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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Members of the Facebook generation are no strangers to the sensation of feeling a little left out when their friends post from that book party they weren’t invited to, or from someone’s latest transporting trip to the white sands of Tulum. Yet even for those familiar with the concept of social-media envy, Instagram — the highest achievement yet in social-media voyeurism — presents a new form of torture.  On Instagram, there is none of the familiar messiness of Facebook (which bought Instagram last year for about $1 billion) or Twitter, where the torrent of wish-you-were-here-but-not-really posts are lost in a clutter of birthday wishes to Aunt Candace, one-liners about airline food and links to the latest Onion headline or New Republic deconstruction of Obamacare. Instagram, rather, is about unadulterated voyeurism. It is almost entirely a photo site, with a built-in ability (through the site’s retro-style filters) to idealize every moment, encouraging users to create art-directed magazine layouts of their lives, as if everyone is suddenly Diana Vreeland. Mayoli Weidelich, 24, an Internet marketing manager and blogger in Toronto, said she once spent 10 minutes with a friend composing a picture of a margarita glass over a plate of tacos at a Mexican restaurant. The intention was not to show off, Ms. Weidelich said. She was simply following an unspoken rule adopted by Instagram users to avoid populating feeds with unedited, mediocre images. 'My Facebook feed is full of mostly opinionated rants and articles links, neither of which cause any jealousy,' Ms. Weidelich said. 'My Instagram feed, in comparison, is one amazing photo after another.'  Viewers, meanwhile, are expected to let the sumptuous photos wash over them and chip in with comments ('Gorgeous sunset!') and heart-shape 'likes,' which function as a form of social currency, reinforcing the idea that every shot is a performance worthy of applause. The result is an online culture where the ethic is impress, rather than confess. It is as if every last image is designed to call to mind Norman Mailer’s book title, 'Advertisements for Myself.'"  (Alex Williams)


"'The Rich Kids of Instagram' are getting a show on E! documenting their champagne and caviar-filled lives as the network looks to move on from the Kardashians — and it will star Magic Johnson’s flamboyant son E.J. Johnson. E! in January will debut '#Rich Kids of Beverly Hills,' which will follow five filthy rich Los Angeles 20-somethings featured on the popular Tumblr feed #richkidsofinstagram — a collection of Instagram photos featuring the young 1 percenters posing with their expensive cars, boats, clothes, food and drink. While E! insists the show and the blog are not connected, the characters include Dorothy Wang, 25, a self-described 'funemployed' daughter of Beverly Hills business mogul Roger Wang, the billionaire CEO of Golden Eagle International Group; blogger Morgan Stewart, an attractive blonde 'socialite' who runs a site, the charmingly called ­boobsandloubs.com; Stewart’s boyfriend, real estate executive and scion Brendan Fitzpatrick; interior designer Roxie Sowlaty; and singer Jonny Drubel. Openly gay Johnson will make numerous appearances with his friends, although it isn’t clear if his famous dad will be shown.
During the season, viewers will see Dorothy drop $3.5 million on an apartment for herself in the Century, the building where Candy Spelling lives, and Sowlaty go on a half-million dollar shopping spree for furniture. The group will also vacation to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on a private jet to celebrate Brendan and Morgan’s anniversary. TV insiders are already suggesting 'Rich Kids' is being lined up as a successor to E!’s 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' franchise." (PageSix)


"Democratic lawmakers say staff changes at the White House are long overdue after the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act put them at risk of losing Senate control. A chief criticism among Senate Democrats is that President Obama and senior officials have not done enough to reach out and communicate with allies on the Hill.The paralyzing technical glitches of HealthCare.gov, the federal portal for the new health insurance exchanges, caught lawmakers by surprise and left them scrambling in response to angry constituents. Even before the debacle of the healthcare rollout, Democratic senators felt Obama did not call them enough and sometimes had a tenuous grasp of political realities in Congress. he president nearly suffered a humiliating defeat on the use-of-force resolution he asked the Senate to pass in September before Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly brokered a deal to neutralize Syria’s chemical weapon’s stockpile. The president appeared out of step with the Senate Democratic caucus during the episode. 'was long overdue,'Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said of recent staff changes at the White House. Rockefeller said that Democratic senators did not explicitly call for staff changes during a heated meeting with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, but made it clear they wanted him to shake things up. 'We said everything but that,'he said.Obama has made three key moves to beef up his team in recent days.He recruited former White House chief of staff John Podesta, who served in the Clinton administration, to work on energy and climate issues; he brought back Phil Schiliro, his former legislative director, to coordinate the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; and he tapped Katie Beirne Fallon to replace Miguel Rodriguez as director of legislative affairs. " (Alexander Bolton)


"I have to confess that the idea of traveling to Brooklyn from Manhattan has always sent me into a panic. When I have found the courage to actually make the journey I usually have to print out a Google Map direction search as my security blanket for the trip. Despite my irrational Brooklyn-phobia, last Saturday night the magnetic pull to that other borough was too great to resist as food historian Carolin C. Young was throwing a dinner in honor of fashion historian Becky E. Conekin’s new book 'Lee Miller in Fashion.' Lee Miller is one of those legendary figures of the 20th century whom the world seems never to get enough of. Carolin’s invite featured a color photograph taken by journalist Henry McNulty from the weekend of July 9, 1966 when Lee Miller, hosted a weekend for friends at Farley Farm — the property in East Sussex she shared with her second husband Sir Roland Penrose, the great English artist and writer. Penrose is remembered today mostly as one of the 20th Century’s great art promoters and collectors who was instrumental in founding the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in London. I first met Carolin during the 1990s when she was still living in New York. She moved to Europe soon after the publication in 2002 of her imaginative book Apples of Gold in Setting of Silver that told the stories of twelve legendary dinner parties throughout history. Today she divides her time between London and Paris where she teaches and organizes food-oriented tours as well acting as a contributing editor to The Magazine Antiques and Zester Daily. Carolin also finds time to translate and blog about the world’s first food magazine, the Almanach des gourmands. She is currently working on a book that will be a major study of the history of Parisian gastronomy. The setting for Carolin’s party last week was the townhouse of her mother Linda Graves Young in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn." (NYSocialDiary)


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