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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"On the western coast of africa, in a rambling Liberian ghetto called Chocolate City, a former cannibal is sitting under the shade of a tin-roofed hut explaining how he sacrificed humans to placate a jungle god. 'I didn't see it as cruel at the time," the squat, muscular man says in his thick patois, a bead of sweat inching down his grim face. "I saw it as a mediating role between the deity and the people.' A congregation of about 20 teenage boys – an assortment of reformed killers and drug addicts - sits on plastic chairs and listens raptly as the man in a baseball cap and brown military shirt sleeves confesses to leading a militia of drug-fueled child soldiers to kill a purported 20,000 people during a horrific period of unrest in the 1980s and '90s, and to eating children from his own tribe to gain spiritual favor in battle. Until he found Jesus in a burst of white light – shortly after hacking his last victim to death - he merely saw it as part of the job description. 'Every time I do this sacrifice,' he says, "the battle immediately turns against the enemy. Or turns in favor of us. They would start running.' He also believed nudity was his armor against enemy bullets –thus his wartime moniker, General Butt Naked. The three white Americans sitting alongside Butt Naked are duly sobered by the testimony. And in the raw reality of the moment, there is the hanging question of why their leader, Tom Freston, the spike-haired media mogul who helped create MTV and once ran the film and TV company Viacom, has brought them here, to a bleak neighborhood in a failed and lawless state, to meet a murderer. Freston and his companions, part of a larger delegation of pampered Westerners in SUVs who arrived in Liberia about four hours ago, couldn't look more conspicuous if they'd been dropped out of a time machine.(MensJournal)


"Time Warner Inc. is in talks with a 'serious buyer' about selling the Time Inc. magazine business, according to Fortune, one of the company’s titles. A potential deal could involve most of the company’s magazine titles, such as People and Real Simple, being rolled into an independent company that would be sold to a buyer, Fortune reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the plan. Time Warner would keep control of Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune under this scenario, the magazine said. The move would let Time Warner offload its worst-performing major division, insulating the company from an industrywide slump in advertising sales. Time Inc., the largest U.S. magazine publisher, has struggled to shift from print to the Internet, where ads commands lower rates than with traditional magazine campaigns." (Bloomberg)


"Stanley Kubrick is remembered as one of cinema’s most reclusive (and revolutionary) filmmakers, and 14 years after his death, Criterion provides a glimpse into his personal preferences with a list of his favorite films. Culled from interviews with Kubrick’s family members, friends, and colleagues, the list spans genres and suggests what inspired the Oscar-nominated director. Among his top titles: the 60s Italian drama La Notte, David Lynch’s surrealist horror film Eraserhead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Michael Moore’s documentary Roger & Me, along with such classics as Citizen Kane, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Godfather, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Dog Day Afternoon. Perhaps the most surprising titles to make the list, however, are Albert Brooks’s 1981 comedy Modern Romance, The Jerk, and White Men Can’t Jump ... In Vanity Fair’s homage to Kubrick, published in August 1999, Michael Herr reveals that the director was so enchanted by The Jerk that he wanted to cast Steve Martin in an adaptation of the German psycho-sexual novella Traumnovelle in the 80s." (VanityFair)


"I went to lunch at Michael’s with Sassy Johnson. She and I have known each other since the early '70s. We were first fixed up by a mutual friend, and while that didn’t exactly take, we have been close friends ever since. Sassy has a very quiet, ladylike way about her, although she knows a lot of people. And is their friends too. She’s a Southern girl who to New York to go to Finch when it was a college on the Upper East Side, and never wanted to leave. And didn’t.  For several years Sassy has been a Senior VP at Stribling, the prominent real estate brokerage company. But before that – back when we first met – she was an assistant to Halston and ran his couture business here in New York. If you didn’t know, Halston was the star of stars in the fashion world of the 1970s. No one was bigger, more famous and ultimately more outrageous in publicity terms. These were the days of Studio 54 and the bursting New York nightlife. Paris had YSL and America had Halston. What followed with Halston’s great success was classic. The 7th Avenue version of A Star Is Born. Sex drugs Rock and Roll and a part time madman as an employer. Sassy kept a diary on those days, and it’s every working girl’s dream and nightmare at the same time. She wrote it all down all those years ago, not on the thought that someday she’d have a book, but more as an exercise in self-therapy at the time. It’s an Only in New York story, as Cindy Adams would say ... After lunch I went up to Lincoln Center to see Dennis Basso’s Fall/Winter 2013 Runway Show. This was in the tent which is called The Stage. It’s where Ralph Rucci showed his collection Sunday night. I don’t know it’s exact capacity, but it’s well into the hundreds.The whole production is pure theatre, and Lincoln Center is the perfect place for it. Big time ballyhoo and you. I saw Nina Griscom (ninagriscom.com) at yesterday’s show and we were talking about it. Nina thinks in another few years, however, we won’t have live fashion shows. It’ll all be digital. You’ll watch it in your homes and everyone (manufacturers, designers, that is) will cut their overhead." (NYSocialDiary)


"A dinner befitting a decade of Daily-ing? Thanks to an uberstylish klatch of our nearest and dearest—fete accompli! Indochine was abuzz from the moment the Maybelline New York co-hosted soiree commenced, with tippling on tangy blood orange martinis, copious white vino and the ilk, avec nibbles like lemongrass-laced beef-wrapped asparagus, veggie summer rolls, skewered chicken, and charred shrimp. Even on an eve crammed with NYFW shindigs, our editorial faves dipped in for a cocktail or two (Graydon! Carine Roitfeld avec Stephen Gan! Anne Fulenwider! Constance White! Robbie Myers with Joe Zee!), designers made the rounds. As the clock neared nine, the nuit’s emcee, Heidi Klum, took to the mic to share a bit of Daily love and intro the woman behind it all, our EIC Brandusa Niro, who had a few heartfelt thoughts on the mag’s magic to extoll upon. After, chicettes piled into banquettes to sup on delectable chicken and vermicelli-stuffed spring rolls, spicy beef salad dappled with basil and mint, and sesame-spiked yellowtail sashimi. Then, a parfait palate cleanser ensued, in the form of a surprise performance by a saucy, singing Anna Wintour and a silent sidekick Grace Coddington (…their much-taller, maybe-male dopplegangers, that is). More than a few chicsters did a major double take or three when the Vogue-ettes started their banter-and-saunter through the resto. Dinner and a show, non? Patrick McMullan continued to voraciously shoot the rollicking good times, as did the film crew Glamour editrix Cindi Leive arrived with (documentary alert!)." (Fashionweekdaily)

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