Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Republican Whack Ass Shit

I've been fascinated by the Village Voice's RNC blog, especially the one with the waitress at a strip club analyzing the Republicans that come in, summing up the whole scene. In today's entry she writes:

"... the straw hat contingent of the club was partying away. There was not a still dancer in the place?and not a hint of shame, either. I remembered reading that the Boston strip clubs had sat empty throughout the Democratic National Convention?not because the Dems are more virtuous, I think, but because they can't afford the political risk.

"The Republicans, meanwhile, seem to believe they're invincible. When I asked one table of guys whether they were coming from the party for delegates, one said, 'No, we would never do that.' He looked at his friends and laughed. 'Yeah. But hey, don't tell anyone, OK?' His voice seemed devoid of anxiety.

"As I was leaving the club tonight, I saw Mr. Pioneer's stripper. 'Hey, did you do all right?' I asked.

"She shook her head. 'It took so long to get him in there, and then when I got him in he tried to do all this whack-ass shit to me.'

"I wish I could reveal what exactly 'whack-ass shit' entails, but strip-club etiquette is to not ask.

"On balance, I have no complaint with Mr. Pioneer. He told me he knew how hard my job was and left me a 35 percent tip. Appropriate, really, because Tuesday's convention theme is the compassion of the American people."

I could totally understand if these guys were Libertarian, or even Page Six Republicans, as there is no hypocricy there, but don't you know that these assholes trying to do "whack as things" to a stripper are the type that legislate extreme family values back home in bumfuck?

Anyhoo: Here are our guesses as to what precisely "whack ass shit" entails:

some comp-ASS-ionate conservatism, you know what that is
An Orgy, also known as "the Majority Party"
A Golden Shower, also known as the GOPee
"The Axis of Evil," also known as a Dirty Sanchez
"Regime Change," also known as an Angry Dragon
"No Child's Left Behind," is, uhm, too graphic to be discussed here
preemptive Strike, untilateral "action"

(yeah, you guessed it. slow week. everyone is on vacation except me)

A Little of the Old In and Out

NEW: From the LA.com blog:

"One of movies� better-known stars uses his celeb power in quite unusual and idiosyncratic ways, even for Hollywood. Insiders know that when it comes to casting women in his projects, he insists on taking a very active--some might even say hands-on--role. Careful observers might have noticed that many of the projects include at least one or two scenes starring a very hot woman who just happens to be barefoot. That�s because he absolutely insists on such scenes, the better to subtly satisfy his funky foot fetish, a predilection on which, offscreen, he spends a fortune paying hookers to play footsie all over him, with and without shoes."

Hmm. This sounds like a director whose name rhymes with Parantino.

In: Bad Protests. Logan Hill on the New York Magazine Blog fills us in on yesterday's little protest that couldn't, and why you should never trust a lazy ass musician to perform at a charity fund-raiser for free:

"Earlier this week, Russell Simmons pulled out of today's Still We Rise march. Organizers had expected that Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, the Beastie Boys, and others might show up. Instead, the artists slept off their hangovers after the MTV Music Awards--but all was not lost! Appropriately enough, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra rocked the crowd with a brass-band version of Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love.' Over, and over again."

Nothing like a Jay-Z song on the trombone.

Out: Republican Parties. So not Hott. Apparently when sub/slave-Republican blonde Bo Derek isn't reminding members of the press that she is an honorary Green Beret, cutie pie Libby Pataki is out-and-about interviewing the high rollers, ultrasleazy Grover Norquist and his Palestinian fiance at the Americans for Tax Reform party at the Midtown Yacht Club, young GOP men are sitting at the cash bar pining for a number on the Bush Twins dance card, and, at Crobar, the Republicans are listening to hillbilly "rockers" Lynrd Skynyrd croon, (Averted Gaze) "Sweet home, Alabama." (Were the Confederate flags flapping in the Knickerbocker breeze? Were the Good Ole Boys doing their halting "Rebel Yell"?)

Where are you at? You're at the Republican Convention Parties, that's where you are. And although, unlike Boston, the bars close at 4AM, that doesn't mean that said party is hott.

According to the Washington Post:

"'This is surreal,' remarked Erik Huey, 37, a lawyer-lobbyist from the D.C. firm Venable LLP, after the show. 'It's like a Skynyrd cover band. There's one VanZant and maybe a guitar tech from the 1975 tour.' But at least it was more authentic than two other bands slated to entertain Republicans this week: Kiss Nation, a tribute group, and Super Diamond, which pays homage to Neil Diamond."

Kiss Nation? WTF. Didn't they play in Bleeker Street bars for the Bridge and Tunnel crowd in the early 90s? Isn't that a band to entertain the Jersey boys? Geez. I guess they couldn't get the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In: Bill Maher Flubs his lines. So best. According to the LA.com blog:

"Opening night of 'Hollywood Hell House' this past Saturday had more goofs than spooks in its ironic, word-for-word production of the Evangelical Christian recruiting tool. The tour takes you through an eight-room haunted-house journey to hell, each room illustrating a different mortal sin. When the show finally got to Lucifer, played by Bill Maher, the less-than-intimidating Prince of Darkness didn't have his lines memorized. The lines were posted on the wall behind the audience and Maher had to tell someone to move out of the way so he could read them. The seemingly four-foot-nothing star had to stand on his throne in order to complete his speech, all the while laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Next time, Beelzebub, memorize your script--only God is all-knowing."

Out: "Washington is a Harsh Town," so said the quite-hott-for-an older-woman, Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain to Tina Brown on Topic A this past Sunday. In the interview, Mrs. McCain told of how she doesn't live in DC, but, rather, lives in her native Arizona, which explains something that I've always wondered about: How does a Maverick Senator's wife get invited to dinner parties in DC? The answer: she doesn't.

In: Best Dressed? British Vogue pronounces summary fashion judgment on Senator John Kerry:

"The results are in and it's official: Senator John Kerry is the best-dressed contender for President. At least Anna Wintour certainly thinks so. The British-born editor-in-chief of American Vogue described him as 'chic and unique' when he posed for the magazine last year and now a comrade has confirmed that the navy lieutenant's smart look is all down to the talents of British tailors. Kerry headed straight to Savile Row for his white dress uniform, while his shoes are all by Lobb of St James's."

But what about his hair?

Out: Did Sharon Stone Get a Facelift? There's lots of buzz going on at Flyonthewall about this:

"'Ohmygod, can you say facelift?' Fly's lady friend said over breakfast this morning, shoving this picture of Sharon Stone in a glitzy new magazine under my nose. 'She looks okay to me,' I reply.

"'Look at the whole upper half of her face. Nothing is moving! I've seen concrete with more flexibility than that. If she's smiling that much, her eyes should be wrinkling up more. But if she's had plastic surgery, that explains why nothing moved up there.'

"So I look a little closer. On second examination, I notice Ms. Stone does look a wee bit rigid and wrinkle-free on the upper half of her dome. After all, she's forty-six. It's not inconceivable she would've had 'some work done,' as we say in Tinseltown. So I told my lady friend I'd post the picture on my blog and take a little public poll. What do you think? Has Sharon had a facial rehab or is she 100 percent for real?"

In: Who's the Cracktress? Anonymous Outsider may have solved the mystery of the Page Six Blind item about the trilogy actress who sucks on the glass dick, thus vindicating Parker Posey:

" ... that the guy who named Natasha Lyonne as the pipe hitting culprit was on the money. The latter was in both America Pie 1, and its sequel (American Pie is a trilogy with American Wedding). A trustworthy female friend gave us the following account:

"'(This last) Friday night, at 2 am, me and L-- saw Natasha Lyonne and a friend in front of a deli on 28th and 3rd. She looked so bad, L-- was actually scared enough of her that she wouldn't go into the deli when they went in there, even though she needed to buy cigarettes, 'that bitch is super cracked-out, I'm not going in there.' And she was definitely tweaking or something, she was wearing sunglasses and screaming at her friend, waving her arm wildly, yelling, 'that's what fucking cell phones are for!' Finally her friend left to do whatever (Natasha) had wanted her to do and (Natasha) was still standing outside the deli when I left."

Out: The Simple Life, RIP. You can start playing TAPS, because I don't think we'll be playing our little pop-culture The Simple Life Drinking Games (TM) any time soon. According to the Daily Dish:

"Hotel heiress Paris Hilton threw a tantrum when TV chiefs tried to persuade her to sign on for another series of hit reality show 'The Simple Life.'

"The sexy socialite vowed earlier this year not to work on a third series of the smash television program after falling out with fellow rich girl Nicole Richie.

"And, when show executives offered her a basketful of gifts in a bid to change her mind, Hilton threw it back at a terrified producer, shouting, 'I'll never do another series of that show.'

"One astonished observer says, 'She was screaming and bellowing things like, I don't need you, and I'm a big star and I don't need your [bleep] gifts.

"Paris hit them with one parting shot saying, 'I'll also be getting enough money to buy the whole [bleeping] lot of you.' Then she stormed out.

"They're desperate to bring Paris and Nicole back. But it now looks like they've got as much chance of achieving that as Paris has of winning a Nobel Peace Prize."

What's your opinion?

And, Major Dad has a cancerous growth on his lung!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Shrum Versus Rove In the Hour of the Wolf


Now is the pregnant hush before the cacophanous beginning of the Republican Convention, after the protests, before McCain, and already we can plot the trajectory of events, anticipate the blizzards of buzz. Frequent mention has already been made about the sheer multitude of Moderates on display this week, while, in the shadows, out of view, The Council for National Policy maps out a more conservative strategy -- to compliment the already conservative platform-- on how to kick Democrat ass.

Tina Brown has, in the past, made an interesting comment about the differences between what she characterizes as the "Daddy Party," i.e. the Republicans, with their emphasis on competition, loyalty, a strong military, fiscal competence and the acquisition of wealth, over and against the "Mommy Party" -- i.e. the Democrats -- emphasizing nuance and sophistication, the feminine wiles, the caring of children and the elderly, education, environment and drug prices, as main concerns.

It is precisely this emphasis on nuance that Karl Rove is playing upon brilliantly to pick apart John Kerry at will -- what, with Kerry's "French" sense of diplomacy, which, as an unintended consequence, not only makes the Brahmin appear to be unsure of his identity, unsure of his masculinity, but also -- fatally -- makes him appear to be a thing of clay which can be molded into whatever the GOP wants him to be.

What John Kerry calls nuance, the GOP makes to appear to be prevaricating, hence the flip-flops. Of course, in the sophisticated precincts such Gramercy Park, Burning Man, Embassy Row in DC, among the ethnic restaurants in Austin, on the slopes in Aspen, with the environmentalists in Portland, and noshing at the Ivy in Hollywood, where everyone accepts the philosophical contingency of existence as common as Zinfandel with dinner, private nursury schools on the Upper West Side of New York, and Charlie Rose before-one-goes-to-bed.

But in the rest of the country, you know, those other unmentionable regions where people have never heard of The Observer and have never eaten arugula, and don't even -- quelle horreur! -- have a good organic grocery store or Farmer's Market in their vicinity -- the very idea of the contingency of human existence is regarded as a negative force unleashed by the 60s counterculture, a nihilism that would render the very social fabric of their reality -- a reality that values (yes, they actually believe in such quaint concepts as values) "heritage," tradition, the possibility of absolute truths such as Beauty and Knowledge (even -- gasp -- the possibility of an Eternal Life, however primitive, what with their "Mr. God," with white bears and tinkly Santa Clause eyes) to be wholly irrelevant. And that scares them, that scares them enough to vote for Bush.

I was especially struck by it yesterday when I saw how effectively George Bush spoke in West Virginia Steel Country. How does someone with such a silver spoon in his family tree pull that little fiasco off? He hit the perfect pitch, even throwing off lines that resonated "hilbilly." George Bush finally found his crowd. Years of talking to the unwashed masses at baseball games? Is that how he knows what they need to hear? It's spooky.

The Democrats will have to learn, once and for all time, that appearing to be on all sides of an issue, the natural state of the liberal -- a la Al Gore, the Way of the Liberal Ironist -- will not win Swing State votes if one does not take the initiative and escape the elitist confines of that whole vocabulary ("The L Word") so ably used by Bush the Elder against that other boring Massachusetts liberal, Michael Dukakis.

Say what you will about Howard Dean ("yeeea-argh!"), but you knew that he was a man of consequence who knew himself and where he stood on any issue. He would probably have been more formidable against Bush (the whole kooky thing was exaggerated, an MD can overcome such a stigma, especially in a one-on-one debate) There was no ambiguity about Dean. Dean would have been immune to a "flip-flop" charge.

Not so with Kerry.

Dick Morris brilliantly highlights Kerry's weakness in his column:

"Bush should also use the convention to fill in the blanks left in the Kerry senatorial record by the extraordinary oversight by the Democratic candidate. Let the media debate what Kerry did when he was in his early 20s. Voters care about what he did as senator. What is the Kerry Bill? What was the famous Kerry Amendment? About what were the Kerry Hearings? What famous speech did Kerry deliver on the Senate floor? None. His totally undistinguished record and his liberal votes need to be fodder for Republican orators during the convention proceedings.

"One would have thought that Kerry would have elaborated his Senate record in his speech. But, by failing to do so, he has left a gaping hole for the Bush campaign to exploit. Normally, negatives don?t work at a convention. But, in this case, the total absence of any positive residue from the Kerry speech leaves him open to let Bush paint in the details of his Senate career."

Bush will be sold as a Harry Trumanesque figure, at the end of a convention, resolute, the last man in the arena after the moderates have appealed to the single women and suburban moms and Swing State centrists. And, already, anticipating this Truman characterization, Senator John Edwards is asking Bush to take responsibility for the mishandling of the war -- this will be repeated all this week -- to make "the buck stop here."

Bush's primary weakness is that his political maneuvers are unintentionally responding to every mistake of his father, George Bush the Elder, a decade earlier; it's as if he were caught in some psychic continuum against the ruins of the past. Note the 2004 Convention, brimming moderates, a stunning contrast to his father's '92 Convention catered to the too far right, with Pat Buchanan and Marilyn Quayle tossing vinegar, turning off women voters; note the decision at the outset to cut taxes, in stunning contrast to Bush the Elder's reneging on his "No New Taxes" pledge, and, of course, the coup de grace, note the decision to finish off the war his fathers administration began ...

One wonders how devastating a blow to Bush's psyche the loss of his father in '92 must have been if, all these years later, his psyche is still governed almost entirely by making amends, restoring family honor -- ahh, but then, such are the mysteries between fathers and sons.

But this very fact, this psychological compulsion on the part of Bush the Younger, makes him predictable even, and allows Shrum, if he has indeed the political wit, to discern the patterns of his pathology and devise a trap, best unleashed in the heat of debates, delivered with said "nuance."

And Bush's best bet is to hammer Kerry on that "nuance," painting him as something French, sophisticated, and alien to the American shores. The swing staters and the industrial belt will favor a man who speaks his mind, in the tradition of Lincoln and Daniel Boone.

There is a reason why a nuanced aristocrat like Adlai Stevenson was never elected President.
GOP Targets Soros, Bing, Lewis


On Chris Matthews' Sunday gabfest, on the "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment, Newsweek's Chief Political Correspondent, Howard Fineman -- yes, that geek who escorted the pouty Meg Ryan to the White House Correspondents Dinner -- cryptically noted that the Republicans operatives would soon start attacking Democrat 527 moneybags contributors -- specifically mentioning by name George Soros, Steven Bing and Peter Lewis as shady characters who get their money from unseemly sources. They are, incidentally, the top 3 contributors to 527s -- Democrat or Republican.

This monumental shift may already be beginning as Lloyd Grove writes today:

"LOOSE-TONGUED SPEAKER? Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - having already enraged some New Yorkers with his remarks about local office-holders' 'unseemly scramble' for federal money after 9/11 - yesterday opened a second front. On 'Fox News Sunday,' the Illinois Republican insinuated that billionaire financier George Soros, who's funding an independent media campaign to dislodge President Bush, is getting his big bucks from shady sources. 'You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where - if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from,' Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: 'Excuse me?'

"The Speaker went on: 'Well, that's what he's been for a number years - George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there.' Wallace: 'You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?' Hastert: 'I'm saying I don't know where groups - could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know.'"

Don't stand too close to Soros, Bing or Lewis at the cocktail parties, folks, because a shitstorm is headed their way ...

to be continued
Bodyguard: Russell Crowe Didn't Bite My Ear ... He Took a Nip at my Chest


Aussie Oscar winner and anger managagement issues poster boy Russell Crowe denied he pulled a Tyson recently, gnawing on his trainer-bodyguard Mark "Spud" Carroll's ear.

His trainer says no -- emphatically! -- to the Melbourne Sunday Herald. Crowe most certainly did not bite his ear ... he did, however, "take a nip at my chest." (Averted Gaze)

Then again, that's mitigated by the fact that Spud was trying to "smother" Russell Crowe. Just some Aussie horseplay, you see: it's all good; a misunderstanding.

Read on, as Spud explains in an "editorial":

"RUSSELL Crowe did not bite my ear. That never happened, simple as that. He did take a nip at my chest - I was trying to smother him at the time, so I can understand the move.You would have laughed. He's not a big bloke and he certainly isn't strong in a weight-lifting sense, but you don't want to let him get a measure on you from the outside because he's too quick.

"'Best to keep him close, but that also has it's drawbacks because it's like trying to hug a p.....-off pit bull.

"'I'm a very competitive person and so is he - that is why we are friends. As for calling it a fight, believe me, we have done much more damage to each other playing touch footy.'"

Crikey! "Touch footy" notwithstanding, Australians are a strange people. Some say that because many Aussies are descendants from a 19th century British prison colony, that explains their love of "extreme" roughousing. You know the one who I'm talking about.

Hello! Magazine chimes in:

"'Spud and I had a push around after work on a Friday night,' confirmed the Gladiator star. Russell, who is currently working on the boxing flick The Cinderella Man, was chatting with a female extra when the incident took place. Apparently Mr Carroll's suggestion that people might get the wrong impression rather upset the actor.

"'The misunderstanding arose when Spud came over to tell me what he thought other people in the room might have been thinking of my conversation,' revealed Russell. 'I thought he was accusing me specifically of something and I took offence to it.

"'It doesn't surprise me that I'm overly sensitive to gossip and speculation and heartily sick of other people's perceptions. Spud was passing on other people's perceptions and I shot the messenger. Luckily for me, the sequences we were shooting required me to wear heavy post boxing make-up, so you couldn't tell.'"

"All was forgiven the next day when the two 'called each other a few ripe names, had a hug and got on with the job'."

What are a few ripe names between mates?

To recap: If upon a winter's night a traveler finds himself being "smothered" after a "push around," it would not be bad form for the traveler to "take a nip" out of the aggressor's chest.

Just so you know.

In lighter entertainment themed news, according to fashionweekdaily:

"Sarah Jessica Parker is expected to co-host the Bottega Veneta store opening cocktail party with Mikhail Baryshnikov benefiting the Baryshnikov Arts Center."
A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Pataki Versus Hillary?! So, there we were, yesterday morning, sipping our Kenyan blend coffee, humming Monteverdi -- as we are wont to do on a Sunday morning when the air appears charged with Western religiosity, or, at the very least, politics -- which is close; watching the dark-eyed George Stephanopoulos interviewing Hillary Clinton, flush and rosily complected in the fullness of her Senatorial power yesterday, which is, to be frank, a surreal experience to say the least. A lot of shit has gone down between these two over the years. And yet, for the sake of The Great Game of Politics, the journalist and the Senator put aside the love and the hate they once shared to inform the junkies who wake up at 9AM for a politics fix.

At least in theory.

(The Corsair sips richly from a glass of Baron Philippe de Rothschild-Mouton Cadet)

Watching an interview between these is like observing the proceedings between a cunning cobra try to enchant a hungry little mongoose. We'll let you draw your own conclusions as to which one is which animal, as I have all the confidence in the world that we are on the same wavelength on this (The Corsair winks), and you can decipher my hidden meanings.

Anyhoo: Stephanopoulos made a curious comment towards the end -- sharp -- proffers up, with a beatific smile, a tiny bit of vinegar, namely, he said that there is "some talk about Governor Pataki running against you."


For a brief moment in time, Hillary looked like her blood froze to ice in her veins and someone, Stephanopoulos, had knocked the wind from her mighty sails. She stared. A beat. George sat smiling, drinking in the political theater.

Then, as always, Hillary regained her frosty Scorpionic demeanor and riffed her pat answer about how she "tries not to think about that (stuff)."

Why Pataki? According to the Republican paper of record, The New York Post, the Pataki-Giuliani race is still undecided; Fred Dicker notes that Georgette Mosbacher, the Diva of New York Republican cash, has not picked her pony in the race.

"'Is there a favorite right now between the two of them? It's hard to say, but we'll have a better sense when the week is over,' said state Republican National Committeewoman Georgette Mosbacher."

And when the scarlet tressed Mosbacher speaks (The Corsair crosses himself), shark-eyed Wall Street investment bankers bend their knees, scuffing up their power suits, giving rightful worship and praise a la Medieval Quest Knights to their Pure Ladies. Such is the walnut paneled cognac and cigar smelling back room politicking in Albany. Mosbacher guards the GOP coffers in the Investment Banker capitol of the world like a massive Valkyrie lording over fallen heroes on a Norse battlefield, which, considering the complexions involved, is not a metaphor far flung.

The one-who-gives-the-best-speech-at-the-convention competition will get the Wall Street moolah for 2008, as well it should, but not before. Of course, who can deny that Giuliani, already being hailed a "Churchillian," he who will smother his speech with saucy 9/11 references, calling to attention his own heroic role, has already won that little tete a tete?

Pataki, an amiable, but incompetent Liberal Republican Governor with simple Hungarian roots, seems almost clumsy and uncomfortable in his own skin -- not yet ready to go "National," compared to, say, the oily, slithering serpentine Giuliani. A Hillary race would be entirely faught on star wattage as well as coalitions upstate, a race better suited to Pataki, a race almost the polar opposite of the upcoming NJ Governor's race, which will be based on what trenton reporters call P & E, or, rather, property Taxes and Ethics.

Does Stephanopouos know something that we, the political and pop culture junkies, don't? Has Pataki conceded that a future Presidential run as not to be in the cards? Has he set his guns smoking on Hillary? The political geek in me is salivating ... enquiring minds want to -- need to -- know.

Out: The Charmed Curse. According to that significant cultural artifact (okay, the other one), The National Enquirer, adorable dingbat Jessica Simpson is worried about the relationship curse on the Charmed set where Nick Lachey makes his WB debut in 2 weeks:

"Nick recently admitted he had a crush on Milano and admitted he told her on the set of 'Charmed' that he had a poster of her hanging in his locker. Milano, whose own marriage lasted less than a year, said the feeling was mutual. 'His eyes are like lavender. I can't even look at him when I'm working with him . . . he's hot.'

"No doubt Jessica found her comments less than charming.

"'Jessica -- who can be very superstitious -- told Nick that she had heard a rumor that there was a 'curse' on the relationships of the Charmed cast,' said an insider. 'She pointed out that former series star Shannen Doherty broke up with her husband Rick Salomon (of Paris Hilton sex tape fame).

"Rose McGowan split with fiance Marilyn Manson the same year she got the role as Paige Matthews on the show.

"'And former Charmed co-star, Nip/Tuck actor Julian McMahon, left his wife Brooke Burns and took up with Doherty!

"'When she brought all this up to Nick, he just laughed and told her that was a bunch of nonsense. But Jess is not so sure about that. I bet she knows her husband is an incorrigible flirt who seems to have sex on the brain all the time.

"'Jessica tried to talk Nick out of doing the WB series but he wouldn't hear of it. He's seemingly been unhappy with the way his career has gone since he teamed up with wife Jessica on Newlyweds. Nick sees this as his big break."

Possibly-maybe so does Alissa Milano?

This I swear ...

In: South Americans And the Ultra Rich. South Americans are the new black. According to the New York Post's resident cutie-pie, Elisa Lipsky-Karasz, Colombian's get all the heirs:

"Sorry girls ? anyone with hopes of becoming the next princess of Monaco might have to wait a while. Andrea Casiraghi, the heir to the throne and his mother's model looks, has been quietly dating Colombian hottie Tatiana Santo Domingo for months. She's a gorgeous member of the family that's been nicknamed 'the Kennedys of Colombia.'"

Then again, as Reuters reports, Brazilian "sporto's" get all the heiresses:

"Olympic horseman Alvaro Affonso de Miranda Neto, the Brazilian boyfriend of billionaire Athena Roussel, heiress of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, already feels married to the world's richest teenager.

"'I love her and my daughter more than anything. In the beginning I was a bit lost on how to react (to the press). But then I got used to my new life,' Affonso, known as Doda, told Greek Alpha TV (recently)."

Out: The Tink Stink. Whiffs of mystery and clouds of menace surround the strange disappearance of Paris Hilton's signature teacup Chihuahua, Tinkerbell. Where did Tink go? What did Tink do while on the lam? According to that significant cultural artifact, The Star:

"Speculation on the dog's disappearance has focused on two scenarios: one has sister Nicky letting the dog out of the house by accident; the other has Paris forgetting where she left the poor pooch, period!

"One source claims Tink disappeared when sister Nicky 'left the door open accidentally and the dog ran away.' But if Tink was in fact on the lam, how long would a pampered pooch last on Hollywood's mean (and busy) streets? Probably not long, says a staff member at a West Hollywood animal shelter. 'Someone would have to take it off the streets,' she said. 'There are so many cars out here, a small dog like that could easily be hit.'"

"The second account of Tink's disappearance is even stranger. A source close to sister Nicky insists Paris visited her grandfather William Barron Hilton's L.A. estate, left Tinkerbell there, went to Nicky's Aug. 15 Las Vegas wedding and then forgot about Tink! The source says Paris returned to her dog-less Hollywood home and freaked when Tink wasn't there."

And what not:

"... Star has requested any proof of Tinkerbell's whereabouts. 'There are no details other than that the dog was found,' is all the Hilton camp will say. Did Tink meet an untimely demise? Could Paris be planning to replace Tink with a look-alike? The latter is at least possible, according to the animal shelter staffer. 'Chihuahuas have their characteristics and personalities just like people,' says the staffer. 'But most of them do look alike.'

"So until proof of Tinkerbell's whereabouts and identity is provided, this case is not closed!"

Go, Star, fly with the wind; I bequeath to thee my full Encyclopedia Brown collection to help you in your investigation. (You just know Bugs Meany is behind this one)

In: Laura Branigan. That full voiced 80s pop diva Laura Branigan died of a brain aneurysm (Thanks to eagle-eyed Pop cultural maven Tom Biro at The Media Drop for the story).

The fact that she died of a brain aneurysm didn't stop the London Telegraph from this odd line featured in their obit:

"Yet Gloria was redeemed by Branigan's powerful delivery, and it found an audience in clubgoers who were hungry for high-energy (or, in the parlance of the day, Hi-NRG) tunes. The song had that happy knack of lodging unbidden in the brain, and soon there were few teenagers who could not hum it."

"Lodging unbidden in the brain"? Yuck! I'll chalk it all up to being August and the real writers were on vacation in Sardinia.

The Corsair, frankly, loved Gloria, and, especially that line, "You really don't remember (The Corsair boogies quietly)/ was it something that he said?/Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?"

Which -- granted -- is kind of creepy to celebrate, considering, now, after the aneurysm and all. I mean, maybe the voices in her head had a legitimate medical diagnosis.

Of course, no bio should exclude her disgusting breaking of the unofficial music industry wide boycott of Sun City in the 80s. But, as she said in her hit Self control, "I, I live among the creatures of the night/I haven't got the will to try and fight."

RIP, Laura Branigan.

"'He's going to love being on the Charmed set, surrounded by all those cute young women.'"

Read the rest of the article here.

Out: Who got booed at the VMA's last night? The verdict is still out, as a Wonkette reader says:

"It was unclear exactly whom the cheers and the boos were meant for or why. They began immediately after radio and MTV personality Carson Daly introduced 'from New York, Barbara and Jenna Bush and here in Miami, Vanessa and Alexandra Kerry.'"

Floridians, in our experience, especially the young 'uns, are particularly Republican, pro-free market and military shows of strength, so, we'll guess that the boos were for the Kerry's. This is quite a culturally significant and interesting development.

In: Jacko Sells Neverland. According to Ananova:

"Michael Jackson is said to be selling his Neverland ranch because he fears it has been bugged by police.

"He has refused to enter the �8 million home since he was arrested there last year, claims the Daily Star.

"A source told the paper: 'He has had it debugged several times and now wants to sell.'"

Ah, the paranoia has set in. 50-50 bets that in a year's time he will start talking about aliens and the CIA are communicating to him via tin foil. So best.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Kim Cattrall's $10 G Taxi Tip

According to Ananova:

"Kim Cattrall gave a New York cabbie a cheque for 10 thousand dollars after he found her laptop.

"The Sex And The City star was devastated when an assistant left the computer on the back seat of the taxi, reports the Daily Star.

"It reportedly contained details for a book about the show.

"A source told the paper: 'It made Kim's day when this taxi driver turned up with it.'

"Meanwhile, the 48-year-old actress is the new star of a ($5.3 million) advertising campaign for Tetley tea."

$10,000 for a day of good press after the SATC movie went bust (reportedly because of conflicts between Kin and Sarah Jessica Parker) is a good deal, if you ask a cynic like me. Here are the cynical tallies for the SATC Endorsements Competition:

Sarah Jessica Parker (1st Place)
The Gap John Kerry

Kristin Davis (2nd Place)

Kim Cattrall (3rd Place)
Tetley Tea

Cynthia Nixon (4th Place)

Tabloid Blind Items

From Hampton's Diary in the NY Post:

"Just asking.

"Which husband is now trying to get his actress wife into rehab for her drinking problem? The actress has been on Diary's radar for quite some time for not only drinking excessively, but for once inquiring where she could score some cocaine."

And from gatecrasher in the NY Daily News:

"Which twentysomething starlet had a Sapphic stint at an Ivy League university that might come back to haunt her?

"Which Hamptons it girl has a writer from a major magazine poking around Daddy's possible mob connections"?


Paris Hilton (TM)


What hath the Village Voice wrought? William Bastone, editor at TheSmokingGun.com was once a staff writer at the Voice. There he learned how to get the goods. From an interview with The Daily News' Paul Colford last February:

"'We're continually hunting and hunting for stuff on the Web,' Bastone said.

"But the best finds usually involve old-fashioned shoe leather - finding documents in the courthouse maze - and effective use of the Freedom of Information Act to obtain material locked away by government."


The folks at TheSmokingGun.com went snooping in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office files, and guess what they found?

"(W)e've now unfortunately learned that this dopey Paris Hilton not only is seeking to trademark her name (so she can slap it on everything from footwear and kitchen utensils to shot glasses and essential oils), but the 23-year-old heirhead actually has her own logo. And it features a tiara monogrammed with a royal 'P' (somewhere, the great Paul Rand is weeping). Below you'll find a copy of Hilton's July 26 trademark application, filed on her behalf by the powerhouse L.A. entertainment law firm Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, etc. In May, Hilton's father Richard filed an application seeking a Paris Hilton TM for use on fragrances, body lotion, bath gel, soap, and cosmetics. Both trademark requests are pending review by government examiners who surely have better things to do."

Also, the less high end of items, like -- shot glasses, imitation leather goods, keychains, plates, mugs, prepaid magnetically encoded calling cards (one can almost imagine the deliciousness of a Senegalese or Croatian national using a Paris hilton prepaid calling card to call home), gymnastic and sporting articles (?!), playthings (?!!), pins, rubber stamps and decals.

Oh, Paris.

Visionaire Magazine #43 -- $175: What the Fuck?!

Store Manager: Yes, what will it be, sir?
The Corsair: Ah, just a copy of Visionaire Magazine.
Store Manager: That's all?
The Corsair: yes.
Store Manager: That will be $175
The Corsair: (extreme close up) What the fuck?!

That's right, folks, a $175 magazine. According to Fashionweekdaily:

"When Visionaire�s next issue is released in mid-September, readers may be surprised to find that the entire magazine was printed without using any ink. The issue, which is entitled 'Dreams,' was created using a high-tech burning process called laser-cutting, where the images, instead of being inked, are actually carved out of a blank black page, creating a lace-like work of art. Protecting the pages is a specially designed hard-cover book inside a laser-cut slipcase. The limited edition issue will have a run of only 1500 issues, most of which have already been spoken for.

"Contributors to the issue include Maurizio Cattelan, Robert Longo, Karl Lagerfeld, Roni Horn, Rachel Whiteread, Craig McDean, David Sims, Bruce Weber, Mario Sorrenti, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Philip Taafe, Adam Fuss, and Simon Periton.

"The magazine is available at visionaireworld.com for $175."

Good that it is entitled 'Dreams,' as in, that is the only place I will be shelling out $175 for a periodical.
A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Tokyo Decadence. From The New York Times' T Magazine (no links up yet), by Steffie Nelson:

"Louis Vuitton's cheery Murakami bags and the Lucy Liu segment of Kill Bill were just the tip of the tsunami. With it's sexy, futuristic silhouettes and Pop Art palette, the wide-eyed universe of Japanese animation, or anime, is a natural source of inspiration for fashion. As early as 1997, the photographer Nick Knight and the designer Alexander McQueen transformed Bjork into a gorgeous humanoid geisha for 'Homogenic.' And now for Fall, anime looks are leaping off the screen.

"Consider how cartoony cute you could look in a planetary print over a chiffon dress, worn with a colored plastic face shield and rubber rain boots or metallic knee-high sneakers, which is how Issey Miyake presented it on the runway. Tara Subkoff, for imitation of Christ, jazzed up her basics with gold Puma boots and Wonder Twin wrist cuffs by Erickson Beamon ... meanwhile, Alexandre Herschcovich's muse was the iconic Hello Kitty, rendered in white and black, along with a sheer white coat that comes with its own Kitty ears for the ultimate touch of Tokyo decadence."

Out: The shadowy world of the Council for National Policy. I am so fascinated by this story. US News and World Report writes: "Republicans will be showcasing their 'compassionate conservatism' at next week's convention in Manhattan by featuring moderates like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in key speaking roles.

But this week, true-blue conservatives are getting together in Gotham City to flex their own ideological muscles and exert their own influence on the GOP. The supersecret Council for National Policy, founded at the onset of the Reagan era, will be meeting in New York at an undisclosed location in hopes of avoiding protesters.

"The thousand member group includes political heavyweights like John Ashcroft, Bill Frist, and Tom Delay, religious leaders from Pat Robertson to James Dobson, media moguls like Steve Forbes, and conservative billionaires Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt. Conservative Republicans boast that the council's meeting is the 'real' convention. 'It's the old smoke-filled room, but I wouldn't say it's corrupt,' says a source. 'Rather it's just where the work gets done.' The group met in San Diego earlier this year and will meet again soon after the November election. One issue sure to be debated is whether a legitimate democracy is achievable in Iraq; some on the right believe that part of the Bush administration's rationale for war was flawed."

In: Jacob Weisberg's review of James Wocott's "Attack Poodles". James Wolcott eviscerate Peggy Noonan (Graydon Carter doesn't fare much better) in Sunday's New York Times Book Review via Weisberg, writing:

"Attack Poodles is irresistible political entertainment from and for the left. It is a true sadistic pleasure to watch Wolcott exact revenge for the hours he has wasted watching Joe Scarborough, Michael Savage and Chris Matthews. A skilled hit man, Wolcott sharpens his instruments and takes his time in setting up the kill. In his assault on Peggy Noonan, he quotes a passage from her memoir, 'What I Saw at the Revolution,' in which she waxed romantic about glimpsing one of the President's brown shoes. It was 'not a big foot, not formidable, maybe a little ... frail.' Noonan wrote. 'I imagine cradling it in my arms, protecting it from unsmooth roads.'

"'His other foot,' Wolcott writes, 'would just have to fend for itself.'"

Out: Professor Douglas Rushkoff's Post Narrative America. I have hung out with and interviewed Doug Rushkoff, a truly interesting man (and with a twisted sense of humor that I can't get into here), a futurist with an emphasis on science (which has been absent from the 'humanities-heavy academic West for some time), but I find this theory of his too Nietzchean for my tastes, too rooted in the idea that life and history are anecdotes and chronologies without an aim, without a teleological end, that even the thought of aim or teleology is foolish and emblematic of "weakness."

The longing for teleological end, for absolute truths, can be "overcome" through "will to power." But can they? Can human beings transcend "Love"? "Justice"? "The Beautiful"? Should we? Are those just childish concepts to be thrown on the dust heaps of history.

But as someone who loves independent film with complex, nuanced "endings", I can see his postmodern point on heroic narratives and of course, our proximity to the savagery of the Nazi's, of the grusomeness of slavery, it is hard to shrug off cynicism about the future of the human race. The curse of Gemini's is to see all sides, and, as a Gemini, I can see the argument for and against nihilism.

I can fully appreciate the romance and sobriety of liberalism in Kuhnian contingency, especially in the light of recent history, while, personally, preferring the ancient Classical tragedies which purport "wisdom," the idea that there are such things as "justice," "the beautiful, and, "the good(now, what does that say about me, hmm -- too idealistic?)."

Dougie says the time has passed, like yesterday's reddish Bronze sunset:

"... Aristotle's narrative arc - the male heroic narrative - no longer adequately describes our experience of this world. It's something I've been thinking and speaking about for a long time, but it was very rewarding for (artist) Grant (Morrison) to respond so favorably to this notion.

"He's experienced it, himself, in his work as a comic book writer trying to move past current expectations for superhero characters. I confront it, myself, as I try to help people conceive of more emergent narratives for human history - to break our addiction to stories with endings or intrinsic, pre-existing meaning.

"After all, what if meaning if something that evolves or emerges? I think it's a lot more useful to think about God not as a character who created our universe with some purpose, but rather as something that might happen in the future. We make meaning - which doesn't make it any less meaningful. The problem is whether, without artificially constructed heroic narratives, we still have the will to rise to the world's many problems. Will we dare to approach hunger, violence, and confusion without the promise of a happy ending? Or do we still need charismatic leaders with beautiful stories to our motivate us?"

Leaving the superhero talk aside (sorry, Doug, couldn't resist): Always this talk of evolution and emerging. But what if plus ca change, plus le meme chose? I always think of the postmodern situation as akin to the penultimate scene in Ingmar Bergman's final masterpiece Fanny and Alexander. After hours of intense drama, the wicked stepfather is killed by a freakish accident, freeing Alexander psyche. He exalts, running through his childhood house, believeing himself free of an oppressive-alien father figure (Bergman is the greatest cinematic translator of Freud, while Fellini was the greatest evangelist for Jung; one Nordic, intense, serious, concentrated; the other pagan, sophisticated, a wild force of nature), and, just then, the ghost of his father slams into him, knocking him down, silent, leaving the boy mystified. Even in death, the "stepfather" persona haunts his consciousness; from the recesses of history we have always sacrificed our "Father," only for it to come again in some other form, some other concept.

Finally, if there is such a thing as an "absolute justice," and, say, that concept of justice can be apperceived by anyone who is serious enough, and not just playing rhetorical Machiavellian games.

Now, if this absolute justice demands that we approach "hunger," and "violence" in a measured, wise manner, doesn't that possibility equally demand the courage that Doug brings up, and the obsolescence of the "charismatic leader" is just as pronounced in that case as well.

Of course, the problem, should we accept that a concept like Justice can even be understood would be one of education, and how do you educate a democratic populace so used to the lowest common denominator to see these absolute truths, of love, of justice, of the beautiful -- if indeed they even do exist (and Nietzsche doesn't believe they do, perhaps that is why, with all his courage and foresight, he ended his days in the madhouse).

Anyway, dialogue with Dougie on the subject here. I'm rambling. I',m in a mood.

You get me on the subject of Nietzche or Kissinger and I go off.

In: Virginia Hefferman's Q and A with Ellen DeGeneres. In tomorrow's Arts and Leisure section of the NYTimes, Ellen talks about her sordid breakup with Anne Heche AKA Celestia:

"Ellen DeGeneres: It was really positive at first. But then right after I came out, I think I found a lump in my breast that we thought was cancer, and I had to get a lumpectomy. Then I was coming home from a premiere one night and the limo driver hit a dog. It died in my arms on the way to the hospital. We're coming home from this beautiful night, and all of a sudden this horrible, horrible thing happens.

"And all these things were happening in my life. The worst-case scenario: well, it would be really bad if I had breast cancer. Then what would be bad If I hit an animal. If I lost my career. You know, it would be bad to have my heart broken. It would be bad if she ended up with somebody I knew. Everything in a concentrated period of a year happened.

"And you know, most people's love lives are what they are, and they also have their careers. Even if you're suffering through a breakup, you still go to work every day. But my breakup was part of the reason I couldn't go to work every day! Everything disappeared at once."

As you can tell, it's a slow day and I feel more into a more serious discussion than the usual. Must be all the police and protesters on the streets of NYC. I'll be back and lighter next week.

Friday, August 27, 2004

50 Cent's Beg For Mercy Concert Rider


(image via worth1000)

According to Ananova.com:

"Rapper 50 Cent's rider for his current Beg for Mercy tour reportedly runs to 30 pages of lavish demands.

"The Sun claims to have seen the rider for the tour which includes appearances at this weekend's Leeds and Reading Festivals.

"His dressing room must 'comfortably fit' 12 people and include immaculate toilets and shower, a sound system, two sofas, two love seats and a full length mirror.

"For food, 50 demands a dozen assorted cookies, two buckets of KFC chicken, six corn on the cob, a case of beer, two gallons of milk, four gallons of juice and two loafs of bread (Ed Note: one white, one wheat).

"And that's just the light refreshments - he then specifies gut-busting banquets for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

And of course, tobasco. You can't forget the tobasco when you're (air quotes) "getting hoodie."

The list also includes -- I am not lying here:

soft toilet paper, creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, turkey sausage (who knew that Fitty doesn't have time for swine?), five dozen assorted doughnuts, "butter and marg," cereals(Kellogg's variety packs and Raisin Bran), sliced cheese tray (with four cheeses, onions, pickles lettuce in separate containers), pasta and tuna salad with a minimum of three dressings, "coldslaw" (sp), grilled chicken and tuna melt sandwiches, local specialty to be discussed, and a Saturday meal of BBQ Chicken, ribs and baked fish, a hearty deli tray with four meats and, the coup de grace, four glass ashtrays.

Do you get the creeping suspicion that Fitty and his buddies, "lifted in the head" on nickel bags of inhale, sat around at, like, 3AM, putting together this list, all the while chuckling, while suffering from a vicious case of "the munchies" from "the sticky ickey"?

Finally, I thought a man who could brush off several bullets in the torso would avail himself of stronger things than (Averted Gaze), "soft toilet paper," and (one again, Gaze Averted) "creamy peanut butter." Wouldn't chunky be more in line with keeping it gangsta?

Ahem, Next tour does our so called gangsta demand in his rider "facial moisturizer," and "natural strawberry lip gloss?"

Enquiring minds want to know.

Comment here or on VH1's BWE Blog
A Little of the Old in And Out

In: Lancome. Most beauty products hawk dangerous images of women that, in due turn, spur impressionable teens and tweens to have unrealistic impressions of "the beautiful," and, in extreme cases, eating disorders ensue, and lives are wasted.

Lancome is not such a company, reports -- of all places -- British Vogue:

"ELIZABETH JAGGER was told by Lancome that she would have to put on weight or risk losing her contract. The cosmetics firm said the 20-year-old model had dropped a dress size recently and that she was working to do something about it since the ultimatum. Rumour had it that former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, was a possible replacement."

Put on weight?! Now I've heard everything. In that industry? Vogue reporting that a model had to gain weight to keep her job. Priceless.

Out: The New GQ. Not that I was ever a big GQ reader, but Art Cooper's GQ was so much more lively and less -- uhm -- Attention Deficit Disorder Generation (what a mess). There was once a time where in GQ you could read sophisticated stories about civilized Americans who, when in London, frequented parties where it was not uncommon to find Lord's with tiger scratches on their faces from safari's gone awry. And what not. The Aquarius in me loved that kind of thing.

And from Details one could expect VH1ish stories about what went on behind the scenes at WGBH's ZOOM during the late 1970s. No more of that, though, alas. The rubicon has been crossed, and both magazines now officially suck, catering to the lowest common denominator and what that rabble should wear. Charmed, I'm sure (Averted Gaze).

WWD writes:

"(new GQ editor Jim) Nelson insisted that lowering GQ�s median reader age of 32 was not his goal, per se. 'Everyone thinks I did it as a deliberate marketing thing,' he said. 'In truth, I was responding to my own editorial sensibility. Of course it was going to be pitched younger than Art�s.'

"Intentional or not, however, the rejuvenation of GQ has invited criticism from those who think the magazine is now too similar to Details, its corporate sibling. (Both magazines are owned by Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD.) Nelson denied paying much attention to GQ�s competitors, but Details editor in chief Dan Peres acknowledged the collapsing of the space that once separated the two titles. 'Of course the changes have made it more of a direct competitor for us,' said Peres. 'It�s on our radar much more now.'"

I feel like such a cranky old man for having posted that, but I have no regrets, I miss the older, more civilized GQ, and the hipper, edgier, more downtown, wittier Details. And what ever happened to M Magazine? Back in the day, that was the shit.

In: Burt Reynolds, Giggolo. Eeew. You know it's August, a slow news month, when that significant cultural artifact, The Nattie Q, starts reporting on the fact that Burt Reynold's is a airquotes "kept man." (Ed Note: Please tell me if I'm abusing the air quotes) Strangely enough, Burt Reynold's has got some shit going on:

"Burt and his producer girlfriend, Kate Edelman Johnson (widow of Warner Communications president, Deane F. Johnson), are moving into a new $5.9 million Hollywood love nest -- that she's paying for.

"It's an 8,000-square-foot neoclassical villa atop Mulholland Drive that was once owned by singer Paul Anka."

Please kill me. It's August, a very slow news month all told, I did not mean to just boldface Paul Anka. I will never do it again. I don't want this blog to give off the aura of Dairy Queen's and K-Tel Infomercials. I want it to be fresh, crisp and sparkling, so please forgive the venture into 50s Americana. Let's continue with The Burt:

"'Burt and Kate are madly in love and moving into a new honeymoon cottage the first of September,' revealed a source close to the couple (Ed Note: that would probably be Burt Reynold's himself).

"'Burt jokes that he's a kept man,' said the source."

And so, the cosmos rights itself, and, after a surreal sojourn as a film star, a glitch, Burt finally plays the role that fate expected of him at the outset: the role a mid level hustler in the Hollywood Hills. We all have our places in this cosmic drama, and Burt's involves being the leathery arm candy and "drink getter" of Southwestern widows who have unnatural longings for gaudy Art Deco "fixings."

Out: Gwyneth Paltrow on Apple. Hello! Magazine reports on Gwyneth Paltrow's appearance on Oprah, and the "international outrage" immediately following the naming of her baby (International, Gwynny? Don't we have a high opinion ...), because, quite frankly, The Corsair has much better things to do (read: drink) than give Oprah a precious hour of his life:

"Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken in her first TV interview since she and her rock star hubby Chris Martin welcomed baby daughter Apple three months ago, revealing her domestic side to chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.The actress, assisted by her Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow co-star Jude Law, whipped up her favourite dish, flounder with miso sauce, and let the world know she has an organic cookbook in the works. And she also opened up about marriage and motherhood, finally revealing the reasoning behind her daughter's unusual name.

"'Her daddy said if it's a girl, I think her name should be Apple,' Gwyneth says. 'It sounded so sweet and it conjured such a lovely picture for me � you know, apples are so sweet and they're wholesome and it's biblical � and I just thought it sounded so lovely and�clean! And I just thought, 'Perfect!'.

"'And then she was born, and it became an international outrage. Which I found surprising because there are people named Rose or Lily or Ivy or June�or lots of pretty nouns!'"

Riiight. (Averted Gaze)

In: Jim Shi of Fashionweekdaily's Interview with T Magazine's Stefano Tonchi. Says Tonchi:

"It used to be all about In Style; now it�s all about Lucky. I just think the mind and attitude of people have changed. There is a much more down to earth approach. Sure, we are all obsessed with celebrities, but in a different way. It�s all about service now�we have not heard that word as much as we do now. I think also that we are getting to a time where fashion companies don�t need to do clothes to be fashion companies. So in that sense, we are moving away from magazines that are just dealing with fashion as clothes and more with magazines that deal with fashion as lifestyle."

And, with a sly dig at Bonnie Fuller, he adds:

"What did you take from creating this magazine personally? I think coming from other publishing companies�I�ve been at Cond� Nast, I�ve been at Hearst, the latter for quite a long time�it�s a little bit of a different environment. It�s much more about the quality now. I think I found a standard of quality and design. There is a lot of attachment to the product; it�s a little bit less market oriented than other companies. You don�t deal so much with numbers as much as other companies. I�m not saying that we are completely separated from the advertising but I�d say there is much more independence than any other magazine. These rooms don�t resemble revolving doors�the way some other magazines do, changing staffers quickly. Many of the people here have been here many years."

What other magazines, Stefano, hmmm?

Out: Borrowed Lipstick. Eeew. According to Daily Dish, Beyonce goes ghetto, more ghetto even than the Popeye's Lifetime Award. Doesn't she have a broken toe?:

"Beyonce Knowles agreed to pose with fans for photographs while on a European holiday with boyfriend rapper Jay-Z, providing they gave her their lipstick.

"The singer, 22, posed with publisher Countess Valentina Artsrunik and her 16-year-old son Nicholas in Monte Carlo this week, but only on condition she handed over her used make-up.
Artsrunik explains, 'Nicholas wanted her picture so I asked if we could take a snap.

"'Jay-Z told us she would be happy to pose, provided I gave her my lipstick. It's a great color called Lady Danger by MAC. Apparently Beyonce couldn't get it anywhere in Monaco.'"

Now, Jay Z, you know better. Stop her when she does things like that.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Michael Alig, James St. James: Livin La Vida Loca

Here's some excerpts from the fourth installment of the James St. James-Michael Alig collabo on WorldofWonder:

"Michael: I got a letter today from a boy named Bryan, who. . . . You know, I�m really surprised at how these young kids TOTALLY GET what we were doing. He says, 'Congratulations on attempting to reinforce self-worth through demolishing conventional styles and attitude teaching a generation of clubkids to transform their self conceptions of love and life by participating in autonomist non-conforming rage.'�

"James: (Whistles) Wow!

"Michael: Good one, huh?

"James: Yeah. . . . That�s exactly what you were trying to do, Michael. In your K-hole. It�s funny how he got that."

And, later:

"James: Read me another one. Hey, wait a minute, do you give people my email address?

"Michael: Sometimes. . . . Only if I think they should have it.

"James: Because I do get a lot of very strange emails that I can�t quite figure out how they got my address.

"Michael: Yep, that�s usually me.

"James: Great. Gee. Thanks."
Trump University

According to TheSmokinggun:

"Proving again that his megalomania knows no bounds, Donald Trump is plotting the establishment of, we kid you not, Trump University, The Smoking Gun has learned. The millionaire developer/reality TV star this month filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure a TM for the Trump University name in connection with planned 'educational services in the nature of conducting on-line courses in the fields of business and real estate.' "

Fall 2004 Course Listing: BUSN 1970 Fundamentals of Real Estate Dealing with Mobbed up Union contractors

"A copy of the August 4 trademark application, filed on The Donald's behalf by a lawyer with the white-shoe Proskauer Rose law firm, can be found below. It is unclear what position Trump, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance, will hold at Trump U. Perhaps he can lecture on the importance of having a rich father. Or maybe he could offer a somber Founder's Day reflection on how he actually managed to lose money operating a casino. Either way, TSG is looking forward to TU's first graduation ceremony, when Trump desperately tries to corral his squirrelly 'do under a golden mortarboard."

Fall 2004 Course Listing

BUSN 2050 Principles of Management
A penny found is a penny earned

BUSN 2060 Principles of Marketing
Don't end up like Tyson

BUSN 2080 Consumer Behavior & Customer Relatns
Hang Out with People More Famous than you. It makes you look happening.

LAWS 2050 Law of Contracts
Always get a prenup

Halle Gives Away Eric Benet's Clothes

She didn't burn down his house, no she didn't, but what she did still suggested "ghetto;" Halle Berry gave away Eric Benet's suits to the homeless, according to Hello Magazine (The Corsair softly chuckles):

"Halle Berry has helped some of Los Angeles' homeless community get a designer makeover, by giving her ex-husband's suits to charity. The Oscar-winning actress was apparently tired of waiting for Eric Bennett to pick up his clothes, so she decided to get rid of them herself. According to newspaper reports she dropped the suits off at a charity collection point."

That's deep. A woman scorned is a deep thing. I mean, what can Eric Benet say: 'I want my Armani back!' after it's got Ripple stains on it? And, of course, he'd look like a dick, like a fucking Vin Diesel, for wrestling his Saville Row from someone living on Skid Row.

Then again, you know Halle bought those clothes. There is no way Eric Benet could afford designer fashion making the crappy music that he makes. I mean, do you know anybody who owns an "Eric Benet joint"? (The sound of crickets)

One things for certain: There are going to be a lot of sharply dressed down on their luck chaps soon. So if upon a winters night a hobo dressed in Glenn Plaid and French cuffs asks if you for a quarter ...
A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Brad and Jen are Adopting. Aniston, she of the sharp papparazi antenae, and her high grade piece of ass, Brad Pitt, are, it would appear, in the process of adopting a rugrat, according to Ananova and Brad Pitt's big mouth brother:

"Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are planning to adopt a baby, according to Brad's brother.

"Doug Pitt told Closer magazine: 'I'm really pleased. We're delighted that Brad and Jen are adopting. It will be a great addition for the family.'

"Aniston said in April: 'We're absolutely in the process of having a baby. It's where we're headed.'

"Pitt is equally enthusiastic, especially over the prospect of 'little versions of Jennifer. It's my dream.'

"The couple, married for four years, have already decorated a nursery in their mansion in Beverly Hills."

Out: Vin Diesel's Dog. That Vin Diesel is a dick is pretty much an established fact in the social swirl that is Tinseltown -- that dodgy bouncer past, the hitting on of plastic fembot Janice Dickinson (ewww), the carefully cultivated racial ambiguity (so as to better pimp his junk on urban radio as well as the covers of Conde Nast magazines), that exagerratedly deep voice. But now we hear he's trained his dog to be a dick too, which is a feat, according to MSNBC:
"Vin Diesel�s dog is pretty tough on screenwriters: it bit one in the crotch. Roman, the action star�s massive mastiff, chomped down on screenwriter Michael Kerner�s groin area, and the injured writer promptly filed an $8 million lawsuit."

The Corsair would not "promptly file a lawsuit," he would, more likely, lie in a pool of his sick screaming like a banshee if that were to ever happen to him.

�'This is the kind of dog you have to be introduced to,' Diesel told the London Times. 'And [Kerner] approached the dog and tried to submit it, tried to push his head down. The dog just snapped. . . . Probably was painful.'

The Corsair mouths the words: 'What a DICK!'

"Maybe Roman thought Kerner�s script was too filled with Hollywood clich�s."

In: The Fear of Fans. According to the 3AM Girls, Sir Elton is afraid of his own fans:

"ELTON John once sang that he wanted love, but he doesn't seem to want it from his fans.
Following a run-in with a gang of groupies in Las Vegas, Elton has become a virtual prisoner in the glitzy Caesar's Palace, only leaving the hotel to perform his Vegas shows, according to Q magazine.

"He said: 'Can you imagine how fucking ridiculous it looks for a man my age to be running away from screaming fans?'"

The Corsair thinks that the image of Sir Elton, The Original Rocketman, sprinting, skuffing his expensive shoes, wig hairs flowing gently in the breeze, as a trail of pasty Brits are in hot pursuit, is fairly ridiculous.

Out: Rebecca Romijn. According to the cats at LA.com blog, Rebecca is getting a little chubby. The Corsair, frankly, doesn't mind a woman with meat on her bones, as it gives one "something to hold on to," (if you know what I mean) but LA.com, being Los Angelinos, mind very much if you smoke:

"Seems that divorce does not agree with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. The actress and former Victoria's Secret model was recently spotted bargain-hunting in the Woodland Hills Target store. While the sexpot amiably chatted up the cashier, several customers in line behind her noted that the once-sleek beauty was putting on a bit of weight around the middle. One customer remarked that she looked pregnant, but another waved her hand and said, "Naw, she's just fat." Another commented that her arms looked 'prett husky, too.' Dressed in a knee-length jeans skirt, a sky-blue blouse, and a multi-hued Pucci-print bandana over her blonde locks, the X-Men actress paid with a credit card, and once out of the store, she lit up a cigarette and sped out of the lot in a black BMW XS."

I'd still do her. Does that make me a bad person?

In: The T New York Times Style Magazine Launch Party. According to Fashionweekdaily:

"'Who knew this many people were in New York in August?' asked a semi-shocked Anne Christensen, the women�s fashion director of T. Clad in a vintage summer dress, Christensen locked hands with Harper�s Bazaar beauty director, Kerry Diamond, the pair forged forward, through the crowd of well-wishers and guests�more than 800, in a roped off area of 61st Street �to make their way over to Stefano Tonchi, the editor of T and Horacio Silva, in Vuitton, the magazine�s deputy fashion editor. Tonchi, dressed in a YSL suit and looking as refreshed as someone does post-facial, said, 'The one thing I�ve been hearing over and over from people about the magazine is, �It�s about time,� which makes me happy.� Indeed, the magazine got a two-thumbs up review from the fashion elite�including Vanity Fair�s Christine Hahn, Burberry�s John Cross and Prada�s Katherine Ross�all of whom ventured out on a weather-perfect evening of cool breezes and no humidity."

And, from humidity to stupidity:

Out:Beenie Man, bigot, asshole. Thanks again to the eagle-eyed Tom from The Media Drop for hipping me to this. Apparently, Beanie Man has been banned from the VMA's:

"Dancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert associated with the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend after gay groups planned a protest, the network said Wednesday.

"MTV pulled the Jamaican singer from the roster Tuesday after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday's concert in Miami over some of his past lyrics, including 'I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays' and 'Queers must be killed.'"

Normally I'd avail myself of the opportunity to bust a cap in his booty, heaping scorn against his particular brand of ignorance, but the fact that he chose to name himself that unfortunate name suggests, to be frank, that he is doing an efficient enough job at self-punishment without my involvement.

In: Gawker Stalkers. I love me some Gawker Stalkers, and two really made me chuckle:

"Ryan Adams and Parker Posey were at the Landmark Sunshine at 6:50pm Sunday. They were basically wearing the same outfit-plaid cowboy like shirts and jeans. Parker looks a tad too thin; her hair looks great."

New Yorkers always have the right perspective. Just so long as the hair is okay, and:

"Spotted unfunny Entertainment Weekly columnist and ubiquitous pop culture pundit Joel Stein having lunch at BLT Steak in midtown this afternoon. He is an example of how it does NOT actually make anyone feel good when the irritating, nerdy underdog with chronic upper respiratory issues grows up to be 'successful.'"

I just know that that one was written by a writer. IU can scent my own kind. Finally:

Out: That Mystery Photo. Just what is in the photo that Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger are fighting over?

According to that significant cultural artifact, Star:

"Kim Basinger and ex-hubby Alec Baldwin are butting heads yet again, this time over furniture and one mysterious photograph.

Alec, who's currently living in an NYC apartment, is itching to redo his digs and wants Kim to get her furniture out. Kim says she's not budging until Alec hands over a blown-up photo of undisclosed content.

But Alec won't comply easily, leaving us to wonder if the snapshot might show the former lovebirds in a compromising position. Alec's attorney, Vicki Greene, remains tight-lipped about the photo. 'It is a very personal item,' Greene tells Star.

"The two are going to trial Oct. 22 to settle the matter."


An Existential Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx in Fade In Magazine waxes existential on Fame:

"I remember picking Jim Carrey up one time, right after he's separated from his wife. We went out because I was the only single dude on the show. He said, 'Hey, man, I've got this little movie I've been working on called Pet Detective. Wanna see some dailies?' I watched them and said, 'I want to shake your hand, now.' He said, 'why?' I said, 'because the night of the premiere is going to be the last time that I see you like this.' He said, 'I'm not going to change.' I said, 'It's not you, but you're going to be so big it can't be helped.' And I was there that night. I heard the way they were laughing at the first joke and I said, 'if they're laughing at this, by the time the movie is over, they're going to be laying in the aisles.' They were. And I got out of the theater and I saw Jim come out and all these people were pulling and grabbing at him. I just waived. And it was the last time I saw him like that."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Open Water. Terror at Sea: The Dominicans Speak

By now I'm sure you've heard the story about the failed voyage of the would be emigrants from the Dominican Republic. 55 people died, most from kidney failure from extreme dehydration. The story is incredibly compelling, and, I'm sure, this will ultimately be made into a movie, or, at least a television drama. How could it not? The image of a mutinous sea, the point at which civilization breaks down and man becomes what he is, in essence, before being civilized -- a carnivorous mammal.

The August 30, 2004 People Magazine -- and, buy this please if you haven't already -- has some excerpts of the survivors in a piece called "Terror at Sea." Dominicans are a very frank people, as you will know if you have ever eavsedropped on some of their conversations at the bodega. And their frankness gives vivid color to their nightmarish journey:

Reports differ, but according to some accounts, a small group did resort to feeding upon the bodies of others.

Mercedes: Two women and four men began eating the ears of the dead. They had a knife and they were eating ears like they were popcorn.

Peralta: One man ate two ears. The two women, who were about 34 or 38, just drank blood. The captain told them not to do that again. You have to respect the dead.

Santana:One group was biting each other -- biting live people. They were puncturing the skin with their teeth to make them bleed. I was terrified.

Mercedes: I was resting. In my underwear. Then a woman grabbed me and bit me.

Peralta: Nolberto was yelling to me, 'Alex, they're biting me!' I kicked the woman away. Another time, the woman began biting one of the women who was lactating. I could hear her crying out, 'Leave me alone. Don't bite me!' She was about 17. She died.

Mercedes: When they finally left her alone, her skin was purple with bruises and bite marks. Not just her nipples. Everywhere. Her face, her nose, on the neck, on the chest. It was unbelievable.

Santana: As the days passed, I got so hungry and thirsty. I wasn't thinking of my favorite foods ... I was thinking of grape soda.

deJesus: The days were long, but I just kept thinking about my family. We didn't do anything to keep each other alive. Sometimes the men would take turns using the boards to row. It was so hot. People started hallucinating. Some said they saw a supermarket on the water. They left the boat. Just dove into the water. We never saw them again.

Day 13-- August 10-- Navy Lieutenant Jesus Uloa and fisherman Pedro Paulino --on a motor boat -- rescue the survivors

Paulino: It was like (we) were seeing God. The women were crying like hell. They yelled out, 'Are you a mirage'?

deJesus: We saw the boat and waved out T-shirts. I knew it wasn't like when the others saw the supermarket on the water.