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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"One of the most seductive deceptions of the Bush years was that once he was gone, America would regain its global reputation and place of leadership and all would be well. But the world was changing in many ways that would have held true even if there had not been a George W. Bush—and even with a Barack Obama. For all the efforts to articulate these and related changes in the classic international relations parlance of unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar worlds, they are better captured as the transformation from a 'Ptolemaic' to a 'Copernican' world. Back in the second century A.D., Ptolemy developed a conception of the universe that held the Earth to be at the center, with all the other planets revolving around it. So was the United States seen by many, especially within the United States itself, as being at the center of the Cold War world—the wielder of power, the economic engine, the bastion of free-world ideology. International institutions were designed largely in America’s image, the terms of cooperation largely set by Washington. When the Cold War finally ended with the defeat of the Soviet Union, the world seemed even more Ptolemaic—the United States the sole surviving superpower, the U.S. economy driving globalization, democracy sweeping the world. Not anymore. The twenty-first-century world is a Copernican one. The United States is not at the center. We have our own orbit. But other countries do too, and they all have their own interests, their own national identities, their own domestic politics. While we still have some gravitational pull, it’s not so strong that others orbit around us." (Bruce Gentleson/Democracy)


"Last night at Le Cirque, Jim Dunning gave a cocktail reception for more than a hundred friends to celebrate the birthday of his wife Susan Magrino, the uber public relations executive. The place was packed when two of the Le Cirque staff wheeled out the birthday girl’s cake with her portrait on the top.  Susan started her business with her sister Allyn in 1992 after a nine year stint in marketing at Crown Publishing. It was there, 27 years ago that she started working with Martha Stewart, in a business relationship that continues to this day. Since she went out on her own with sister Allyn nineteen years ago, Susan has been instrumental in publicizing and building some of the world’s most prestigious brands besides Martha -- such as Macy’s, The Rocco Forte Collection, Dom Perignon, Alain DuCasse, Le Cirque, Gordon Ramsey, Dillards, Kmart, the Plaza Hotel, Sandals, Mauboussin, the Four Seasons restaurant’s 50th anniversary, Remy Martin’s Louis XIII cognac." (NYSocialDiary)



"This weekend, the trendsetting techies at marketing and creative agency the Barbarian Group threw a party chocked full of digital players and industry up-and-comers to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. DJ Japanster provided a soundtrack for the revelry, which took place at the fancy pants Bowery Hotel, and there was free food, which makes this the greatest event to ever happen! In between trips to the buffet, we managed to ask some of the Internet's favorite folks which memes they just couldn't live without in 2011 ..." (Papermag)


"The New York Daily News launched a blog about literature and publishing today called Page Views. So far it has three posts: one introductory post from each editor and also a nude photo of Truman Capote lounging in a towel. As if a tabloid with a lit blog wasn't novel enough! Co-editor Alexander Nazaryan writes, 'You may not think of the tabloid as a particularly literary format, but we are going to challenge your assumptions of what constitutes literary/cultural reporting in this town.' And: 'We will post old Daily News photographs of Truman Capote, all-but-naked, and Norman Mailer, just sprung from jail.'" (VillageVoice)

"Tectonic shifts in international affairs and in political and economic conditions within the United States call for reconsideration of the first principles of American grand strategy—the fundamental tenets guiding the nation’s statecraft. The global landscape is fast changing due to the ongoing diffusion of wealth from the West to the rest and the social awakenings taking place in the Middle East and beyond. At home, Democrats and Republicans are locking horns on most foreign policy issues and on how to control debt and stimulate growth; the resulting political stalemate risks compromising the purposeful exercise of U.S. power and eroding the economic foundations of national strength. Meanwhile, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a shrinking defense budget have diminished the political appetite for sustaining the full portfolio of America’s global commitments. American grand strategy needs to adjust to these potent international and domestic constraints. The alternative is an erratic statecraft that switches direction as power changes hands in Washington. Worse still, partisan paralysis, especially when coupled with economic duress, has the potential to stoke isolationist sentiment, just as it did during the 1930s." (Charles Kupchan/Democracy)


"Tensions between the United States and Russia have risen in the past month over several long-standing problems, including ballistic missile defense (BMD) and supply lines into Afghanistan. Moscow and Washington also appear to be nearing another crisis involving Russian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The crises come as Washington struggles over its many commitments in the world and over whether to focus on present events in Afghanistan or future events in Central Europe. Russia has exploited the U.S. dilemma, using its leverage in both arenas. However, if Moscow takes its aggressive moves too far, it could spark a backlash from the United States and Central Europe." (STRATFOR)

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