Thursday, December 30, 2004

The 2004 Corsair Year End Awards

French hunting horns blast

The Pirates

Every blogger worth their salt has year end awards and "this thing of ours" is no different. It's in the kool aid that we all drink from. 'Tis the season to be snarky, and all that jazz (sorry Cindy Adams, that's jazz, the music, not that annoying little dead lapdog of yours Jazzy, now quietly decomposing somewhere). So, without further ado, The Corsair presents The Pirates -- more credible than the Golden Globes, and able to leap tall publicists in a single bound -- my 2004 year end awards. Basta!

Worst Trend Pirate goes to Kaballah Red String. Rabbi, you're going to have to give me a more intricate song and dance routine as to how parting me from $25.99 for some yarn will change my outlook. Kabbalah is naught else but "disgusting voodoo."

Honorable mention Pirate goes to EstherMadonna, who instituted a "cursing fine"

Best Trend Pirate goes to the Nip Slip, Nipplegate, what have you. Fo' shizzle. (The Corsair grabs his bottle of Baron de Sigognac Armagnac, a Cuban Schimmelpennick and a chilled white wine glass, then continues)

Most Disturbing Trend Pirate goes to dead blogs. Since the election of 2004, several celebrity blogs have just kind of up and died. What's up with that? We hope that is not indicative of their feelings relative to dissent now that the President has a clear mandate. And what not.

Honorable mention goes to "Shorty," the beefy bodyguard who broke Beyonce's toe. And accident prone Catwoman, Halle Berry, lets out stinkers, we mean other than Catwoman

Weirdest Story Pirate (creepy Unsolved Mysteries soundtrack) goes to the very married Christian Slater (his highly excitable wife, Ryan, has been known to beat his ass right good if his eye roves), whose gallivanting at the strip clubs in the UK, as per usual, was all the rage this summer; as well as some canoodling time for a mystery blonde, not his wife. And then things got really strange. He got chicken pox, which is actually pretty serious in an adult:

"Just hours before our spies caught him canoodling with a mystery blonde in London's Nobu, the Hollywood hunk was kicked out of his favourite lap-dancing club, Stringfellows, for refusing to take off his... mask.

"Bizarrely, we're told the 34-year-old True Romance star was disguised as, ahem, dead US president Richard Nixon.

"A club source tells us: 'Christian has been to Stringfellows many times and has always been one of our favourite customers.

"'He's not keen on being photographed going in or out but he has never resorted to fancy dress before.'

"When the actor, who's currently in rehearsals for a stage production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, pitched up wearing the rubber mask last Saturday, he was quizzed by puzzled doormen.

"'He told them he'd been in a few days before and had been spotted when he left.

"'He managed to convince staff that it was him so, as he's such a good customer, they let him in.' But Christian's 'eccentric' behaviour continued inside...

"'It all got a bit strange because he continued to wear the mask,' says our mole.

"'It was a bit disconcerting for the girls to be dancing for someone who looked like a weirdo. So one of the promoters politely asked him to remove the mask.' But father-of-two Christian was adamant that it was staying on."

Probably because he had chicken pox, which, incidentally, is highly contagious.

Models on Drugs Pirate goes to Kimora Simmons, whom we spent much of the year really fucking with (The Corsair does his Kimora impression, with buzzard sound, "I'm one fly bitch!"):
"First, Belgian model Ingrid Parewijk was busted for "Bolivian Marching Powder," , then Donatella went to rehab, now, according to Rush and Molloy, model/mogul Kimora Lee Simmons was charged with possession of 'the stickey ickey'"

Best Tour Rider Pirate goeth to Fitty Cent:

"According to The Sun, 50 Cent has a 30 page Beg For Mercy Tour rider which includes:

"soft toilet paper, creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, turkey sausage (who knew that Fitty doesn't mess with the swine), five dozen assorted doughnuts, 'butter and marg,' sliced cheese tray with four cheeses --Rocquefort? from ewe's milk? -- onions, pickles lettuce in separate containers), pasta and tuna salad with a minimum of three dressings, 'coldslaw' (sic), 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."

"Was this list composed under the influence of the dreaded munchies after a bout of 'the sticky ickey'?"

The Most KFC Moment Pirate Goes to Jacko, of whom, we write, "1) Although Jacko's breakfast includes fruit, scrambled eggs, lox and bagels, his lunch and dinner are exclusively KFC. And, 2) 'If travelling for a number of consecutive days, (Jacko) will try other forms of chicken but still would like the KFC.' "

Honorable mention Pirate goes to Jay Z, who started a new KFCish trend by hiring a "personal chicken wing chef"

Most Paranoiac Moment Pirate goes to P Diddy in Ibiza, 'According to The Daily Dish:

"Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs was forced to flee his $6.3 million yacht after armed security men raided his private party in the Mediterranean.

"The rapper grabbed his fur coat and sprinted through the streets of the Spanish isle of Ibiza after 20 guards mistook his boat guests for a crew of thugs and burst into his party as part of a drugs purge."

The Corsair tries to wrap his mind around the concept of P Diddy sprinting through the streets of Ibiza, spraying hot tears, in a fur coat with shorts on underneath.

"A source tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, 'It was insane, Puffy was throwing one of his usual bashes.

"'It was exclusive and very chic. The last thing we expected was a bunch of armed security guys coming through the door.

"'We were just getting down to cocktails after the famous Ibiza sunset when they burst in and screamed, 'Everybody down, this is a raid.

'"'Puffy just freaked. He's always worried that people are out to get him because of his fame, so he just ran for it."

The Corsair sips wanly on his Mulled Armagnac, intrigued at this un-Scorpionic lack of sangfroid from Diddy.

"He'd been chilling out in the hot tub in his shorts and just flung a fur coat on. He got the shock of his life.'"Once the security officers realized their mistake, they were 'most apologetic.

'"The source adds, 'They even stayed and had a few drinks and offered to buy a few beverages for the star.'

The Deep Pirate Award goes to Conde Nast editors, who are always thoughtful, profound, artistic-intellectual types (The Corsair snickers), you know, they, like get Heidegger-deep all up in, like fashion and photography, and shit, while lounging in the towncar noshing on bonbons, drinking the distilled blood of Andalusian peasants, like this chestnut from FashionWireDaily, which illustrates my sarcasm so wonderfully, "'Revlon was the first lipstick I ever used and I always tell the folks [there] that my greatest fantasy is to swim in a vat of Revlon Red lipstick,' Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Atoosa Rubenstein told FWD on a chilly December morning the week before Christmas. 'When I do that, it will be my I've made it moment. It must exist, right? A big gigantic vat [of lipstick]? They say that it does, so I'm going to find it. That's my dream.'" Dare to dream, Atoosa, dare to fucking dream.

The Media Feud Pirate Goeth to The Lloyd Grove Media Ruckus, which we dubbed "The Gossip Wars," involving, at various points, Howard Stern and Beth Ostrowsky, Ian Spiegelman, Page Six, a nonentity named Abigail Vona, the New York Press, and, ultimately New York Magazine, which chronicled the feud. Crazy. It was a long hott sunner.

There were, as you can imagine, many media feuds this year. La donna y mobile. There was Stern versus Leno, Nader versus the Democratic Party, Beyonce's Dad versus Jay Z, Pammie versus Tommy over the whole Hep C --eew -- thingie, Bill Mahar and that skanky chick who looked straight out of Jet Magazine, circa 1975, Neill Strauss and the Old Gray Lady, but we went with The Gossip Wars, because, "Like World War I, it was caused, in large part, by arms escalation as well as a faulty alliance system. The competition between the Daily News gossip columnist (from back in the day) and Page Six is a New York tradition (remember Mitchell Fink who looked like he had an antenna?). Usually the feud ends with the Sixers being magnanimous. When Lloyd Grove got Ian Spiegelman fired, though, things escalated. And now Girgoriades, DiGiacomo, et al are being called in."

To borrow from the guy in the hockey mask from Mad Max, "... just walk away ..."

Our Favorite Media Meltdown, Courtney Love. The summer was hott. Sultry even. But Courtney Love made it hotter, friskier, as we stalked her this summer, in the nicest way possible, from the Bowery Ballroom, to the McDonalds where Kofi Asare, looking for McNuggets, suckled gently at her tit, "Her soon-to-be infamous impromptu bathroom press conference tapped into a wide array of important social issues, including but not excluding, Why My Daughter (The Corsair mock sobs softly, sweetly) has to give up her horse to help her Mommy (Another generation of Cobains, it appears, has to give up The Horse ...); also, the Cryptic Mosaic Warning, 'You do not sleep with married men (is this the Kabbalah-red-string-theory at work?);' and, immediately contradicting the previous statement, in a personal message to the very married Russell Crowe (like, personal over the world's media personal -- you know we're in the Bizarro world of Courtney logic here), 'I'm sorry to Russell Crowe for you leaving me all those messages for the Golden Globes. I never got them, dude. It would have been a fun date.'"

"Indeed it would, biscuit. Courtney's a fun sorta gal: a hoot, no doubt, a whole lotta loving, if you will, with her own, to be quite graphic, surgically-enhanced set golden globes to play with; but even Russell, our gruff, lager-infused-punkface-thesbian, even Russell Crowe with his off foot of grunt couldn't handle that flavor of heapin' crezziness that is la vida loca of Court Love."

Honorable mention to Mike Wallace, of whom we wrote, "Free Mike Wallace. 60 Minutes' 86-year old Correspondent Mike Wallace was handcuffed and arrested on Tuesday night for "disorderly conduct." Apparently, things took a bad turn when Wallace argued with Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors who were interviewing his driver because he wanted to get home and eat his mashed potatoes and gravy while it was still hot.

"Can you just see Mike Wallace in the back of the limo, agitated, the 60 Minutes clock is ticking -- ticktickticktick; his temperature rising, he's sweating a cold sweat right now, adjusting his tie, his bad dye job glistening, he's emitting sour mothballish grandfatherly smells, and the officers are chatting away with his driver, probably althewhile eating doughnuts, causing Wallace's mouth to water

"...Now look at Mike, see him squirm ... it is a few minutes later ... the gravy is now coagulating in his doggie bag, oiling the paper, seeping through to his neatly pressed slacks, perhaps even soiling his Depends undergarment. And he thinks of how he used to be.

"The holy terror of the 1970s. The Dean of Guerilla journalism. CEO's guilty of financial improprieties broke into a brisk sprint when our man Mike Wallace chased them with a cameraman in tow, shouting, 'Can I ask you a question, sir,'. THE Mike Wallace ... reduced to THIS?

"The poor bastard just snapped. There are few joys, few comforts of senectitude, and mashed taters and meatloaf slathered with heart valve clogging bone gravy are that aplenty. Thems good eats."

The Leader of the Free World is Quietly Tight Pirate goes to Nixon, of whom, we wrote, "Never elect a nerd the president. They can't handle the power. Their glands overwork, the sweat geeksweat, they miss thier favorite Sci-Fi channel programs, and their brains overheat, like Wyatt and Gary in Weird Science (so ably played by Anthony Michael Hall and Ian Michael Smith, thank you, thank you ... ). According to the Associated Press, Nixon, during the elaborate maneuverings and countermaneuverings of the Watergate hearings and unfolding scandals, uhm -- how does one say this delicately? -- he got plastered.Yes -- The Leader of the Free World was getting quietly "tight"

The Warrior Pirate goes to Carly Simon, "Interview Magazine July 2004. An interview between Michael Kors and the always elegant Carly Simon, who I am now totally in love with:

"Carly Simon: You know, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 I realized I had spent too long arranging my attitude. I had a mastectomy in 1998, and then chemo. And throughout the whole process I felt much worse. So I spent the next year really depressed, coming to terms with the whole thing. My oncologist said, 'Don't speak about it for a while. Get yourself together and decide what you really want to do.' Here, I'll show you this (shows mastectomy scar) Did you see?

"Michael Kors: Uh-huh. Yeah.

"Carly: My scar is beautiful. It looks like an arrow. I didn't bother rubbing things into it or having any silicone injections. I just keep it that way because I liked it.

"Kors: You know, I was at the meeting yesterday for the CFDA. It's the 10th Anniversary of 'Fashion Targets Breast Cancer' and we were talking about what we we're doing to commemorate it. Kenneth Cole said, 'I want to talk to Carly Simon. I don't know what we can do together, but it would be so meaningful. It's personal for her.

'"Carly: You know, people want to honor me, and on the one hand, I don't want to be a poster child; but on the other I want to do something classy and great -- something where the residuals would go to the cause. I thought of having a designer make a beautiful dress with cut outs here (points to scar) and doing a picture of me wearing it. I just want to show off my scar proudly and not be afraid of it. A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars."

We fucking love you, Carly Simon.

The Blame the Innocent Pirate Goes to Parker Posey. We posted a scurrilous post on how the "mystery celebrity cracktress" might have been Parker Posey. Now, of course, it was *allegedly* Natasha Lyonne, maybe. Our sweetie, Parker Posey was innocent; the blush is still on our Indie Rose. We feel so bad, caddish, but not so bad that we won't reprint some, cause, like, it was funny; damn I was good: "And that's the evidence. Not convincing in my case, but you can see how people will talk. High on crack? No, no, no (softly chuckles): high on life, monsieur.

"And we cannot fail to note, that various Gawker Stalkers, over the months have described you, Parker Posey, at various times, as 'looking quite svelte,' (averted gaze) and 'She looked hungover.' Of course, I look that way right now, Parker, and I don't smoke the crack rock (Ed Note: The Corsair is lactose intolerant and could never ingest the crack rock no matter how novel the experience might be) And we won't discuss the torrid Interview Magazine sex fiasco (2nd story down), where you and Ryan *allegedly* 'knew' each other 'Biblically' while conducting an interview at Andy Warhol's Holy Rag. That was kind of crack ho-ish, if true, or maybe just bohemian -- we cen never tell the difference -- even though I do not believe you have ever hit the rock and made it sizzle.

"But then there was the Gawker Stalker, snitching, 'parker posy and ryan adams last night watching farenheit 9/11 came in late, super fidgety. his hair was nasty and tousled as usual.'

"Telltale signs of the 'crackle crackle'? Surely you jest. Crackheads are rarely political; they are more prone towards violent smash-and-grab crimes than entertaining a civilized evening taking in a political documentary, so, point set and match: Parker Posey.I still believe in you, Parker Posey.I just cannot imagine you, surrounded by lactose fumes propelled by a Mighty Wind, hair askew, that irritating crackling sound echoing in the lonely urban downtown landscape, with chapped lips forming a pucker the shape of a cats asshole, lapping up the opaque mediciney cracksmoke.

"It's inconceivable."

Yes, it is. Honorable mention go to Tara Reid and Cindy Margolis, who did not fight.

And, speaking of crackheads, we give The Glass Dick Pirate to Whitney Houston, who presumably knows what to do with it, whose husband, Bobby Brown, was once arrested in Alpharetta while eating fish, of whom, "... we love us our daily dose of Whitney poop, and the 3AM Girls do not disappoint:'WE'RE all familiar with Whitney Houston's bizarre behaviour and she didn't disappoint at the World Music Awards.

"A 25-minute rehearsal on Tuesday night turned into a two-hour session, thanks to her oddball demands."'Whitney was acting really strangely,' says our spy. 'All she had to do was sing I Will Always Love You, but she kept stopping and pointing at people telling them to pick up rubbish - even though there didn't appear to be any. Everyone got really angry.'"

The Dude Pirate goes to Daniele Patini, yachtsman, Angela Jolie's latest -- "doood!" -- the former Owner of the Tecnomarine Shipyard, of whom they are saying, according to Ireland online, "Movie beauty Angelina Jolie has found love with a millionaire Italian businessman.The Tomb Raider actress has been spotted with 29-year-old playboy yacht broker Daniele Patini - and sources say the single star is smitten.A pal tells American magazine US Weekly: 'Daniele has dated many beautiful women, but this time he's admitted that Angelina has him entranced.'"


Most Embarrassing Media Moment We could say the Paris Hilton porn tape, the Paris Hilton N-bomb, the Britney 55-hour marriage, but that would be obvious. Entirely lacking in nuance. No, we think we'll go with Al Franken, future Democratic nominee for the Senate in Minnesota, getting into a fistfight during the run up to the primaries:

"From time to time Al Franken likes to kick a little bit o' Ass -- Republican ass, playa. The other day he used just the right mix of hard power and soft power, so to speak, in a short term domestic conflagration, if you know what I'm sayin.

"Didn't you know that Howard Dean's aggro speeches would one day cause some kind of ruckus on the left hand side? The New York Times Magazine(subscription required) captures the frenzied mood surrounding Al Franken's rather 'punchy' ass-whipping of a confused protester at a Howard Dean campaign rally with the appropriate amount of gusto.

"But let me set a little ambiance for you, cornbread, cause that's the sort of thing Bloggers like to do. (plays Europe's The Final Countdown) It is 'the Sunday before the nation's first primary,' at a Howard Dean rally in downtown Manchester. The New England winter is crisp; the mood is one of fighting back. The Republicans have been eating the lunch of the Democratic Party since Ca-lee-fohrn-eeaaah, and the midterm elections and, of course, the Supreme's 5/4 dance number that handed the Bushies the keys to the White House.

"Anyhoo: Our man on the scene, the NY Times writer, one Russell Shorto, feels it important for us to know -- at the outset -- that Franken's tushy is the stuff of the Gods, ambrosial even, a hasty pudding, if you will:

"'From 1966 to 1969, Franken was a member of the varsity wrestling team at his high school in Hopkins, Minn. Six years after graduation, when he showed up in New York to begin work as a writer on the first season of 'Saturday Night Live,' he was still almost as much an athlete as a comedian.

'''He seemed like a total jock,' says the comedian Laraine Newman, who was a member of the original cast. 'He always had a football in his hands when they were writing. And he had this very defined musculature. His butt was like a cut basketball. Which, you know, you don't normally see in comedy writers.'"

"No, no, one doesn't, Mr. Shorto, to be sure; but The Corsair's former girlfriends don't complain, we are in our early 30s, after all, and the tush is so tight one could bounce a quarter off of it. Not that we've tried, mind you.

"Anyhoo: Let's bring on the rassling. Now for a spot of the old rough and tumble, Harvard-style --- bring-it-on!:

"'Onstage, Martin Sheen speaks first, then Dean's demure wife, then the suddenly embattled former governor of Vermont himself. Sometime after Dean begins taking questions from the audience, a manic-looking heckler starts to heckle, accusing Dean of 'covering up for Dick Cheney.' He gets louder. A couple of spindly members of Dean's security team approach him uncertainly; he swings his arms and keeps shouting. It goes on for several minutes and seems to be veering toward actual violence. Dean, the media, the members of the audience: nobody knows what to do."

"Oh, but our man Franken does, does he ever (wicked Rumsfeldian gleam in eyes):

"At this moment Franken turns, cocks his head slightly, gives that well-known magnified, tortoise-shell-framed gaze and says: 'I think the two of us can get him out. You wanna do it?' After a pause that is meant to be emphatic, I say, 'No.' But it's too late: he's off, in rumpled jeans and a big down jacket, plowing up the aisle."

"Al Franken's old school like that. When he cocked his head you just knew: it was on like Gray Poupon. The Corsair imagines the Harvard educated simian, rumpled jeans and big brown jacket ruffling in the wind, the acoustical sounds of Six Million Dollar Man bionic sound effects stacattoing in the background (da-da-da-da-da ...) as Franken-in-slow-motion-bolt approaches said interrupter, head low and spectacles fogged in anticipation of crunk:

"By this time there is a confused scrum around the heckler, who is holding his ground and still ranting. Franken hits the floor, wedges himself among a couple dozen legs and puts the man in a wrestling hold, grabbing him at the knees."

Oof! One can almost buckle at the beauty of the writing at this New York Times sports section style commentary, like that unfortunate freak, tumbling down the slippery slope into the immortality of Prose Heaven, and the subject of a million Timesmen's bon mots at dinner parties on Embassy Row. Oh, tell us more:

"That destabilizes him, and others now quickly push him down the aisle and out the side door of the theater."

Oh Al, destabilize the GOP; destabilize!:

"Franken gets up, looking dazed; his glasses are snapped in two. He's quickly swarmed by confused but excited reporters who want to know, like, what was he doing?"

He's kicking ass and taking names, gentlemen, Harvard-style. Snapped spectacles be damned! The Democrats are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it."

Runner up embarassing media moment goes to Natalie Portman, "According to Page Six, someone inside Natalie Portman's summer hideaway has made several calls summoning the police to check out alleged stalkers.

"In the latest tiff, 'Two cop cars showed up to interrogate the man who'd been sitting on a curb, reading a book and drinking a cup of tea.

"But the suspected 'stalker' turned out to be 21-year-old Antwone LeGarde ? a French-born college student staying with his girlfriend's family down the street. LeGarde had never even heard of the 23-year-old 'Star Wars' actress."

"LeGarde says, 'I was sitting on the sidewalk, reading 'The Alchemist,' and apparently it was near the corner of her house. The police show up and they asked me for my ID and ran a check in their car. I asked, 'Is it a crime to read a book now?'"

The Great Read Pirate goes to my pal Sue Shapiro's Lighting Up. It's a brilliant book -- funny, honest and insightful.

Either that or Elvis Mitchell's "unusual, nonlinear book proposal." According to the excellent Sara Nelson in NY Post in June:"Elvis Mitchell, former New York Times reporter, has landed in the middle of a book auction. His proposal for a book about the comedian Richard Pryor is currently on the desks of several prominent New York editors.

"The proposal is 'unusual,' says one editor who has seen it. It is nonlinear and suggests that the book will be part cultural history of America, part tour of the comedy world, part dishy anecdotes about Pryor ? including one in which the comedian's scatological language made New Yorker writer Lillian Ross not just blush, but faint."

Sounds like Elvis learned to bullshit like an champ out in Hollywood. Unusual as that is, apparently, leaving the New York Times and palling around with the likes of Bill Murray does wonders for one's career, I suppose, as Sara Nelson concludes, "The bidding is now in the low six figures, but one industry observer predicts that the book ? which Mitchell promises to deliver in two years ? will ultimately go for around $500,000." Which almost makes up for the fact that at the end of the day, he is, and always will be, a black man named Elvis.

Couple of the Year pirate goes to Dolly Parton's Double D's, and the Appalachian mists that cling about her ... dewey peaks and valleys *The Corsair shudders*. No, only kidding, but not really -- we're breaking off a piece for Flavor Flav and Gitte, "The September 17th edition of Entertainment Weekly had this rather interesting exchange between Surreal Life housemates David Coulier (the annoying voices dude from Full House) and Jordan Knight (the annoying lead singer from New Kids on the Block):

"On The Brigitte-Flav Hook Up:

"Dave Coulier: After they were fooling around in the pool, I didn't want to go in there anymore ... Flav and Brigitte called me the day after we left the show -- from a hotel room.

"Jordan Knight: Yeah, me too ..."

Way too much information.Page Six also notes today, about Public Enemy's Fashion week Maxim Party at Crobar:

"Flava Flav, who hopped up and down on stage, had good reason to celebrate. VH1 is said to be interested in doing a reality show with him and his 'Surreal Life' co- star Brigitte Nielsen, now that their televised antics have captured the nation."Nielsen, who allegedly was dumped by Sylvester Stallone because she had *allegedly* had an affaire with Eddie Murphy on the set of Beverly Hills Cop 2, may just like her men like she likes her coffee -- black.

And Flav just goes in for the crack. Like John Waters.

The Clothing Allowance Pirate goeth to Kelly Ripa, According to Fashionweekdaily, "Kelly Ripa, who just signed a five-year deal with 'Live With Regis and Kelly,' has been given a $45,000 fashion allowance by ABC to indulge her Jimmy Choo weakness ..."

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility pirate goes to Page Six. Once again, the edgiest most feared gossip column in all the world wins the "great power comes great responsibility" pirate, proving that they wield their weight with elan, style, and, okay, I'm done kissing ass. But, seriously, where would we blogs be without the legwork of the Page Sixxies?

The Mischief Maker Pirate goes to Avril Lavigne, who kicks unsuspecting girls in their boxes, "Avril Lavigne is at it again -- and she can't; and she won't; and she can't -- From the 'Rocktober 2004' (yes, they actually called it "Rocktober") issue of Maxim:

"Maxim: When was the last time you had to smack a bitch down?

"Avril Lavigne: In a bar a few months ago. Some chick came up to me and said something, so I kicked her in the box and shoved her. I don't go looking for fights, but if someone pushes me, I'm not going to take it.

"Maxim: What did she say to you?

"Avril: 'You're not punk rock, blah,blah,blah!' Look, I never once said I was punk. I don't want to be punk. I'm just a really strong, opinionated person."

Is a "box" anything like "beef curtains"?

The Low Down Dirty Dog pirate goes to Chris Rock, comedian, chickenhead, who actually had a hand in the manufacture and distribution of "the crack rock" of which we are of late so preoccupied with! Way to be a role model, Chris; sling that rock, "I've been hard on Neil Strauss, and those of you who have been reading me a while know that I have been hard on Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone. That having been said, the April 29, 2004 issue is fantastic. Let's leave aside Uma Thurman, who, in an interview, defends Ethan Hawke's infidelity with a Buddhist assessment of his 'intentions,' and everybody's favorite possum eating hillbilly celebrity Billy Bob Thornton saying, a propos of nothing, as hillbillies are wont to do, ' I like waitresses. I met one at a waffle house in Nashville that I don't know if the devil could have charmed her ...' Why is this man famous?

"But, No, lest we lose our train of thought, none of that piffle crosses our radar, the real nuclear explosion comes from a Chris Rock interview by none other than our boy Neil Strauss. A unusually bold observation about 'the rock' turns Chris "Rock" very, very reflective ... a very special Corsair (soft, lush piano music):

"Strauss: So did you ever try crack?

"Rock: The closest thing I ever got to doing crack was selling crack. Me and a friend of mine, we took these jobs at a camp just to make money. We were going to get paid a thousand or two thousand at the end of the summer and take that and buy some crack to sell. But of course he got hooked on crack before we could go out and do it. And then, right after that, God brought comedy into my life.

"Strauss: I wonder what would have happened if you had started selling it?

"Rock: Who knows what would have happened. I would have been dumb enough to have done it. I'm not saying, 'If I wasn't for comedy, I'd be selling crack.' But I remember sitting with my friends, cutting up the coke like it was yesterday: cocaine, lactose, vitamin B12. Cook it up -- crack. I am so lucky I never tried crack. The most I did was put some coke on my tongue."

"Bravo to Neil Strauss for asking the hard questions -- the crack questions -- and Rolling Stone to briefly getting back to hard hitting stories. And good for Rock, who dodged a bullet that ravaged the inner city in the 80s. But, Chris, hey, yo -- lactose in the inner city?

The Meta Network pirate award goes toVH1, although it could just have easily gone to ABC, which was the most improved network, and gaining, what with the show Lost, which is like my crack, it's so addictive that show. God, how I love Lost.

VH1 clearly has gone overboard with all the "I Love the" shows, and Best Week Ever doesn't quite sparkle like it used to, although I'm not saying the show had jumped the shark, just that it is no longer as fresh as it once was, but The Surreal Life with Flav and Gitte was an out of the park home run. So, we'll give it to VH1.

The Thug Life Born, Thug Life Bred Pirate goes to Keifer Sutherland, because, according to that significant cultural artifact, The National Enquirer reports that the man who would be Mr. Julia Roberts -- but wasn't (a stripper named Raven in Vancouver, don't ask)-- Kiefer Sutherland spends lots of time knocking down scotch. At all hours. Not 24 Hours, but, you know what I'm getting at:

"'Kiefer's been a big drinker but now he's pounding down the alcohol morning, noon and night,' an insider (told The Enquirer)" "Kiefer Sutherland, star of TV's 24 ... was caught knocking back Scotch at a Hollywood gay bar at 9 o'clock in the morning!"

And another source said:

"Kiefer is well-known at dives in the scary Hollywood area where he lives.

"It's not unusual to see him downing glass after glass of J&B Scotch at one of these places any night of the week.

"And when they close at 2 a.m., then it's on to the after hours clubs."

"The ENQUIRER reported in March that the 37-year-old star got a gash on his head in a bar fight.

"And now The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively that on the morning of April 3, Kiefer was drinking at the Spot Light."

The Corsair cannot fail to note that describes The Spotlight thusly,:

"If you ever wondered where all the freaky trannies went during Hollywood's gentrification, this is the answer.

"The Spotlight is a dive and proud of it. This is where the flavorful underbelly of Hollywood gay life washes up. It's clear that most of the patrons have 'history'--we don't ask and don't tell--but who knew the place had history, too? It's the city's second oldest gay bar (the oldest is the Friendship in Santa Monica), open since 1963.

"It should be noted that it opens really early, which may or may not be factored into your conclusions.

The Enquirer continues:"'Kiefer was falling-down drunk,' said an eyewitness.

"He wasn't surly or anything -- just the opposite, he seemed very happy and was obviously feeling no pain.

"There was a movie shooting across the street when Kiefer came out of the Spot Light for a cigarette. Several of the crew members on the shoot recognized him and came over to have their photos taken with him.

"He was very obliging to everyone, including the female security guard on the movie and one young mom who came over with her toddler in a stroller to get his autograph.

"But Kiefer reeked of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

"Finally he excused himself, saying he had to go back into the bar to sit down. 'It was so sad seeing him that way.'And it goes on:

"A staffer at the Spot Light who was on duty that morning told The ENQUIRER: 'Kiefer started drinking at 9 o'clock in the morning with some buddies and didn't stop till after 1:30 p.m.

"'At one point, he was so hammered that he fell off his barstool and landed on the floor. But he just laughed it off.

"'He was drinking Scotch and his associates actually had to prop him up!

"'Some girl pulled down her pants and showed her butt to him and he said in slurring speech, I'll show you something."

Italics mine:

"'Then he pulled down his pants and exposed his butt to her and everyone else in the bar!'

"The eyewitness added: 'When Kiefer stumbled out of the bar, there were a bunch of cops hanging around the film shoot across the street. He laughed and said, Don't mind me, officers -- and just staggered away.

"'It was funny and heartbreaking at the same time.'" The story is reported by Michael Glynn and Rick Egusquiza of National Enquirer.

The Has Been pirate goes to Little Dogs. P Diddy had Sophie at Fashion Week. Britney's dog Bitbit ate a $180 steak. Paris Hilton's dog, Tinkerbelle, ran away.

The Never Was pirate goes to Kobe Bryant, whose cell phone is *allegedly* 310-946-6046.

The He Kept Us On Our Toes pirate goes to RZA. Of whom we wrote: "The Corsair has many media obsessions but one of his favorites is RZA. The RZA is crazy. Nutso. He eats ungodly amounts of colloidal silver, even proffering it to his offspring need we say more?

"One day RZA and his babies are going to turn blue from a colloidal silver overdose and then people will take me seriously. Anyhoo: here's what he had to say to FHM:

"FHM: How strong is your Kung Fu?

"RZA: Strong, but I've never used it. One of my uncles trains CIA agents. He was offended I was learning from someone else, so he showed me this one move. He said, 'I could cripple you.' I believed him but he had to prove it. I was hurt for three months."

"Okay ... leaving aside the relative implausibility that one of RZA's crazy uncles is in the intelligence gathering business, and not, oh, say, drinking malt liquor beverages on a stoop in Staten Island, how many people out there have familial relations that whisper Moon Knight-like threats. Being family is not about crippling one another. Season's beatings are not in order here.

"The interview concludes:

"FHM: Is there an RZA sex tape out there?

"RZA: I don't leave evidence like that. I form the lense with my hand, look through it and tape record with my mind."


The Wouldn't it be fun if He Were President Pirate goes to Al Sharpton, "As you can see, the progressive buildup to the Iowa caucus has thrown me off my usually sophisticated pop-culturally obsessed game, and gotten me all sexed up on politics. Blame Iowa! Bear with me, though, my little pomegranates, I will come out of this little poly-sci funk intact and, on the other side of the caucus, back in rare form. My fascination du jour, though, if you must know, is the Reverend Al Sharpton.And why not: His campaign is quixotic, to be sure, but there is also quite a bit of pathos and some, well, humor in it. Actually, there is lots of humor in his candidacy if you know how to look.

"... January 24, 2005: The Godfather of Soul is appointed Ambassador to the Holy See. 'The Pope can no longer call us a nation turning it's back on its soul anymore,' the President quips."

No posts till Monday, 2005 -- Happy New Year, and thanks for reading this blog in 2004,


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Diana Ross' Jailhouse Fun

"Do you know where you�re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to? Do you know...? "


One might think that a woman who clearly enjoyed fiddling with Lil Kim's silicon enhanced titty might take a little "downtime" in the "big house" in stride. You know, think of it as the perfect time to read A la recherche du temps perdu; or really nail down Vector mathematics. Perish the thought. Diana Ross isn't like most women -- she is diva, hear her roar -- according to the Associated Press:

"Police Chief James Walters gave Diana Ross special treatment while the R&B singer served jail time on a drunken driving charge, the town's police union said.

"Walters allowed Ross to keep a cellular telephone in her jail cell, have food delivered and let her go home in the middle of her sentence, the union said in a 44-page report to public officials that was given to the Greenwich Time.

"'In the situation involving the incarceration of Ms. Ross, I made some poor decisions and accept responsibility for them,' Walters said at a news conference Wednesday. He did not say which decisions he regretted."

Getting caught sucks. Poor guy. Chiefy got starstruck at having Ross in his jail, probably saw Mahogany at an impressionable age, cut her a break, and some sourpuss snitched. Couldn't keep the piehole shut. The Corsair would totally let Ross slide if she happened to his jailcell, never mind the general improbability of someone with our elevated taste (The Corsair wanly sips some Madeira), evident sangfroid (The Corsair trims his cuticles), and roguish good looks ever matriculating as a prison guard in Connecticut. Charmed, I'm sure (Averted Gaze).
NippleGate, The Wrap Up

TheSmokinggun site catalogues some of the letters sent to Michael Powell re: the Janet Jackson-Timberlake nipplegate brouhaha. As you can imagine, some are funny, though most reflect the disheveled state of public education in this country (Averted Gaze), and many are rife with multiple misspellings and egregious grammar. In other words, (The Corsair considerably brightens) they're hott.


Some of my favorites -- with spelling errors aplenty -- include this little chestnut:

"Mr. Powel (sic):

"I don't consider myself to be a finatic (sic),but i do fear the wraith of GOD if our country continues its moral decline.Seems like every year things get a little worse.Just a few years ago the word homosexual was an outrage, and now half the country wants to sanction gay marriages.If you read the bible, you know what GOD did to Sodom and (sic)Gamora. I see the same thing happening with public nudity.It starts out with just one boob at the half-time show and in a few years half the population is walking around naked.I know that sounds a little extreme, but if we don't push back that's exactly what's going to happen! GOD'S hand of protection has been on this country for a long time, but I feel he is slowly starting to pull it away.

"Thank you"

Note the creative spelling of Biblical Gomorrah. A real Talmudic scholar, he.

Or this winner:

"Mr. Powell:

"I am far more offended by the drug and sex related lyrics that were allowed to air by Nelly and P.Diddy during the Half-Time show than the Janet Jackson mistake.

"The commercial showing a horse breaking wind in the face of a young woman was far more disturbing. How about the 4 day erection that was mentioned during a Viagra commercial.

"If you launch any investigations, you should include these (and several more) incidences that the world witnessed during the Super Bowl

"The horse thing was really bad. I can't even remember what they were advertising.


No, anonymous writer, thank you.

More prudes in a tizzy here.

A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Page Six. We laughed robustly, abruptly and out loud this morning -- to the consternation of the other subway riders, who slowly ... moved away from us -- when we read that the Page Sixxies called Rod Stewart a "ROOSTER-coiffed bad boy turned schmaltz-profiteer." So clearly acid, positively citrus even, yet so staggeringly accurate. (licks finger to tell direction of the wind) We like.


Out: Clay Aiken. Little rat bastard (The Corsair cracks his knuckles ominously, acting gangsta). We are Gemini. Our mood changes as abruptly as the wind. When we was first getting moving, we laughed at Rod Stewart, cause he's corny, but now we "off the chain," we on "the sinister tip (sips crunk juice)," we "on the creep (smokes blunt),"we "stepping up our blogging game" with some "sleazy aura chemistry."

According to that significant cultural artifact, The National Enquirer:

"(Susan) Barry, who teaches at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, was punished after referring to the carrot-topped crooner as a 'little turd.'

"She sent the scathing message to her e-mail list -- and to an Internet site, which posted it.

"The English teacher, who works with the school's famed vocal ensemble, was furious at Aiken's alleged diva-like behavior.The young performers worked hard to back up the pop singer at a recent show -- after his people reportedly promised a $500 donation to the ensemble.With great flourish, a check was presented to a choir member.But later, the student was stunned -- after opening the envelope and discovering it was empty!"

-- Recognize Game, beeyach! (The Corsair swings wildly in outrage at Clay)!

In: Sue Shapiro. Our friend Sue Shapiro is one of the funniest, sweetest people in the world. Now, in her new book, Lighting Up, the entire world can find out what we have known for 5 years, namely, that Sue rocks. The book is about how she quit cigarettes and booze with the help of an eccentric addiction specialist named "Dr. Winters."

In typical Aquarian fashion, things go awry. Sue transfers her oral fixation to 20 Charms Blow Pops a day - she prefers the grape variety -- thus gaining twenty pounds (50 sugar calories a pop, you do the math). Long story short: after some hilarious adventures, the kind of adventures that only a straight-talking New York Aquarian Jewish writer like Sue can have, she drops the addictions cold turkey.

When we last had lunch with Sue, in the summer, on a golden day in The Village, she had just finished the book, had done an appearance on the Today Show for another book, was aglow, thin, lovely. She looked like a celebrity, which, we believe, is what this book will -- at long last! -- grant her. And no one that I know deserves to be a star more than Sue.

Out: Hugh Grant. Of Hugh Grant, The Corsair has written, "manwhore, slab of beef, that lucky fucking dog -- call him what you will; He who we once thought of as an Ass -- Hughdie done dodged the Elizabeth Hurley bullet, managed to parlay his little 'black hooker episode' into a career as the suave bad guy, the English Smoothie, as opposed to the boring Merchant-Ivory wag image he used to rock, whom uncultivated Midwestern housewives pined after; and now, mirabile dictu, Grant is moving in on to the ever-elusive fiscal security with jet set heiress Jemima Goldsmith as his 'sugarmommy', easily one of the best looking women in the world -- total eye candy. Yummers" According to the 3AM Girls:

"Looks like Jemima Khan isn't the only creature attracted to Hugh Grant.
"We hear the actor received some rather unwelcome attention from a jellyfish while holidaying with the sexy brunette in Barbados.

"A fellow tourist tells us: 'We were lying in the sun when we heard a posh guy shouting, 'aargh! aargh!'"

Did he really say "argh!" with the "r" pronounced and all that? 'Cause if he did, we totally lost, like, 20 percent of respect for the man. That's a bitch move and a half, hands down.

"'We couldn't believe it when we saw it was Hugh. He jumped off his lilo and was shouting to mates: 'I've been stung by a bloody jellyfish!'

"'He rushed out of the water and disappeared off up the beach. It was hilarious."

In: Minnie Driver. What we like best about Minnie is that she doesn't dance, wiggle or shake her butt. She leaves that to the sisters with the funny hair cuts. According to The Dish:

"Minnie Driver turned down an offer from music boss Tommy Mottola to become the next Jennifer Lopez.

"The Oscar-nominated British actress, who released her country-flavored debut album Everything I've Got In My Pocket this year, was approached by the record producer to embark on a musical career akin to J.Lo's.

"But Driver turned Mottola's proposition down because R&B isn't her style.

"She says, "I sang a little song I wrote in (1997 movie) 'Good Will Hunting.' I had talks with major record business movers and shakers like Randy Jackson about signing something really big.
"'Tommy Mottola played me some of J.Lo's stuff and said, 'This is what you should do. It's gonna be really massive.' But I'm not much of a butt shaker."

She's more of a "mover and" shaker, to be sure.

Out: The Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic (link via NYSocialDiary). Bad things are happening at the Phil. Very bad things.


Above: At the Philharmonic, Masters of the Universe Katherine Nedelkoff and Blair Endresen drink deeply of the distilled Peruvian peasant blood.

In: The Anonymous White Guy. Never mess with wiggers. That's my policy, at least. They have something to prove. Wiggers are like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. To be the only white guy in a black crowd, you've got to be tougher than tough, ready to throw down at a moments notice. Wiggers are passionate about black culture, sometimes ... too passionate ... they kind of take it to extremes, like this anonymous wigger, responding to Marc Cuban's odd post of yesterday, in which he asked aloud whether the HipHop-NBA connection was a good thing:

"Mark, my career is hip hop music. I'm a 28 y/o WHITE BOY recording engineer. I would love for you to read this.I have been an NBA fan since 3rd grade.

"My favorite team was the Celtics for a long time. (NH native) Now I'm an avid Pacers fan. I like the Pacers because they play a team brand of ball, based around the true principals of the game. (Insert Artest joke here) These guys going around throwing up 'Q Dog' signs or 'Bullhorns' (Quentin Richardson) when they score make me sick.

"The Pacers do the job.

"Yes they celebrate.

"Signing a ball and giving it to an unexpecting fan=great

"Just giving a ball to fan=greatA pumped fist after a dunk=great

"Standing on the scorers table and hyping up the crowd after a come from behind win=great

"Giving the Q Dog sign after a dunk=corny

"Signing a ball and giving it to someone who's gonna give it back=stupid

"Doing the Atlanta Stomp after a TD=stupid

"Athletes, we hold you to high standard, you should think about that. You are not musicians, stop acting like them. The hip hop generation has come a long way, but it's never going to be accepted by everybody.

"BTW-My favorite player of all time was Larry Bird."

You don't say.

Prince William Bags a Bird

And no, The Crown Regent didn't hook up with "a hot little number named Effie." That's not "the bird" we were talking about. Were talking pheasant and partridge, people, please get your mind out of the gutter! According to Hello!Magazine:

"Fresh from a busy weekend of Christmas festivities with the members of the royal family, Prince William got in a little sport on Monday at Sandringham. Accompanied by Harry, and uncles Andrew and Edward, the 22-year-old royal looked quite the country gentlemen in a hunting cap and shooting jacket as he joined a shooting party on the grounds of the Queen�s Norfolk estate. Wills seems to have proved himself a natural sportsman, expertly controlling his Labrador hunting dog by whistle and bagging a brace of pheasants and a partridge."

The Corsair doesn't know why he found this story compelling enough to post. Perhaps a colonial complex? Slow news week? Perhaps the irony of worldly sophistication the next-in-line electing to engage in a "red state" activity?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Susan Sontag, RIP

"To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge -- and, therefore, like power. A now notorious first fall into alienation, habituating people to abstract the world into printed words, is supposed to have engendered that surplus of Faustian energy and psychic damage needed to build modern, inorganic societies. But print seems a less treacherous form of leaching out the world, of turning it into a mental object, than photographic images, which now provide most of the knowledge people have about the look of the past and the reach of the present."


Susan Sontag, On Photography

According to the AP, Susan Sontag is dead. Actually, yesterday when I was on my tirade against photography, I wanted to mention her, but thought otherwise because one doesn't just toss around Sontag's nuanced position on photography -- perhaps the most well articulated defense of photography as an ethical and artistic mode of expression -- and just walk away. She deserved better.

I can't say that I was ever a fan of Susan Sontag, but she had an incredible, penetrative mind, most evident in her essays, where she reigned as Sovereign Queen, and her essay on Ingmar Bergman's Persona in Styles of Radical Will is quite astonishing.

The AP writes:

"Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined 'zealot of seriousness' whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.

"Sontag called herself a 'besotted aesthete,' an 'obsessed moralist' and a 'zealot of seriousness.'
She wrote a best-selling historical novel, 'The Volcano Lover,' and in 2000 won the National Book Award for the historical novel 'In America.' But her greatest literary impact was as an essayist."

Sontag was definitely an aesthete, a "foraging pluralist," much like the supreme flip flopper himself, Jacques Derrida, (Sontag coined the Derridaesque, "Cogito ergo boom") who also recently passed on, but she had her moments of concentrated ethical battle, especially against the Europe's pathetic silence on the Sarajevo conflict raging on their doorstep as well as articulating her own courageous battle with cancer. Sontag was a great lover and champion of contemporary European writing and art, from Elias Canetti and Walter Benjamin to Roland Barthes, Goddard, and Leni Riefenstahl.

But to limit her as an American with pretentions towards contemporary European art is misleading. Sontag's interests were vast, including Asian film (she served on the jury of Hawaii Film Festival in 1986), Surrealism, and the bridging of high and low culture. Sontag was also a minor playwright and a human rights activist. As a sort of paragon of the blue states (as, perhaps, Leo Strauss might be for the red states; I have this theory that the virtue red staters value above all others is the feminine "sophistication," and, ancillary to that, "internationalism," "tolerance," and "pluralism;" the highest of all red stater values is the masculine "righteousness," and, ancillary to that, "hierarchy," "godliness," and the Kierkegaardian, "purity of heart is to will one thing"), Sontag said in a recent interview about her novels:

"Maybe these novels should be viewed as books about travel, about people in foreign places: The Volcano Lover is about the British in Italy; In America is about the Poles emigrating to the US; the novel I'm about to start is about some Japanese people in France in the 1920s. However, I'm not trying to fulfill a program--I'm trying to stretch myself."

And stretch her mighty Arizonan Eagle's wings she did, as she was the very model of intellectual sophistication. I'd like to mention that she was also drop dead gorgeous, a dark, intense woman whose eyes -- sharp eagle eyes -- always registered her deep intelligence, who, as she grew older, developed a dramatic white streak in her hair. Rowwr.

The AP notes:

"'Unfortunately, Miss Sontag's intelligence is still greater than her talent,' Gore Vidal wrote in a 1967 review of 'Death Kit.'"

"'Yet ... once she has freed herself of literature, she will have the power to make it, and there are not many American writers one can say that of.'"

Her experimental novels (where she "stretched") -- with the exception of the best selling Volcano Lover -- were more critical than financial hits. Vidal often chided her for her being overinfluenced by the virtually unreadable Nathalie Sarraute and Alain Robbe-Grillet, Europeans who luxuriated in being difficult, but underneath it all, I suspect, was a grudging respect, and a desire to see Sontag write in a more "organic," American-style. The jerky, interrupted stop-and-start style of I, Etcetera, and the old melancholy sepia-toned snapshot laden Death Kit, represent her at her most interesting. And of course Sontag was capable, like the old European intellectuals she held in such high esteem, of making poignant, thoughtful statements, like, "intelligence ... is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas."

Sontag began her life an autodidact, a dark eyed unhappy little girl in Phoenix, Arizona, in love with European writers who took her away from her disappointing parents. In a New York Times magazine article, she once described her childhood as one of being "abandoned."And, in a sense, the stubbornness of the autodidact and her idealization of the European intellectual remained with her to the end (Sontag was perhaps the most European intellectualish American intellectual of all time; we have no trouble imagining her in a Paris cafe smoking Galhousie's, waiting for Godot). The AP continues:

"In 1999 she wrote an essay for 'Women,' a compilation of portraits by her longtime companion, photographer Annie Leibovitz."

Liebovitz eventually left Sontag for the nanny, and Sontag labored on, in pursuit of the life of the mind. Perhaps it was the battle with cancer, but Sontag always equated suffering -- on the microcosmic level of herself, or at the macrocosmic level of corrupt governments and war -- with moral seriousness:

"I had already set foot outside of the wealthy countries of North America and Western Europe. For example, I had been to North Africa and Mexico. But Vietnam was the first country I visited where I saw real suffering. And I looked at such experiences not just in aesthetic terms, but also with moral seriousness. So it's not that I'm disenchanted with modernism. I want for myself to take in more reality, and still with the tools of modernism, to address real suffering .."

And, in that respect, she was a true humanist, an Arizona eagle -- Phoenix variety? or Phoenix variety? -- free at last, a warrior who has earned our undying respect for her brave battles in the gladitorial fundament of the world of ideas. That dark eyed little girl in Phoenix would be proud of what she had become. Now put the mundance worries of the past existence behind. Rest a well earned warriors rest.

RIP, Susan Sontag.

A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Gurkha's. Madonna's Krav Maga bodyguards? That's so 2004, people (Averted Gaze), if you go in for that sort of thing. Seriously, though, get with it. The Corsair's talking about Gurkha's, those crafty Nepalese warriors, well, that's the future, baby; you can never have enough dangerous Nepalese protection if you are rich and famous. According to the 3 AM Girls, Claudia Schiffer and British Director Matthew Vaughn have Gurkha's protecting their 16th century home, Coldham Hall, near Bury St Edmunds:

"Claudia Schiffer and her British film director husband Matthew Vaughn have sparked a celebrity craze by hiring five former British Army Gurkhas to help run and protect their ($9.6 million) Suffolk mansion.

"The Layer Cake director and his German supermodel missus are great supporters of the fearsome Nepalese fighters and have been urging pals to hire them too.

"Now we hear Vaughn's best friend Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie and his wife Madonna are so impressed after seeing their Gurkhas, they want to employ some too. And whatever Madonna wants, she usually gets.

"Matthew told 3am: 'The Gurkhas are among the most hardworking, loyal and skilled people I have ever come across. We are delighted to give them jobs.'

"... Gurkhas are famous for carrying the curved kukri knife and a recent change in British law means that those who served for four years or more and retired after 1997 can live and work in Britain after they leave the army."

Out: Are Enrique and Anna Married? Are they, or are they not? everyone is asking. Who giveth a fuck? says we. According to that significant cultural artifact, The Star:

"While reps for both stars refused to comment on their clients' marital statuses, some sources close to the couple confirm that the two some did tie the knot. 'They are definitely married,' an insider reports.

"'They kept it under the radar and are totally hitched.' Another source reveals that Kournikova missed her good friend Serena Williams' fashion show Dec. 15 at the Forge, a trendy restaurant in South Beach, because she was busy being a newlywed. But when tennis star Serena Williams herself was asked about the reports of a secret Mexican wedding she was very skeptical: 'No, I don't think she got married,' she said. 'She's a good friend of mine, and I'd know about it if she had.'

"Another source may have summed it up better. 'Who knows if she is or she isn't?' asked one of Anna's friends, who described himself as a confidante. What is for sure, is that the couple never filed the proper paperwork in Mexico. 'They did not get married here,' Silvia Montiel, the marriage-license clerk at Puerto Vallarta's Registro Civil Office told Star."

In: Angelina and Mad, On The Move. Most kissable babe Angelina Jolie is a high octane Gemini woman and adorable baby Maddox is not slowing her down a whit, according to Hello!Magazine:


"Globe-trotting actress
Angelina Jolie does not seem to be slowing down to catch her breath this holiday season. After a busy week of promoting her latest film Alexander in Europe, the UN Goodwill Ambassador jetted off to the Middle East for a personal visit. Accompanied by son Maddox, she has spent the past week taking in the the sights and sounds of the cities of Beirut and Sidon. This is the devoted mother's first ever visit to Lebanon.

"Apparently she was quite taken by the motorcycle she drove in the movie Gone In 60 Seconds, the 750cc MV Agusta Brutale. Her latest ride is a powerful and luxurious hand-built Italian bike with a price tag of a cool ($20,200). "

Out: "The Pirate." We have lived 33 years, through a Ugandan dictatorship, Vermont winters, New York blackouts -- we thought we had seen and heard it all. Really, we did. And then this from Dan Savage:

"Q. Have you heard about 'the Pirate'? This is when you're getting a blowjob from a girl and as you come you ejaculate in her eye. Then you kick her in the shin. The result is the woman squinting an eye and hopping up and down on one foot, holding her leg and screaming, 'Arrrgh!' How many people are into this?"

None, we gather.

In: Kirsten Dunst's LA New Year's Bash. According to the 3AM Girls:

"KIRSTEN Dunst is already gearing up for a big New Year's Eve bash.

"The Spider-Man star has started plastering her Los Angeles home with balloons and a ginormous inflatable champagne bottle in preparation for Friday night."

Ginormous?! Restraining order be damned, we are so there!

Out: Norman Mailer Versus Tom Wolfe. Novelists are not like bloggers. They create worlds, and we keep workers from doing their jobs at the office terminal. We are "snarky," they are "witty." How can we compete? Like this chestnut, from our beloved Page Sixxies:

" ... Perhaps Wolfe is leery of stirring up the bad blood that has flowed between him and Mailer for years. As early as 1989, Mailer dissed Wolfe by declaring, 'There is something silly about a man who wears white all the time, especially in New York.' Wolfe responded, 'The lead dog is the one they always try to bite in the ass.' Mailer zinged back: 'It doesn't mean you're the top dog just because your ass is bleeding.'"

Ah, Mailer, as always wielding the language as delicately as the switch of the wrist in fencing. But "bleeding ass" references notwithstanding, wouldn't you love to see these old writers duke it out in the ring? Ever see old men fight? It's vicious. It'll shake you profoundly. They know the ropes. The bitchtits, the man-girdles, the smell of Ben-Gay and the language! Lots of unceremonious use of the term, "Jehosophat!" Someone ought to put this together.

Liza Minnelli Fallen ... Can't Get Up

We will readily admit that the post title "Liza Minnelli Fallen ... Can't Get Up" is about as eye-popping as a heading involving Jacko and children, or that Sir Edmund Hillary of social climbers Liz Hurley and some luckless billionaire, or even Liza beating up a botoxed freak, but, quite frankly, we couldn't resist -- and it's a slow news week -- so, according to The Daily News:


"The troubled songbird was admitted to a New York hospital yesterday after she reportedly fell out of bed and struck her head.

"Two police officers and two Emergency Medical Service workers removed Minnelli from her upper East Side building on a stretcher after receiving a 911 call about 'an unconscious female' around 4 a.m. "'When firefighters responded, she appeared intoxicated,' a police source told the Daily News. 'She was incoherent and not really responding.'"

And that's when the true detective work kicked in: Is Liza just incoherent as per her usual 'mode of being,' or, like, is this 'medical emergency' incoherence on the part of Liza ...

"A police source told People magazine that Minnelli 'hit her head. Her bodyguard got nervous and he called 911. He said he couldn't get her up. She wasn't bleeding. She was on the floor.'"

See, that's why we were never Detective material. Well, that and the fact that we the closest we ever got to Police Academy was the Steven Gutenberg films (The Corsair humbly asks his readers not to sweat "The Goot"). If you presented us with three facts and three facts only, to wit: Liza Minnelli is not bleeding; Liza Minnelli is on the floor; and, most important, Liza Minnelli can't get up; well, we would've just refreshed her drinkie-poo and pointed her in the direction of Halston and the dance floor like it was Studio 54 days. But that�s just us.

Liza has such alert bodyguards ...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Graydon Carter on "Lensmen"

Being a Conde Nast editor, like being in the pimping game, aint easy. For one, a Conde Nasty must carefully walk the thin tightrope between "shallow" and "stylish." And you, my dear, mellow, naive reader, thought the two were the same. Piffle.

One cannot appear to be too intellectual, because, well, that suggests unsavory hints at being learned, spending hours at the books but not on your obligatory Conde Nast mantan and Prada, and, well, education is not cool -- unless, of course, you are David Remnick, Conde Nast's one-man AV squad, whose very existence kind of offsets the general fluffiness of the Newhouse enterprise.


Graydon: Pre-Dandy Architectonic hair accent

Navigating the thin line between the shallow and the stylish is not an easy task, nor is it one that should be embarked upon lightly. Presumably, lesser men would crumble. Graydon Carter, however, does so with panache in his elegantly-tailored Saville Row suits smoking his Winston Lights. Suavitude of a high degree is involved here, my mellows. Carter blends the requisite benign neglect of African-American cover subjects with a considerable skill at the facile observation. We'll only make passing reference to the architectonic head of hair.

Here, vintage Graydon on -- not photographers, mind you -- (sotto voce) "lensemen":

"I was blessed to have worked with Helmut Newton for a dozen years here at V.F. I was fortunate, too, to have had tea once with Cartier-Bresson, in the bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris a few years back, to discuss his first major U.S. assignment in 29 years. (He had, by that time, all but given up photography for a sketchpad.) Cartier-Bresson was then in his early 90s, but his eyes were those of a young man. So was his mischievous manner."

A considerable pause.

Photography (The Corsair rolls up his sleeves; gets ready to dispel some old shibbeloths). Okay, The Corsair is prepared to turn off a portion of his audience here, he always is, we have strong opinions, so be it, we believe photographers as overrated.

There, we said it.

We believe photography to be a minor art form, not a major one. Charming, to be sure, and vaguely "French;" there has never been a "genius" photographer, nor can there ever be, we believe, like there are, say, genius writers, such as Count Tolstoi, or sculptors, such as Constantin Brancusi.

Like we said, a minor art form, and, thus, a perfect subject for Graydon Carter to wrap his thin Canadian lips around, nothing too serious, nothing suggesting either learning or intellectual effort:

"... Their travels help form the patina of their characters and the grist for their tales. These old-timers, I will tell you, are great company. Not only that, they seem to go forever.

"Every half-year or so, I squeeze myself into a booth at Gallagher's, an ancient Midtown haunt not far from the Time & Life Building, for a lunch with a small crew of these gifted elders."

The lensemen, it appears, are being squeezed out of this profile, no? It's now all about The Graydon. Hey, Graydon, which of The Seven Rooms are "the lensemen" in? Huh? The Hanging-With-Mick-in-Mustique Room?:

"These twice-yearly lunches generally include my colleague Jonathan Becker (a pup at 50) and such photographic greats as Slim Aarons, 88, Arnold Newman, 86, Douglas Kirkland, 70, and Tom Hollyman, 85. Another regular is a man they all worked for at one point in their careers: Frank Zachary, the former editor in chief of Town & Country and the art director of the old Holiday magazine in the 50s. The last time we got together was for Zachary's 90th birthday."

Sweet Holiday Magazine reference, Graydon; that was, like, how many decades before we were born? You do know, Graydon, baby, that the median age at this Gallagher's repast, BTW, is 75/76? Let's hope the menu offerings were easy on the digestion, and those scotches were laced with Mylanta.

A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Paris Hilton's Lesbian Tape. You would think we would be sick of this crypto-racist 'ho already, and you would be just about right. Just about. But we are not quite yet ready to go the Lloyd Grove route yet. The Corsair spent 2004 so up in Paris Hilton, that a post-coital cigarette might be in order. Or, better yet -- eew -- not.

But just before Christmas, this lesbian tape, according to FemaleFirst, arose -- excuse the pun:

"Hotel heiress PARIS HILTON has been struck with another sex tape scandal - this time featuring the sexy blonde frolicking with a woman.

"The explicit video was reportedly filmed on the reality TV star's 22nd birthday on 15 February last year (03) - after her high-profile home recording with former boyfriend RICK SALOMON."

Out: Early Morning Swordplay. The Regis and Kelly Show during the holidays, when most people are on vacation, is a sacred, holy space, a place where we can munch our toast with marmalade and sip our Earl Grey, maybe suck down a multivitamin, and share a chuckle with Reeg.

The Regis and Kelly Show is a space where we can try to count the number of Cutty Sark shots and Guinness chasers we put away the night before, try to remember which bar floozy felt us up roughly because "we were asking for it;" The Regis and Kelly Show is a space where we can try to calculate -- with dread -- the damage done to our monetary supply. Aside from the occasional Kelly camel toe, this is not a zone for hard core porn, it's just all to fucking early in the morning.

Enter: Heath Ledger, randy Australian, according to FemaleFirst:

"HEATH LEDGER shocked American audiences by talking about grabbing 'weenies' with his male buddies whilst wearing 'thongs.'

"The Australian actor, 25, stunned host REGIS PHILBIN with his Antipodean colloquialisms for having a hot dog while sporting flip-flops as he detailed the way he bonds with his male pals over Christmas. Ledger says, 'I was promoting my film on the REGIS AND (Kelly).'

"'Regis asked me what I did Down Under for Christmas fun, so I told him that me and my mates liked to put on our thongs and grab weenies and look at the world go by, and that was our perfect way to male-bond."

Thanks for sharing about your mates' swordplay at 10 am in the morning, Heathy!

In: The Corsair's Pirate Awards. That's hott. Later this week, The Corsair will give the year's biggest freaks their due with our 2nd annual Corsair's. And, of course, since all major media is on vacation, we will promptly be, alas, ignored.

Out: Scott Baio. Hollywood -- and, quite frankly (The Corsair says this with false nonchalance), time itself -- has not been kind to Scott Baio. The man once bragged on Howard Stern that he had dated so many silicon-enhanced Baywatch "stars," that his friends took to calling the show, "Baio-Watch." Eew.

Anyhoo: Variety reports that some sucker at the networks is actually giving "CHAR-les," another go at a show. On someplace other than "the UPN." With untold millions behind it (The Corsair sips from a pimp cup filled with 1978 Chateau Mouton Rothschild). And an Emmy-winning producer. We're serious:

"Former teen heartthrob Scott Baio is taking another stab at series television with an NBC sitcom project about a fortysomething who moves in with a guy in his 20s and turns his life upside down.

"The project has received a script commitment from the network. Emmy-winning writer-producer Jace Richdale ("The Simpsons") will serve as an executive producer.

"Baio, 43, is best known for his starring role in the 1980s comedy 'Charles in Charge' as well as his turn as Charles 'Chachi' Arcola on 'Happy Days.' He also did a two-year stint on CBS' 'Diagnosis Murder.'"

Chachi's last name was Arcola?

In: Rapture Fever. Yo, we blue-staters are smart enough to know that the world is not coming to an abrupt end. Matt Drudge -- who oddly appears to love social tragedy on a grand scale -- is stirring the fires that are, no doubt, already simmering in the fevered imagination of the illiterate cracker hillbilly's that believe that we are, indeed, "living in the last days."

But that's neither here nor there. If anything, the global scale of the disaster should strengthen international cooperation. In about a week, water borne disease will set in in the population dense Asia. Only then will the futility of individual nations humanitarian operations become apparent. If anything, we need a strong UN in case of global catastrophe or, and lets hope this never occurs, but my Aquarius ascendant is skeptical, a planetary-scale virus alert.

If the United Nations were run by anyone other than Kofi "fuzzy-wuzzy-impotent-teddy-bear" Annan, this would be a moment -- at the very least in Southeast Asia -- where global institutions could prove effective and necessary. All eyes are on the UN.

The pendulum swings. Global institutions are in inertia, and the pitchfork brigades have the momentum. We will no doubt be serenaded on all manner of media outlets by men and women named Skylar proffering forth their readings of a bad English translation ("for the common man") of the King James Translation of St. Jerome's quirky Latin Vulgate translation of the Koinos Greek Translation of an Aramaic translation of the Book of Revelations, and a notoriously difficult text at that.

But, oh! those mulleted Skylars, they love their "Mr. God" -- who looks like Santa Clause -- so much they cannot be bothered to fucking learn the Aramaic -- The Corsair takes a "time out" from "off the chain thuggin' on the real" about pseudoChristians for a spell of cozy, mute mirth and a sip from his overfloweth pimp cup.

Out: Dr. Phil on Tim Russert. Our favorite curmudgeon, James Wolcott, speaks out on that dumpy fraud's improbable appearance on the venerable Meet the Press:

"I'm not sure what which was worse, Dr. Phil's thimble-deep patriarchal profundities or the sage nods with which they were received by Untiny Tim. The only thing missing was a thought balloon over Russert's head that said, 'White healer speak many truths.'"

We couldn't agree more. From Plato to Dr. Phil. Fuck; Spengler was right. But Wolcott isn't finished, no, he gets a bit "saucy":

"My favorite moment of the few minutes I could endure was when Russert asked, "Isn't every minute parents spend with their children 'quality time'?"

"And Dr. Phil agreed that every moment is precious.

"Especially when the kids gather around the sofa after dinner to listen to daddy fart."

Oh, James, oh no you didn't (The Corsair covers his nose to avoid "scenting the Wolcottian 'beef'")

In: Love Between Consenting Airheads. Isn't it sweet, that in this post 9/11 world, two narcissistic asses could find and fall in love with themselves, and, more importantly, the simulacrum how they appear in the press "hooking up" with each other? According to The Dish:

"Former 'Baywatch' beauty Pamela Anderson has been photographed passionately kissing actor Stephen Dorff, quashing reports she's dating a model.

"Anderson, 37, had been linked with Christian Monzon but recently surprised onlookers by smooching 'Blade' star Dorff on a Malibu, Calif., beach

"One says, 'It wasn't long before Pammy stripped off and Dorff couldn't keep his eyes off her body.'"

Or, more in keeping with the narcissistic narrative, how he would look playing with that body.

"A friend of the hunk adds, 'They have a lot in common. This could be the start of something special.'"

Out: Mark Cuban. Ever since "The Benefactor" got unceremoniously dumped, Mark Cuban's blog posts have been ... odd. Eccentric. Dare we say "Dodgy," even. The latest is even wierd by Cuban standards, mixing the PBS educational cartoon "Arthur" and the question of Hip Hop's connection to the NBA:

"Thank goodness for the Hip Hop generation today, and the classical generation of the future. .

"They make and will make their parents take them to games. They do and will understand and relate to our players far better than the commentators and even some of their employers do. Our kids will keep the NBA fresh and relevant while their parents play chicken little.

"It says it all when Arthur , the animated rodent, is inclusive and has a better understanding of todays culture then media commentators who get paid to pretend to know."

Okay, Mark, too much nutmeg in the egg nog?