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Monday, June 08, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





"Power; or Having It Your Way. The conversation du jour has been about Caitlyn Jenner and about Park Avenue Primates author Wednesday Martin. One has been stripped of gender and the other stripped of all privacy. Or is it primacy. The Jenner story had been on the shelf awaiting attention for quite sometime. Blair Sabol told me a couple of years ago that he was going to do this. That initially came as a shock. I met him a couple of times out there, just in passing, at the house of mutual friends. My only impression of him was that he was such a guy's guy, that All-American surfer macho. Arnold was a good chum. So the switch from him to her, was hard to imagine. How Blair knew back then, I don’t know but her “asides” are often right on the money. When asked what she thought about it, she said forthrightly that it was his way of taking back the fame and fortune that the Kardashians gained while he had been firstly the famous stepfather, now leaving him in the shadows. That sounded a little extreme, a far-out idea, to me. Radical at least. Although I lived in Hollywood where the only real (and imagined) heaven is Stardom.Now that it’s “over and done,” so to speak, it’s beginning to look like Blair was right. She’d also mentioned how he was going to draw this one out publicity-wise and get headlines and major interviews and god-know-what-else deals. And so it would seem. However, how would I know what motivates another? Bruce Jenner was always very talented at maintaining the strong public image that he acquired in his youth. It’s been his bread and butter all his life. There have been many other shiny Gold Medalists who did not extend their celebrity for decades via Hollywood. Jenner’s success in marketing himself is not just another pretty face with necklace of Olympic gold; it is pure show business shrewdness. And now she can be, and no doubt will be, just as shrewd, if not shrewder. Her fame in the world will now be on another level of interest, besides the transgender issue. She maybe up there with the American sailor George Jorgensen who was the first, who came back from Denmark in 1951 as Christine Jorgensen."  (NYSD)





Sylvia Chase at Michael's.


"Last Thursday Paige Peterson invited me to a lunch at Michael’s that she was giving for her friend Sylvia Chase who is a neighbor of Paige’s in Belvedere. I knew none of this until I looked it up. Belvedere means beautiful view. Wikipedia tells me that it is a small, very affluent city on two islands in Marin County, located a mile and a half from Sausalito. Judging from the photos on Google and knowing California as I do, I would agree, it is belvedere. I mention that little detail, aside from just having acquired it, because at this lunch I was seated on the right of the guest of honor, a serene, yet immediate woman with a youthful energy that always reminds me of California life. Sunny and smart. It is so prominent an image that it could almost obfuscate the woman’s professional career which was noteworthy as one of the original, and longtime, anchors, correspondents and producers on network television and most notably on the ABC News show 20/20. Sylvia, who is retired and now living in her home town of Belvedere – although she lived here in New York for years – was in New York to attend a reunion of 20/20-the-first-ten-years, a celebration at Columbia University.  The first presentation of this 37 year old ABC News program occurred in the summer of 1978. During those years, Sylvia said, 'we were all tummeling and churning and just trying to get an hour of news on the air on time every week.' Around that time, the late Roone Arledge, had been named president of not only Sports, but also News and he was intent on making ABC, ranked third back then in news programs, the winner that it became. Sylvia said that 'Roone's fearless, competitive and controversial emphasis in news gave ABC a hipper, raw edge and 20/20 in those first years was a little like a bomber fleet softening up the competition;' that it made for round-the-clock writing and editing, a crazy kind of work atmosphere and a band of co-conspirators who couldn't wait to see each other last Saturday at the 20/20 reunion at Columbia. That’s the background I got from Paige before the lunch since I did not know Sylvia, nor had I heard of her. As it turned out, besides myself, I knew only four of the 12 guests – Liz Smith, Nancy Collins, Cynthia McFadden and our hostess. The other five whom I didn’t know were all very important, longtime contributors to the ABC News show 20/20." (NYSD)

Sunday Story ~ June 7, 2015
Christina Oxenberg

""Collecting her possessions she hustled downstairs and into a cab. A short ride and she was out of the cab and bustling up a fresh flight of stairs. She barely looked at the new home. Besides, daylight was fading, so she tucked into bed. She'd unpack tomorrow. She awoke to see it was still twilight. She had an urge to go out. She exited her her front door and she was in a courtyard, next to a tall gate. She did not remember the gate. After locking the door she started across the courtyard. But she heard a noise behind her and spun around. A man in a military uniform was holding a machine gun. The last bolts of sun made her invisible, it appeared, because he looked right through her. Following a path she passed statues, she entered follies. The park was of gigantic trees of varying blues and greens. 'Ouch!' Something had bit her ankle, leaving teeth marks and a rivulet of blood. Up an incline she found a circular room of stone with wide spaces from which to see views of forested hills. On a table stood a single champagne flute. She sat and sipped the sweet bubbles and slowly her eyes focused on a huge building of columns and arches and a tiled roof, all of it ending faraway in a chapel, topped by a gold cross. All around were white roses. Dusk had encroached. Then a thrashing sound splintered her tranquility. It was the man with the gun. 'Who are you?' he demanded, pointing the barrel of the gun at her. 'I live here,' she replied, uneasily. She saw him sliding his index finger around the trigger. She immediately replaced the champagne flute. Except, it was too late. She saw the trigger pressed. She felt the shattering bullet. 'Why?' she whispered, slumping, grasping for her chest, inching fingers into oozing warm blood. She sagged further. With sheer will she forced her body upright." (Christina Oxenberg)

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