Monday, October 24, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out


Always bet on black. (image via cupcakeinterview)

In: Ron Mwangaguhunga, "Long Shot Diversity Candidate," Indeed. Ahem; charmed we're sure (Averted Gaze). We prefer to think of ourselves not so much as instruments of diversity, but rather as -- oh -- "Otherworldly, almond-eyed, Ugandan sophisticate with nascent titanic media tendancies." Still (The Corsair pours himself a peppery cognac), God bless those merry blogging souls, Jess and Jess at Gawker for thinking of us. Today, they mischievously poll just who might achieve that rather comfy Mediabistro Empire perch vacated recently by the patron saint of bloggers, one -- Elizabeth Spiers. We are, admittedly, a longshot -- 50-1 (Damn that Jayson Blair! Damn him!).

Anyway, media-opining is harmless fun (We do it all the time; shooting long, lushly, and not without our characteristic dash of East African lacerating wit) so, says Gawker, playfully-snarkily:

"Last week was a big one for former Gawkbot Elizabeth Spiers, who sold her first novel and, 2 seconds later, quit her job as Mediabistro editor-in-chief. Now, as she cruises through her last week prancing about the office (assuming she stops in to pick up her potted plants and whatnot), the media-whoring masses are left wondering who founder Laurel Touby and publisher Kyle Crafton will find to fill Spiers's dainty shoes."

We are polling a respectable 11.6 percent at present (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment); if you want to vote -- do so by all means, no pressures and we won't boost ourselves (In a just world this spot would, quite frankly, go to Choire). Just ... it would be nice if we didn't get less than Michael Caruso -- Currently polling at a dismal less than 2 percent. We couldn't bare that soul-killing prospect before all the chattering classes and might just have to do a little Seppuku, Ugandan-style.


(image via emb-japan.go)

Out: The "Japan Card." And speaking of the lost Art of Seppuku, the "Japan Card" is being played by Beijing, from, we cannot fail to note, the bottom of the deck (Arched eyebrow, cocktail glass cocked askance). One of our media obsessions is the continued safety of Japan, a staunch US ally, in the wake of an increasingly aggressive China. Things are growing tense, of late, with Sino-Chinese relations which, all-in-all, were never just quite "ducky." According to our favorite Dickensian villain, Robert Novak:

"For the first time, China and Japan are great powers at the same time and eye each other with foreboding -- 127 million Japanese worried about 1.3 billion Chinese. To Japanese diplomats, Chinese outrage over the shrine visit is just Beijing playing its 'Japan card.' For seven years, Japan has dismissed Chinese demands for apologies about World War II as a power play for dominance in East Asia.

"The attitude by ordinary Japanese may be reflected by the colorful Shintaro Ishihara, governor of the Tokyo prefecture. Over dinner with me, he worried about Chinese advancement in long-range missiles and nuclear submarines threatening the U.S. protective shield around Japan.

"When I asked senior Japanese officials, they chuckled about the outspoken Ishihara but did not dispute him. They noted theories, neither agreeing nor disagreeing, that China is preparing either to push the Americans out of Asia or just overwhelm Taiwan."

True that, alas. What would happen, say, if China and their newfound ally Russia (post-Bratislava, AKA, "The Turning Point") decided, muscularly, to simply overwhelm Taiwan? Would the nearly overstretched United States intervene?



Nick Pileggi and 'Nick Dunne. (image via NySocialDiary)

In: Dominick Dunne. Happy early birthday to Dominick Dunne, celebrated by our favorite social chronicler, David Patrick Columbia here. We've been following Dunne's exploits for some time now, especially his intense media feud with the slimy Melendez defense attorney, Leslie Abramson (Averted Gaze). Dunne's victim-centered reporting on crime's commited among the rich and powerful jet-set is sometimes -- but not always -- a bit too much in awe of the boldfacers for our tastes (We hath a healthy love of the boldfacers, but not when connected with murder and crime reporting); but Dunne's work is always compelling, and, most certainly borne from an acute personal tragedy.

David Patrick Columbia actually introduced us to Dunne a while ago. Dunne was at Michael's for lunch en route to Los Angeles to cover the final stages of the Blake murder trial, and then, afterwards, off to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. We were stunned, awed, and mumbled our name and the name of our website on the introduction. Dunne nodded, blankly. Afterwards, starstruck, DPC told us that, unfortunately, Dunne probably didn't catch our name as he is now, sadly, a bit hard of hearing. Darn. Such is life.

Still, a happy -- early -- birthday Dominick Dunne. Keep on keeping on. (DPC on Dunne)

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