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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The senior leadership of the Chinese government increasingly views the competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the American economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, according to an influential Chinese policy analyst. China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country, according to the analyst, Wang Jisi, the co-author of 'Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,' a monograph published this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Institute for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University. Mr. Wang, who has an insider’s view of Chinese foreign policy from his positions on advisory boards of the Chinese Communist Party and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contributed an assessment of Chinese policy toward the United States. Kenneth Lieberthal, the director of the John L. Thornton Center for China Studies at Brookings, and a former member of the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, wrote the appraisal of Washington’s attitude toward China. In a joint conclusion, the authors say the level of strategic distrust between the two countries has become so corrosive that if not corrected the countries risk becoming open antagonists. " (NYTimes)


"The Obama administration 'pivot' to the Pacific, formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last November and reiterated more recently by the president himself, might appear like a reassertion of America's imperial tendencies just at the time when Washington should be concentrating on the domestic economy. But in fact, the pivot was almost inevitable. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, signaling communism's defeat in Europe, security experts immediately talked about a pivot -- a shift in diplomatic and military energies -- to the Pacific. But Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to a decadelong preoccupation with the Middle East, with the U.S. Army leading a land war against Iraq in 1991 and the Navy and Air Force operating no-fly zones for years thereafter. Then came 9/11, and the Bush administration's initiation of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a response. Finally, the ending of both those conflicts is in sight, and the United States, rather than return to quasi-isolationism as it has done with deleterious effect after other ground wars in its history, is attempting to pivot its focus to the geographical heart of the global economy: the Indian and Pacific oceans." (STRATFOR)


"Today we welcome Liz Smith to the New York Social Diary. I’ve been a fan of Liz’s since before I knew her name – when she wrote the Cholly Knickerbocker column for Igor Cassini’s byline in the old New York Journal-American. She was my inspiration for a column since I started writing the Diary almost two decades ago in Quest magazine. The factor of inspiration: her seemingly unlimited knowledge about New York life in terms of Broadway, culture, and society, as well as a strong connection to Hollywood; and her approach to the subject. She’s canny and smart, but she’s nice. She sheds a bright and good light on people and their work. She’s not naïve but she’s not armed with attitude either. She’s been very generous to me and JH in promoting our work on the NYSD. So we are very honored to have the pleasure of her contribution. Welcome aboard, Liz!!" (NYSocialDiary)


"'I'm probably the only presenter here who has actually slept with Catherine Deneuve,' Susan Sarandon told the audience last night at Alice Tully Hall, where boldfaced names like Martin Scorsese and Glenn Close had turned out to pay tribute to the great French film actress. Before Deneuve took the stage to receive the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2012 Chaplin Award, many of her greatest moments on celluloid were played on the big screen—including the steamy sex scene in The Hunger that Sarandon was referring to. 'We were, of course, kind of nervous about the love scene, and in the beginning everyone was in the rafters watching, and after about three days, they couldn't have cared less,' Sarandon told Style.com before the ceremony. 'She really is the consummate pro.' Following other remarks by directors François Ozon and James Gray and Deneuve's daughter Chiara Mastroianni, Scorsese summed up the icon in just a few words: 'For me, Deneuve is French cinema,' he said." (Style)


"Ah, the bliss, the ignorance, and the plights of a damsel's existence, whether in the throes of distress or not. Such was the fodder for brilliant director Whit Stillman's new film, Damsels In Distress, enjoyed by a truly packed house at The Cinema Society, Brooks Brothers and Town & Country-sponsored screening at The Tribeca Grand last night. Firstly, some background on where Stillman's epically-anticipated latest (14 years since his most recent film, The Last Days of Disco!) came to fruition. It involved a certain Pepto-pink and tangerine awning-ed coffee spot, apparently, thanks to a swell New York Times Magazine profile on the mysterious director. 'One of my joke reasons I say for having left the United States in '98 was that French roast coffee took over New York, so I went to France where I found better, non-French-roast coffee in Paris,' Stillman explained. 'I came back to the United States when Dunkin' Donuts coffee came to New York—it was the return of good American coffee, without that horrible, bitter Starbucks flavor. I found a very nice Dunkin' Donuts on Christopher Street that had plugs.'  Gathered to see the fruits of Whitman's Dunkin'-addled labors were the likes of Dylan McDermott, Andie MacDowell, Daniel Merriweather, Nora Zehetner, Amy Sacco, Tara Subkoff, Euan Rellie, and Town & Country EIC Jay Fielden, and a Gossip Girl quartet of Chace Crawford, Kelly Rutherford, Matthew Settle, and Caroline Lagerfelt." (FashionweekDaily)

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