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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"According to FP's tally, Osama bin Laden was mentioned 21 times during the nighttime speeches at the Democratic National Convention. I don't believe it. It had to be way more than that. In fact, there were times when he was being invoked so often -- by name or by suggestion - that I could have sworn he was the candidate. I understand the impulse to summon the ghost of bin Laden. Getting Osama not only served justice and satisfied a deep emotional need within many Americans -- it made it tough for Republicans to say President Obama was somehow soft on national security. So too did doubling down in Afghanistan, but frankly, given the mess that is AfPak, it's just not the kind of thing a campaign wants to dwell on. Republicans of course, reiterated their feigned outrage that the president would tolerate this kind of 'end-zone dance' as John McCain described it earlier this year. Given George W. Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' moment and the ugly undertones of the post-touchdown showboating imagery, however, it is easy to dismiss it for what it is: cheap, sour-grapes politics. There were, however, aspects of the bin Laden refrain that were genuinely troubling. First was the fact that giving it such centrality dramatically overstated its importance. This compounded the central error of America's response to the 9/11 attacks: reorganizing the country's entire national security priorities around what was a real, but limited threat from a small group of extremists whose capabilities we systematically and sometimes very nearly hysterically overstated. Even in the context of combating terror, last week's long-overdue decision to categorize Pakistan's dangerous Haqqani network as a terrorist organization underscores the fact that killing any individual terrorist or even crushing any individual terrorist group does not make the threat go away. New threats appear. Groups reorganize. Violent extremism lives on and continues to warrant a proportional, targeted response." (ForeignPolicy)


"'Well, that was the wedding of the decade!' exclaimed one guest exiting Broadway scion Jordan Roth’s Saturday wedding to producer Richie Jackson. The black-tie affair at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre drew guests including David Geffen, Donald Trump, Les Moonves, Lloyd Blankfein, Mickey Drexler, Tyra Banks and Barbara Walters. Spies said the onstage ceremony was traditionally Jewish — with the exception that Roth and Jackson stomped on two glasses rather than one. A reception followed at Roseland, where, 'Melissa Etheridge surprised the crowd with an original song that she wrote about Jordan and Richie,' a guest said. Also at the bash were Candice Bergen, Bryant Gumbel, Edie Falco, Judith Light and Sean Hayes. Roth is co-owner of Jujamcyn Theaters, which includes the Hirschfeld and four additional Broadway houses." (PageSix)


"Awakened to find that WWD was not delivered due to production problems, but of course the New York Times made it. A new surprise: New York Magazine is going to be couriered every Monday morning, rather than mailed. Interesting! NYSD did make it to my iPad2, but it was a bit distorted; this turns out to be an iPad issue, definitely not my 'bosses' problem. My first show of the day was at 9 AM. I am sorry NORISOL FERRARI. I promise to try my hardest to make it to your show the next season. I admit to not being great at 9 AM shows; although they usually do not start until half an hour later. What I guiltily admit is that I have no real problem getting to the golf course that early to play with Bonnie, Margot, Ellen S., Janet, Carol, Fran K., Sheila or others; we may even do it at 8:30! The same is true of early morning tennis (maybe it's the no makeup and the geranimal clothes). This was followed by CAROLINA HERRERA, where the ladies all come out for their friend. They are also wearing her clothes, naturally. Her husband Reinaldo is front row and center with Graydon Carter (of Vanity Fair of course); with his beautiful wife Anna sitting behind him. I do miss the days of seeing Pat Buckley giving a shout-out hello to Mica and Chessy and Jerry Z. and Nan K. and CZ. It is a different world to be sure; maybe not as much fun and maybe just the changing of the guard." (NYSocialDiary)


"The Monday night prison visits continue, agreeably. So far I have given out two assignments. The first was to write about a feeling, any feeling. For the second exercise I asked them to write something that would make themselves, and their audience, laugh.The unforeseen obstacle to this assignment was, in the words of one lady, 'I can’t write this stuff down. It would be like writing a confession.' And the room erupted with laughter as everyone agreed on the folly of putting it all in black and white. One lady told of a time when, 'The husband and I were drunk,' she began, 'because that’s what we did with our afternoons. So we’re watching this man hitching his boat to a shiny new truck, and when he walked away the husband and I crept over and unhitched the boat and dragged it a few slips away, out of sight. When the man came back he was looking all around, and we’re trying not to explode laughing. Then he went away a second time, and the husband and I got into the truck with the empty trailer and drove it around a corner. The man came back and totally freaked out. We’re pissing ourselves. The man went away again and returned with a gang of police, but we had already put back the truck and the boat. Like nothing ever happened. The police listened to this ranting man, and gave him a Breathalyzer!' She had to wipe tears of joy from her eyes." (Christina Oxenberg)


"While many of last year’s members have graduated to the New Establishment, 2012’s Next Establishment crop introduces a new wave of bi-coastal trailblazers who are upping the ante in their fields. A sports blogger, an actress turned online mompreneur, and a statistician who moonlights as a poker player are among the host of featured personalities in the worlds of tech, philanthropy, and beyond." (VanityFair)


"As soon as we heard that Opening Ceremony's 10th Anniversary party was being held inside Webster Hall, we knew this wasn't going to be any ordinary Fashion Week fête. We were right. With the night's theme a shoutout to legendary parties and club nights in New York City over the last decade of the boutique's existence, the music venue's four floors were transformed into recreations of everything from the Misshapes' mid-aughts parties at Luke and Leroy's to 1992 at Santos Party House to erstwhile Brooklyn electro-clash incubator Club Luxx, and all of the various DJs and promoters were in attendance under one roof. Walking around the massive space, we felt like we were in a '90s mega-club, with silver balloons, confetti and decked out club kids roaming around. During one moment, we overheard someone say, "it feels like every single person in this party was VIP." And they had a point. Aside from one private area reserved for the families of OC founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, there was no ostensible "VIP" section meaning that every time you turned around, you might spot M.I.A., Spike Jonze, Chloë Sevigny, or Kelly Osbourne. We also spotted fashion-world big wigs including Hamish Bowles, Anh Duong and Anna Dello Russo busting moves alongside kids with shaved eyebrows.... " (Papermag)

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