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Friday, August 19, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Gold rose to a record above $1,880 an ounce in New York, poised for the longest run of weekly gains since April 2007, as escalating concern that the global economy is slowing drove equities lower. The metal is set for a seventh weekly advance as worse- than-expected U.S. economic data and Europe’s debt crisis boost speculation that growth will falter. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities fell as much as 1.7 percent, heading for the fourth straight weekly drop, after Morgan Stanley cut forecasts for global growth. 'Lack of confidence in the global economy is pushing people towards gold,' Tom Pawlicki, a Chicago-based analyst at MF Global Holdings Ltd., said in a telephone interview. 'Gold will continue to advance unless leaders are able to resolve the European or U.S. debt crisis.'" (BusinessWeek)



"HBO has always been innovative. It was the first cable channel to specialise in films—the initials stand for 'Home Box Office'—and the first channel to be delivered via satellite. In 1991 HBO pioneered 'multiplexing', a way of distributing multiple channels without using more bandwidth. The offering for which HBO is now mostly known—original series—developed slowly. In the late 1980s it carried a gleefully unpleasant show called 'Tales from the Crypt'. In 1992 it launched 'The Larry Sanders Show', a dyspeptic comedy about a talk-show host. Its first hour-long drama, 'Oz', began in 1997. By the early 2000s it had 'The Sopranos', 'Sex and the City' and 'The Wire' as well as ambitious mini-series like 'Band of Brothers'. In the process it garnered a prodigious number of Emmy nominations, the television Oscars—104 this year, far more than anyone else. It also makes money, turning over $4 billion in 2010, estimates SNL Kagan, a research outfit." (TheEconomist)

"Bill Maher and his sexy neuroscientist girlfriend, Cara Santa Maria, have split, but not before the liberal talking head created an HBO pilot for his 26-year-old former gal pal, who moonlights as a model. The TV host and the science expert ended their two-year relationship in the spring after Maher convinced HBO to produce a pilot for a late-night show centered around his lady titled 'Talk Nerdy to Me.' Maher appeared in the introduction and planned to be an executive producer if the pilot was picked up. Some insiders worried that the 55-year-old perennial bachelor would struggle running the show while still in the relationship. Maher’s dating roster has ranged from sharp-tongued conservative Ann Coulter to hip-hop model Karrine Steffans. Maher once said, 'I’m just into women who are real, and they happen to be black.'" (PageSix)


"During his maiden week on the hustings, when he knew every word would be carefully tracked, Perry declared that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists greedy for grant money. This earned him a rare Four Pinocchios from The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column, which in PerryWorld is, of course, merely proof about how right he is. Nearly every day has brought forth a new gem. On Thursday, he told a New Hampshire school-age child that he’s “not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely” how old the Earth is. He preceded these with a remark about Barack Obama not being respected by the military. And, of course, there was the infamous statement that Ben Bernanke would be committing 'treason' by priming the economy. Not bad—nail the black guy and the Jew in your very first week on the trail!" (TheDailyBeast)


"The Knickerbockers were wealthy but careful, generally, with their money. The men often did not have "jobs" but managed their assets as a part of their lifestyle. They lived the life of a 'gentleman.' They involved themselves in civic, rather than political activity such as charities. They created and belonged to clubs, engaged in athletic pursuits. Many of them engaged in carnal pursuits also, although very discreetly. Discretion was accomplished by general agreement. Men shared their secrets and the women would be shielded from them. The time provided for discretion with a variety of whorehouses placed discreetly yet obviously within a short drive's distance (often in Murray Hill – JP Morgan hired Horace Trumbauer to design an elegant townhouse for his mistress just around the corner from his own house on Madison Avenue, on the Murray Hill side of Park Avenue). The wives managed their houses and their families and engaged in planning social activities. They were the messengers of decorum, in the name of their husbands (wherever they might be). This was not in any way a desirable world for any women by today's standards, even the very rich. All women were virtual prisoners of these social mores, pretending an image of the united and happy hearth, almost virgins except for their pregnancies. The men, bored with, or uninterested in their wives, were free and had the money to pursue carnal pleasure, and even romance, elsewhere. It was a world where young women were still not allowed to be alone with young men. This was a pretense imitating British aristocracy." (NYSocialDiary)


"Although we are generally despondent about the quality of public discourse in the Anglosphere, we like to believe that most of our readers are intelligent and are therefore able to comport themselves intelligently, no matter how vehemently they disagree with what we’re saying. The reason for even having a comment section is not for you to praise or insult the writer in question, but to discuss the ideas expressed in their articles. If you disagree with their points, you’re encouraged to explain why. Although it shouldn’t need to be explained, things such as 'logic' and 'facts' are crucial for making an effective counterargument. If you have points to make, then for Christ’s sake and the love of Pete, by all means make them. We have never banned a commenter for expressing an 'offensive' belief or one with which we disagree. Commenters typically get banned for committing one or both of the two deadly sins—for being stupid or for serial rudeness. These are the same reasons we’d 86 them from a party." (Taki Theodoracopulos)


"Before Opening Ceremony's invite-only block party celebrating its new Bean Pole x Kim Jones collection even got going last night, people passing by had started to camp along the barricades. Solange Knowles was working the turntables and food trucks were offering Korean street food and Momofuku cookies—naturally, everybody wanted in. 'It's a convergence of all the things we love: music, food, and clothes,' said O.C. co-founder Carol Lim. 'For us, it's just a very typical New York block party." Typical might be arguable here—the hip downtown crowd was stocked with artists, designers, stylists, and scenesters like Shala Monroque, Carlos Quirarte, and Natasha Lyonne. 'We have an affinity for Bean Pole because Carol grew up in Korea buying it, and we always support Kim's projects, so it seemed like a perfect match,' added Lim's partner Humberto Leon. Not long after Miss Knowles got the crowd going with a call for a Tootsie Roll dance-off, Theophilus London took the stage. 'How many block parties have you all been to this summer?' he asked." (Style)


"August, at a friend’s house for the weekend in Water Mill. I came to participate in the East Hampton Library fund raiser. What I love about the Hamptons is the sound of the crickets at night, hearing the whistle of the train in the distance, the smells of cut lawn and sweet flower-scented air. The library event was spectacular. Bigger than ever, the tent was bulging. I had planned to walk around and meet the authors but that never happened. I was selling books and chatting with people. And soon, of course, I got competitive and needed to sell more books than the authors seated on either side of me. To my right was a gaunt man with a book about an accident, human error, lives were lost, yawn. Along for the ride was his wife, obviously the eater in the family, who insisted on wedging her way in between us, which was impossible so I had to growl at her. To restore her equilibrium she tore into plate after plate of boiled shrimp which was pretty disgusting. To my left an angelic lady with a book about an art theft told from the point of view of a dog. I figured I would probably win my secret competition. Besides, I was armed. I did this event last year so I knew to come prepared. I had extra books to foist on anyone with the least bit of clout who could advance my career (or improve my mood). I had business cards and spread them in a tidy fan on my bit of table. Most importantly I brought a cut crystal bowl that I filled with tiny silver wrapped chocolates. I was going to get people to visit my bit of table one way or the other. 'Chocolate or literature?' I asked those sauntering by. My pile of books began to dwindle." (Christina Oxenberg)

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