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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"He was the invisible man of the 2012 campaign, not to mention most of President Barack Obama’s first term. Yet in recent weeks, former President George W. Bush is having a resurgence: He’s speaking out on immigration reform and AIDS in Africa and gingerly addressing the gay marriage debate. And in a twist few would have predicted even six months ago, Bush’s public approval rating recently eclipsed Obama’s. His supporters insist he has no strategy, no master plan for public re-entry. But the Republican who left the White House amid two unpopular wars and with few fans in either party appears to be in the early stages of settling into the role of elder statesman, on his own terms. On Wednesday, Bush spoke at a citizenship ceremony event at his just-opened presidential library in Dallas — as House lawmakers on the same day were set to take up the rancorous topic of immigration reform. 'We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce the laws,' he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. 'But we have a problem. The laws governing our immigration system are not working. The system is broken.” Bush called for a 'positive resolution' to the debate in Congress. The 43rd president has spent most of his post-White House life in self-imposed political exile, staying at his home in Texas and far away from Washington, a world he never really took to. He endorsed Mitt Romney through the closing doors of an elevator. And Bush remained quiet as a backlash within his party — triggered largely by government spending on his watch — gave rise to the tea party movement, the effects of which have lingered throughout Obama’s presidency." (Politico)


"The talk (where there is talk) of current events in the city are the candidacies of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer. Mr. Weiner is running for Mayor and Mr. Spitzer has announced that he will run for city comptroller.  The media is playing it up as a kind of duo au scandale, since both men found/accidentally came upon notoriety (quite unintentionally) in their private lives.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it doesn’t matter because both situations were an opportunity for the public to allow itself to be distracted once again from what’s really going on in our culture, our society. Business as usual. Mr. Weiner is famous for having exposed himself physically through the wonders of modern technology. It is a peculiar activity, that former activity of Mr. Weiner. At least to me. However, it is also quite commonplace to a lot of other people. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions (who knows) across the world are into exposing themselves physically on the web to anyone who really needs to look. And evidently there are lots of those out there too. I’ll bet there are even some or quite a few  who need  to look who also think Mr. Weiner is a terrible man. I don’t know him; I don’t know what to think. One thing you can say about him is he’s very much a man of his generation. I don’t know what to think of a lot of it. We’ll find out later, I’m sure. Mr. Spitzer, who is older by a few years, had the old classic kind of sex scandal. He was exposed by the powers that be whose financial chicanery was well on its way to being exposed by Mr. Spitzer. Checkmate. Actually, aside from his personal private activities, Mr. Spitzer had the public good in mind in his work. That’s actually what got him elected governor. However, the good public drops everything when they hear about any kind of extra-marital liaison that a public figure is having. The idea being that public figures should be pure and holy.  At least the reformers. I’m not suggesting that these things are not important because they are ... to the individuals involved and no one else. We already know many if not most politicians are into some kind of hanky-panky and/or are corrupt. That's why they sit at the bottom of all respectability polls, duh. People (or at least the mainstream media) pretend it’s one party and not the other. Well, it’s people. It’s us.As far as sex goes, the internet has changed the public attitude, especially for the younger generations. Children are looking at this stuff on the internet, and unsupervised. Period. Forget about thinking how can you stop it because the genie is out of the bottle." (NYSocialdiary)


"The long lazy summer is upon us, and as I walk the Swiss hills below the mountain ranges my thoughts are always of the past. I think of long hot summers of long ago: girls in their pretty dresses and my father in his whites sailing around the Saronic Bay with a ball-and-chain standard flying from his main mast. It meant “Wife Onboard,” which really meant that when he dropped anchor on some nearby port, local talent should stay away. Dad was famous—infamous, rather—for flying that ensign, because he loved partying with loose women on his boat, and during the rare occasions my mother would come onboard, he didn’t want to embarrass her with the inevitable visitors coming around. After his death I would drop anchor in different islands and people would ask what happened to the flag. 'Unlike my father, I am monogamous,' I’d lie, and they’d invariably answer, 'If only you could be half the man he was.…'" (Taki)


"Cressida Bonas was first romantically linked to Prince Harry in mid-2012, several months after he broke up with on-again, off-again girlfriend Chelsy Davy. They have never appeared together in any official capacity, nor been photographed together (they always arrive and leave clubs, weddings, and other events separately), but they have a knack for showing up at the same places at the same times, and have accompanied one another on ski trips and tropical vacations. Tabloids say things cooled after Harry's misadventures in Vegas last year, but now things seem to be on stronger than ever — they were recently seen partying at Glastonbury, and over the weekend they attended a Mumford & Sons concert in London.  Cressida is described by friends as 'very discreet,' which explains the dearth of information about her on the Internet." (NYMag)



"How to Be a Playgirl, a Barnes and Noble Nook Snap by Mental Floss editor Jessanne Collins, is a short—just 24 pages—and highly readable recounting of the highlights of her year-long experience as an editor of Playgirl magazine. Playgirl 'debuted in the summer of 1973 and was billed as a sex-positive, fun-oriented feminist response to Hugh Hefner's empire'; when Collins started there in 2007 and until it shuttered in 2008, it bore only a slight resemblance to the original. In a recent two-hour conversation, Collins and I pored over the covers of select issues of Playgirl. It’s a fascinating journey to go from the first issue, in which editor Marin Scott Milam defined 'a Playgirl' as 'independent, self-confident, aware, involved, adventurous, daring, curious, vital, ambitious, sensuous, loving, giving, alive, liberated, free,' to the magazines of the late-aughts featuring increasingly greasy, provocatively posed 'hunks.' They reveal much about women, men, magazines and magazine design, and, not least, the evolution of Playgirl, and how we think about sex, too." (TheHairpin)



"At the height of her career, the New York Times called Luna 'a stunning Negro model whose face had the hauteur and feline grace of Nefertiti.' The designer Stephen Burrows recalled that 'she was just one of those extraordinary girls.' And in 1966, when Beatrix Miller, the editor of British Vogue, chose her as the first-ever black model for that magazine’s cover, it was because of 'her bite and personality.' Bethann Hardison, another ascendant model, remembers that, 'no one looked like her. She was like a really extraordinary species.' Soon, Luna became one of the first black models to attain superstar status in Europe, photographed by the legendary photographer David Bailey, famed for his images of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. David McCabe, known for photographing celebrities like Twiggy and Andy Warhol, recognized that Luna had something special the first time he saw her in 1963. 'I was on a photo assignment in Detroit, photographing Ford cars [and] there was a school nearby,' he recalled. 'I was struck by this almost 6-foot-tall beautiful girl – around 14-years-old at the time – wearing her Catholic uniform. She stopped to see what was going on.' He told her that he was a photographer for magazines like Mademoiselle and Glamour and that, if she was ever in New York, she should call him. In 1964, he got that call, and sent the ensuing photos to various agencies. 'I also called Richard Avedon,' he remembers. 'I said you’ve got to see this girl. She’s just unbelievable.' Soon Avedon began photographing her, too, eventually signing her to a one year contract." (NYMag)

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