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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres








"When President Obama announced that the anti-Islamic State coalition had carried out airstrikes in Syria on Tuesday morning, he was quick to emphasize that the support of five Arab nations 'makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.' Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar participated inor, in the latter case, at least supportedthe U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. For Obama, participation from Arab allies was a necessity. This would not be another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, but a cooperative, multilateral effort against a regional terror threat. But what do the Arab nations get out of it? For starters, each nation is domestically vulnerable to terrorist attacks, has a deep-rooted fear of a geopolitical situation favorable to Iran, and a longstanding policy of adhering to the U.S. foreign policy agenda in exchange for weapons and military protection. But there are differences, too. Here's a guide to the maze of motivations." (TNR)

















"This is also a week of notable protest demonstrations in the city  for the Climate Change including Sunday’s march and Monday’s gathering at the foot of Manhattan. There was also a protest by several hundred people over at Lincoln Center last night where the Metropolitan Opera was opening its season with 'Le Nozze di Figaro.' The protesters were calling for the opera company to cancel its scheduled performance of John Adams’ 'The Death of Klinghoffer.' The opera is about the hijacking in 1985 of a cruise ship by the Palestine Liberation Front which in the hijackers murdered Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled Jewish-American passenger. The opera, which was completed in 1991, would be having its Met premiere this October. Rockefellers. I was asked to read this book by a publicist: 'Being a Rockefeller; Becoming Myself' by Eileen Rockefeller, the youngest child of David. I'd never read an account of any family members except the founder and his son. The Rockefeller family is interesting to me as a family because they continue to represent ultimate money and power in not only the United States but the entire world in the human era of fossil fuel energy. I’ve met and known some members of its 4th generation who are referred to as The Cousins. They’re mainly the Boomer generation. They’re very nice people, decent, unaffected, friendly and uncontroversial personalities. Their personal style is mainly conservative. I don’t mean that in the political sense but in terms of conduct among others. They are not people who draw attention to themselves. There’s no 'lookee here, lookee me' about any of them. This is my personal, superficial (or at least not deep) experience of family members. They’re generally WASPish in the the best and most authentic sense of the term. The values they reflect are textbook and what I grew up around in New England. They are the genesis of that over-used politically correct term 'family values.' And many of them are highly philanthropic and forward-leaning. My sense of the family has been formed mainly through those I’ve met and observed, and what I’ve read about their fathers, their grandfather and grandmother, and their great-grandfather who started it all. What is most curious to me is what is the dynamic that has flourished through the generations to keep them together. It’s an enormous family now, six generations later, but still in many ways a unit. And that is an amazing fact. Eileen Rockefeller’s memoir – which is very personal– confirms that in her stories about growing up. Despite the luxury of their surroundings and the special treatment that  the name evokes in others, they remain pleasant, unassuming, yet self-possessed individuals." (NYSD)

















Scorsese’s latest doc is on New York Review of Books


"As the New York Review of Books approached its 50th anniversary in 2013, editor Robert Silvers and his staff wondered if words were enough to honor one of the world’s signature literary publications. 'Should we do anything at all, rumble along in our usual way, or should we make an occasion out of it?' the 87-year-old Silvers recalled during a recent interview at the Review’s offices in Greenwich Village, bookcases unavoidably nearby. 'We thought we should do something that was good for us and good for our readers. We thought — maybe a documentary.' They agreed on the ideal director: Martin Scorsese. 'The 50 Year Argument,' which airs Monday on HBO, mixes archival footage with contemporary interviews, scenes from the Review’s office and highlights from an anniversary celebration at Town Hall in Manhattan in 2013. The film is co-directed by Scorsese and David Tedeschi, who edited Scorsese’s documentaries on Bob Dylan and George Harrison. Scorsese, interviewed by telephone, said he has been reading the Review for decades and has piles of old issues around his apartment to prove it. His affection dates back to the magazine’s beginning, when he was a student at New York University and spotted the Review at a favorite newsstand. 'My family wasn’t in the habit of reading — there were no books in our apartment — so this was a period of really challenging everything that I had thought and I had believed,' said Scorsese, adding that the Review’s broadsheet design stood out compared with such rival publications as The New Yorker and Dissent.
'The paper itself made you want to read it, the actual texture. It wasn’t intimidating — until you read some of the articles.'" (P6)










Click to order “Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.”


"Last night I went down to the Four Seasons restaurant where Jeanne and Herb Siegel were hosting a reception for Steve Forbes and his new book 'Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.' Mr. Forbes wrote the book with Elizabeth Ames. Most of us have no idea what that means “destruction of the dollar,” and it is something that everyone should know about because it is upon us. I don’t even know what that means as I say it, except it means something very dire in our everyday lives. So Mr. Forbes’ book is a start, if you don’t know. It should be said that this is a widely discussed and debated topic among those who are in the financial business or have vivid interest in the markets and the economy of this country. That said, the party last night was called for 6. At 7:15 Mr. Forbes hadn’t arrived. I understood: it took me 45 minutes in what ordinarily would have been a ten or fifteen minute ride, because of the traffic jams in the East 50s. And it was rush hour. I finally got out of my cab and walked the several blocks to the restaurant. There were a lot of people who were late or hadn’t arrived. Out on East 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue it was a jam of people, motorcycle policemen, buses and teeming civilization." (NYSD)

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