman (a contributor to TheAtlantic.com) asked, 'Didn't I see this show in 1995?' And in an Idolator post titled 'So, Um, Who's Going To Headline Coachella In 2013?' Maura Johnson pondered, 'Are there any acts who have come up since the turn of the millennium who can headline a 50,000-capacity festival?' While we're still a few years out from 2013, it looks like the answer may turn out to be 'yes.' The headliners for Coachella 2011, which starts today, are Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, and the Strokes—all artists whose rise to stardom came in the last decade." (TheAtlantic)


"I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a pro dominatrix for a while now. I’ve had a few slaves in the past: a British cash pig who paid my rent in exchange for degrading emails—some sissy lawyer who had to ask my permission in order to cum. I even briefly had a lifestyle slave who would come over and do my housework. He’d scrub the toilet while my girlfriends and I shouted abuse at him or spat in his mouth or made him wear our underwear—whatever. However, those relationships all quickly fizzled, mainly because I’d freak whenever a situation pushed past my comfort zone, aka training-bra-level domina stuff. A couple months ago, a fetishist friend of mine gave me the number of Mistress Dee, a prominent New York dominatrix. He said if I really wanted to become a successful domme I should spend some quality time with her, adding that Mistress Dee is 'New York’s reigning queen of forced-bi.' Forced-bi is when you make straight guys suck cock as a form of degradation, and since not all dommes do this, it’s sort of a big deal. I decided to call up the Mistress and ask if I could tag along with her for a few days, hoping the experience would help me decide if the pro-domme life was truly what God or Satan or whoever had always intended for me. To my surprise, she said yeah, she would love to have me. Quite a few of her clients are into having 'civilians' observe their sessions—I guess it adds to the humiliation factor—so this arrangement could work out for her too. My first visit to Dee’s home is at three on a Tuesday afternoon to watch what her email described as a '1-hour in-person w/ male submissive.' She answers the door wearing a sheer red thong and nothing else. She has wavy chestnut hair, porcelain skin, huge tits for someone so petite. 'Cool, you’re not ugly,' she says and motions for me to come in." (Viceland)


"The city of London, which is the capital of a country called England and also of a semi-unified archipelago called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is located on an island called Great Britain, and is in the grip of a gay panic. Earlier this week, two hot guys in glasses were bounced from a pub, the John Snow, for kissing, and now the pub is beset by both controversy and more kissing gays. And a Guardian liveblog! The "MASSIVE SAME-SEX SNOGATHON" begins in a few hours. It's all so very 80s! And so two boys (Jonathan Williams and his buddy have a first date that goes down in... well, "history" would be a little extreme, but. Good news, too! They've elected to go on a second date. (Would be awkward otherwise, right?)" (Choire Sicha/TheAwl)


"Vice-president Joseph Biden seemed to slumber through it. But no one else listening to President Barack Obama’s budget speech on Wednesday could have failed to spot the opening salvo of his re-election campaign. Indeed, instead of running from contention, Mr Obama sprinted towards it. At the end he reminded his audience that 'the larger debate we’re having about the size and role of government has been with us since our founding fathers'. Echoing debates between James Madison and Alexander Hamilton on the 'general welfare' clause in Article One of the US Constitution, he continued: 'During moments of great challenge like the one we’re living through now the debate gets sharper and more vigorous.' This makes just about everyone happy. Tea-Party-beholden Republicans can scarcely contain their glee that Mr Obama has chosen to enter the lists championing tax hikes. They are now in schoolyard mode: chanting “tax n’ spend; tax n’ spend” at a president they think has just committed political suicide. Some Democrats may feel a slight film of sweat forming on their brow, as they await charges that Mr Obama’s talk of shared sacrifice is a Bolshevik conspiracy against the liberties of freeborn Americans. But many more will be elated at this sudden return of testicular fortitude." (FT)


"WHAT: NYC Ballroom Marfa Silent Auction and Dinner hosted by Akris and W magazine SEEN: Ballroom Marfa co-founders Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Lebermann along with Sue Hostetler, Hamish Bowles, David Maupin, Stefano Tonchi, Ulla Parker, Lela Rose, Tori Praver, Trey Laird, Akris' U.S. president Melissa Beste and SVP of communications, Emilie Rubinfeld, Sotheby's chaiman Jamie Niven, Philippe Vergne, Karla Martinez, Armand Limnander, and Gordon Veneklasen. Chic grabbed a quick chat with Dorn, who dished on Tonchi's next hobby while he made the rounds, canoodling with D'Annunzio and Philippe Vergne, director of the DIA Art Foundation .." (Fashionweekdaily)

No comments: