Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seventh Annual Year End Pirate Awards, Part 1

Every year, like clockwork, this blog rounds up some of the more arresting moments. Then we tease them throughout the week, to make you addicted, as if it were a particularly dense wedge of Cambodian smack.

Seven years this blogger has been on the beat. Nose to the ground, hunting for scoop. Seven years of reality TV, political hijinx, robust social mountaineers (myself being excepted), media positioning and enough online mayhem to stun a yak at 30 paces. Here are my awards for some of the most dubious (and sometimes noble)achievements of the year now ending, not with a bang but a whimper. Keep checking back on this page as I will be posting all week.

The Posse of the Year Award: There are posses, and then there are "posses." Leo DiCaprio's infamous "pussy posse" that oh-so terrorized starlets and their boyfriends in the 90s immediately comes to mind (Averted Gaze). Bernie Madoff, apparently, also has something of a posse (And so did Andre, bless his giant heart). We guess the old adage is true, there's someone for everyone in this whole wide world. According to the NYPost:

Bernie Madoff looked 'like someone had shot him in the stomach' after he got word that his eldest son had committed suicide, a recent inmate at the federal lockup here told The Post yesterday. 'He was crying, and he was very distraught,' the ex-con said. 'No one was messing with him. They knew what had happened'...Madoff, like his fellow jailbirds, was stunned when the intercom crackled, Inmate Madoff, report to the chapel. 'That's when everybody knew that something was going on. Every time there's a death of a relative, you have to report to the chapel,' the former inmate said ... At the lockup, inmates initially thought Bernie's call to the chapel involved his wife, Ruth. 'Everyone was speculating that someone might have killed his wife,' the ex-con said. After his sobbing return to his cell, Madoff went into a self-imposed exile for two days, the ex-con said. 'He didn't come out of his cell. He didn't even go to the chow hall,' he said. 'He didn't talk to anyone for a couple of days.' 'Two of his pals [in his prison clique] gave him their sympathy, but there was nothing else they could do,' he added. At this prison, inmates refer to their various cliques as 'cars,' the ex-con noted. Madoff, he said, belongs to the 'New York car' -- inmates all tried and sentenced in New York. 'These are the guys he hangs out with, walks along an outside track with and plays boccie with,' the ex-con said.

-- Someone to play boccie with. How positively bromantic! Isn't that all that anyone could ask for? Something tells me though that this posse is about as tight as the actuality of some of Madoff's purloined gains can get them fruit cocktail and yeast for sterno at the commisary.

Heartbreaker of the Year? Natalie Portman. What's that sound? Shh. Out there in the distance, I can't quite make it out. It sounds like ... sobbing? Oh yes: of course. It is the sound of a million men crying into their drinks of choice over the fact that Natalie Portman is now taken. How could she?

Did she have to look all damselly-in-distressy in those anxious, obscenely lovely close-up shots in Black Swan? It just made me -- and many thousands more -- positively feel all Knight-in-Armorish. We wanted to save you, Natalie. You didn't give us a chance. And now we can't.

Make the pain go away.

Pop Artist of the Year: Kanye West. Love him or hate him, Kanye West never commits the social felony of being boring. The man is incapable of being uninteresting. We hung on his every pop-cultural high wire maneuver -- mostly hoping that he'd fall or at least injure himself quite badly. He didn't. He rose, from up from the flames of 2009, like a -- well, you know. Fer realsies. Honorable Mention: Taylor Swift.

Buffoon of the Year: Silvio Berlusconi. There are a million reasons why Berlusconi is Felliniesque as a statesman -- and we do not mean that in a kind way. Fellini clownish pageantry doesn't translate well into the realm of political philosophy; surrealism is an artistic stance, not a way to govern a fucking nation. The astonishing sexism, the vaguely racist pronouncements, the boorish behavior at the G20, the hooker parties at the villa, the fucking hair. The man's a goddam disaster.

Bonus point: Italy's foreign aid budget was approximately 0.11% of its GDP in 2009, one of the lowest figures among developed countries, and half of what it was even in the prior year. Even Bill Gates, a serious player on the world stage took a dig at Berlusconi's increasingly provocative impression of a douchebag.

Gallery Show of the Year: Gelitin's Blind Sculpture. Raucous, interesting, open-ended, funny -- all of these express the rambling, fascinating experience that was Gelitin's blind sculpture at Greene Naftali in New York City. As I wrote of the experience in January:

Last night's opening reception is a performance art piece -- haunting live piano music, cross dressing men, a stunning Asian woman in a kimono, hastily constructed wooden bleachers, a dog, drinking on stage -- about the process of building a sculpture -- the social (drinking, joking) and the technical (assistants handing materials to the collective) aspects of art are on display. The audience is watching art being made by the collective, adding a vivid dimension, the becoming, to the final work in the process of Being.
What more can one Corsair add eleven months later?

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