Friday, February 29, 2008

Corsair Classic

Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

Mariacarla Boscono, sorely in need of a robust multivitamin. (image via style)

Law & Order's Jennifer Missoni, aka, "Gymnastic booty,'' but her friends call her "Bubbles." (image via style)
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Mumbling through songs, swearing into the mic and sweating like a wildebeest, Pete Doherty scooped his first music award last night - Hero of the Year.The 28-year-old Babyshambles frontman's accolade was met with a chorus of guffaws - and a few boos.The Enemy's Tom Clarke was unimpressed, telling us: 'Doherty doesn't deserve to win anything. He isn't in the music industry any more, he's in the drugs trade.'" (3AMGirls)

"Focusing on foreign-policy issues does shed light on the question of why Medvedev was chosen as the heir apparent. Despite Putin's often harsh statements, one important thread of Russian policy abroad has been an effort to improve Russia's image internationally. Putin and the various elites of siloviki -- people connected with the military, police, and security organs -- that surround him are concerned with legitimizing their status and their assets in the West. They know that only people who are perceived in the West as 'liberals' -- people like Medvedev -- can advance the interests of the new state megacorporations abroad and open up new international markets for Gazprom and other companies the Putin-era elites control. Only these 'liberals' have a chance of attracting significant foreign investment to Russia. The siloviki need the cover these liberals provide, and Medvedev is seen as a reliable intermediary ... And the harsh rhetoric will likely continue, simply because the ruling elite in Moscow has come to believe that it gets results. Since Putin's notably belligerent anti-American speech in Munich in February 2007, Russia has rarely been far from the center of attention internationally. In this way, Russia is following the same policy as Iran and North Korea." (RadioFreeEurope)

"Tilda Swinton has two lovers and an Oscar! The younger of her two paramours, Sandro Kopp, is a talented artist whose price hopefully will go up now. As a reader points out, these very genital works by him didn’t exactly go through the roof, bid-wise, on a New Zealand version of eBay. (Forty dollars??? Surely people are willing to pay more than that for a dick or a vadge, even if they’re just representations!) And as the same reader notes, Kopp’s own website curiously omits them." (Musto)

" Last night I went over to Elaine’s to meet Paige Peterson and Chris Cerf for some later dinner (early supper) about nine o’clock. You’ve read about Elaine’s before, been there before, heard about it before. So have I, although I’m not one of the regulars who hit the place at least two, three times a week. So I’m always amazed that this saloon, this clubhouse which Chris Cerf started coming to when he was a kid in the mid-1960s, is not only still going, but still going strong ... Last night the author Frederic Morton came in and joined our table. Two tables down Dominic Chianese from 'The Sopranos' was at a table with friends and was joined by Tony Danza." (NYSD)

"New Line Cinema co-CEOs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne were out the door Thursday as the 40-year-old studio - which produced the 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Rush Hour' and 'Austin Powers' franchises - was absorbed as a unit of Warner Bros. Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes, New Line's corporate overlord, signaled the move might be likely earlier this month. But the news was broken in a memo to distraught employees shortly before an announcement to the press. 'This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us,' Shaye and Lynne told colleagues." (Gatecrasher)

"Reading about Sen. Barack Obama's undergarment preferences seems to be of more interest to Us Weekly's readers than Britney Spears' custody battles. The magazine posted a excerpt on its Web site from its three-page feature on the presidential candidate late Wednesday night, slugged 'Barack Obama Refuses Boxers or Briefs Question.' The story generated the second-highest traffic ever for a single article on the site, second only to the news on Heath Ledger's death. In just 12 hours, the Obama story got 434,002 unique visitors and more than 3.6 million page views." (WWD)

"U.S. and Polish officials 'made a good start' Friday in hammering out a possible deal on how Washington can help modernize Poland's military in exchange for Poland hosting a missile defense base, a U.S. diplomat said. Poland is demanding Washington's help in upgrading its armed forces if the U.S. wants to base 10 missile interceptors in the country. The American plan would also involve a radar system in neighboring Czech Republic. Washington says the system is necessary to protect the U.S. and its European allies from possible future attacks from Iran." (IHT)

"Givenchy's Wednesday-night dinner at the Elysée Montmartre was a throwback to old-world elegance. The lighting was an artful manipulation of candlelight and shadows. A string quartet played skillfully as guests like Emmanuelle Alt and Dita Von Teese filed into their seats at the orchid-filled tables. But no sooner had the dessert plates been cleared than the door scene turned into a frenzied mosh pit, with after-party invitees jostling to squeeze inside. Even Chloë Sevigny had a hard time getting found in the shuffle. 'That wasn't easy,' she sighed, catching her breath at the top of the stairs. 'But it was worth it.' Revelers like Liya Kebede flooded the dance floor. Dancing to the musical stylings of 2 Many DJ's, the soft-spoken mother of two giggled, 'When I'm not in New York, I get a little wild.'" (Style)

"One VIP who almost didn't make it to Ungaro was Kanye West. The Grammy-winning music mogul was forced to sit discreetly on the floor after a late night of partying at the Balenciaga after-party at Le Baron threw his sleep pattern off-schedule. Ungaro publicists rearranged the seating in section D, hoping he would show, and he finally arrived at look 16. Undeterred, he took his spot beneath the photo pit and whipped out his camera, snapping away." (Fashionweekdaily)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Flamboyant singer Boy George has said that he didn't chain a male escort to a wall at his plush London home, a court heart today. The pop-star and DJ appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in east London, and pleaded not guilty when he was accused of assaulting and imprisoning a male escort on April 28 last year ... The singer spent time talking with lawyers before leaving the court building, thanking fans who turned up to offer support. He said only 'no comment' to waiting press before leaving in a black Volkswagen people carrier." (Thisislondon)

"More than 700 New Yorkers and national movers and shakers attended A Tribute to Women Leaders as One Hundred Black Men Inc. of New York City (OHBM) ... Guests at the VIP reception included former Mayor David Dinkins and Mrs. Dinkins, Congressman Gregory Meeks ... One Hundred Black Men Inc. of New York City was founded in 1963 when a group of successful African-American men, including Judge Robert Mangum, David Dinkins and businessman J. Bruce Llewellyn pooled their resources to positively impact the black community. Other members have included the late Johnnie Cochran, Bill Cosby, former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, Congressman Charles Rangel .." (NYSD)

"Mary-Kate Olsen is making a rare public appearance Thursday to support a friend. The petite mogul is coming out of hiding following the death of friend Heath Ledger and is expected to attend, not to mention face the cameras at, Giambattista Valli's show at the Espace Ephémère Paris."(Fashionweekdaily)

"Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has been on a tour of duty with the British Army in Afghanistan since before Christmas, it emerged today. The Prince has been on active duty in the country since mid-December, working as a Forward Air Controller – responsible for providing cover for troops on the frontline in Helmand Province. He has been personally involved in clashes with Taleban guerrillas." (Timesonline via DrudgiePoo)

"President Bush attacked a key foreign policy stance of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), contending heatedly at a news conference Thursday morning that talking to dictators without preconditions can be dangerous and counterproductive. Obama’s argument that the president 'should never fear to negotiate' with America’s enemies – including Cuba's new leader, Raul Castro – is one of his clearest differences with his rival for the presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). At a news conference where Bush showed unusual passion for a president in his waning months, he said 'now is not the time' to talk with Castro." (Politico)

"The Cruises and Smiths left their six kids at home and went out for a grown-ups dinner last night, in what appears to be Tom and Katie's continuing effort to woo Will and Jada into the flock of Scientology. The supercouple supper club at Cut Steakhouse in L.A. would have been complete had the Beckhams joined the bankable leading men and their actress wives. Alas, David's in South Korea and Victoria is busy coaching Cruz through his break-dancing boot camp." (PageSix)
"Poland and the United States are struggling to accommodate each other's priorities around Washington's plan to erect a missile defence site with interceptors on Polish territory, according to US and Polish government sources ... While US-Polish talks on the details and timing of the ballistic missile site itself are progressing, according to the sources the negotiating parties are in opposition over two other subjects arising from, but not directly linked, to the missile site. These are bilateral US-Polish defence co-operation and the stationing of US troops in Poland via a specific status-of-forces agreement (SOFA). 'We see SOFA as the main negotiating track [after missile defence]. They consider a new defence co-operation agreement as more important,' a US official told Jane's." (Janes)

"... I guess not every name comes readily to mind for (Tina Brown). She cutely couldn't remember the name of the (The Other Boleyn Girl) director in her speech before the screening (it's Justin Chadwick), which she delivered in a very smart black leathery top that made her look mildly dominatrix-like. But Tina did say she's obsessed with Boleyn, 'and if I have enough drinks at the dinner later, I'll recite the poem she wrote just before she was beheaded.' Well, someone ELSE was going to have to have their noggin cut off because I wasn't INVITED to the dinner! Anyway, another adorable moment happened when Tina thanked Sony for having the screening, at which point a publicist jumped in to clarify that the evening was actually underwritten by the Diamond board!" (Musto)

"But apart from the real problems that Kosovo will face, and the ethical ones that its patrons will have to deal with, the biggest issue here is the future of Serbia. This pivotal country in the Balkans is being pushed into national division and isolation by the rush to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Belgrade can be blamed for most of the sorrow that has been heaped upon the Serbs since Slobodan Milosevic’s policies triggered the wars that destroyed multiethnic Yugoslavia. His cancellation of Kosovo’s autonomy and the brutality with which Belgrade dealt with the Kosovars’ rebellion brought the wrath the West upon his head. But the West’s continued humiliation of the Serbs, to their regional rivals’ benefit, seems designed to promote the growth of Serbian nationalism (and thus divide this nation further) and also to sow the seeds of endless tension in the region. Whether this is the result of strategy or stupidity is equally lamentable: the United States has shown itself to be most reckless with peace while claiming to promote it. Kosovo has declared its independence and several countries, led by the United States, have already recognized it. However long its recognition remains in limbo, the breakaway state will be independent of Serbia but not independent of endless foreign support." (WashPo)
Corsair Classic

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Towards A Russo-Slavic Union?

Expect increased cooperation between Russia and it's Slavic "client states." How could there not be? President George Bush overestimated the amount of humiliation that Putin would put up with before snapping and turning against the United States of America. In the last stages of their "friendship (Averted Gaze)" -- where the President looked directly into the Russian President's soul -- Bush relied on the gloriously Evil Henry Kissinger, the hero of crypto-tyrants, everywhere.

And it happened.

Richard Holbrooke wrote last March in The Washington Post:

"Putin says Russia will not support anything that the Serbs oppose. If this means a Russian veto in the Security Council, or an effort to water down or delay Ahtisaari's plan, the fragile peace in Kosovo will evaporate within days, and a new wave of violence -- possibly even another war -- will erupt. Ahtisaari's plan, probably the best possible under current circumstances, does not satisfy more extreme Albanians -- because it does not provide instant independence and because of its emphasis on protecting Serbs who chose to remain in Kosovo.

Yet instead of working to avert violence in Kosovo, Russia seems to be enjoying the opportunity to defy key Western countries, especially Germany and the United States."

It will probably take a generation to repair the damage done by the pseudo-Slavophile Condi Rice Doctrine. The wealth of Europe, at the doorstep of the Slavic nations, presents the perfect bitter target. And the Russian Bear, once mangy during Yeltsin, now sports an oily sheen. And it guards the spigots of Europe's oil.

Expect Russia and the Slavic nations to breathe down Europe's neck. Let's hope Europe, divided, realizes the threat that the Russian Bear and it's angry, Slavic satellites possibly represents.
Audra McDonald Deserves An Emmy

The Corsair just saw A Raisin in the Sun via TiVo yesterday. How brilliant was it? Michael Anderson, a former editor at The New York times Book Review, hipped us to the Ibsenish dimensions of this book years ago, by the fascinating and all-but-forgotten author Lorraine Hainsberry.

ABC's impressive production, starring P Diddy (wooden), Sanaa Lathan (smart), Phylicia Rashad (solid), and the magnificent Audra McDonald, who turned a particularly good performance, was the best thing on network television in years. For a while The Corsair thought he was watching PBS, or Showtime. But, no, it was actually on network television.

The claustrophobic living room is here most of the drama takes place. The women -- Phylicia, Sanaa, Audra -- are the engine that drive the work. From Blues to Jazz in 60 seconds.

Networks used to experiment. Remember Woody Allen's teleplay Don't Drink The Water? Let's hope this is not the end -- and just the beginning -- of network's making these experiments in teevee.
Vince McMahon Draws Skips Congressional Committee Meeting

Curiously, billionaire "sports entertainment" shlockmeister Vince McMahon skipped a congressional committee meeeting presumably because he didn't want to ruin the media buzz of his new deal providing Lowest Common Denominator fare to NewsCorp's MyNetworkTV. Charmed, I'm sure (Averted Gaze). From TheHill:

"World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Chairman Vince McMahon incurred the anger of a congressional committee chairman Wednesday by skipping the panel’s hearing on performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports.

"Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, said he was 'extremely disappointed' that McMahon declined to appear at a hearing discussing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports."
Lucy Liu, Paints

We have always been of a divided mind regarding Lucy Liu. Far too often she plays "badasses" -- not unlike Jack Nicholson in the '90s and Rose McGowan always -- which turns us off. There are actors, and there are stars: Actors, like Meryl Streep and Daniel-Day Lewis, want to explore the human personality, "Stars" are fuckheads that did not get enough attention when they were children.

What is Lucy Liu.

After years of trying to figure out if Liu was of the former latter category of person, this bit of info, via Fashionweekdaily, made us smile:

As it turns out, there is little Lucy Liu can't do. The actress, whose roles run the gamut from Kill Bill to Charlie's Angels to Cashmere Mafia, has taken on a new role: painter. 'I'm premiering an exhibition of my works in Munich on May 8,' Liu said from her front-row perch alongside Clotilde Courau at the Dior show on Monday. 'I've been painting since I was 18 and have grown quite fond of the arts. Dior's clothes, in a way, are like art as well.' Part of the proceeds from the sale of the works will be donated to the United Nations Children's Fund. Liu, who as part of her work with UNICEF has been learning different languages, admitted that French was probably the most difficult to pick up. 'I'm not 10-years-old anymore,' the native New Yorker laughed. 'And there weren't many people speaking French around me in Queens.'"

Okay, we like.
Cruz Beckham Busts A Move

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn. Mr Buckley, 82, suffered from diabetes and emphysema, his son Christopher said, although the exact cause of death was not immediately known. He was found at his desk in the study of his home, his son said. 'He might have been working on a column,' Mr. Buckley said.'' (NYTimes)

"Pamela Anderson has filed papers, asking a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to annul her marriage to former Paris Hilton sex-tape co-star, Rick Salomon. In the filing, obtained by Access Hollywood, Anderson is seeking the annulment after only two months of marriage, citing 'fraud' as the reason for the split." (MSNBC)

"It was a lovely moment on the Oscars—a/k/a the Gay Super Bowl—when No Country for Old Men producer Scott Rudin thanked his lover John Barlow (from the Broadway p.r. company Barlow Hartman) and referred to him as 'honey.' Well, honey, in the official transcript of the speech, that part was mysteriously left out! They didn't even make Rudin straight—they turned him into some kind of bizarre neuter without any human feeling (which they'd already tried to do by not cutting to a reaction shot of a beaming Barlow)! Well, thanks to some prodding by, the axed comments were restored to the transcript, and we can all sleep much easier now. Of course we'll never know if the omission was done out of ignorance, hatred, ineptitude, or (let's be generous) a broken keyboard." (Musto)

"Stefano Pilati and YSL chief executive Valérie Hermann welcomed the re-birth of a new baby Monday night: the historic YSL Saint-Sulpice boutique on the Left Bank ... The crowd, which also included Kate Betts, Cathy Horyn, Suzy Menkes, Ken Downing, and Stefano Tonchi, enjoyed chocolate and raspberry macaroons with gold YSL imprints on top that complemented the warm interior hues. Pilati collaborated with architects Alain Moatti and Henri-Rivière of Moatti et Rivière to translate the essence of the brand into a modern vision. 'Opium prevailed,' Pilati whispered." (Fashionweekdaily)

"From upscale, Republican-leaning Northern suburbs to rural, culturally conservative Southern districts, Obama’s primary election performances are giving hope to Democratic pols that, for once, the party nominee might be an asset if Obama defeats Hillary Rodham Clinton in their nomination battle." (Politico.)

"Spiralling oil prices have forced the Indonesian government to reduce all ministerial budgets - including defence - by 15 per cent, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani announced on 26 February." (Janes)

"Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pledged arms upgrades and other Pentagon support for Indonesia on Monday, as the Bush administration forged closer ties to the military of a country still viewed skeptically by some in Congress for past human rights abuses. During a series of meetings in Jakarta, Mr. Gates tried to broaden the focus of American relations with Indonesia beyond the fight against terrorist networks, giving only passing mention to the threats they represent, in a speech before a group of foreign policy experts ... In 1992, Congress restricted arms sales and most American training for Indonesia, citing human rights abuses by the Indonesian military under Indonesia’s longtime dictator, Gen. Suharto. Internal dissent forced Mr. Suharto to resign in 1998, but Congress enacted new curbs the next year, after a rampage by an army-backed militia in what was then East Timor Province, and again in 2003, after the killings of two American teachers in Papua Province in 2002." (NyTimes)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How To Think About Pakistan

Now that Musharraf has shed some of his "unlimited power," and the army seems more amenable to democratic reforms, United States policy vis-a-vis Pakistan should be Pakistani Chief Justice-oriented and not Musharraf-oriented. The primary American foreign policy goal of America with regards to Pakistan is the strengthening of Laws and building civil oversight over the levers of power. That way is through a solid relationship with The Pakistan Supreme Court, and mucxh less so through the Army or the ISI.

Our foreign policy towards Pakistan has, unfortunately, been thus far based on our tactical military needs. This is Realism, a la the shlock that Senator Hillary Clinton is tryting to sell us. This is a short-term, myopic goal. It does not lead to stability in Pakistan, merely immediate peace in the region and a lack of anxiety in the American military command. Stability in Pakistan will come through law-and-order and checks -and-balances, or, in other words, The Pakistani Supreme Court.
Why Was Chris O'Donnell At Elton John's Oscar Party?

The Corsair read this odd dispatch from USA Today and was wholly baffled as to why anyone would invite someone so essentially talentless and non-striking-looking as Chris O'Donnell to Elton John's Oscar party. It defies logic:

"Earlier in the evening, Furnish explained, 'Elton's been on stage with Prince in Vegas and London. They have such mutual respect for each other as artists. He's going to perform at our party and then we're going to his later.'

"DeGeneres and deRossi were so busy socializing in the smoking tent, that they missed Tilda Swinton's win. 'I chose Tilda on my ballot,' said an excited deRossi.

'''We got stuck out there talking to Sean Penn and Simon Cowell,' added DeGeneres before taking deRossi's hand and walking back to their table.

"Penn, newly split from wife Robin Wright, brought along Petra Nemcova as his date. The two were very affectionate at their table, which also sat Chris O'Donnell and Kate Beckinsale."

Okay, Petra Nemcova is stunning. And everyone else mentioned in boldface exhibits some amount of noteworthy talent.

But Chris O'Donnell?!

The closest Chris O'Donnell has ever come to an Oscar is the last time he gnawed on a weiner hot dog. And he is an environmental terrorist of sorts, to boot. Imagine all the trees brought low to furnish the cast and crew with scripts to his shitty little movies (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).
Hillary's Realism Versus Obama's Internationalism

"Naive" will be the buzzword of the evening. And it will be Hillary Rodham Clinton who wields that word like a stiletto.

Senator Obama must now come down from the lofty rhetorical heights and engage in a mundane mano-a-mano tonight with Senator Clinton on why a revamped Internationalism and not Clintonian Realism is the better foreign policy option for the United States of America to pursue into the second decade of the second millennium. We are presently trapped in a neoconservative purgatory.

Clearly Senator Clinton will be aggressive in this debate -- her last chance -- with an eye on Ohio, where polls say she is winning, and an eye on Texas, where polls say she is losing but must win. Clinton will come at Obama from the right, hard and fast, seeking to make him look like an intellectual lightweight, waiting for him to slip up. Yesterday's speech at George Washington University, where she stood, strategically, festooned with former Generals, signalled that maneuver.

No doubt Clinton will come at Obama with the question: Would you meet with Kim Jung-Il without conditions? One wonders if Senator Clinton -- or Senator Obama -- brings up the NY Philharmonic's historic trip to the peninsula. If Senator Hillary Clinton brings it up, it will be with the caveat "naive;" if Senator Obama brings it up first, it will be couched with an appeal to idealism and the best instincts of Americans. If Clinton doesn't hit Obama with the Kim Jung-il question, she will surely hit him with somesuch variation, probably involving the decline of Fidel Castro -- once dictator, now "Comrade" -- and the relative instability of Cuba.

What if Russia -- in concert with Venezuela, decided to flex its influence in the hemisphere, in Cuba? Would Senator Obama offer to speak with Raoul Castro, without preconditions? Clinton would have a perfect opportunity to spin an oratorical spiderweb construing Senator Obama under the category of wimp.

And if she does, it may be a fatal Scorpionic strike, one so brutal and calculated to rasp Obama, that his answer -- if too idealistic, and even if marginally victorious enough to carry the day -- may cost him Florida in the general election.

Of course, the Clinton machine, now blind to all but achieving their ambitions, would deny that that was there true intent. But the damage would be done. And McCain would be cleared to pick Florida Governor Crist, and have a guaranteed lock on Florida.

Obama should be warned to festina lente when answering any Hillary Rhetorical Scuds concerning Cuba.
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, as the old chestnut says, then it makes perfect sense that Barry Diller would host a swanky soiree last summer for his former boss Rupert Murdoch. They once had been on the outs: after building the Fox television network for Murdoch in the 1980s, Diller stormed off when Murdoch refused to make him a partner in his News Corp. media empire. But 15 years later, here was Diller—now a full-fledged mogul in his own right after building up the Internet company IAC/InterActive—hosting the crème of Manhattan aboard his yacht to celebrate Murdoch's successful bid for Dow Jones and its iconic Wall Street Journal. When Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, welcomed Murdoch and his wife, Wendi, aboard their yacht, moored on the Hudson near Diller's new Frank Gehry–designed headquarters, the two moguls found themselves in the same boat in more ways than one. They now had a common nemesis: cable titan John Malone, who'd eased his way into each of their companies with big, friendly investments." (Newsweek)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Madonna hosted a private bash with Demi Moore at the Hidden Hills home of business partner Guy Oseary, perhaps as part of a dastardly longer-term plan to usurp Vanity Fair. Names ticked off the list included Casey Affleck, Jared Leto, Sean Penn and Owen Wilson (unusually out) and Eva Mendes (who turned up apparently fresh from rehab). Mysteriously, my own name was absent." (Times)

"U2, Madonna and Led Zeppelin are among the artists tapped to participate in a series of international concerts by World Peace One, a not-for-profit world peace group. The shows would begin May 17th, though no acts have been confirmed." (RollingStone)
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Kimora Lee Simmons' Most Expensive Hairpiece Ever Made

As much as this blog likes to poke fun at Russell Simmons -- and, Will someone please give him a robust multivitamin? -- we do admire, vaguely, his spirituality and his sense of philanthropy (whatever his dubious motives). It offsets the baroque ghetto-materialism that ensorcells his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons, who really is approaching maximum despicable.

Just when we thought Kimora's obnoxious and shallow hyper-materialism could not get any worse, she showed off her latest bling -- on the ultra-vapid E! television's Oscar night, no less! -- a million dollar fucking hairpiece. ''It's a million-dollar hairpiece," she told investigative journalist Giuliani Rancic. "It's the most expensive hairpiece ever made."

Charmed, I'm sure (Averted Gaze).
Separated At Birth?

Young, Hollywood, thief-of-hearts, Adrian Grenier (image via nysocialdiary)

Aging, New York, skeeve-of-sorts, Vincent Gallo. (image via nymag)
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Occasionally, the person who deserves an Oscar actually gets one, and that happened last night when Tilda Swinton copped Best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton, in which she's surreally shimmery, brilliantly slimy, and scarily good. Off screen, Tilda's one of us—a spunky creative artist with a strong will and a radiant sense of quirk. In her speech, she said she'd give her trophy to her agent Brian Swardstrom, whom it physically resembles, and by time she greeted the press backstage last night, she said she'd already done so!" (Musto)

"Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused the Clinton campaign Monday of 'shameful offensive fear-mongering' by circulating a photo as an attempted smear. Plouffe was reacting to a banner headline on the Drudge Report saying that aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had e-mailed a photo calling attention to the African roots of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). 'The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat front-runner dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya,' the Drudge Report said." (Politico)

"The Chateau Marmont has been playing host to the Diamond Information Center's week's worth of lunches and cocktail parties in celebration of its collaborations with Libertine, Alabama Chanin, Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Jovovich-Hawk. But Friday night, it all ended with a bang in Bungalow One, with a private dinner hosted by Julianne Moore that drew Ben Harper and Laura Dern, HBO's Colin Callendar and wife Elizabeth, Todd Eberle, Kai Milla, Keisha Whitaker, Sony Classic's president Tom Bernard, Tom Hooper, Russell Simmons, and Rodarte's Kate Mulleavy. Even Houston doyenne Lynn Wyatt made a surprise cameo ... When Peggy Siegal was introduced to Dita Von Teesem ... Siegal ... was transfixed by the performer's dress. 'I love it; you look like a sexy, slutty princess queen,' she said bluntly, to which Von Teese replied, with a smile, 'That's exactly what I was going for.'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"So when Vanity Fair and Dani Jansen cancelled, and Whitsell and DeLuca (and Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg cancelled their annual at-home pre-Oscar lunch) the town (meaning a healthy share of the big players/names/stars) had no place to go. Except to the Oscar ceremonies which many people never go to anyway unless they’re nominated.Oh, there were parties. Elizabeth and Colin Calendar (HBO) had a party. Producer Arnold Kopelson entertained at home. George Clooney gave a 'small' and very private party (NO press) at the Sunset Tower. Focus Features ('Atonement,' 'In Bruges') had a big party at the Chateau." (NYSocialDiary)

"Afghanistan's deadliest bombing to date is being held up as evidence that the Taliban is shifting towards Iraq-style extremism. Afghan insurgents are adopting more asymmetric tactics targeting the security forces and government officials, rather than civilians. However, the collateral damage caused by indiscriminate tactics is costing the Taliban support. More than 100 people were killed during an incident at a dog fighting event outside Kandahar city on Sunday, 17 February. Reports suggest a suicide bomber approached a district police chief at the event, started an argument with him and then detonated his explosives once a crowd had formed around him. The death toll of the Arghandab bombing superficially suggests it was intended to be a mass-casualty attack against civilians, a tactic used by extremists in Iraq to incite sectarian tensions, but not yet seen in Afghanistan." (Janes)

"With Vanity Fair sitting out this year's celebrations, the belle of the Oscars parties was a piano playing Elton John. The 60-year-old singer's 16th annual viewing dinner and after-party benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation topped other bashes Sunday, with 750 guests and a bevy of A-list stars who sipped cocktails and feasted on a four-course meal under the Pacific Design Center's red-draped tent ... After greeting each table, John pounded out the first of 11 songs, the first time in several years that he has played a full set with an entire band at his own party.John, who wore an ornate Yohji Yamamoto black suit, silver tie and black-framed eyeglasses, pointed at the crowd and banged on his piano. The crowd howled and clapped when he broke out hits such as 'Rocket Man' and 'Tiny Dancer.' Patricia Clarkson waved her arms in the air. Calista Flockhart swayed next to beau Harrison Ford. Petra Nemcova jumped on a few chairs and shimmied. Faye Dunaway bopped her head. Mary J. Blige sang a duet with John, as did Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, clad in a neon yellow-green suit, who jumped on John's piano and did the twist." (AP)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"It was once Vanity Fair that held the fashion week dinner in Milan, but the last couple of seasons, Jefferson Hack appears to have inherited the host mantle. The British indie publishing honcho welcomed 70 or so guests to industry canteen Le Langhe on Wednesday night to celebrate both Margherita Missoni's 25th birthday and the latest issue of Another Magazine ... Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Saks Fifth Avenue hosted its Unforgettable Evening gala to benefit the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund. The night's guest of honor, Hilary Swank, arrived sporting a short new 'do, having donated her chopped locks to wigs for chemotherapy patients. Asked if he would consider doing the same, Harvey Weinstein shot back, 'My hair is disappearing anyway. I think I'd rather just write the check.'" (Style)

"It was a bright sunny and cold day in New York yesterday. I lunched at Michael’s with Portfolio’s Nelly Bly (Google her), Alexandra Wolfe, just back from the slopes of Vail, all in one piece. Except she broke a toe on her bedpost her first night back in the Big Town. Tina Brown and Tom Brokaw were tete-a-tete in the bay. At a table nearby Stan Shuman and Zoe Baird. Across the way was Michael Ovitz with a guest. Just behind, Bobby Zarem & Co. I ran into three frequent luncheon partners, Jesse Kornbluth, Wendy Goldberg and Marshall Cohen. I was not at the table, but my guess re what they were talking about? Business, with The Absurd thrown in as a garnish. " (NYSocialDiary)

"Don't read this if you're under 92 years old: Ernest Borgnine has an autobiography coming out in August called, aptly enough, Ernie. Who the fuck is Ernest Borgnine? Well, to my bad movie club that meets every two weeks even if we're busy, he'll always be best known as the star of Bunny O'Hare, in which he and old Bette Davis dress up like hippies—you must believe me—and try to rob banks." (VillageVoice)
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Given the certainty the Carpetbagger feels about best picture, this category should move in lock step, but there are some X factors. To wit, 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' took a seemingly impossible cinematic riddle — making a movie that happens mostly between a paralyzed man’s ears — and transported it to a profound and profoundly beautiful place. Now if only Julian Schnabel’s light had been kept under a bushel. His brio and choice of pajamas may play well in the New York art world, but Hollywood found his edginess appalling." (NYTimes)

"Dolce & Gabbana brought some much needed star power and excitement to Milan Fashion Week, with what was not only the week's best turnout, but also the best-handled celebrity press situation in recent years. Fergie, Lindsay Lohan, Sheryl Crow, Fanny Ardant, and Monica Bellucci, all clad in Dolce & Gabbana, gathered on an upper floor of the designer's Metropol show space an hour prior to show time to relax and unwind. Select reporters were invited to a special VIP suite to get their sound bytes and interviews, not to mention some champagne, hors d'oeuvres, and even cigarettes ... Naomi Campbell missed the mingling, but made it just in time for the show. Most of the American press, seated down the runway, didn't even realize who had shown up." (Fashionweekdaily)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Corsair Classic

The President did come through -- aid-wise -- for Africa. We can't take that away from him. Still, little Cruz Beckham has way smoother moves on the dance floor:

Chaos In Kosovo

Belgrade is burning.

If logic prevailed -- and not nostalgic sentiment -- Serbian nationalists would understand the need for an independent Kosovo. And, if logic prevailed, Serbian nationalists -- so willing to take personal credit for all that is good in Serbia, but no individual responsibility for their part in attempted genocide -- would grant Kosovo its independence as a just reparation for their crimes against the ethnic Albanians, or their failure to stand up and stop it in the first place.

Unfortunately, hot-headed rhetoric like "Kosovo will always be a part of Serbia" has inflamed the smouldering chaos presently working itself out in the nascent nation. The fact is that the majority of the population of Kosovo is ethnic Albanian, and the fact is Serbians cannot be trusted to govern Kosovo fairly. Since 1999, the United Nations has been governing Kosovo as a protectorate. The independence of Kosovo, while admittedly early, was, ultimately, the only solution to a problem started by the Serbians.

The Corsair would have liked Kosovo's independence to have occurred, say, 5-10 years from now so that the Serbians could acclimate themselves to the new political reality. But what is done is done. There is no going back.

Let's hope well-meaning Serbs -- and there are multitudes -- will embrace that logic to counteract the pandemoniacal hot-heads who are presently attacking NATO and the United Nations peacekeepers.

Russia, of course, will take advantage, pulling Serbia into its nefarious web of influence. And Europe, of course, will reap the whirlwinds of the political instability in its backyard.

Let's hope next time we get a President better suited to deal with the new, malevolent Russia than this one.
Corsair Classic

Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

George Clooney, tired from his limitless, empty sexual encounters with starlets, prepares to fuck the atmosphere. (image via pagesix)

Could someone please feed Russell Simmons a robust multivitamin? (image via nysocialdiary)

"Senator John McCain said on Thursday that an article in The New York Times about his close ties to a woman lobbyist was untrue, and that he had no romantic relationship with the lobbyist and no confrontations with worried staff members who told him to stay away from her. 'Obviously, I'm very disappointed in the article -- it’s not true,' Mr. McCain said at a morning news conference in Toledo, where he was campaigning for president. 'At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust or made a decision which in any way would not be in the public interest or would favor anyone or organization.' Mr. McCain’s wife, Cindy, stood at his side throughout the news conference. She told reporters that she was also disappointed with The Times." (NYTimes)

"The Brit Awards was embroiled in controversy this morning following complaints from viewers about foul language and rowdy behaviour on the part of the show's winners.A spokesman for Ofcom confirmed that dozens of ITV viewers had complained about some of the footage aired last night. This included host Sharon Osbourne using obscenities at the start of the show ... It was less than a minute into the glittering ceremony when Osbourne - no stranger to crude television outbursts - first slipped up. Opening the show with a dazzling light display as a backdrop, she said: 'Now that's what I call a big a*** opening number.' Later, viewers watched as Osbourne unleashed a torrent of abuse on comedian Vic Reeves, calling him a p***head, and barging him out of the way as he attempted to present an award." (Thisislondon)

"The Italian designer Giorgio Armani set fashion tongues wagging after he criticised the industry's reigning queen Anna Wintour. Speaking at a press conference to promote the upcoming Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Superheroes, which he is co-chairing with Ms Wintour, Mr Armani said he could not understand why so many people dislike the US Vogue editor, claiming he was "indifferent" to her. Not content to leave it at that, Mr Armani detailed what he thought sparked this dislike, referring to her championing of the US and French fashion industries and alleged lack of support for Italian fashion. Standing with Ms Wintour, who supposedly once declared the Armani era over, he said: 'I was told she said that, I hope that she didn't,' according to reports in The Guardian. Distancing himself further from his co-chair, he said they had different taste in clothes. It was not immediately clear what inspired Mr Armani to break ranks with the traditionally more subtle air-kissing and back-stabbing atmosphere of the fashion world by criticising the industry's most powerful journalist to her face, but Ms Wintour's recent request that Italian designers group their shows more closely together to help US editors save money was not met with joy." (Telegraph)

"Alexis Bryan and Thelma Golden share more than an affinity for well-conceived art. They both also boast engagement rings from Tiffany's. Golden, the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, quietly wed designer Duro Olowu on January 2 in an intimate ceremony in New York. The Nigerian-born Olowu, known for his vibrant empire waist, kimono-like dresses made from a mélange of vintage fabrics, proposed to Golden--and custom-designed her wedding dress, natch--just before Christmas with a Tiffany Etoile pavé-diamond ring. Following the exchanging of vows, witnessed by friends like Paper's Kim Hastreiter and artist Glenn Ligon, the couple hosted a lunch at JoJo. No honeymoon has been set just yet." (Fashionweekdaily)

"The five nominees for the John Cassavetes Award at this year's Film Independent Spirit Awards are a diverse lot representing five very different films: Chris Eska's 'August Evening,' Stephane Gauger's 'Owl and the Sparrow,' Aaron Katz's 'Quiet City,' Jeff Nichols' 'Shotgun Stories' and Chris Smith's 'The Pool.' ... The prize honors the best of the low-budget films produced each year, singling out five films each made for under $500,000." (Indiewire)

"Which pasty-white club mess (with his friends) blithely walked out on a check at Beige (after insanely trying to get me to pay it) and was thrown out of Hiro for choking his boyfriend, the same week he was featured in New York magazine's Look Book? What same guy became the subject of restraining tactics by a stylist when he kept using the stylist's name to get free clothes long after he ceased working for him? (Oh, did I mention he's also a thief?) Which modeling dynasty scion left her dog at a spa and never bothered to pick it up? (They didn't really mind. She paid for it to be there.) Which reality star can be seen being fisted by an admirer in a kooky video that's making the underground rounds? Should we give him a hand? Which movie star who seems so brooding and enigmatic actually doesn't speak much because he doesn't have much to say, swears an insider? What model he was once aligned with also maintains much glamour and mystery by keeping her dumb trap shut (except to open it for drugs)?" (Musto)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Corsair Classic

Some Tough Questions For Senator Obama

Over at FishbowlNY we ran a poll and 75% of our readers -- mostly working journalists based in NYC -- said that the press has been easy on Senator Obama thus far. This is true, considering his lack of specific policy propsals the Democratic front-runner has offered in the Senate and on the stump in comparison to his primary opponent Hillary Clinton. Some questions, from The Corsair:

--Senator, you have spoken movingly about children learning poetry and music and art as well as the other liberal arts. As President you would have little power to affect that change in municipally-controlled public schools. Would you use the bully pulpit of the Executive branch to further American schoolchildren to pursue The Junior Great Books?

--Senator, Russia -- as a result of this administration's maneuverings in the Eastern European theater -- is poised on the brink of resuming a Cold War against The West. How would an Obama adminitration approach President Putin's successor?

--Senator Obama, what are your thoughts on the independence of Kosovo? Serbian tattacks on NATO and United Nations peacekeepers? Russian mischief in the region?

--Senator Obama, you have been relatively silent on the explosion of tensions in Kenya, your father's home country. What is your position to reports of widespread corruption in the voting in Kenya, which was once a hallmark of African stability? Are you for elections to be reheld and monitored by the United Nations, or, possibly, The Carter Center?
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"THAT New York Observer features writer and Transom stringer David Foxley will soon start as Vanity Fair honcho Graydon Carter's executive assistant." (Page Six)

"Who once generously gave a gentleman something during a charity event for an organization in his late mother's name? (What he gave, actually, was a blowjob in the bathroom. Ma would have been so proud.) Which young Broadway leading lady has for several years fallen in love with every guy who plays opposite her, even though—or maybe because—it's always a gay? Which reality star can be seen being fisted by an admirer in a kooky video that's making the underground rounds? Should we give him a hand? Which beloved Broadway diva was supposedly the girlfriend of grand dame Judith Anderson all those diva years ago? What comic in his 60s concerned onlookers when his speech at a roast last year was punctuated with loud snorts and grandiose nose wiping? Wouldn't I be crazy to give away any more just now?" (Musto)

"On Dec. 13, the two senators were preparing to board their private planes, parked next to each other at Reagan National Airport, to go back to Iowa for a debate. Hillary sent word to Obama that she wanted to talk to him. Obama’s aides figured that she wanted to make a pro forma apology for the comments of Billy Shaheen, the Clinton co-chairman in New Hampshire, who had told The Washington Post that Republicans would pounce on Obama’s confessions of cocaine and marijuana use in his late teens. Shaheen would step down the next day, but Camp Obama did not think the slam was a mere slip of the tongue. In front of her plane, Hillary apologized to her rival about Shaheen. Obama replied that he was concerned at the pattern of insinuations and attacks from her supporters and that a message needed to be sent from the top that sharp attacks were not, as Hillary had put it, 'the fun part.' He brought up another recent example: the Clinton volunteer in Iowa who had been asked to leave after forwarding sleazy e-mail falsely claiming that Obama was a Muslim.Then, according to witnesses from the Obama camp, Hillary got very agitated and was 'flapping her arms.' All her simmering grievances spilled out during the 10-minute talk. She was still furious about David Geffen’s searing interview with me the previous February, charging that she and Bill lie with such ease 'it’s troubling.' While Geffen’s fund-raiser for Obama spurred the column, Obama knew nothing about the interview until it appeared. Hillary was also angry that Obama had called her 'disingenuous,' telling Newsweek that it was a contradiction for her to claim that her tenure as first lady gave her more experience but then refuse to release her first lady papers from Bill’s library, saying she had no control over them. At some point, an Obama intimate recalled, he 'gently put his hand on her arm to chill her out.' The tall senator often leans down to put a friendly hand on the shoulder of his fellow senators — male and female — on the Senate floor, and they seem charmed by the gesture. But Senator Clinton and her circle were not." (MaureenDowd)

"The power supply crisis affecting much of southern Africa is causing some of South Africa's mines to temporarily halt or decrease operations despite residential customers bearing the brunt of the power cuts for most of January. Eskom has tried to maintain domestic supplies by cutting its exports to Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. In response, Zambia has cut its own exports while some power-dependent states are looking to other suppliers in the region. Eskom has invited tenders for power-generating plants and new generating capacity is under development, but these will take years to come on stream." (Janes)

"Over in Brentwood, political correspondent Arianna Huffington hosted a soirée at her home with Domino editor Deborah Needleman to celebrate the latter's husband, Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, and his recently published work, The Bush Tragedy, which, as described by its publisher, uncovers the 'black box' from the crash of the Bush presidency (Needleman's design director Stella Bugbee created the book cover). The larger-than-life Huffington stood at the door of her manse greeting her eclectic guests, which included Christine Lahti, Tracy Ullman, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Minnie Mortimer, Irena Medavoy, and a slew of Condé Nast West Coast editors. A scruffy Adrian Grenier perhaps best summed up the reason for the varied, and packed, crowd. 'When you get an invite to Arianna Huffington's house, well, you can't pass that up,' the actor said. 'Not to mention a book entitled The Bush Tragedy--it just rings so true.' Clad in a black Dior pantsuit, Huffington was, at least for that night, showing a softer side of her usual no-holds-barred persona. "I just love what Deborah and Jacob stand for--the mixing of two worlds, politics and design together,' she said lovingly. 'Yes, we believe in the synergy of our households,' Needleman replied. 'Who knows what could come next?' Weisberg added with a laugh. 'Condé Graham or Vanity Post?'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"While the New York parties tend to take a back seat to the hoopla in Hollywood, EW’s annual fete is one of the more prominent East Coast events, which include those from the New York chapter of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and New York magazine. We have verified that both the Academy and New York magazine will be hosting their events as scheduled, with the former holding court in the Carlyle Hotel and the latter back at the Spotted Pig." (BizBash)

"It may be too little too late, but Hillary Clinton may have been onto something with her warning to Democrats last night. Only one of us, she said about her and Barack Obama at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, is 'ready to defeat the Republicans.' On potentially lethal lines of attack, religion and patriotism, Obama has twice now demonstrated that he's not sufficiently aware of the danger that exists from the conservative Freak Show that did as much to beat John Kerry as George W. Bush did in 2004. Last year, Obama's campaign largely ignored the persistent rumor that he was some sort of crypto-Muslim. Emails to this effect circulated for months, tainting the first impression many casual voters had of the young senator. Obama's camp didn't want to give the smear more attention by spotlighting it, but it reached such a fever pitch in the days leading up to Iowa that the candidate himself finally had to bring it up in his stump speech. And even now, new anecdotes emerge every day about voters who are wary of Obama's middle name (Hussein) or his purported Muslim roots." (Politico)

"'I would tell audiences that we were facing not a bubble but a froth – lots of small, local bubbles that never grew to a scale that could threaten the health of the overall economy.' -- Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence. That used to be Mr Greenspan’s view of the US housing bubble. He was wrong, alas. So how bad might this downturn get? To answer this question we should ask a true bear. My favourite one is Nouriel Roubini of New York University’s Stern School of Business, founder of RGE monitor. Recently, Professor Roubini’s scenarios have been dire enough to make the flesh creep. But his thinking deserves to be taken seriously. He first predicted a US recession in July 2006*. At that time, his view was extremely controversial. It is so no longer. Now he states that there is 'a rising probability of a ‘catastrophic’ financial and economic outcome'**. The characteristics of this scenario are, he argues: 'A vicious circle where a deep recession makes the financial losses more severe and where, in turn, large and growing financial losses and a financial meltdown make the recession even more severe. Prof Roubini is even fonder of lists than I am. Here are his 12 – yes, 12 – steps to financial disaster." (FT via NYSD)

"Today, after the results in Wisconsin and the fact that Obama has closed a 20-point voter preference deficit in Texas and is rapidly closing Ohio, the handwriting is starting to show through the wall paint: Gore and Pelosi will be behind the scenes (or not so behind) players to get Hillary Clinton to end her candidacy. Impossible? No. Bloody — quite likely. The Clintons are the 'never die' comeback couple — defeat and surrender are not in their vocabulary. Already the Clinton spokespeople (Lanny Davis, Howard Wolfson, Ann Lewis, etc.) are saying that regardless of the Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio results, Hillary is in the primary race until the end. The Clintons would sooner create a major rift in the party than face reality, not to mention a political loss to John McCain and the Republicans in November." (NYSD)

"Finally opening this week is, The Signal, a refreshingly original indie horror film made in Atlanta about a sudden signal that comes over the television and phone lines that causes most people to become violent and homicidal. Shot by three separate directors (David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry), the film is broken up into three 'Transmissions,' and while each section varies in tone (from hair-raising horror to pitch-black splatter comedy) they mesh together beautifully." (Papermag)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cruz Beckham Breakdances

It's about 3 minutes in .. that 2-year old had serious dance game:

Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

Helena Christensen and Christy Turlington made a yum-sandwich, unforgivably without The Mwangaguhunga in the middle (image via fashionweekdaily)
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Who once generously gave a gentleman something during a charity event for an organization in his late mother's name? (What he gave, actually, was a blowjob in the bathroom. Ma would have been so proud.) Which young Broadway leading lady has for several years fallen in love with every guy who plays opposite her, even though—or maybe because—it's always a gay? Which reality star can be seen being fisted by an admirer in a kooky video that's making the underground rounds? Should we give him a hand? Which beloved Broadway diva was supposedly the girlfriend of grand dame Judith Anderson all those diva years ago? What comic in his 60s concerned onlookers when his speech at a roast last year was punctuated with loud snorts and grandiose nose wiping? Wouldn't I be crazy to give away any more just now?" (Musto)

"Pakistan appeared on Tuesday to be heading for a transition to an elected civilian government after President Pervez Musharraf told visiting United States senators that he accepted the resounding defeat of his party in elections and would work with a new Parliament. Many Pakistanis expressed relief that the overwhelming victory of the two major moderate opposition political parties in the parliamentary elections on Monday signaled a change in direction after eight years of military rule under Mr. Musharraf, even though in the past the parties had rarely produced models of stable government." (NYTimes)

"More than a year after the country's Islamic Courts regime was routed on the battlefield by Ethiopian troops, insurgents continue their campaign against the foreigners and their local allies. Much of the violence is blamed on one group known as the Shabab, which represents the most militant aspects of Somali Islamism and a handful of foreign jihadists affiliated to Al-Qaeda. However, the Shabab is no longer a cohesive force. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the leader of the Islamic Courts, claimed in January that part of the Shabab had broken away. The rift seems to be an extension of the Islamic Courts' internal differences. Opinion was very much divided on the Islamic Courts, with many observers applauding them for bringing stability to Somalia after so many years of chaos. Others equated the courts to Afghanistan's Taliban regime and accused them of harbouring Al-Qaeda terrorists. These opposing views were personified by the Islamic Courts' most prominent leaders, Sheikh Ahmed and Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys. The former is seen as a comparative moderate, while the latter is considered a Salafist firebrand who is close to Al-Qaeda." (Janes)

"I always have to give a shout to my good friend and wonderful designer Duro Olowu, who showed his fresh line in London last week. I love what he does!!!!!! His collection this season reflected so many characteristics of his trademark colorful mish-mash of textures and colors and captured the elegance of African life and style (Duro is from Nigeria), especially the clashing prints, camous and layering, and highlighted his chic African-urban-inspired fashion sense. Duro, who lives in London just got married last month here in New York City to my friend curator Thelma Golden (from the Studio Museum in Harlem) -- and I introduced them!!!!" (Papermag)
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Corsair Classic

Friday, February 15, 2008

Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"The Gagosian Gallery in West Chelsea capped off its (Auction) RED exhibition Wednesday night with a cocktail party hosted by Larry Gagosian, Vogue's Anna Wintour, and Sotheby's Lisa Dennison. With art by Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince among the works wrangled by the event's organizer, Damien Hirst, there was no shortage of A-listers— Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Stipe, and Charlie Rose, included—angling for one last look. (All 83 lots were scheduled to hit the block at Sotheby's on Thursday, with proceeds going to the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.) How did the bad-boy artist come to spearhead one of the year's most anticipated charity events? 'Well, I went down to the South of France to hang out with Bono and we'd had a lot to drink, and I guess it was about five in the morning when Bono suggested I go ahead and make this thing happen,' Hirst explained. 'Suggest' may be the wrong verb. Hirst vaguely remembered being threatened with a punch in the face if he shirked his philanthropic duties." (Fashionweekdaily)

"Christy Turlington dropped $170,500 on a watercolor painting. Takashi Murakami nodded off briefly after his painting sold for $1.65 million. Bono rallied the Sotheby’s crowd for a sing-along to the Beatles’ 'All You Need Is Love.' And a greater-than-projected $42 million was raised for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through the sale of 82 works of art at the Product Red Sotheby’s auction on Thursday night. (The original somewhat conservative estimate was that the items would sell for a collective $21 million to $29 million.) The Damien Hirst-catalyzed auction drew its momentum from high-powered names in the audience (Martha Stewart, Russell Simmons, Queen Noor, Zhang Ziyi) and on the auction block (Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning)." (NYTimes)

"Lunch at Michael’s was about as quiet as Grand Central Station at rush hour. The ladies in the picture were having their annual Valentine’s luncheon; no waiting around for the guys to pick up the slack. This is an annual event and we didn’t catch them all before it was over, missing Leslie Harwood from Newmark Knight Frank Real Estate, Rosanna Scotto who had to get back to Fox 5, Janice Lieberman, the Today Show consumer reporter and Debbie Kosofsky, Today Show producer. Valentines to all! At the table in the corner the Mayor was lunching with his lady friend Diana Taylor and his new personal financial advisor Steve Rattner and his wife, former head of the DNC Finance Committee, Maureen White. Right next door on one side was Paramount Pictures numero uno Brad Grey lunching with David Chase, the man who created your Sunday night Sopranos addiction. And next to them were those two darlings of the fashion world, Isaac Mizrahi and Glenda Bailey of Harper’s Bazaar, while across the way from the Lynn Nesbit was lunching with her client, author Jane Fletcher Geniesse who is just polishing up her new book about the history of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem." (NYSocialDiary)

"The Parker, a small boutique on Madison Ave. near 78th St., was overflowing last night with an eclectic mix of partygoers who had come to celebrate downtown designer-DJ Izzy Gold’s new, limited-edition 'Kiss Kiss' T-shirt. The design of the soft, gray item was inspired by Patrick McMullan’s 1996 book of the same name—a weighty chunk of pages, it features the party photog’s favorite kissing pics taken over his 25-year career. (Later on, after the party moved to the Meatpacking District nightclub Kiss & Fly, photos from the book were blasted onto a large projection screen dangling over the empty dance floor.) Mr. McMullan, a co-host with Mr. Gold, 26, and Ally Hilfiger, 22, was schmoozing and signing copies from behind a table in one corner of the store." (Observer)

"One of the most romantic valentines I ever received was a beautiful gift-wrapped box that opened to reveal a bloody cow's heart. You can't help loving a person who gives you something like that." (Papermag)

"The Indian Army is raising two new mountain divisions of around 15,000 personnel each to boost its ability to mount offensive and defensive operations along the disputed northern and northeastern borders with China. The formation of the two divisions, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, comes in response to China's strengthening of military infrastructure along the undefined 4,057 km line of actual control (LoAC) between the two countries." (Janes)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh, Jane

(via musto)

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"President Vladimir V. Putin, in the final weeks of an eight-year administration that secured his place as the country’s most popular politician, said Thursday that he intended to wield substantial and long-running power in the Kremlin after leaving office next month and becoming Russia’s prime minister ... He accused NATO of further encroaching on Russia’s borders by courting Ukraine, and accused the United States of developing a missile shield for deployment in Europe. Those two actions would force the Kremlin to assume a reinvigorated nuclear defense, he said. 'We will have to retarget our missiles on the objects that we think threaten our national security,' he said. 'I have to speak about this directly and honestly, so that there would be no attempts to shift the responsibility for such developments on those who should not be blamed.'" (NYTimes)

"Speaking exclusively to the Mirror, (Jerry Hall) says: 'When you have four children together, you're always going to have a connection. I still love him but it's a different kind of love now. It's a platonic love. I honestly think that sometimes you're only meant to be with someone for a certain period of your life. Whether that's to learn or to procreate, I don't know. But you love that person and then move on. That's what happened with Mick and I. I truly believe that it was never meant to be for ever. And I still strongly believe in love." (3AMGirls)

"'There are more dealers hanging on by their fingernails but no-one will go on the record,' said a prominent art world public relations expert who was speaking anonymously with The Art Newspaper. 'Everyone is wondering if the downturn will be just like 9/11,' she added. With the economy going south, art dealers are starting to feel the crunch. They're admitting to sluggish sales, hesitant clients and canceled deals amid continuing financial market woes." (TheObserver)

"While Showtime keeps pumping out critics’ darlings, the audience is starting to catch up. During CBS’ third-quarter earnings call last November, (Les) Moonves noted that Showtime’s original programming had 'performed at unprecedented numbers' in 2007 and was 'probably [generating] its best buzz ever among critics and fans.' Moonves said that season two of Dexter outperformed its original debut by 67 percent on the way to becoming Showtime’s top-rated series. (In fact, the Dec. 16 season finale drew 1.4 million viewers, making it the single most-watched episode of an original series in Showtime’s history.)" (Media Week)

"Everyone is talking about a histrionic email detailing some scandalous behavior inside Showtime that was sent to that company's personnel by 'Anonymous' on Wednesday morning. Even though I'm assured by sources that the content of the email seems true, I haven't been able to independently confirm all the allegations so I won't post the email here or even name names. Yet there's a telling message about how Hollywood really works and why it's so unfair: that some 'untouchable' people are protected by 'the powers that be' at entertainment companies for no good reason while others far more deserving are sacrificed so easily after years of loyalty." (Nikki Finke)

"The House voted Thursday to hold White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before a panel investigating the firing of several United States attorneys. Ahead of the vote, Republicans had walked out in an effort to show that they want to work on a permanent update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) rather than be part of a 'partisan fishing expedition,' as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) put it." (TheHill)