blog advertising is good for you

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"I was completely floored by the New York Times' pseudo-ironic take on the government's response to the financial crisis, a piece entitled 'You Try to Live on $500K in This Town.' This came at a time when President Obama was considering curtailing compensation for bailed-out bankers at $500,000. The piece was sort of meant to be taken half as a joke, but it is not hard to detect an element of demented earnestness in the fashion section article, an honest argument that with mortgages and private school tuition and co-op fees and taxes, it really was very hard for a certain kind of New Yorker to get by on half a million a year. The proposed salary cap -- remember, this cap was only going to be for banks that had fucked up badly enough to need a federal bailout -- became the cassus belli for a propaganda war launched from the general direction of Wall Street, where the notion that the government should restrict the salaries of exactly the irresponsible greedheads who caused a global financial crisis was met with blunt outrage ... Sirota's list highlights another bizarre aspect of the $500k story. During the debate over the proposed cap, one of the things we started to hear from the Antoinette class was a general sense of wonder at the notion that anyone considered them rich. It turns out that a great many of the people who make big six-figure incomes consider themselves middle class. A University of Chicago professor arguing against the repeal of the Bush tax cuts made waves by saying he was 'just getting by' with his $250,000 income, while ABC's Charlie Gibson and CNN reporter Kiran Chetry in recent years suggested that $200-$250,000 is middle class (Chetry's exact quote was that 'in some parts of the country,' $250K 'is middle class')." (Matt Taibbi)



"Today, global markets are discounting the risk that Washington politicos might just call everyone’s bluff and fail to reach a resolution before early August. Intrade, the online market where one can bet on events, does have a resolution before July 31 at just less than a 50 percent probability, but even that means that there is no 'wisdom of crowds' dictating a high risk of U.S. sovereign default. And as for the pricing of assets globally, there is absolute complacency. The signs of complacency are everywhere. U.S. bond yields are not rising sharply on concerns of default (they have in fact been going down this month), and spreads between short- and long-term bonds aren’t widening. Equity markets aren’t selling off as investors seek to raise cash and keep themselves inoculated. Investors aren’t dumping dollar-denominated assets; gold isn’t soaring; banks are not scurrying to raise capital or reserves to protect themselves against a possible global tidal wave of panic. European banks are raising capital because of concerns about Greek debt, Italian debt, Portuguese debt, but not as a precaution against U.S. default. It is hard to fully account for this complacency. It may be that for Wall Street and the financial community, the perils of default are so evident and unarguable that the idea that politicians might commit ritual group suicide is unthinkable. They must come to their senses in the end, right? To do otherwise would be madness, and while Washington is often touched, in the end, the political class can be counted on to do just enough to avert disaster. That is not a safe or prudent assumption." (TheDailyBeast)


"Wyclef Jean was in a rare state: nervous. He was trying to stick to his new role of wonky Haitian statesman, but the road kept distracting him. We were driving through Port-au-Prince as dusk fell, and he would interrupt his own discourse on trade rules or egg imports to ask the driver why a fire was burning on the roadside or to complain that our headlights were tempting danger or to mumble that the police escort, which he suspected of working for the opposition, shouldn’t sound its sirens.
It was three days before Haiti’s presidential election, on March 20. Jean, a Haitian-born rapper, producer and star of the now-disbanded Fugees, had mounted his own run for the presidency but was disqualified from the race because he lives in the United States. When I went to Haiti to meet him, he was stumping for Michel Martelly, a musician who goes by the stage name Sweet Micky, has a well-known history of public nudity and has admitted to using crack cocaine. Martelly might have been the candidate, but with Jean performing at many campaign stops and making the longer speeches, it often seemed as if he were the one running. Jean’s role was to revive the support he had garnered during his own campaign and transfer it to a candidate who was a somewhat less famous version of himself. (It worked. Martelly would be inaugurated as president of Haiti in May.)  Martelly sought the presidency; Jean, something more elusive. Before the 2010 earthquake and more loudly since, he has spoken of wanting to save Haiti from its miseries: crime, corruption, cholera, anemic job growth, swarming tent cities, fruitless aid and deep mistrust of the state. With his pal ascending to power and a whiff of hope in the air, Jean finally has his chance. At 41, he is striving to become a man of influence." (NYTimes)


"As a Warner Bros exec tells me, 'Unbelievable night!' Sources say Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 will fly past $95M in the U.S. and Canada today (including that record-setting $43.5M from midnight showings) and even has an outside chance of reaching $100M. ('That would be really hard....but a huge West Coast result could get us close.') No matter, it still crushes the record for best single-day box office. 'Almost impossible to say how big other than the biggest ever,' gushed a rival studio exec. The franchise finale is definitely on the way to the biggest 3-day weekend ever of $180M beating the other gold standard Dark Knight's $158.4M by a lot. And the good news just keeps coming. Part 2 scored an overall CinemaScore of 'A'. Overseas, the franchise finale brought in $82.5M cume from 43 countries for Wednesday and Thursday. That makes for a worldwide total take of at least $173M so far." (Deadline)
"How to explain the tissue shortage in Tribeca on Thursday night? The Cinema Society and Ivanka Trump Jewelry (along with Nicole Kidman, Diana Taylor, Deborah-Lee Jackman and Diane von Furstenberg) hosted a screening of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan at the Tribeca Grand, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The indie flick (which opened today) is directed by The Joy Luck Club's Wayne Wang and produced by real-life friends Wendi Murdoch (Mrs. Rupert Murdoch herself) and Florence Sloan, and is based on the best-selling novel by Lisa See. It's a portrait of female friendship, unfolding across two generations. In 19th century China, seven-year-old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as 'old sames,' bound together for eternity. In a parallel story that takes places in present-day Shanghai, their descendants struggle to find the intimacy of their own childhood friendship despite demanding careers and love lives ... After the screening, guests headed to 14th Street to DvF's studio for—what else?—Chinese food. Mr.Chow catered a delicious meal of shrimp spring rolls, chicken satay, lobster tempura, and filet mignon. The room was transformed into an upscale Chinese restaurant, with lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a massive fan on the wall. Janssen, in "vintage" Rebecca Taylor, showed us pictures on her Blackberry of her upcoming role in Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters. Chiminazzo discussed Dolly Parton's massive popularity in Brazil, as the crowd witnessed Fran Lebowitz being put in the naughty chair by security for bringing a glass of water outside. (Arrest that man for not knowing he was in the midst of legend!)" (Fashionweekdaily)


"Meursault is a picturesque and prosperous village, at the heart of which is the gothic town hall with a multicolored enamel-tiled roof. Although some red wine is produced here, Meursault's renown is based on the quality of its whites, made from the Chardonnay grape. Thomas Jefferson was a fan of Meursault, and for many wine lovers Meursault is the quintessential white Burgundy, easy to pronounce and easy to love, generally fleshier and more friendly than the svelte, steely wines of Puligny. Whether or not the R&D people at General Mills were fans of Meursault, they seem to have mimicked its classic flavor profile when they came up with Honey Nut Cheerios. Hazelnut, in particular, seems to be a recurring tasting note. While there are no grand cru vineyards here, there are many fine premier crus, and the overall quality of its wines is probably better than that of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. But like Puligny and Chassagne—and like the town of Lago in 'High Plains Drifter'—Meursault has a dirty little secret. Its continued prosperity may depend on confronting that secret." (Jay McInerney)

"Online fame is becoming just another aspect of teenage life for a generation raised on reality television and the perpetual flurry of status updates that ping across their smartphones, tablets and computer screens.  Not only have sites like YouTube made it possible for numerous unknown adolescents to be discovered — Greyson Chance, a 13-year-old from Oklahoma, got a record deal after Ellen DeGeneres mentioned his YouTube piano version of Lady Gaga’s 'Paparazzi' on her talk show, for instance — but youngsters with no special talent, like Ms. Cinkle, are drawing mass followings as well. (The publicity wave that fueled Ms. Cinkle’s popularity was, in fact, driven overwhelmingly by viewers who hated the video she was performing in, routinely calling it 'the worst song ever' even as they watched and forwarded it en masse.)  Trevor Michaels, 12, better known as iTr3vor, has received more than 5.5 million views on his YouTube channel for hyperactive dance moves he performs at various Apple stores when his mother takes him shopping at the mall. (He uploads videos of the dances on the spot.)  Then there are the legions of girls who post 'haul' videos, short clips of themselves chattering about their most recent fashion and makeup purchases. The spots are unwatchable to most any adult, but they draw in hundreds of thousands of girls in their teens or younger who are eager to duplicate the shopping habits of their peers." (Style)

No comments: