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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Pope Francis on Tuesday called for big changes in the Roman Catholic Church including at the very top  – saying the church needs to rethink rules and customs that are no longer widely understood or effective for evangelizing. 'I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,' the Pope said in a major new statement. 'I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures,' Francis added. The Pope's address, called an 'apostolic exhortation,' is part mission statement, part pep talk for the world's 1.5 billion Catholics. Francis' bold language and sweeping call for change are likely to surprise even those who've grown accustomed to his unconventional papacy.'Not everyone will like this document,' said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author in New York. 'For it poses a fierce challenge to the status quo.' And it's not just a verbal challenge, the Pope said on Tuesday. 'I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has a programmatic significance and important consequences.' Since his election in March, Pope Francis, the first pontiff to hail from Latin America, has made headlines by decrying the iniquities of modern capitalism, embracing the poor and people with disabilities and reaching out to gays and lesbians.
At the same time, the 77-year-old pontiff, has sought to to awaken a spirit of joy and compassion in the church, scolding Catholic 'sourpusses' who hunt down rule-breakers and calling out a 'tomb psychology' that 'slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum.''An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!' the Pope said. Officially known in Latin as 'Evangelii Gaudium' (The Joy of the Gospel), the 85-page statement released on Tuesday is the first official document written entirely by Pope Francis. (An earlier document was co-written by Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.)


"When I was a young boy growing up in a small town in New England, my mother, and my father (who was a born-and-bred Irishman from Brooklyn) used to reminisce — much to the kid’s fascination — about the city where he grew up in the first two decades of the 20th century.  Among his memories was the wonder of 'Mr. Schwab’s house,' the greatest mansion in New York. My father was one of those New Yorkers, an inevitable expatriate as it happened, who loved the city and spoke of its wonders with an awe and respect that was separate from everything and everyone else he knew. Mr. Schwab had the greatest mansion ... stuck in my craw.About a year ago while researching something, I found myself reading about the man, Charles M. Schwab, and his mansion, which occupied the entire block on Riverside Drive and West End Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets. That childhood memory intensified my curiosity and so I learned even more than my father knew about Mr. Schwab’s mansion and the remarkable man who built it. He was a kid from Loretto, a little village in the Allegheny mountains of western Pennsylvania founded by Roman Catholic priests, and the first Catholic community in the United States. He was born Charles Michael Schwab on February 18, 1862 during the second year of the American Civil War, when the world was always dark at night, and quiet except for the sounds of animal life, the wind, and the weather. There was no electricity. There were no telephones, no cars, and no indoor plumbing for ordinary working people.  His parents were first generation Americans, both children of German immigrants. Father ran a coach service led by horses between the village and the railroad station in nearby Braddock. As an early teenager, Charlie drove the stage occasionally until he got a job in the next town working for a man named A.J. Spiegelmire, who owned a general store. The pay: $3 a week. For the next couple of years, the boy sold calico and dried apples. He was a good worker, even earned extra money giving piano lessons to local children, but the job bored him." (NYSocialDiary)


"The Architectural Digest AD100 party used to be dubbed 'the shark tank' by some designers for the ferocious competition in the room. But at this year’s bash Monday at the Four Seasons, the professionals kept it cordial and no one was tossed into the restaurant’s pool. The magazine selects the top designers and architects for the biennial list, which this year includes Bunny Williams, Michael Smith, David Easton, Richard Meier and Peter Marino. Those celebrating the honorees included Alan Cumming, Amy Fine Collins, Aerin Lauder, Martha Stewart, Robert A.M. Stern and Hunt Slonem. Mario Buatta, who has been on the list every year since 1990, was one of the last to leave the bash." (PageSix)


"While introducing Martin Scorsese’s much-anticipated 'The Wolf of Wall Street' to a starry crowd, Brad Grey referred to the debauchery in the opening scenes (which include Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort, snorting cocaine off a prostitute’s posterior), saying, to laughs, 'Remember, Marty almost became a priest.' Paramount president/CEO Grey hosted a friends-and-family screening of the movie, which premieres Dec. 25. Among those getting a first look at the film on Monday night and then celebrating at ‘21’ were Viacom chief Philippe Dauman, Keanu Reeves, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Lorne Michaels, Katie Couric, Kyra Sedgwick, Olivier Theyskens, Grace Hightower, Michael Moore, Josh Hutcherson, 50 Cent, Jemima Kirke, John Leguizamo, Natasha Lyonne, Gretchen Mol, Emily Mortimer and NY Jet Mark Sanchez. Scorsese, who, in fact, did want to become a priest before pursuing film, had a private moment with DiCaprio earlier at ‘21’ in the Remington Room." (PageSix)


"Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan has confirmed reports that he was once an Israeli spy and arms dealer. Milchan — whose credits include 'Pretty Woman,' '12 Years a Slave' and Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming 'Noah' — told 'Uvda,' an Israeli TV show: 'Do you know what it’s like to be a 20-something-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting.' The 68-year-old once worked for spy agency Lekem — also known as his country’s now-defunct Bureau of Scientific Relations — in the 1960s to secretly cultivate Israel’s nuclear arms program. 'When I came to Hollywood, I detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what I really wanted — filmmaking,' Milchan added. 'But sometimes it gets mixed up.' He asserted, 'I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it.' His long-rumored spy background was detailed in a 2011 book, 'Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan.'” (PageSix)

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