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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"As we pull up to the Airbus A340, there's a cluster of people milling about under the door, but no staircase to actually climb up into the plane, which looms high above our heads. A foreign TV crew decked out in flak jackets and helmets is swarming around it, trying to get aboard. We approach cautiously. After we wait five minutes in the blaring high noon heat, the rebels wheel over a small metal staircase, which stops about four feet under the actual door. The TV crew bombs up the stairs to get into the plane, pulling themselves up gymnast-style, a gaggle of onlookers scrambling up behind them. Before long, at the bottleneck, a fight nearly breaks out between a group of local civilians demanding their right to enter before the foreign press, and the rebels, who are clutching their AK-47s and trying to enforce order. It's a small slice of the uncertainty that's everywhere in post-Qaddafi Libya. The entire mass is yelling and no one is backing down. Everyone is packing heat. The mood is buoyant, but the possibilities for violence are endless. I had spent the day with Ahmed moving smoothly through checkpoints manned by grinning young men with Kalashnikovs -- but when people start shouting, I have to wonder: Is everything about to unravel, right before my eyes?" (ForeignPolicy)


"If there’s anything close to a political certainty in 2012, it’s that Barack Obama will get more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. But that doesn’t mean every black Obama supporter will vote for him happily — nor does it guarantee that turnout will approach the stratospheric levels of 2008, even though Obama needs a huge showing from his base to offset the expected loss of swing voters in states like North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. With that in mind, prominent black leaders — fearing Obama is not only taking them for granted but avoiding them in public — have turned up the heat on the nation’s first African-American president, transforming all-in-the-family concerns into open criticism of the president at a time when they had hoped the completion of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. near the National Mall would bring a moment of unity. The leaders are tired, they say, of Obama dog-whistling his support for a broad black agenda rather than explicitly embracing the kind of war on racism, poverty and economic segregation embodied by King. 'You can spend a lot of time trying to win over white independents, but if you don’t pay attention to your base, African-Americans, if you have not locked up your base yet, you’ve got a serious problem,' said CNN contributor Roland Martin." (Politico)


"Ralph Lauren is due to host the Bush political dynasty at his Colorado ranch for the lavish wedding of his son David to Lauren Bush this weekend. David will marry Lauren, the granddaughter and niece of former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, at the fashion icon’s 17,000-acre ranch on Sunday. Ralph and wife Ricky have planned days of festivities around the wedding -- a picnic and softball game on Saturday, a rehearsal dinner Saturday night and a rodeo on Monday. The events will take place in Telluride with the wedding itself at the scenic Rocky Mountain ranch called Double RL, which includes a saloon, teepees and cabins, and is where parts of John Wayne’s 'True Grit' were filmed ... Among the 200 guests expected include David’s sister, Dylan Lauren, and Lauren’s father, Neil Bush. Her grandfather George H.W. and former First Lady Barbara Bush, currently at Walker’s Point in Maine, will not attend, possibly because of the ranch’s altitude. A rep for George H.W. Bush told us, 'They are not going to be able to make the trip to Colorado this weekend.' A spokesman for George W. would not comment if he and wife Laura will attend. Mother of the bride, Sharon Bush, who went through a tough divorce battle with Neil in 2003 after 23 years, will be escorted by her friend, dapper New York-based bachelor Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia." (PageSix)


"Los Angeles. One of my favorite activities when I lived out there was giving tours of the area to friends visiting from the East. I’d usually start somewhere around Sunset Plaza and Sunset Boulevard, drive up into the hills and slowly move west up and down through the web winding, hilly streets until we got to Bel Air or sometimes Brentwood. Then I’d turn around and sometimes take Beverly Glen up to Mulholland Drive, turning east so that everyone could get a look at both sides of L.A. — the vast San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles Basin from the top of the Santa Monica mountains, continuing on east until Laurel Canyon and then back down to Sunset and on over to Doheny Drive where I lived most of the years I was there. I took JH, an almost first-time visitor to Los Angeles, on part of that tour. Although I altered the route greatly in order to take advantage of the Digital’s eye. In the early days of Los Angeles after the movie industry started, the flat land of Beverly Hills was a real estate development of houses built from the 19-teens through the 1950s, many of which were occupied by famous movie stars, directors, producers, writers and designers." (NYSocialDiary)


"When I started this blog four years ago, I had no secrets. Admittedly, my over-sharing cost me a couple friendships, as it took me a while to work out that not everyone wants the details of private life blogged about on the interweb. But now I feel like I’ve gone to the other extreme and hardly talk about myself or the people close to me at all, and when I do it’s in the form of really vague, 'deep' short-story vibe posts that are cool too but are different from the confessional diary-style posts of yesteryear. Why am I thinking about this now? Well, I was reading Tavi’s blog this morning, and my eyes were welling up with tears of joy as usual, and I started thinking: why do I love this blog so much? Sure, I like seeing pictures of her in cool outfits and reading all of her real-talk fashion musings, but that’s not really why I keep going back to Style Rookie. The real reason Tavi's blog is so addictive/powerful is because she shares everything with us, even if it’s embarrassing or uncool, and in the end we really feel like we know her and how her teenage brain works. We see pieces of ourselves reflected in her idiosyncrasies and insecurities, and it makes us feel more conformable in our own bodies and minds to know that we are not alone. Really, I don't know where I'd be without her. So, the new goal is to find a happy medium where I can talk about my issues/desires/problems honestly (without offending anyone), and also interview deaf people who fuck aliens or whatever it is I’m into these days. Deal? OK." (Slutever)



"The only word which can touch on our feelings of Henry being diagnosed with cancer is devastation. Ask anyone who knows this guy and they’ll tell you that he’s the last one (not that any dog does) who deserves to be sick. He’s the most loyal and loving dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I’ve met a lot of dogs. When we were told Henry had 1-3 months to live ('30 to 60 days if he’s lucky') my heart fell and has been broken. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for the death of a loved one but, my bouncing and loving 9 year old puppy’s illness really caught us off guard. I’ve tried to wrap my head all around what I could have done differently. Loved him more, pet him without complaining, never ever stopped throwing the ball? Needless to say Hen has been swimming, playing catch, and eating more human food then his stomach should probably hold. I’ll still never feel like I’ve done as much for him as he has for me." (Maggie Rizer)

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