Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Little of The Old In and Out


Above: She's so fine ... we think we'd drink her bathwater. Probably.

In: Padme Lakshmi Rushdie. Ah, my beautiful Padme (The Corsair sighs). She still hasn't gotten over Guy Trebay's hit piece in the Old Gray Lady, even though -- reportedly -- her husband, Salman Rushdie, threatened Trebay with physical violence immediately thereafter. From FashionwireDaily:

"We asked Lakshmi what she thought of the New York Times profile of her that had run during Fashion Week, and which seemed unnecessarily mean-spirited, casting aspersions on her marriage and calling her a 'semicelebrated hustler' (ouch!) based solely on the fact that she was in frequent - and much-photographed - attendance in the front row at Bryant Park.

"'I didn't get it, actually,' she said as she examined a bottle of infused olive oil. 'Maybe [the writer] was jealous because I had better seats. I thought he failed to mention the obvious truth, which was I was there to write about the clothes [for Harper's Bazaar], unlike him,' she said. 'It must have been a slow news day. I mean, what did I do? I've been in the fashion industry for ten years, so I went to a few shows. I think he was going to write that article regardless of what I said or what the truth actually was. It's fine. I was going to get roasted and I got roasted.'"

Jacob Bernstein of New York wrote of the contretemps:

"'In the Hindu pantheon,' (Trebay) observed, 'Lakshmi is the domestic deity representing wealth and the embodiment of beauty, grace, and charm ... In the current fashion pantheon, Ms. Lakshmi similarly stands for a love of money and commodity. A burgeoning brand married to a global brand, she has no problem making public an inventory of brands she chooses to wear.'

"Understandably, her husband was not amused. Witnesses say Rushdie walked up to Trebay at a National Arts Club event three days later and said, 'If you ever write mean things about my wife again, I'll come after you with a baseball bat.' Shaken, Trebay, who was on his way out, left.
"Of course, many found it ironic that Rushdie was threatening a writer with bodily harm for something he?d published. He didn?t return messages, and Trebay refused to comment. But a fellow attendee would: 'She?s an ambitious person with a lot of hustle. I would think by celebrity standards she?s fair game. Have you seen her Website?'"

Many, many times. *The Corsair swoons*

Out: Pamela Anderson. What -- with all the Pink Champagne (Averted Gaze), "the Hep C," the silicon (saline?) "dirty pillows," the late night partying with David La Chappelle and his merry band of freaks, the fucking "pro surfers," (Averted Gaze) and -- lest we forget -- the various polymers that preserve Our Pammie as the prototypical "fembot" that she is today, was it any wonder (The Corsair sips wanly at a chilled glass of Vision Cellars Pinot Noir) that it took this long to get an, ehr, "incriminating picture" of Miss Pamela Anderson (image via Getty), showing the ravages of the incommensurability of plastic and the delicate human nervous system?


Above: In retrospect, not a good day for Japanese "face" in the Asian Pacific.

In: China. How badly did China lay some whup ass on Japan this week? (The Corsair visibly winces) Then again, when the Prime Minister is robustly playing "bitch" to Richard Gere (True comment -- Gere to Koizumi: "I'll lead") at a press conference, the fastest rising power on the planet -- a 5,000 year old continuous culture -- doesn't have to fuck around. China metes out punishing discipline in the region at will. At present, China simply flexes, and all of Asia cringes.

Unfortunately, the Neocons seem positively terrified of dealing firmly with China. We need men and women of intellect, patience and strong will to deal with China's increasingly roguish tactics with its neighbors. They will respect us for doing so, as opposed to regarding us as a capricious young nation.


Above: Junichiro Koizumi's hair appears gloriously unaffected by the Japanese reversal of fortune.

Damn. Re: Japan; whatever happened to the Samurai Generals -- has all that noble history been entirely subsumed into the Yakuza? (The Corsair emits a long, low pitch whistle) Junichiro Koizumi was, like, "tossing Beijing's salad;" it was crazy. Via The Old Gray Lady:

"After weeks of rising tension between East Asia's two big powers, the leaders of China and Japan held a tense 55-minute meeting on Saturday on the sidelines of an international conference here, but they did not appear close to resolving the many problems underlying relations between the countries.

"Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan described his talks with China's top leader, Hu Jintao, as 'very good,' and he was expected to hold a news conference later Saturday.

"But in remarks to reporters, Mr. Hu was less optimistic and detailed some of the points he had made, ranging from regional security to Japan's attitude toward its history."

In other words: Koizumi wasn't submissive enough. Grovel harder. We want more. And they'll get more. This emerging phenomenon of Chinese Nationalism perfectly distracts the population from the growing pains of the vast economic expansion, directing the popular consciousness away from cultural conservatism for the disintegrating old way, and -- as a bi-product -- gives the people pride in their rising superpower status. And everyone's ducky except Japan and Taiwan, our ally when it's convenient.

Further, from the Old Gray Lady:

"Speaking at an Asia-Africa summit meeting here, with President Hu Jintao of China and other world leaders looking on, Mr. Koizumi said, 'Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.'"

The nation of the proud and mighty samurai?

"Without identifying any other country, he added: 'Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility. And with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely maintained, consistently since the end of World War II, never turning into a military power but an economic power.'"

Oh no, he didn't just say, "deep remorse and heartfelt apology," did he? (Buries face in hands) He did.

Out: Brooklyn. Oh no, The Old Gray Lady recognizes Brooklyn, which means, alas, Brooklyn is no longer cool. In the "Styles" section no less. It's over. Damn. It was a sweet ride while it lasted, but that's the way things work. If the New York Times recognizes some "emerging trend," it's cachet of hip is over. So sad. The Corsair wished that weren't the case, as he lives in Brooklyn, but alas, it is thusly:

"Maybe Brooklyn can finally stop feeling the need to promote itself as some kind of hip equal to Manhattan. Here is a loaded celebrity author who could afford to buy anywhere - he doesn't even have children who would need extra bedrooms and a yard - and he has chosen Brooklyn over Manhattan for his lifestyle upgrade. Bravo, Brooklyn. Paying $6.75 million to live a half-hour subway ride from Greenwich Village. That tells the world that you're not an outskirt. You're a mecca."

Fuuuck. Hushhush no, don't you know that -- voices carry, New York Times reporter. The sweet ride can continue. Don't do this to Brooklyn. Why do you have to harsh on the mello? Huh?


In: The Story of O. As a general rule, The Corsair studiously eschews bratty teenagers who sing prepackaged bubblegum music ("Papa don't preach?!"). But Papermag (Hey, guys!) has an interesting interview with a self-aware Kelly Osborne, who, mirabile dictu, appears to be apologizing for being, well, after all, a self-involved teenager:

"'I was being judged by the whole world and I was miserable,' she says. 'I developed this whole I don't give a fuck attitude. But deep down, I was dying inside.'

"Well, maybe not dying, but much of the world really was watching. The Osbournes raked in eight million viewers an episode at its peak, as well as a lot of cash ($20 million for the second season), which was split equally four ways. Kelly used part of her salary to buy drugs. Like, a lot of drugs. 'There isn't one episode where I wasn't on something,' Kelly says, adding that when she returned home from rehab, she was afraid to go into her bedroom. 'When I was stoned, I'd get scared that I would run out one day, so I hid them. They found something like 500 pills in my room when they cleaned it.'"

Like father, like daughter. We forgive you, Kelly.

Out: Dick Cheney. Doesn't he even see the trap he's walking into? Cheney is like the hapless pedestrian about to turn unawares face first into an expertly placed custard pie. Sure, Cheney will not run in 2008, so he can bust a few heads, kick a little ass, without political risk.

But in trying to reduce the powers of the Minority in the Senate -- the so called "nuclear option" ... one month before the fucking release of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith shows an utter lack of pop-cultural tone-deafness, even for Cheney. That movie deals specifically with the dissolution of the powers of a fictional republic and will be on everyone's minds all summer. Today Maureen Dowd -- who, incidentally does a fine job reviewing (on a takes-one-to-know-one, basis?) Jane Fonda's autobio -- even takes to calling Cheney, "Vader."

Of course that never stopped George Bush from using the release of an earlier Star Wars film as a springboard to talk to the nation about his objections to cloning. (Averted Gaze)

Seriously, if The Corsair were at the DNC, we would be unleashing "Star Wars"-themed commercials, imperially themed, aimed at 2006 with Cheney and Delay and "the Sith." Expect it.

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