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Monday, February 27, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In an unprecedented collaboration between Anonymous and WikiLeaks, the secret spilling site began leaking Sunday night portions of a massive trove of e-mails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that Anonymous obtained by hacking the company in December. WikiLeaks did not mention the source of the reported five gigabytes of e-mails in its press release, but did say it has been working for months with 25 media outlets from around the world to analyze the documents. The first batch of leaked e-mails purport to show that Stratfor monitored the political prankster group known as The Yes Men on behalf of Dow Chemical, which has been targeted by The Yes Men over the company’s handling of the Bhopal disaster. The e-mails also purport to show Stratfor’s attempt to set up an investment fund with a Goldman Sachs director to trade on the intelligence Stratfor collects, as well as give insight into how the private intelligence firm acquires, and sometimes pays for, information. Stratfor, somewhat akin to a privatized CIA, sells its analyses of global politics to major corporations and government agencies. According to Antisec participants, Stratfor was targeted not just for its poor security, but also because of its client list, which includes major companies and government entities. 'We believe police and employees who work for the most significant fortune 500 companies are the most responsible for perpetuating the machinery of capitalism and the state,' said one Antisec participant in December, 'That there will be repercussions for when you choose to betray the people and side with the rich ruling classes.' Anons also told Wired that future collaborations with WikiLeaks could involve a series of hacks that will be announced, one after another, every Friday for the foreseeable future. If that happens, the Stratfor e-mail release could be the first sign of a new, powerful alliance between the two groups, each of which has vexed and angered the world’s most powerful governments and corporations." (WIRED)


"Hollywood’s brightest stars rubbed elbows with power players at Vanity Fair’s annual glittering Oscar bash last night. Power couples Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis, and David and Victoria Beckham all hit Graydon Carter’s party at the Sunset Tower Hotel, to join guests including Michael and Kirk Douglas, Fran Lebowitz, Jane Fonda, Steve Martin, Sofia Vergara, Jay Leno and George Lucas.
The Hollywood royalty even met the real thing when Prince Albert of Monaco and new bride Charlene Wittstock arrived. Also at the fete were philanthropist Betsy Bloomingdale and designers Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera and Tory Burch ... Joan Collins was at the VF event a year after causing a stir when she’d fainted and needed medical attention for wearing a too-tight dress.
In memory of Christopher Hitchens, Zippo lighters were placed on tables at the dinner engraved with his quote: 'Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where I think it should, in most cases, remain.'" (PageSix)


"Marriage-go-round; and Up and Down. In the Good News (for some) department, the four-year-old acrimonious divorce saga of Cendant Corporation tycoon Henry Silverman and Nancy Silverman, his wife of 33 years (37 if they’re still not officially divorced) is over. Done, like dinner. No trial dates, as many of their friends had anticipated; no more tumult, no more shouting. I’ve been told that the settlement is said to be somewhere in the hundreds of millions and has been agreed upon by both parties. Henry Silverman built Cendant into a multibillion dollar a year business through hotels, motels (Days Inn, Howard Johnson’s, Ramada, Travelodge, etc.), rent-a-cars (Avis, Budget) and real estate (Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International Real Estate). The soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Silverman was by his side every inch of the way in the years he created his treasure. Four years ago Mr. Silverman told Mrs. Silverman there was somebody else in his life. The story was first reported here on the NYSD. Like, his physical trainer, a woman named Karen Hader. The new couple soon (maybe immediately) took up residence together and before we knew it, the pitter-patter of little feet could be heard in the new couple’s marble halls, while the Battle Royal with the once deeply devoted (and I’m not exaggerating) now deeply wounded wife Nancy, began. The split came as a big surprise to friends because Nancy Silverman practically worshiped at the altar of astounding business success she identified as Henry Silverman’s personal possession." (NYSocialDiary)


"Ever the showman, Terry Richardson chose Oscar weekend to debut his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Hollywood, meet Terrywood. The exhibition of 25 photographs at L.A.'s OHWOW Gallery captures some of the city's most celebrated sights, landscapes, and still-lifes—just about everything, in other words, except his snapshot-influenced portraits. Not that the celeb-heavy throng that came to celebrate the show and party afterwards at the Chateau Marmont seemed to mind—most had already been snapped by the lensman, anyway. Tom Ford, James Franco, Tyler the Creator, and Richardson partner-in-crime Jared Leto all came for a look. As the gallery cleared out, guests and sometime subjects including Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan filed into Bungalow 1 at the Chateau. Life imitated art as guests were greeted with In-N-Out burgers, the subject of one of the photos in the show. Among fellow models May Andersen and Erin Wasson, Frankie Rayder admired the man of the hour for his uncanny ability to get his subjects to let their hair (and frequently, everything else) down. 'It's just Terry,' Rayder said." (Style)


"Last night, the art crowd gathered at the Fred Torres Collaborations gallery for Earth Laughs In Flowers, a new exhibit of still life photographs by famed photographer, David LaChapelle. At first glance, the photos feature expansive and lush flowers reminiscent of paintings by the Dutch Masters but, upon closer inspection, elements of LaChapelle's signature blend of wealthy excess and the grotesque are present: phallic doll parts, Cheetos, pill bottles and toilet paper peek out from fancy floral arrangements and mingle amid ripe fruit. LaChapelle, who famously quit shooting fashion for magazines and moved to Hawaii in 2006 at what some might say was the peak of his influence, has clearly not lost any admirers. " (Papermag)

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