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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"We have lost more than lives in our wars in the Middle East, more than money, more than precious elements of our national reputation. We have also lost our ability to judge our actions or their consequences with a critical eye.Yes, certainly there has been national debate about whether we should have been involved in those wars, one that has belatedly delivered the message to our political leadership that it is time to bring our troops home. But about one crucial array of issues concerning our involvement we have been stunningly silent: the competence of our military leaders, the effectiveness of the strategies they have employed, and the very structure and character of our military itself. Clearly, recent headlines have underscored the difficulty we have had achieving our overall objectives in both Afghanistan and Iraq -- after a decade of massive costs in lives and resources -- and raised serious questions about discipline, morale, and the consequences of our actions, both intended and otherwise. And while our political leadership must ultimately be held responsible, it is fair and indeed urgently important to ask to what degree our top military commanders should also be held accountable." (ForeignPolicy)



"Richard Gere has blasted 'Pretty Woman' as a 'silly romantic comedy' that was wrong to make Wall Street guys 'seem dashing.'  In the 1990 classic, Gere played New York 'corporate raider' Edward Lewis, who was in Los Angeles on business for a week, and hired prostitute Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) not for sex, but to keep him company. The pair, of course, fall in love -- after Lewis buys Ward a new wardrobe and inspires her to leave her given profession behind. While the movie made nearly $500 million at the box office and helped propel Gere's status as a top leading man, he now calls the film his 'least favorite.' 'People ask me about that movie but I’ve forgotten it. That was a silly romantic comedy,' Gere tells Woman's Day magazine in Australia. 'It made [Wall Street] guys seem dashing, which was wrong. Thankfully, today, we are all more skeptical of those guys.' Gere says it wasn't only the recession that changed his view of bankers. He says that falling in love with wife Carey Lowell also did the trick. 'She has given me a very clear conscience of what is right and wrong,' he explained. 'I would rather be loved than have money and all that other stuff.'" (PageSix)


"We’re not really sure how we missed this one, but we just randomly re-read GQ‘s Jay-Z profile–the one that declared him the Man of the Year–from the end of 2011. That article opens with a scene of the rapper, who is also a collector and, apparently, part-time art critic, walking around Gagosian’s West 24th Street gallery. This was back when the gallery was exhibiting Richard Serra’s Junction/Cycle, those giant swirling steel sculptures that took up most of the enormous, warehouse-like space. Recall here that Jay-Z made Larry Gagosian into probably the first art dealer ever to be name-dropped in a hip-hop song. (Your day will come, Paula Cooper!) That lyric is from the song 'That’s My Bitch,' off his album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne. The 'bitch' in question is not referring to Lar-G. Here’s the line: 'Call Larry Gagosian, you belong in museums.' The possible implications on the art market of calling the Gagosian gallery empire a museum are not lost on us." (Observer)


"It was  going-out weather and last night New Yorkers were going out. Over in the East Sixties, John Demsey, the Lauder cosmetic and fragrance Group President (Estee Lauder, MAC, Prescriptives, Tom Ford Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone, La Mer, etc.) hosted a 'Swim into the Pisces Season' – a joint birthday party at his townhouse with Alina Cho and Marilyn Gauthier. There must have been a hundred guests milling about on two floors as well as in the garden when I arrived at 7 (the party was scheduled from 6 to 9 PM). I’m not sure if any of the honored ones were celebrating yesterday as their birthday although Alina told me her birthday was last week and her mother Kim Cho’s birthday is today, which puts her right on the cusp of Pisces and Aries. If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Demsey has hosted a number of joint birthdays for several astrological signs." (NYSocialDiary)


"They say excessive drinking can produce delusions and be harmful to one’s sex drive, but in my case it has the opposite effect. Or it could all be in my head. What is certain is that I sympathize with Terence Rattigan’s heroine in The Deep Blue Sea, a film about the ravages of erotic love in repressed 1950s Britain. When the 1955 film version came out starring Vivien Leigh and directed by Anatole Litvak, I couldn’t understand all the fuss. Hester meets young Freddie, discovers real sex, and it’s bye-bye to her faithful-but-sexless hubby. I was 19 and in the midst of adulterous relationships with two married women. I thought it normal that older women would go bananas over younger men.ater on in Paris I met Litvak, a sensitive director whose wife Sophie liked staying up late at Jimmy’s with young men. I wanted to know about Rattigan and the intensely repressed characters he invented. 'Ses characters sont lui,' Anatole explained. This was around the time Rattigan had been shoved aside by the great unwashed playwrights of the early 1960s, something that infuriated me, especially as I had become a theater addict due to my relationship with an actress. What continues to amaze is the cuckolded hubby. It’s true that British women back in the 1950s did not leave their husbands, but how does a man stay married to a woman who has gone ape over someone else? I know it’s a double standard, but double standards were invented for types like me." (Taki)

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