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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"When Steve Jobs died in October 2011, crowds of mourners gathered outside of Apple stores, leaving impromptu memorials to the fallen businessman. Many in Occupy Wall Street, then in full bloom, stopped to mourn the .001 percenter worth $7 billion, who didn’t believe in charity and whose company had more cash in hand than the U.S. Treasury while doing everything in its power to avoid paying taxes.A new, and potentially dominant, ruling class is rising. Today’s tech moguls don’t employ many Americans, they don’t pay very much in taxes or tend to share much of their wealth, and they live in a separate world that few of us could ever hope to enter. But while spending millions bending the political process to pad their bottom lines, they’ve remained far more popular than past plutocrats, with 72 percent of Americans expressing positive feelings for the industry, compared to 30 percent for banking and 20 percent for oil and gas." (TheDailyBeast)


"President Barack Obama returned to the city this afternoon for a trio of star-studded fund-raising events. Mr. Obama’s first stop was the West Village home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, where about 65 people paying between $16,200 and $20,000 gathered around tables draped in white linen to hear the president speak. Among those spotted in the crowd: Justin Timberlake, decked out in trendy, black-rimmed glasses and slicked-back hair, his wife, actress Jessica Biel, and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, according to pool reports. In remarks to the group, the president talked about the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas explosion, and how they had brought the nation together ... The president then headed to a second home, this time in TriBeCa, for a dinner hosted by Alexandra Stanton, a former advisory to ex-Gov. David Paterson, and her husband, Sam Natapoff. Approximately 60 guests paid between $16,200 and $20,000 to attend the event, a Democratic National Committee official said. The president once again spoke about the recent events, but also spoke about the immigration bill, the escalating situation in Syria, the Middle East peace process, and his goal of 'reinvigorating a sense of hope and possibility' for both Israel and the Palestinians.  'Deep down there is still this incredible appetite for peace,' he reportedly told the group, while warning that the 'window of opportunity is growing smaller by the day.' After dinner, Mr. Obama was set too head to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for a final event with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, attended by approximately 140 guests paying between $7,500 and $32,400." (Observer)



"Vanity Fair Daily: The book gives much more detail of the branding and look of certain expensive tween-marketed merchandise. I’m thinking about when you describe the connection between Victoria Secret’s Pink line and why Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr was a target for the Bling Ring. Nancy Jo Sales: 'It’s really alarming to find out, through doing the research for the book, about the explosion of teen and even child lingerie. That market has become a billion-dollar market. Like teddies for teenagers—it’s so disturbing. Their obsession with underwear had something to do with this whole 'pornification' thing. They wanted to look sexy. Looking sexy in a celebrity’s clothes, well that’s even sexier. Especially Miranda Kerr, who’s a Victoria’s Secret model. The fact that they stole the underwear just seems so weird, but it’s not weird when you think about it, because they’re growing up at a time when their culture is constantly telling them to be sexy. Everything from toys to video games to music to fashion is hypersexualized for girls. Stealing their underwear was part of a whole trend to emulate these celebrities. They don’t just want expensive underwear; they want Paris Hilton’s underwear. VFD: At one point in the book, you compared the Bling Ring’s robberies to storming the gates of Versailles. What did you mean by that? Nancy Jo Sales: I remember when I started talking about [the robberies] with people, they would laugh and think it was funny, and say, Oh, those celebrities deserve it. They have enough. Which is actually exactly what Rachel Lee used to say, according to Nick Prugo. It’s really about class resentment and income resentment. Celebrities are not necessarily the richest people of all, but on the face of it, they seem to be representative of the very richest people. The very richest people are people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, but Paris Hilton appears to represent this 'rich bitch' kind of flippant heiress. Every single one of the people they robbed was connected to some entertainment product that was about wealth and privilege. Paris, it was The Simple Life; Audrina Patridge, of course, The Hills, about rich girls in L.A.; it just went on and on. It’s really so much about America today, the inequality of wealth distribution and the way that affects people’s psyches, and kids’ psyches, and the way that it causes all of these unattainable desires. It trickles down in stuff like YouTube shopping vlogs—haul vlogs—or in extreme cases, the Bling Ring." (VFD)



"MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. We often speak of 'Mommy’s mommy,' and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman. Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average. Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex." (Angelina Jolie)


"Last night at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, the American Ballet Theatre held its Opening Night Spring Gala. This is one of those big beautiful social events on the Spring calendar. Black tie, and the ladies dress for it. Honorary Chairs were Michele Obama, Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump. President Obama happened to be in town but I don’t know if the First Lady made it up to Lincoln Center. I don’t know if any of honorary chairs were there; I didn’t see them (which means nothing). Co-chairs for the evening were Sloan Lindemann Barnett, Nina Rennert Davidson, Karin Luter, Kalliope Karella Rena, Christine Schwarzman, Tracy Snyder and Monica Wambold. These are the girls who sell the tickets (tables) and raise the money to pay for everything including the ballet. At least five of them have multi-billionaire husbands or fathers and the rest of them have access to big funds. This is how the opera and ballet survive in New York. " (NYSocialDiary)


















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