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Friday, December 02, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"For a nation struggling to know what to make of the newly dawned nuclear age, (George) Kennan’s prescription seemed a firm and reassuring guide. It is not too much to say that his analysis, greatly amplified and expanded beyond his wildest dreams, led to the wars in Korea and Vietnam; to various lesser conflicts and adventures then and since; and even to the country’s ongoing entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all this—in speech after speech and interview after interview—Kennan expressed profound regret. He had intended to argue for political containment of Soviet ambitions, he insisted, until Russian Communism could collapse of its own internal contradictions (as, indeed, it eventually did). Instead, Kennan’s words helped prompt the abandonment of the settled understanding of American foreign policy that had prevailed since John Quincy Adams’s day—that the country 'goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy'—in favor of a view of America as the world’s policeman. The transformation, accomplished bit by bit over many decades, was ultimately so complete as to create a country that Kennan himself, near the end of his long and lucid life, confessed he no longer recognized. In December 1992, in a private diary entry on the American mission to Somalia, Kennan wrote, 'The dispatch of American armed forces to a seat of operations in a place far from our own shores, and this for what is actually a major police action in another country and in a situation where no defensible American interest is involved—this, obviously, is something that the Founding Fathers of this country never envisaged or would ever have approved. If this is in the American tradition, then it is a very recent tradition.'" (VanityFair)



"2011. Rains came and went and left us with a sunny colder day in New York. I remember when all December days were very cold, Sun or no Sun. Soon the holiday stuff starts. It was very exciting when I was a young kid. I didn’t even need an overcoat. And didn’t care. Now that I am an old kid, the holiday time promises a pay-off of rest and the luxury of time to read and think. I’m not what I would call a 'thinker' but I still cherish the time provided for the ride ... Meanwhile I’m almost finished reading Michael Gross’ tome 'Unreal Estate.' And it is a tome. About 500 pages. With my surfeit of extra time, that’s a hike. However, they are action-packed pages. I don’t mean like in a video game, although that’s always a possibility in someone’s mind (someone who doesn’t read). If you don’t know about it, it’s Michael’s West Coast version of '740 Park.'" (NYSocialDiary)



"The promise of the Internet age is one of unparalleled access to information of all kinds, but it has also seen the rise of some powerful gatekeepers that control our access to that information: gatekeepers like Google, Facebook, Apple and even Twitter. These new information overlords have been in the news recently because of their control (or perceived control) over certain information, and the reaction from users has reinforced the tension between the freedom these companies provide and the hoops through which we have to go in order to achieve it. How does that alter the way we see the world around us?" (GigOm via Jason Hirschhorn)


"At 84, Oscar may no longer be a stud, but he still hangs out with a pretty studly crew. At least that could be the case this year if, as the bloggerati are predicting, a particularly handsome lineup of leading men is nominated for best actor. And that, in turn, could help the Oscar broadcast's efforts to fend off further ratings decline. The contest is fluid -- nominations won't be announced until Jan. 24 -- but the consensus has George Clooney, for his beleaguered dad in The Descendants, and Leonardo DiCaprio, for his embittered FBI director in J. Edgar, at the top of the list. Brad Pitt is a strong contender for the casual ease with which he steps into the shoes of baseball GM Billy Beane in Moneyball. And a couple of relative newcomers have become early favorites: Germany-born, London-based Michael Fassbender, who fearlessly lets it all hang out in the NC-17 Shame, and French matinee idol Jean Dujardin, who pours on the charm as a fading star in the silent movie The Artist.It's a lineup straight out of the GQ Men of the Year Awards by way of People's Sexiest Man Alive cover -- Clooney and Pitt are two-time titleholders. (There's even an outside chance fellow SMA Matt Damon could join them for We Bought a Zoo.) It's not a typical Academy roundup if only because the Oscars tend to underrate the work of a lot of the best-looking leading men." (THR)


"One month out from the Iowa caucuses, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says Ron Paul has the strongest organization in his state.The Iowa governor also believes Newt Gingrich could win the Jan. 3 caucuses if he performs well in the last two debates. 'This is the most up-in-the-air, unsettled caucus I’ve ever seen,' the 65-year-old Republican, who has been a fixture of state politics since the 1970s, said in an extended interview Thursday at the Republican Governors Association annual meeting here. 'It’s a wide open and very fluid situation. It all depends upon who does well in these last two debates and then has the momentum and the ability to get their people to the caucuses on Jan. 3…It’s gonna be a dog fight here in the end.' With seven candidates actively vying for votes on the ground, the unaligned Branstad predicted no one will capture more than 30 percent. 'Ron Paul has got probably the best organization and has a very loyal following. He’s got more yard signs and bumper stickers than anybody else,”' he said. 'I don’t think he’ll win, but I think he will get 15 to 18 percent. The person who wins is going to probably get 25 percent plus.'" (Politico)



"Obama confidant Mark Lippert has been nominated to become the Pentagon's top Asia official, but before he can be confirmed, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants answers on Lippert's internal feud with Gen. Jim Jones when they both worked at the National Security Council (NSC). 'In several passages of his book Obama's Wars, published in 2010, Bob Woodward discusses your official relationship with [National Security Advisor] General James L. Jones and offers a disturbing portrayal of your actions that could be described as arrogant and disloyal,' McCain wrote to Lippert today, in a letter obtained by The Cable. McCain didn't say outright that he wants to hold up the Lippert nomination, but he strongly implied that his support depends on Lippert's explanations of what went on during his tenure at the White House. 'Your actions while working at the NSC are an important indicator of your fundamental qualification to carry out the duties of the critically important position for which you have been nominated,' McCain wrote. He then listed 21 specific questions for Lippert to answer in written form, dealing with almost every juicy anecdote related to White House infighting found in Woodward's book ... Behind the McCain inquiry might lie a bit of political revenge, however. Lippert was one of Obama's earliest and closest advisors on foreign policy, having been with Obama since his days as a senator. He was a key figure in Obama's presidential campaign, leading the foreign policy advisory team, and then served as chief of staff of the NSC, a position that had not existed in George W. Bush's administration but which Obama resurrected in 2009." (Foreignpolicy)



"Sean 'Diddy' Combs kicked off Art Basel in Miami by snapping up a neon work by British artist Tracey Emin — called, I listen to the ocean and all I hear is you' — for $70,555 at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery booth. Witnesses at the art fair’s VIP preview Wednesday said savvy Diddy 'asked for a discount, which he was given, before he bought the piece.' Also browsing was Naomi Campbell, who was looking for art by Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas." (PageSix)


"For a second there last night at the Hole gallery's Art Basel party in Miami, we could've sworn we were at Beatrice Inn circa '08. There was a familiar, eye-burning combo of fog machines and marijuana smoke, sexy lighting and New York downtown-types ranging from artist Aurel Schmidt to nightlife diva Sophia Lamar making the head-turning rounds. Leave it to Kathy Grayson's downtown gallery to bring in all the cool New York kids for an evening to (try to) remember at the stunning Delano hotel. It was bananas. There were strippers gyrating in the pool (which, FYI, totally reminded us of Elizabeth Berkley's infamous pool scene in cult gem, Showgirls), people standing around gawking at them and a mumbly performance from Salem." (Papermag)



"Socialite Mercedes Bass made an appearance Tuesday at the Metropolitan Opera’s opening of 'Faust,' starring Jonas Kaufmann. Bass — who gave the Met a $25 million gift and split from billionaire Sid Bass in October — sat in the presidential box with Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and literary agent Lynn Nesbit. In diamonds and black sequins, Bass was seen swanning through the Mercedes Bass Grand Tier, named in her honor. Opera buffs in the house were heartened to see Bass there, where she sits on the board, as her attendance proved that she’s committed to the company following her breakup." (PageSix)

1 comment:

MikesGURRL said...

Im looking forward to seeing we bought a zoo. my kids are hoping to win the Zoo tickets! https://www.facebook.com/Weboughtazoomovie?sk=app_252032334854668