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Monday, June 24, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The Theatre of the Absurd. Well, the late Mrs. Astor’s friends finally got their justice: they put her 89-year-old son behind bars for allegedly trying to change her will which would give him millions more than she had allegedly intended. Everything’s copasetic now. We feel certain that Mrs. Astor would have been pleased to know that her boy (who now is said to suffer from dementia) will not be stealing any money that isn’t his. Besides, after all this folderol, Mrs. Astor’s money isn’t what it used to be. Lawyers took tens of millions. Too bad the charities won’t be getting what (if anything) they had coming either. So too the son who turned on his father. Everybody wins/loses. I couldn’t help wondering what the lady herself would have thought of what her friends had done. She certainly had a lot of respect and possibly even affection for them and their stature in the society of the city. She was also, contrary to what some people might 'believe,'  very close to her son, and he very close to her. It has been suggested to me more than once that certain friends of Mrs. Astor were actually jealous of that closeness. That seems odd yet jealousy and envy are more emotional than rational and often mask a sense of deprivation that is deepseated and otherwise inexplicable. We had a lot of mail on this case, as you might imagine. The following are two messages from professionals, neither of whom live or work in or around New York. One from a woman and one from a man. One in the Northeast and one from the Midwest." (NYSocialDiary)


"A first-round loser at Wimbledon this year will receive $35,000 for showing up even if he defaults before the first ball is struck. Back in 1957 I got close to 200 dollars for losing in the singles qualifying draw and getting into the draws for the men’s doubles and mixed. Call it inflation if you’d like, but today’s pros outside the top 100 need the moolah more than we did back then. I traveled with two Cubans (the Garrido brothers) and two Chileans (Pato Rodriguez and Potoko Aguirre). We lived in a cheap hotel near Earls Court and paid one pound per week for a room without bath. On the Sunday before the championships started, I met a beautiful actress, Liza Gastoni, who lived in Deanery Mews next to the Dorchester Hotel. When she saw the shithole I was living in, she invited me to stay and I moved in for the duration. My fellow tennis players were envious as well as furious. (Jealous, actually.) When I brought her to Wimbledon, my doubles partner, Wayne Van Vorhees, fell madly in love with her and threatened to pull out of the competition unless I stopped being possessive. All I can say 56 years later is that he played his heart out in the doubles. Tennis was a wonderful sport when it was shamateur." (Taki)


"He has been sentenced to seven years in jail and banned from public office, pending the outcome of an appeal. The 76-year-old media tycoon had denied all the allegations against him. Mr Berlusconi is already embroiled in several other court cases. In October 2012 he was given a four-year sentence for tax fraud. In this latest court ruling, he was found guilty of paying for sex with a Moroccan girl, Karima El Mahroug, known as 'Ruby the Heart Stealer', who was just 17 at the time. The judgement could have major political repercussions for Italy, analysts say. They say a guilty ruling could weaken current Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government, which depends on the support of Mr Berlusconi's centre-right party, People of Freedom (PdL)." (BBC)


"Quiet as it was, 'In Care Of' was a pretty eventful wrap-up to Mad Men’s sixth season. Peggy got dolled up and started dating again to punish Ted for courting her and then re-embracing his domestic life; a shaken Ted showed up at her apartment for a post-date Hail Mary pitch, stayed the night, and briefly talked about leaving his wife, then thought better of it by the light of day and kicked Peggy to the curb with such politeness and sensitivity that it only made his male entitlement more obvious. 'Someday you’ll be glad I made this decision,' he told her. 'Well aren’t you lucky to have decisions,' she replied, perhaps a bit too 2013-gender-studies of a comeback, but so on-point that it still deserves applause. Peggy endured so much romantic whiplash in this episode that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her walk out of it in a neck brace. Bob went to Detroit with Pete, who’d rejected his pass two episodes back. Pete was despondent and furious over his mother’s mysterious disappearance while enjoying an ocean cruise with Bob’s old friend, the manservant Manolo. Bob avenged himself on Pete in the Motor City by tricking him into trying to drive a car that he couldn’t actually drive and causing a showroom accident. By the end of the episode Pete had returned to New York, humiliated and humbled, freed of his mother’s awful grip, perhaps, and in a state of mind that could lead to a truce with Trudy." (NYMag)


"Kristina Schake, first lady Michelle Obama's communications director since late 2010, is leaving the White House for a job in the private sector and will be replaced by an Estee Lauder executive, the East Wing said Monday. 'Kristina has been an essential and valued advisor to me over the past two and a half years,' the first lady said in a statement. 'Her expertise in strategic planning and her creativity have been invaluable not just to me but to the entire administration and I am truly grateful for her leadership and counsel.  While she will be greatly missed at the White House, the impact of her work will be lasting.' Schake told POLITICO that she is headed to L'Oreal USA as chief communications officer, overseeing communications, government relations and philanthropy. She'll start in Paris in July and will eventually be based in New York. Schake previously worked as a senior communications aide to then-California first lady Maria Shriver, and was co-founder of a communications firm with Chad Griffin, now the president of the Human Rights Campaign. Camille Johnston, an executive at Siemens, was the first lady's first White House communications director.
Taking Schake's place in July is Maria Cristina Gonzalez Noguera, senior vice president for corporate communications at Estee Lauder Companies .." (Politico)


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