blog advertising is good for you

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"A CRISIS is brewing in America’s relations with Israel. The American public—though strongly pro-Israel—seems either not to have noticed or not to care much. In the coming days and months America and other world powers must decide whether a credible agreement can be reached to slow or halt Iran’s nuclear programme, in exchange for a lifting of crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. A final deal is months away at best. Israel has already launched a ferocious, pre-emptive verbal assault—aimed squarely at public opinion in America—after just two days of talks in Geneva about an interim agreement to slow Iran’s nuclear work for a few months, aimed at buying time for negotiations on a larger deal. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has not held back. In a speech to thousands of Jewish-Americans in Jerusalem on November 10th he more or less called the American president and his envoys naive to the point of imperilling Israel’s survival. Mr Netanyahu accused the negotiators in Geneva, including John Kerry, the secretary of state, of proposing “a bad and dangerous deal' that would start to unravel sanctions even as Iran retained its capacity to enrich enough fissile material to menace Israel’s survival. America would be next, once Iran perfected long-range missiles, he warned. 'Coming to a theatre near you. Do you want that?' he growled. 'Well, do something about it.' Mr Kerry retorted that Barack Obama’s government understands where America’s interests and those of its allies such as Israel lie. He snapped: 'We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid.' The ground might seem set for a familiar American political showdown in which Republicans denounce Democrats for coddling America’s enemies while cold-shouldering its allies. Yet, with a few exceptions, this is not happening." (Economist)


"Everyone’s doing it, so I might as well jump in also. After all, I knew so many of the people involved, including JFK and his widow Jackie, and—sorry for the name-drop—even actor Rob Lowe, who plays the slain president in the film that’s coming out for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. I only met Senator John Kennedy once—a year before he became president—at a party thrown by Alice Topping, a society dame of the time. The first and lasting impression was of his charisma and good looks. He was 42, the room was full of beautiful women, but he did take a minute or two to ask me about school and my plans for the future. It was not any different than most politicians’ chatter, but with a difference. None of that greasy Bill Clinton stuff, more man-to-man chitchat with lots of jokes about our wandering eyes. I never saw him in person again." (Taki)


"Behold the swirl. At the brunch last Sunday at Christie’s auction house for bidders and attendees of this past Tuesday’s history-making sale of postwar and contemporary art, hundreds of well-dressed art lovers sipped Champagne and nibbled party food while standing just inches from canvases, some of them valued for millions of dollars. Waiters wandered through the galleries bearing six-foot-long poles from which were suspended shelves heavy with Bloody Marys or dishes of scrambled eggs; generating the din of French and Russian and Japanese well-wishing were enough age-inappropriate couples to suggest that the event’s unannounced theme was Father-Daughter. I queued up for the very popular 'deconstructed bagel-and-lox with panzanella salad' station, where I fell into conversation with a friendly middle-aged art dealer in a leather jacket.  'Are you having fun?' he asked me. 'I am,' I said. 'But for a group that can supposedly pony up a few million dollars to buy art, these folks are very aggressive in a buffet line.' Last week, I attended the record-breaking auctions of modern art at Christie’s ($691.5 million) and Sotheby’s ($380.6 million), as well as their previews. Here, amid a scrum of Euro-kissing and plastic surgery Expressionism and many, many British men in skinny navy blue suits, I watched as titans of commerce like the talent agent Michael Ovitz, the financier Donald B. Marron, the real estate developer Aby Rosen and the Miami collectors Don and Mera Rubell tried to gussy up their living room walls." (NYTimes)


"It was a bubble that first brought Blodget fame, and a bust that brought disaster. In 1998, as an internet analyst for CIBC Oppenheimer, he made the outlandish call that Amazon’s share price would rise from $242 to $400 within 12 months. He was wrong only in the timing: the stock passed his target in three weeks. Blodget, soon hired by Merrill Lynch, came to personify Wall Street’s dotcom-era bullishness and, when the good times came to a jarring end, he became a focus for those seeking someone to blame. Eliot Spitzer, then New York’s attorney-general, targeted him in an investigation into conflicts of interest and, in 2003, Blodget was barred from Wall Street as part of a settlement of civil fraud allegations brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. When we meet it is a decade on from Blodget’s personal crash and five years from the fall of Lehman Brothers. Investment bankers have been jostling to bring Twitter to market and Spitzer, disgraced in a 2008 prostitution scandal, has lost his bid to be elected New York City’s comptroller. I ask if Blodget, who still wears the white shirt and suit trousers of Wall Street, voted for Spitzer. 'I did,' he says, dipping some bread in a dish of olive oil: 'One of the people on my team thought I was insane [but] I never felt like it was personal against me.' Blodget and Spitzer followed the same route back to public view after they fell, both writing for Slate. Blodget went on to another form of financial analysis with Business Insider, launched in 2007." (FT)


"As C. K. Dexter DeHaven in the 1956 film High Society, Bing Crosby could have well-played his own persona — someone who was comfortable being rich and famous. Crosby was a friend, business partner, and golf pal of Palm Beacher and Oklahoma oil tycoon George Coleman. During the 1960s, the popular singer-actor-golfer became a frequent guest at the Seminole Club golf course and some of Palm Beach’s very special gatherings. And whether having drinks and dinner with Bing and Kathy Crosby, poolside lunch with Harry and Ruth du Pont in Boca Grande, or brunch with her lifelong friend Gertrude Legendre on the patio of the lakeside log cabin at Medway Plantation,  Ellen Ordway had her camera loaded with unlimited rolls of film. Ellen delighted in photographing her swell well-known friends. However, probably even more, she enjoyed snapping her dogs, shooting the lions and tigers at Lion Country Safari, and recording every step and splash of her grands and great-grands. Her photograph albums can now be appreciated by her great-great grandchildren who only need to turn the pages of her remarkable photographic odyssey to rediscover that now lost treasure, the Great American Family. Here is a look back at life during the era of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society." (NYSocialDiary)
 



"Naked but for the towel around his waist, a man of a certain age sat by himself, bent slightly forward as if praying, in a corner of the sauna at a gym in central Rome. I had not met this man before, but as I entered the sauna, I thought I recognized him from photographs. He looked like a priest with whom I’d corresponded after mutual friends put us in touch, a man I had wanted to consult about gay clerics in the Vatican Curia. My friends told me that this priest was gay, politically savvy, and well connected to the gay Church hierarchy in Rome. But this couldn’t be that priest. He had told me that he’d be away and couldn’t meet. Yet as I looked at the man more closely, I saw that it was definitely him. When we were alone, I spoke his name, telling him mine. 'I thought you were out of the country,' I said. 'How lucky for me: you’re here!' Startled, the priest talked fast. Yes, his plans had changed, he said, but he was leaving again the next day and would return only after I was gone.
During the previous few days, I had heard a lot about this man. I had heard that he is a gossip, a social operator whose calendar is a blur of drinks and dinners with cardinals and archbishops, principessas and personal trainers. Supposedly, he loves to dish male colleagues with campy female nicknames. But I would never have the experience firsthand. The priest was embarrassed: to have been chanced upon at this place; to have had his small evasions revealed. The encounter was awkward. No, he did not wish to discuss the subject I was interested in. No, he did not think the subject worthwhile. These things he made clear. We left the sauna and, after further conversation, civil but stilted, went our separate ways. I could understand his discomfort. But in Rome these days the topic of gay priests in the upper reaches of the Holy See is hard to avoid. In February of this year, not long before the College of Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to choose the 266th Pope, the largest Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica, reported that a 'gay lobby'—a more or less unified cabal of homosexual power brokers—might be operating inside the Vatican. According to the newspaper, the possible existence of this gay lobby was among the many secrets described in a two-volume, 300-page report bound in red and presented to Pope Benedict XVI by three cardinals he had appointed to investigate the affair known as 'VatiLeaks.' That scandal, which raised fresh suspicions of endemic corruption within the Curia, had broken the previous year after Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, made off with some of Benedict’s private papers and leaked them to the press." (VanityFair)

No comments: