Thursday, September 30, 2010

Todd Selby's "Rockaway Taco"

Rockaway Taco, A Selby Film from the selby on Vimeo.

From V magazine:

Todd Selby, the bespectacled photographer who many have let snoop into their home with his digital camera, is stretching his creative legs. After years snapping away and recording his findings on his website The Selby, he’s testing out a new medium: short documentary-style film. His first work, called Rockaway Taco, is based on a day in the life of Andrew Field, a man who sleeps on roofs and keeps bee hives and likes to surf.”I’ve always wanted to do film, but it took me a long time to figure out my approach,” Selby explains now. “I’m trying to stay true to the root of what The Selby is, which is all about telling stories about dynamic people and their creative spaces.” In this case, that means getting up before dawn and shooting some beach scenes, then moving to Field’s roof to wake him up and follow him to work at Rockaway Taco. “It was one very long day,” Selby smiles.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"On Sept. 27, Kim Jong Un was named to a lofty post in North Korea's army, presumably in preparation to succeed his father as the country's ruler. FP looks at the world's autocrats-in-training who are waiting to take over their fathers' regimes." (ForeignPolicy)

"Few have borne the brunt of Rahm Emanuel’s hard-charging style more than Capitol Hill Democrats – and now some hope his departure Friday will help shake up a White House team that has butted heads with Congress.  And while incoming interim chief of staff Pete Rouse is roundly winning praise on the Hill, some Democrats – particularly on the left — fret that President Barack Obama’s decision to pick an insider, even temporarily, sends a worrying signal that he’s not prepared to confront his team’s problems on everything from messaging to policy to style. 'They’re too disconnected from the grassroots and members of the House close to the grassroots. If they don’t change, we’ll probably be stuck in the same situation in two years and then they’ll be on the ballot,' said Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), one member who has been pointedly critical of Emanuel’s performance in his 22 months as Obama’s top aide. Some, like House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), even say Obama should look outside politics to the world of business to replace Emanuel permanently. To Clyburn, Obama has too many aides and advisors who have never worked in the 'real world. I believe that the president needs more diversity of thought around him,' said Clyburn, the top African-American in Congress. 'I do believe theory is good. But I would like to see some people who have practical experience too.'" (Politico)

"Facebook has 500 million worldwide members and counting—but is it bigger than Justin Timberlake? The pop star was on hand for last night's Cinema Society sneak peek at The Social Network, the much talked-about film that claims to tell the true and tumultuous story behind the paradigm-shifting site's creation. In what has to be considered one of the year's more interesting casting choices, JT plays Sean Parker, the hotshot Napster entrepreneur who helped sink the traditional music industry. As Timberlake rather diplomatically put it, "I kind of identified with both sides of the fence.' The screening (which drew the likes of Adrien Brody, Donna Karan, and Ethan Hawke) went ahead without Rooney Mara, who plays Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg's wounded ex, and director David Fincher. Their status update? They're in Sweden, filming the American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Jesse Eisenberg's star turn as Zuckerberg has been garnering Oscar buzz, even if MySpace China director Wendi Murdoch (who declared herself a fan of the film) suggested at the after-party at the Gansevoort Park Avenue that his portrayal was a bit keyed up. 'Mark talks less, and he doesn't talk that fast,' she pointed out." (Style)

"Supermodel Naomi Campbell is vacationing on a yacht off the Italian coast with her boyfriend, Russian entrepreneur Vladislav Doronin, and a revolving group of friends that included Quincy Jones and Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Rafaeli. This year has been a big one for Campbell, who celebrated her 40th birthday in May with a lavish party on the French Riviera. It marks another kind of milestone for her as well, the 25th anniversary of that fateful day in 1985 when she was photographed hanging out in her school uniform on the streets of London, thus launching a career in fashion that’s been both legendary and tumultuous: from her ascent as a teen to the highest echelons of the industry; to the indelible imagery she has been involved in creating; to the deep bonds that she has formed with some of the most important designers of the era; to the new ground she broke as a woman of color in a field that is still troublingly homogenous; to the well-documented personal issues and legal wrangles that have at times threatened to overshadow her remarkable body of work. The laidback, jovial vibe aboard the boat is a stark contrast to the media furor that surrounded Campbell earlier in August, when she was forced to testify before a war crimes tribunal in the Hague at the highly publicized trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor." (Interview)

"Josh is one of two fellas behind the website I especially love the tweed blazer paired with his patterned shirt. The velvet slippers are also a really nice way to bring in fall when its still nice out. Of course, some of you will want to hate-different strokes for different folks... but since you know me, I will add- while I might lengthen the jacket sleeves a tad, I love how he is werking this lewk! His bracelets sort of compensate for the shortness and it doesn't bother me a bit." (MisterMort)
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Delaware’s Republican primary may well have lulled Democrats into a sense of complacency about their ability to hold the Senate after November’s elections. They would be wise to wake up if they want to avoid a nasty surprise on election night. Tea party activists did indeed do Democrats a huge favor in selecting Christine O’Donnell (R) to oppose New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) in the fall. Yes, Coons is an unabashed liberal, and he almost certainly would have fallen to Rep. Michael N. Castle (R) in an election cycle when voters are dissatisfied with Democratic governance and focused on issues such as spending and big government. But most voters don’t care about ideology, and O’Donnell’s worldview and agenda simply do not fit Delaware. Smart Republicans know they will win if the 2010 elections are about Democrats, not about the Republican candidate’s background or ideology. Tea party activists apparently don’t get that, even though it isn’t a complicated idea. O’Donnell’s primary victory notwithstanding, Republicans are still headed for major Senate gains, and a 10-seat gain isn’t impossible. With a month to go until Nov. 2, Republicans have a clear advantage in five seats held by Democrats, with another five seats still in play." (CQPolitics)

"Ever since the NBC Universal-Comcast merger was announced last year, the obnoxious Lauren Zalaznick has been lobbying for a bigger role within the combined company. And, in the process, she's made a pest of herself from what I hear. The president of NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks oversees Bravo, Oxygen, and iVillage, and has indicated not very subtlely that a small addition to her current portfolio, such as Comcast’s Style Network, won’t cut it. She's also threatening to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Sources tell Deadline that Zalaznick took meetings recently with Viacom president/CEO Philippe Dauman and top Viacom cable executives execs including Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music /Films /Logo Group. Though these meetings have been described to Deadline as only exploratory, Zalaznick is trying to make Comcast & NBCU believe she's being eyed for Judy McGrath’s job as chairman/CEO of MTV Networks. Interesting that, last December, Zalaznick was so worried there'd be no upward mobility for her post-merger that she floated speculation she was in advanced talks to take Brian Graden's job as MTV President of Entertainment running MTV and VH1. Didn't happen. The problem for Zalaznick is that her persistent maneuvering is hurting her, not helping her. Meanwhile, Bonnie Hammer is sitting pretty on NBCU's golden egg, overseeing the company’s most lucrative assets: USA Networks, SyFy, and their in-house studio that produces most of the channels’ series." (Deadline)

(image via NYSD)

"It started down at the Metropolitan Club where there was a luncheon for the Henry A. Grunwald Award For Public Service and benefiting Lighthouse International. This year’s recipient was The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York. This is an annual luncheon that was started nine years ago when Mr. Grunwald (who died in 2005), the legendary Time Magazine editor and Ambassador to Vienna (his hometown), then in his eighties, was suffering from macular degeneration and became involved with the Lighthouse. His experience with the Lighthouse inspired him and his wife Louise to 'do something' to help the cause. They succeeded with this reporter and no doubt thousands of others. We became aware of sight impairment and how it affects all of us, or can affect all of us, and the great work the Lighthouse does to assist the millions and millions of us who do, including those of us who have little to no sight. Henry wrote a book about it as the issue began to threaten to dominate his life. It was called 'Losing Sight, Gaining Insight,' and it’s a bit of wisdom that is helpful to any of us anytime. I only knew the man, and then again very briefly, at the end of his life. His wife Louise is one of the most talented hostesses in New York. Her guest list, her menu, the conversation and pleasure of everyone’s company are impeccable. And rare." (NYSocialDiary)

"Who doesn't love a little lunch at the ultra-glamorous Four Seasons? A small but chic group of ladies (and a few men like myself and Jonathan Zrihen, president and CEO of Clarins Group USA) invaded the super masculine bastion of chic yesterday to celebrate Womanity, the delicious new sweet and savory fragrance from Thierry Mugler. Angel is another of Mugler's scents---and it's a worldwide legend---so these folks know a thing or two about the juice! The crowd was an uptown-downtown mix of power ladies. Paper's own Kim Hastreiter kicked things off with a toast to Womanity and the creative powerful women who came together to celebrate it. Iris Apfel was asking Houston-native Alison Sarofim for suggestions of Texas museums that could host the traveling show of Iris' collection of clothing and accessories. DJs Jauretsi and Ultragrrrl chatted with fashion designers Elise Øverland and Julia Leach, former creative director of Kate Spade who's recently launched her own clothing company, Chance. Stylist Lori Goldstein wore some of the pieces from her collaboration with Fred Leighton and chatted with Harlem's chicest hostess, Bevy Smith." (Fashionweekdaily)

"Morocco is fertile ground for fashion—Alber Elbaz was born in Casablanca, Yves Saint Laurent had a long, intense romance with Marrakech—and now the country's tourism promoters are going all-out to seed the place with stylish visitors. To that end, they threw a lavish dinner in New York last night to celebrate the Red City, as Marrakech is known on account of its distinctively colored walls, and invited the likes of Wes Anderson, Joan Juliet Buck, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and Marchesa's Keren Craig. It was Morocco in Manhattan: A sprinkling of rose petals led the way through the transformed Skylight Studios on Hudson Street into a pair of cocktail lounges, past silver tea sets, clay tagines, scented candles, and multicolored babouches. During dinner, Hassan Hakmoun and his fellow musicians performed songs with a trancelike rhythm. Maybe the most impressive sell of all, though, came courtesy of Anjelica Huston, who co-hosted the affair with Alan Cumming. 'You eat very well, you stay at the Mamounia, you go and visit the various gardens, and you watch some belly dancing,' she said, happily enumerating some of Marrakech's charms. 'It's very exotic.' She also pointed out that her father, John, had made one of his best films, The Man Who Would Be King, in the country." (Style)

"When members of U.S. Congress retire, they often wind up on K Street, lobbying their successors on behalf of corporate clients and foreign governments. A handful chooses a less lucrative path, and few with as much distinction and influence as Lee Hamilton, who served 17 terms in the House of Representatives representing Indiana during a period that spans from the early days of the Vietnam War to the fall of the Soviet Union to the Gulf War to U.S. interventions in the former Yugoslavia. Hamilton, 79, is stepping down this fall after 12 years heading the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and is going home to Indiana, where he directs Indiana University's Center on Congress. He will not entirely disappear from Washington; he remains on several panels, including President Barack Obama's intelligence advisory board and an Energy Department commission on nuclear waste. Hamilton also keeps ties to half a dozen senior administration officials, including Obama's chief foreign-policy speechwriter, Ben Rhodes, and the chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Christopher Kojm. All got their start as Hamilton staffers at the Wilson Center or on what was once called the House International Relations Committee, where Hamilton served for more than three decades. In an interview Sept. 28 in his spacious eighth-floor office in the mammoth Ronald Reagan Building, Hamilton downplayed his influence. Although he hosted foreign-policy soirees for Obama during the 2008 campaign and presidential transition and was on the shortlist for secretary of state, Hamilton said he is not now 'a close intimate advisor' of the president, but does 'see some of his staff fairly regularly.'" (ForeignPolicy)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The president has a momentous decision to make about who his new chief of staff will be—a decision that could set the course of his administration going forward now and through the final two years of his term. Current press reports indicate that the president is likely to pick an internal candidate, most likely Tom Donilon or perhaps Jim Messina. Both of these individuals are talented people, but to truly succeed, the president needs to pick someone from outside his administration with independence, stature and credibility to run a White House that appears to be close to chaos. Specifically, the smartest thing Obama could do in replacing outgoing Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would be to pick an outsider who can address some of the obvious weaknesses his administration has. No one currently in the administration has strong ties to corporate America, as well as to what is likely to be a growing Republican influence, if not control in Congress, and independent credibility and authority. It is critically important that Emanuel’s replacement have strong ties to the business community, a history of good relations with both parties in Congress, and the independence and integrity to be able to tell the president 'no' when he is wrong. There is only one person in America that can fill that position, and that is Erskine Bowles, the outgoing president of the University of North Carolina, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and a former administrator of the Small Business Administration." (Douglas Shoen)

"In North Korea, the sister also rises. The announcement Tuesday that dictator Kim Jong Il's only sister—64-year-old Kim Kyong Hui — was being promoted to four-star general in the North Korean army startled some veteran Pyongyang watchers. They tell The Daily Beast that her promotion means that Mrs. Kim, widely reputed across the border in South Korea to be a mean drunk capable of having her political rivals bumped off and driving her own daughter to suicide, would have equal standing in North Korea’s nuclear-armed military with the dictator’s youngest son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un." (TheDailyBeast)

"Sen. Olympia J. Snowe is bracing for the possibility of a brutal GOP primary in 2012 after watching as conservative activists turned on Republican moderates and longtime incumbents this year and targeted them for defeat — sometimes successfully. An interview with the Maine Republican on Tuesday revealed her focus on her re-election bid and her recognition that the tea party activism influencing several House and Senate primaries this year could last well beyond this election cycle. 'I've been a Republican for all of my political life, since I was registered to vote. I've always been part and parcel of the Republican Party,' Snowe said. 'It's where I grew up. It's where I grew in the Legislature in learning how to govern and how to legislate — which is to build bridges. That's what Maine has been all about. That doesn't mean that you sacrifice your principles in order to accomplish that; to the contrary.'" (CQPolitics)

(image via usmenuguide)

"Afterwards I grabbed my friend and neighbor Charlie Scheips and we went up the block to Swifty's for a quick and delicious meal. Swifty's was lively. Bill and Melinda vanden Heuvel were entertaining Inger Elliot or vice versa. Gale Hayman and Dr. Richard Bachman were entertaining Ernie Pomerantz and his authoress wife, Marie Brenner. At another Tobie Roosevelt was entertaining and across the way her sister Nancy Baker was dining with husband and friends. Also Dick Nye and Francesca Stanfill, Ed and Pat Ney (newlyweds still), Bobby and Barbara Liberman. Also, Betty Sherrill and her daughter and business associate Ann Pyne. On one side of us was Cheri Kaufman and friend and on the other Hannah Pakula and friend. We fell into a conversation about living in Los Angeles (Hannah grew up there and was married to director Alan Pakula). Her school chum was Joan Benny (who was at the Bowling party last night), daughter of Jack, best friend of George Burns. Beverly Hills was a village then, a real small town except ... American 20th century folklore was being created by its inhabitants." (NYSocialDiary)

"Nightlife isn't just happening below 23rd Street (remember when the borderline used to be below 14th Street?) as evidenced by the new restaurant/club Lavo from nightlife impresarios Noah Tepperberg and Rich Thomas, who also run Avenue, Marquee and Tao. So far LAVO, located on 58th and Park, has hosted two very different high-profile events. The first was a "soft opening" of the club which inhabits the old euro-spot Au Bar (but has been completely re-done) was hosted by Quest magazine (the preppy UES social bible) and a party for the website What2WearWhere which was founded by Karen Klopp to help busy chicks get their get-ups on and get out the door to work and parties. Every chic prep girl was at the W2WW party : Francesca Bodini, Lauren Remington Platt, Chessy Wilson, author Anisha Lakhani, Elizabeth Meigher and TV star Kimberly Guilfoyle. Then there was the grand opening which boasted Sam Ronson as DJ and a star studded red carpet." (Papermag)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The Asian nations’ interest in American politics stems not just from America’s standing as the sole global superpower, but also from a growing belief among Asian leaders that the era of United States hegemony will soon be over, and that the polarization of its politics symbolizes America’s inability to adapt to the changing nature of global capitalism after the financial crisis. What does this sweeping statement have to do with the price of yen? Plenty. On Sept. 15, the yen dropped sharply against the dollar, improving the competitiveness of Japanese exporters. After a brief bounce last week, expect the downward trend to continue. Mr. Kan’s government has decided to follow the lead of China and other Asian nations in 'managing' (some critics would say manipulating) its currency; it spent a record $23 billion in a single day on foreign exchanges — the largest such intervention ever — instead of leaving the yen’s value entirely to market forces. To understand how this decision will affect the United States, we must start with parochial politics — not in Delaware, but in the larger parish called Asia, which remains terra incognita to most American politicians and voters. " (ANATOLE KALETSKY)

"Would you describe your former husband as loyal? 'Loyal?' she repeats, though of course the loyalty these DD agents are interested in isn’t spousal loyalty, allegiance to the vows of marital fidelity, but political loyalty, whether or not Don (Draper) might be a subversive shade of commie red. For these two gray-suited refugees from the Jack Webb menswear shop, this is a routine security check related to Sterling Cooper’s possible advertising contract with a military-related aeronautics conglomerate. But to the man who was baptized under the name Dick Whitman, it’s is the existential reckoning he has always feared, the Kafkaesque nightmare of having his impersonation of a dead soldier revealed and the elaborate lie he has led since the Korean War come unsprung, bringing the entire edifice of his false identity crashing down and everything he’s achieved with it. With a possible charge of desertion, which carries no statute of limitations. In a season charting the rising levels of anxiety and soul-sick squeamishness within the the deep dark sea of alcohol into which Don has submerged, what we saw in Don’s eyes for the first time was raw fear, the tormented thrashing of a cornered animal, and it’s another testament to Jon Hamm’s powers of invocation his panic attack in the apartment was palpable and terrifying, the most convincing scare I’ve witnessed in drama since a father played by Albert Finney had a heart attack on stage in a London play I’ve otherwise totally forgotten apart from the awful thud of Finney’s falling to the floor, before the rest of him toppled over like an axed ox." (James Wolcott/VanityFair)

"The Afghan war 'skeptic' is expected to leave the White House this week to make a run for the Chicago mayor's seat. But how will Rahm Emanuel’s departure affect the war strategy? 'It depends on who [replaces him.] Rahm, as you know, is one tough cookie, and if there is something going on that the president doesn’t like or he doesn’t like he goes in with the hammer,' the author of 'Obama’s Wars,' said on 'GMA.' Woodward’s book – an inside look at the wartime president and his closes advisors – notes Emanuel’s skepticism over the Afghan war. At one point Obama is quoted as saying 'Nothing would make Rahm happier than if I said no to the 30,000' when he was reaching a decision on the Afghan troop surge. '[Emanuel’s] the skeptic. He said Afghanistan is political flypaper you get stuck to it you can’t get off,' Woodward told me today. But the chief of staff was not alone in his hesitation. Ambassador Holbrooke, Lt. Gen. Lute and Gen. Petraeus -- the 'architect' of the surge – expressed doubts in the book during a time when the president himself said he could just authorize 10,000 more troops instead of 30,000 and 'hope for the best. The question that pulses throughout any long inquiry like this is who is Barack Obama? Who is our president? And for the first time you can see his internal struggle, his intellectual struggle, his dealing with the military, his dealing with his political advisers, and he set a course,' Woodward told me. 'The problem here is so much is unsettled, the relationships are not settled.'" (George Stephanopoulos)

"When David Simon first learned that he won the MacArthur 'genius' Grant — which comes with $500,000 tax-free, no-strings-attached, paid out in quarterly installments over five years — his first thought was to give the money to charity. He doesn't need it. 'To be blunt, I'm in the entertainment industry ... and my contracts are well funded right now,' Mr. Simon, who created both The Wire and Treme for HBO, told The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Simon hasn't said exactly how he'll use the money, but he is not going to give it away. He's interested in advocating more seriously for the issues that he writes about in his shows. 'One overt argument that The Wire was making is that the drug war is amoral and untenable,' Mr. Simon told The New York Times ahead of the MacArthur Grant announcement. But Mr. Simon hasn't said anything about improving the state of journalism. Maybe that's a lame cause by now? It would be nice if he put some of this money where his mouth is. Mr. Simon, who worked as a crime reporter at the Baltimore Sun in the '80s and '90s where he drew a lot of inspiration for The Wire, spoke on the Senate subcommittee hearing about the Future of Journalism in 2009. 'The day I run into a Huffington Post reporter at a Baltimore zoning board hearing is the day that I will be confident that we've actually reached some sort of equilibrium,' Mr. Simon told the subcommittee, chaired by Senator John Kerry. He was sitting next to Arianna Huffington. 'You know, the next 10 or 15 years in this country are going to be a halcyon era for state and local political corruption. It is going to be one of the great times to be a corrupt politician, all right?'" (Observer)

(Barbara Cates and Robert Rufino with Mish Tworkowski in the background via NYSD)

"There were two invitations for last night. Both 6 to 8. Appealing because it meant I’d get home at a decent hour. One was a special invitation to 'celebrate the CD release of Confessions,' by Liza Minnelli, with an intimate performance by Liza at New York City’s exclusive Gramercy Park Hotel 'Rose Bar Sessions.' The other was an invitation a booksigning hosted by Bunny Williams and John Rosselli at John’s shop 'Treillage' (one of them) on East 75th Street between York and First, which is in my neighborhood. I figured I could stop by there first, take a picture of the author, see what it was about and on down to Liza’s 'intimate performance'... But what were they talking about at this kind of party? Over in one corner Robert Rufino, formerly of Tiffany was talking to a group. The news in the room was that he’d just been named Editor-at-large of Architectural Digest by Margaret Russell the new E-I-C succeeding the legendary Paige Rense." (NYSocialDiary)

"USA Network is the most valuable part of NBC Universal at $11.7 billion, but the NBC network is worth a negative $600 million, according to Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan. He also puts the value of the Universal studio arm at about $4 billion. Harrigan listed the valuation estimates in a research note on Monday following Friday's news that Jeff Zucker will leave his role as CEO of NBC Universal to Comcast COO Steve Burke after the cable giant acquires the entertainment firm. 'Burke appears likely to focus on revitalizing the NBC network and addressing digital media and subscription model initiatives,' Harrigan wrote. 'In the interim, Universal head Ron Meyer is apt to remain in position even with uneven market share and financial performance at the Studio," which he doesn't expect to be a near-term priority for Burke. "The NBC Network is simply more important perceptually and from a pop culture vantage point.' According to the analyst, the NBC Universal cable networks make up 78% of NBC Universal's valuation. Thanks to the stronger-than-anticipated recovery in the advertising market, the total company is likely worth slightly more than $32.5 billion, he said. In the Comcast deal, NBC Universal was value at $30 billion. The negative $600 million value for NBC comes "as it remains a capital call for programming development as long as it remains mired in the #4 network position" in primetime, Harrigan said." (TheHollywoodReporter)

"You’d never know it from the avalanche of TV ads, direct-mail pieces and phone calls that voters will receive in October, but most campaigns have only another week or two to change the likely outcome of their contests. Sure, the midterm elections are still five weeks away, but the combination of early voting in many states and the difficulty of cutting through the coming clutter means that the best opportunity for campaigns to change voter attitudes is quickly coming to an end. More than 30 states allow voters to cast their ballots well before Election Day. Early voting begins Oct. 9 in Arizona and Oct. 11 in Illinois. Early voting in Indiana starts 29 days before the Nov. 2 general election. In Wisconsin, it’s three weeks before Election Day. In Florida, early voting starts 15 days before the election. Early voting has changed the tempo of campaigns, lessening the value of late TV spots and late campaign developments. For Democrats, the summer — particularly August and September — has been their best opportunity to change the trajectory of individual races. Few have succeeded in doing so." (Stuart Rothenberg/CQPolitics)

"Gore Verbinski is saddling up for a re-team with Johnny Depp on The Lone Ranger. Verbinski, whose last live action film was 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, is getting serious about making his next directing outing The Lone Ranger, the Disney pic that has Jerry Bruckheimer producing with Depp playing Tonto. No word on when the film will begin production--Depp has no shortage of offers and has in the offing a re-team with Tim Burton on Dark Shadows--and the idea of Verbinski possibly doing this has been in the ether." (Deadline)

"Wal-Mart took its aggressive approach to international expansion to new heights Monday, entering a $4.2 billion bid for South African retailer Massmart. Currently South Africa's third biggest retailer with a presence in 13 other sub-Saharan countries, Massmart's base of operations offers the Arkansas-based retailer the ability to rapidly make in-roads on the continent. Similarly aggressive expansion has paid dividends for the company in China and Brazil. Will Africa yield the same results? A sampling of opinions .." (TheAtlantic)

"NLNL.jpgWhat happens when a dance floor simply becomes that which it was intended to be: a place to dance? Cancel out the plushy décor, strobe lights, toxic cocktails, five-inch spike heels, and the incessant internal nagging to meet someone, and what you've got on your hands is No Lights No Lycra, a dance party in the dark that stresses dancing simply for the sake of enjoying it.   The movement began in Melbourne, Australia last summer, and then a chapter sprung up in Greenpoint, thanks to graphic designer Joanna Zawadzka and the trio behind the Van Leeuwan ice cream company. While it obviously can't and won't be enforced, No Lights stresses the point of showing up to these dance parties without having partaken in drugs or alcohol. The magic in these dance parties lies in the "no lights" aspect of it: walking into this church basement is similar to the experience of walking into a movie theater after the lights have already dimmed; it's a bit harried, and the darkness is a bit overwhelming, but within a matter of minutes it is possible to make out the face of a person standing directly next to you." (Papermag)

"Bob Woodward has released another book, this one on the debate over Afghanistan strategy in the Obama administration. As all his books do, the book has riveted Washington. It reveals that intense debate occurred over what course to take, that the president sought alternative strategies and that compromises were reached. But while knowing the details of these things is interesting, what would have been shocking is if they hadn’t taken place. It is interesting to reflect on the institutional inevitability of these disagreements. The military is involved in a war. It is institutionally and emotionally committed to victory in the theater of combat. It will demand all available resources for executing the war under way. For a soldier who has bled in that war, questioning the importance of the war is obscene. A war must be fought relentlessly and with all available means. But while the military’s top generals and senior civilian leadership are responsible for providing the president with sound, clearheaded advice on all military matters including the highest levels of grand strategy, they are ultimately responsible for the pursuit of military objectives to which the commander-in-chief directs them. Generals must think about how to win the war they are fighting. Presidents must think about whether the war is worth fighting. The president is responsible for America’s global posture. He must consider what an unlimited commitment to a particular conflict might mean in other regions of the world where forces would be unavailable. A president must take a more dispassionate view than his generals." (STRATFOR)

"M.I.A. returned to Terminal 5 on Monday night and brought with her all the trappings one would expect from an M.I.A. show: thunderous bangers, fierce jerk dancers and, of course, her signature 'statement' apparel.  Rye Rye, the first artist signed to M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T recordings, started the night off flanked by b-boys. One can't help but be intrigued with the fact that such bars are being spit by a girl attending high school in Baltimore, not to mention someone that can dance as ferociously as she does. DJ Asma took the stage for a couple of joints before bringing out a makeup-less M.I.A., dressed in a green safari hat and a black Middle Eastern getup straight out of the first 'Mummy' movie, for /\/\/\Y/\ opener 'The Message.' From there the British singer/rapper launched into gems from her first two albums, Kala and Arular, with the crowd leaping on top of itself for 'Galang' and bass-heavy 'Bamboo Banga.' She then removed her black top to reveal a T-shirt that said, 'Fuck Google. Ask Me!'" (MaudlinBrand)

"Where does North Korea go from here? At the time of writing the new young general has yet to be seen, much less heard. Though this father and uncle have (after a late start) been planning his coming-out party for at least two years, for once the well-choreographed theatre that passes for politics in Pyongyang is looking wobbly. Why was this meeting postponed? And why did Kim Jong-il suddenly scuttle off to China, his second visit in under four months? The postponement may have had three reasons: floods preventing delegates from travelling; Kim Jong-il’s health; or political in-fighting. The China trip was to win Beijing’s approval of Jong-eun’s succession and cash to finance the party. Otherwise a fed-up and unfed populace may finally lose patience with such harsh but useless rulers. That imprimatur will have had a price. Hu Jintao, China’s president, reportedly insisted on long-overdue market reforms. The recent return of ex-premier Pak Pong-ju, a known reformer, is hopeful here. The world’s other demand, denuclearisation, will take longer. But China will at a minimum insist on no further nuclear tests, and will gradually increase its influence in Pyongyang." (FT)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"If you’re Bill Keller, say, or Tina Brown—whose Daily Beast gets one-tenth of Gawker Media’s readership on a good month—it’s much easier to view (Nick) Denton as an upstart thug from nowhere, as opposed to an equal who’s kicking your ass. That plays directly into Denton’s strategy: Thuggish is the reputation he wants. 'If I am a cornerstone of the new Establishment, then there is no new Establishment worth talking about,' he says. 'The only interesting people are on the West Coast,' he adds, then launches into a series of classic shameless Gawker riffs on the old New York media titans. 'People used to quake when Barry Diller picked up the phone. Now he’s laughable. That image of (Rupert) Murdoch dyeing his hair in the sink is indelible—though the coloring may not be. Sumner Redstone would only be of interest to Gawker readers if he were to soil his adult diapers—on-camera. But the hard truth is that the golden age of New York media is largely over.” (NYMag)

"When I started writing the New York Social Diary about fifteen years ago, the subject at hand was where people were going out (to charity galas) and what life was like for them in their leisure (Palm Beach, Southampton, etc.). In other words, affairs, divorces, scandals, tiffs, riffs and cliffs. Fifteen years ago there was also the wake of the Nouvelle Society of the 80s, and before that the Kennedy years, and the New York Society years that came before that. In other words, the people were about their lives. In the past ten years, many of these same people or people who are identified with them as “the elite,” the “socialites,” the 'society people,' 'the rich,' became lives about business. Money. Scandals, of course; affairs, of course, divorce, of course. But business, money, everything. The most popular venue for a cocktail party get together in New York today is in a store. Often a store on Madison Avenue, incidentally. That’s the way it is. A store promoting its good to sell. This is simply evolution." (NYSocialDiary)

"After the dust settles from November, another election will begin with consequences nearly as big. Once it's clear who will have a majority in the House and Senate next year, party members will begin fighting for the committee chairmanships. Although little followed outside of Washington, these positions give lawmakers huge say over how and when the federal government spends its money, what issues Congress investigates and how legislation is written. Jockeying for these plum positions can begin well before elections. Pennsylvania Democrat Chaka Fattah announced his intention to seek the House Appropriations chairmanship after Wisconsin Rep. David R. Obey announced his retirement from Congress in May. Fattah currently ranks 21st in seniority compared to Norm Dicks of Washington, who is next in line for the position—and favored to win if the Democrats retain the majority. Such a challenge wouldn't have been permissible 40 years ago, but the rules governing the chairmanship election process have been in near-constant flux since the 1970s." (CQPolitics)

"As far back as a year ago this October, I first reported that Comcast Corp COO/No. 2 Steve Burke would be running NBC Universal and replacing Jeff Zucker. And in November I explained that, because Burke would have his hands full there, Neil Smits from Charter Communication had been hired to assume Burke's Comcast Cable Communications responsibilities. So today's announcement is more than year old news to regular readers of Deadline Hollywood. Still, today's official announcement really hits Zucker where it hurts coming just 2 1/2 weeks after he was shitcanned by Burke. Zucker on Friday decided to reveal his firing because he'd just finished negotiating his severance package. He sent an email to NBCU staff and told reporters Burke had made it clear that Comcast wanted to move on at the close of the deal so Zucker had to move off the top job." (Deadline)

"While "The Social Network" star Jesse Eisenberg slipped out the back stairway, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had no fear walking into the Harvard club to celebrate the film that exposed the uglier side of the creation of Facebook. 'We conducted ourselves appropriately, so we weren't concerned,' said Cameron, whose lawsuit against Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was depicted in the film. One aspect film producers didn't get right, according to the twins, was just how rude White House economic adviser Larry Summers was when they asked for help in dealing with Zuckerberg. 'Let's just say he isn't the most diplomatic person,' Cameron told us of their meeting with the then Harvard president. 'We went in there feeling bad and coming out much worse.' On the other side of the party, Sony CEO Howard Stringer was twice bombarded by an excessively surgerized Faye Dunaway in a wide-brimmed hat with dark hair. The star begged him to ask director David Fincher to watch her trailer for Sony Classics. 'I'm stalking him. Please ask him to see the trailer,' Dunaway said." (PageSix)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The sun slanting through the open sash windows, the cool white blinds and tablecloths stirred by the gentle breeze, the whitewashed walls and the pale wooden floorboards make Carlota seem as though it might be in one of Brazil’s torrid, northern plantation provinces – or on some hilltop in the south of France. In fact, the restaurant is on the edge of Higienópolis, a hilly residential neighbourhood in bustling São Paulo, the largest metropolis in the Americas. It is also the preferred local of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former Marxist intellectual colloquially known as FHC, who went on to slay hyperinflation and then twice became president of Brazil, from 1995 to 2002. Few people can claim to have been a philosopher king, let alone to have put the “B” in Bric – the now commonplace acronym, coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs’ chief economist, that groups Brazil, Russia, India and China. And, although both the world and Brazil have fallen in love with FHC’s successor, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Cardoso is the man widely credited, at least abroad, with laying the foundations for a boom that has caught many off guard both by its speed and where it has come from. I am a quarter of an hour early for lunch: São Paulo’s chaotic traffic is famously unpredictable. It is hard mentally to grasp a city of this size – the second biggest in the world, by some counts, with a greater urban population of about 20m. It is even harder to grasp the vastness of Brazil and the surrounding continent. I remembered a previous time I’d met Cardoso, in this same restaurant, when he had told me how, occasionally, he would exploit that vastness to get away from the strictures and stresses of being president. He’d board a single-engine water plane, be flown several hours over jangled treetops that looked like broccoli, and land at a remote fishing spot in an upper tributary of the Amazon. There he would wile away a couple of days in swimming shorts, meditatively gazing at the water with just a rod, his wife Ruth and a single security man for company." (FT)

"I’ve always thought the real way to catch a racist, which is also the name of a television show I’ve been pitching, is to tell a funny race joke and see who the last white person to stop laughing is. It’s always the dude laughing five seconds too long you have to worry about. From that initial thought sprung a whole way of thinking about race and humor in the same breath. That and also this one time in high school I had a teacher who was supposed to teach us about how racism is bad but instead handed out pages of hilarious race jokes me and my like-minded also-colored friends would repeat for the rest of our lives. It’s a delicate thing, walking the tight rope of humor and racial sensitivity. I went into NBC’s Outsourced thinking it would be one seemingly Russel Peters-penned accent joke after another. Although rather than being offended on the grounds of racial insensitivity, I was more offended by how unfunny the show was. I almost hoped it would get progressively more offensive solely so I could have a laugh. I think it’s safe to say I was asking for too much when the writers had to name a central character Manmeet just to get a good old fashioned American cock joke in. Besides, Hardik is such a better Indian name for that joke anyway. Outsourced is NBC’s new sit-com based on 2006’s film of the same name. The big lesson you’ll learn from the movie, apparently, is that India’s not so bad. Thanks!" (Stereogum)

"Imagine if the U.S. government only controlled a few blocks on either side of the White House, or if French troops securing the Élysée Palace were afraid to march down the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It's a good bet your government is in trouble when it doesn't even control the district where the presidential palace is located. Welcome to Somalia. In the capital city of Mogadishu, the government is literally fighting for its life. We all know the story: Somalia is the world's biggest no-go zone. The country's internationally supported government wouldn't last through the night were it not for a 7,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force that protects them, and civilian toll of the last two decades of conflict been catastrophic -- a quarter of the population has been uprooted by violence. In recent months, the story has gotten even worse thanks to two main Islamist militia groups, al-Shabab and Hizbul al-Islam, which control much of the country. Al Shabab professes allegiance to al Qaeda and should not be taken lightly: The group claimed responsibility for bombing two Ugandan restaurants packed with spectators watching the World Cup this summer. " (Foreign Policy)

"You could spend your life around political campaigns and never see a celebration quite like the one Linda McMahon held last month after Connecticut Republicans made her their Senate candidate in a three-way primary. McMahon is the fabulously wealthy founder (along with her high-school sweetheart and husband, Vince) of World Wrestling Entertainment, a company the McMahons transformed into a sort of Disney for the age of postindustrial American anger. Unknown to Connecticut voters before she began her run, she spent more than $20 million of her own fortune to beat out two Republican candidates — one of them recruited by the national party — for the right to square off this November against Richard Blumenthal, the state’s longtime Democratic attorney general, in a contest to succeed Christopher Dodd, who is retiring. The first thing I noticed when I wandered into McMahon’s victory party, at a Crowne Plaza Hotel south of Hartford, was the lavish spread — not the usual weenies and plastic cups, but warm pasta and flaky pastries and drinks from an open bar, all of it consumed by supporters carting free 'Linda' tote bags and T-shirts. The second thing was the vintage 1980s soundtrack, which included decidedly unpolitical tracks like the AC/DC classic 'You Shook Me All Night Long.'" (NYTimes)

"Bill Cunningham, as just about everyone in the fashion world knows, crisscrosses Manhattan on his bike, shooting stylish people on the streets by day and on the social circuit by night. But the 81-year-old New York Times photographer and his trademark blue smock were nowhere in evidence last night at the Tribeca Grand, where MAC hosted a screening of Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary directed by Richard Press that offers an unprecedented view of the famously devoted and solitary—not to mentioned beloved—examiner of the way we dress. 'He doesn't like being praised,' Paper magazine editor Kim Hastreiter explained before the screening. When the film played at MoMA in March, she added, "he wouldn't come in. He only shot the people arriving. He's a true indie." (He's also a true friend of Hastreiter's, having turned her from a Madison Avenue shopgirl into a magazine editor when he helped get her a job at The SoHo News in 1978.) Maria Cornejo, Terence Koh, Prabal Gurung, and a handful of other 'kids,' as Cunningham would have affectionately called them, came by for a cocktail and a peek at the flick, which opens in March." (Style)

"One day last month, I spoke with a medical student in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. 'We have seen enough of India,' the twenty-something-year-old told me. 'We don't want to put up with the oppression anymore. We want freedom.' He proudly claimed to be one of Kashmir's so-called stone pelters -- protesters who aim large rocks at the Indian security forces that have been trying to put down a resurgent wave of demonstrations in Kashmir. 'We are peaceful protesters,' he said. 'We only throw stones if they stop us.' And if they catch a policeman alone, he said, they beat him up. 'But we don't kill him,' his friend piped up. 'We have beaten up a few, but not a single policeman has been killed.' Just then, a third Kashmiri youth, silent until now, spoke up: 'It is only self-defense. It is in response to their provocation. Our stones for their bullets.' Since the protests first erupted in June, after the police killed a teenager in Srinagar, demonstrations in Srinagar and other towns in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley have become almost a daily occurrence. Crowds of young men in their late teens or early twenties are summoned by separatist leaders or by cryptic phone messages that contain invitations to 'picnics.'" (Foreign Affairs)

"Chalk two up for the underdogs. True, full 52-week season rankings are pretty meaningless because they include the summer off-season numbers that are dragged down by repeats. But Nielsen keeps track of them and just released the data for the official 2009-2010 season which ended Sunday. So Judge Judy topped Oprah in daytime. And ABC's Nightline beat both CBS' The Late Show With David Letterman and NBC's The Tonight Show which switched hosts mid-season. Judy Sheindlin averaged 6.3 million viewers to Oprah Winfrey's 5.7 million, but Oprah's average includes far more repeats. Ditto for Leno/Conan and especially Letterman against Nightline, which was almost always first-run. Still, this is the first full season victory for Nightline, which averaged 3.7 million viewers, followed by The Late Show (3.6 millon) and The Tonight Show (3.5 million). But in demos, which actually matter, The Tonight Show was No. 1." (Deadline)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Boats * Cars * Dollars * Girls * Helicopters * Jewellery * Skylines (2010) – Thomas Traum

Music by Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor – 04 – IV. Commissioned by Grok Institute for the “En Avant” show. From the Artist's Statement: "A typology of rap videos and an attempt to construct the most generic Rap and R&B video out of many ...  I am fascinated by their highly aesthetic visual displays of objects. Through their likeness they seem to be almost ‘classic’, just as classic theater or opera. I am also fascinated by their focus on objects and how they portray them in a very aesthetic and often minimal way, which reminds me of techniques used mainly in art."
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Japanese prosecutors have decided to release the Chinese fishing captain, whose arrest two weeks ago near a chain of disputed islands led to the worst diplomatic dispute between the two countries in years. 'We have decided that further investigation while keeping the captain in custody would not be appropriate, considering the impact on the people of our country, as well as the Japan-China relations in the future,' said a representative of the Naha, Okinawa prosecutor's office. The case has not been officially closed. Earlier this week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao threatened 'further action' against Japan if the captain was not released, but Tokyo denies have any input on the prosecutors' decision. Japanese and Chinese leaders did not hold their customary meeting at the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that four Japanese nationals have been detained in China, on suspicion of violating a law concerning the security of military facilities. The four were in China working on a project to dispose of chemical weapons left in the country by the Japanese military at the end of World War II. China's trade ministry also denied media reports that it was curbing the export of rare earth metals to Japan." (ForeignPolicy)

"CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein is leaving the company, the network confirms. HLN chief Ken Jautz will replace Klein at the parent network, with CNN CMO Scott Safon taking over HLN. 'Jon has made important contributions to the CNN story, and he leaves with our respect and friendship, and with my sincere thanks,' wrote CNN Wordlwide president Jim Walton in a memo to employees his morning. 'The CNN I’m leaving today is demonstrably stronger than the one I inherited almost six years ago – both editorially and financially,' wrote Klein in a memo to staff. 'That is a tribute to your passion for telling stories that matter, your talent for uncovering the truth without layering on destructive bluster or partisan spin, and your willingness to indulge my appetite for innovation and change.'" (TvNewser)

"My final destination for the evening was the Quest 400 party at Doubles. This is an annual event that marks the appearance of Quest Magazine’s annual Quest 400 list, which is interpreted by some as a century later edition of Mrs. Astor’s original 400 list. It is also interpreted as others for what it is, an effective marketing curiosity that also articulates the New York social atmosphere ...I started this list sixteen or so years ago because I didn’t have anything to sell to Quest’s then-owner/publisher at the time, Heather Cohane for the next month’s issue ... Heather and I got down the shoe boxes one rainy afternoon and started going through the pictures of people we’d seen out and about. We started piling up images according to the number we had of each individual. If there were five of you, then you were on the List because that meant you got out and about where the swells were swelling. I’d arbitrarily decided that the “400” would be made up of those four hundred individuals whose pictures we had the most of, including members of the well-known prominent families, and those who were most often seen out at cocktail parties and charity events. Plus give or take a few local celebrities or New York fashion or finance legends, as well as a few heirs, heiresses and pretty girls." (NYSocialDiary)

"When institutions struggle to explain themselves it seems a reasonable bet they have outlived their purpose. Nato styles itself the world’s most successful defensive alliance. It has spent a year rethinking its mission statement. A rhetorical recasting of its ambitions is not enough to assure its future. For its first 40 years, Nato had no need of such thumb-sucking exercises. The Soviet tanks sitting the other side of the German plains spoke for themselves. Sure, there were big debates about deterrence and détente, and heated arguments about short-range nuclear weapons. But everyone signed up to the proposition that Nato was the vital guarantor of security. During the past two decades the alliance has been a tougher sell. When the Berlin Wall came down, some thought it should pack up its tent and walk into the history books. Instead, the alliance extended its security to the former communist states. It expanded to 28 members and went to war to protect peace in the Balkans. The task is not yet complete, but the “Europe whole and free” of cold war aspiration has moved a lot closer. " (FT)

"And at the age of 40, Naomi Campbell shows no sign of fading from the spotlight just yet. In fact, she reckons the original 90s supermodels of her, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista still take some beating, despite the array of younger talent around today. The Streatham-born beauty said: "We're the original crew. We've still got it. 'My best moments over the 25 years have been with Kate, Claudia, the original girls. And boy did we have so much fun. We're still running things, we're still doing it." (Mirror)

"Who cares? Let me be more specific. Who, in their right mind, is eager to watch the new 'Idol' to discover a great musical star. Huh? That’s not why we watch 'Idol', it’s to see the clueless wannabes skewered by Simon. Simon. He’s the star of 'Idol'. Sure, they replaced Dave in Van Halen, but the real star is Eddie, without him Dave and Sammy are journeymen. But at least Dave’s got talent. If you saw him do 'Ice Cream Man' on the last VH tour, you know it, you were converted. And he has attitude. He created a whole persona which worked on stage. But not on the radio. Gladwell told me you get credit for your 10,000 hours in one field if you venture into another, it’s not like you start completely over, but you don’t emerge fully-formed at the head of the class! In other words, given years of work, maybe Diamond Dave could be a great broadcaster, he’s got the gift of gab, but his expertise is on the stage. Like Steven Tyler’s. Steven Tyler is one of the few rock stars who lives up to the image. He’s left messages on my answering machine that I’ve played back for years… When I asked him what he was doing in the studio at 10 AM, long before I was awake, Tyler told me HE THREW OUT THE ROCK STAR MANUAL YEARS AGO!" (LefsetzLetter)

"Endangered House Democrats have to get out of town now -- and not stick around for votes on tax cuts -- if they are going to save their seats, retiring Blue Dog Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) told Democrats at a Caucus meeting Thursday morning. Tanner, the dean of House moderates who is not seeking a 12th term this fall, told the Caucus that he was speaking for Members who could not speak for themselves, according to a Democratic aide. Given 'the Senate's inability to come to grips with anything,' Tanner later told CQ Politics, House leaders should punt on the debate until after the elections. Democrats have been wrestling with whether and how to pass an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, set to expire at the end of the year. 'I think probably the best thing to do now is just go home,' Tanner said. 'None of this that I've heard has any more urgency now than it would in November when we come back.' A sympathetic Democratic aide said the question now is whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) takes Tanner's advice. 'Is she going to let people go home or is she going to keep us here to take a tax cut vote that's really stupid?' the aide asked." (CQPolitics)

"On Thursday, House Republicans released their 'Pledge to America,' supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals. True, the document talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — 'except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.' In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits. So what’s left? Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: 'No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.' The 'pledge,' then, is nonsense." (Krugman)

"The latest wrinkle is to get married a second time, or to renew one’s vows, as the toe curling invite tells us. One lady who appears in an even more embarrassing TV show, The Real Housewives of New York City, announced that everyone cried in her vow renewal ceremony. 'Every single person present cried,' she insisted. Knowing the bloody woman as I do, I will bet one million greenbacks that the bus boys serving cried for different reasons, as she’s the lousiest tipper I know." (Takimag)

"Two down, two to go. New York fashion week ended last Thursday and as usual, there was a little under 24 hours before London Fashion week began. Its so funny to go to the airport and see every model, stylist and editor you can imagine, all cramming onto flights from NY to the UK. I spent a few days in London and did few shows there but I had to leave early this morning to head to Berlin for a job. I'll be here in Germany for a little over a day followed by Budapest for another job followed by.... Milan and Paris Fashion weeks!!Yeah I know, it's a crazy month! ... This season I have James traveling with me for the first time, which is lovely. Going from city to city it can get a little lonely in this industry, so its nice to share this with him. We bought a new digital camera not long back and so James is also documenting everything we do. He actually came and hung out for the amazing Fashions Night Out Show Vogue put on 2 weeks ago and he got some pretty unprecedented backstage access and video." (CocoRocha)

(Rocco Barocco and Rosario Dawson)

"How much does Rosario Dawson love Rocco Borroco? A lot, it turns out. The brand paid the actress a nice little fee to come to Milan and attend their cocktail party and presentation, and then pose in front of shutterbugs for few hours while going in and out of changing rooms at the brand’s store. You gotta earn that cash!" (Fashionweekdaily)

"Some of the defining images of the 20th century, including one of Andy Warhol’s famous multicolour prints of Marilyn Monroe, go on display in the capital today in the first glimpse of works owned by a renowned New York art dealer. Warhol is one of six American artists whose work was unveiled at Manarat al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island last night at the world’s first exhibition of contemporary masterpieces from Larry Gagosian’s private collection. Four Marilyns (1962) and Crushed Campbell’s Soup Can (1962) are some of the collection’s most recognisable pieces, which join the works of Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly and Christopher Wool in the exhibition, called RSTW after their surnames’ initials. 'It is the first time I’ve opened up my home to show my personal collection of artwork that I hold dear to my heart,' said Mr Gagosian, who was invited to show the 72 works by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC). Mr Gagosian, who has been collecting art for more than 25 years, said he was 'curious' about the reaction of visitors to his first showing in the Middle East. 'There will be people who like it and some who won’t. And there will be people who will finally put a name to a piece they have seen somewhere before,' he said. 'Manarat al Saadiyat represents a beacon for Abu Dhabi’s emerging contemporary scene, and the efforts being made by the emirate to deliver a ground-breaking cultural district is a testament to the leadership’s understanding of the importance of art,' Mr Gagosian said." (TheNational)

"So I’m becoming an adult I guess. Since moving to America nearly four months ago I’ve gotten a bank account, a phone that turns on without the assistance of a safety pin and a hammer, and... get ready, an apartment! I’m officially un-homeless. Weird! This whole process of growing up has been a weird mix of excitement and apprehension. For starters, I paid my first rent check OF MY LIFE the other day, which I guess is sort of impressive considering I’m almost twenty-five. It was strange; after living in the squatter mindset for so long, the idea of paying rent is so alien to me that I actually began laughing out loud when writing the check. My landlord found this amusing. Then immediately afterward I got a horrible stomach ache, realizing that though it’s nice to have a home or whatever, in reality Im pretty poor (who isn’t?) and I might struggle to pay New York’s extortionate rent prices. However, I must be in someone’s good books because this morning, in the height of my panic, I received an an email from my slave offering to pay my rent. In my last post I expressed my slight anxiety toward being bought gifts by the slave without giving him anything in return. I’m over that now." (Karley Sciortino)