Monday, June 30, 2008

Will The CNET Acquisition help The CBS News Brand?

(image via deadlinehollywooddaily)

We are rather fond of the CBS News brand. We grew up on the CBS News -- Sunday morning, CBS evening News -- and still get a warm feeling conjuring those memories. But are news divisions obsolete in the new digital age? David Reiff is quite critical about the quality of international new coverage that the network newscasts provide (How does one explain the complexity of Rwanda or the Bosnian War in significantly under 10 minutes?). Actually, we get our international news nowadays from the internet, online journals, the BBC, the Lehrer News Hour.

Clearly Les Moonves does not want to be the guy who killed the network news (who would?), especially one with such a glamorous reputation as the CBS brand. But there were sly hints that there may be a possibility when Moonves mentioned, tongue-in-cheek "The Naked News" in the same breath as Ed Murrow's glorious baby. Now, with the end of The Katie Coric News Experiment approaching, the question of the future of CBS is hazy. And that slice of evening network real estate could be immensely profitable, which would make the profit-intensive Sumner Redstone happy. Moonves is in a tough spot, and we feel for the big guy.

Still, Les Moonves defended the division to paidcontent, doubling down on his previous prediction that CBS Interactive will have $1 billion in revenues by 2010-2011. From Paidcontent:

"While others deal with the integration of CNET (NSDQ: CNET) Networks into CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has to keep selling the strategy and the acquisition to his own grumbling shareholders. He told paidContent this afternoon he still believes the new CBS Interactive will have $1 billion in revenues by 2010-2011, with revenue of low-mid $600,000 this year. He also discussed buying an advertising company, the decision to step away from Weather Channel and the future of CBS News.

"..The online operations of CBS News have been hit hard by cutbacks in the past year. Now it will be included in a division with CNET—headed by a CNET exec. Moonves defended the strength of the CBS News brand overall and insisted 'it will become a stronger brand online with the acquisition.' As for the cuts, 'I don’t know honestly if you can say more has been stripped out if. It’s just the reality that the revenue there was not significant. We think it will be an asset that does grow. We think it will grow in terms of size, profitability, and yes, it will be in a much more important sector online than it has been.'

"..Moonves won’t say make growth predictions but is sticking by projections of $1billion in revenues from the combined operations by 2010-2011. 'Right now, the number is somewhere in the low-to-mid- six’s ($600,000) and we think that is clearly achievable this year .. when you combine the revenue targets for the two of them together.' As for how much of that piggyback off of TV’s programming budget: 'A lot of that is going to be involved with our normal entertainment product but a lot of it’s not going to be.'"

More here.
Rose McGowan's Self-Obsessed Psychodrama Continues

With great effort, the cosmically self-involved Rose McGowan manages to avert her gaze from a mirror. (image via scifisite)

How boring is Rose McGowan? How self-obsessed? The Rosi-verse, you see, revolves around the spinning kicks in fuck-me boots of Rose McGowan's thumoeideutic heroines -- kicking ass, wearing scarlet lipstick, revealing bone-white cleavage, mugging for the cameras like a goddam vamp (The Corsair yawns ostentatiously). Zzz; It's like a magnum of fucking chloroform at this point, frankly, dear readers. The bloom, so to speak, is off the Rose (McGowan).

(image via allmoviephoto)

Whatever psychic weirdness-vooddoo is revolving in her noggin really ought to stay on the inside, and not, quite frankly, on the silver screen with multi-million dollar backing at stake. Must we all experience the Eternal Return of Rose McGowan's obsessive compulsion towards control freakishness? This one-dimensional actress plays -- yet again -- a "sassy" woman revenging herself in "Red Sonya," another variation on a theme that has dominated her career since "Jawbreaker" back in 1999.

What's worse -- and more self-indulgent -- is that "Red Sonya" being helmed by her fiance, film director Robert Rodriguez, whose marriage she busted up during filming of another self-indulgent film where McGowan plays .. a rowdy revenger. Nice. But her upcoming compulsive repetition is not so much another case of a saucy McGowanish "revenging" on some villainous dude, rather it is a revenging on the theater going public stupid enough to spend $12 on a ticket to feed McGowan's beast.

McGowan's tedious strategy of repeating ad nauseum the ball breaking tough-chick role -- grr -- is not so much empowering at this point as, quite frankly, an advertisement of some tragic psychic fragility. From an earlier incarnation of The Corsair:

"True American badasses don't need to telegraph their bad-assiness. Alleged 'actress' Rose McGowan is not to be tossed aside lightly ... she must be thrown with great force. We archly place 'actress' in ironic quotations preambling Rose because, quite frankly, Rose doesn't Act per se, or do anything approximating the Craft. Rather, McGowan essentially uses Hollywood to project herself -- no doubt to salve some psychic wound -- as a 'tough girl,' one who 'takes no guff.' Whether in The Doom Generation or Jawbreaker or her uncredited, non-speaking role as wife of the spectacularly untalented shock-rocker -- how controversial! -- Marilyn Manson (Averted Gaze), Rose tediously rehashes that same goddamned role, ad nauseum. She's tough; and she's taking. No. Guff!"
A Little Of The Old In And Out

(image via

In: Sy Hersh. Hersh's article today in The New Yorker is what everyone in The Chattering Classes is discussing. His military sources, clearly worried about the singleminded post-Iraq obsession with Shiite Persia, are volumninous if anonymous. The article is mindblowing, particularly because it hints that members of the Democratic leadership once again have been willing to go along with this administration's war plans even though this time they have the a majority and a mandate to avert war. From The New Yorker:

"Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.

"'The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,' a person familiar with its contents said, and involved 'working with opposition groups and passing money.' The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

"Although some legislators were troubled by aspects of the Finding, and 'there was a significant amount of high-level discussion' about it, according to the source familiar with it, the funding for the escalation was approved. In other words, some members of the Democratic leadership—Congress has been under Democratic control since the 2006 elections—were willing, in secret, to go along with the Administration in expanding covert activities directed at Iran, while the Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has said that he favors direct talks and diplomacy.

"The request for funding came in the same period in which the Administration was coming to terms with a National Intelligence Estimate, released in December, that concluded that Iran had halted its work on nuclear weapons in 2003."

More here.

(image via theage)

Out: Graydon Carter's VF. We got this email from Vanity Fair's PR department this afternoon, saying, "We thought you’d be interested in seeing an advance copy of 'Who’s Up? Hollywood’s Next Wave,' a portfolio of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, photographed by Mark Seliger, with an essay by James Wolcott. The full portfolio, along with bonus video footage, can be viewed at" And so we clicked on the link -- please don't -- to see 'Who’s Up? Hollywood’s Next Wave' only to find a single face of color. Apparently, in the world of Vanity Fair there are no faces of color -- no Asians, no Latinos, one African-American -- in Tinseltown.

Fuck you very much, Graydon Carter.
The Elders Press The African Union On Mugabe

Portrait of the butcher as an old man. (image via AP)

The big question at the African Union summit is: What To Do About Mugabe? This is a very sensitive issue that needs to be finessed via diplomacy and some soft power as backup. Nelson Mandela, the great African statesman, struck the right tone -- one of regret suffused with political principle -- last week when he roundly condemned the dictatorship of Mugabe. Overheated rhetoric from the West and western news media outlets, however, only causes Mugabe -- and some African leaders, by the way -- to dig in their heels and support Zimbabwe against charges of "Western influence," and "neo-Imperialism." For a certain generation of Africans -- people over 60 years old, primarily -- the anti-imperialist struggle is still an existential one. We cannot stress how important it is for the West, especially Britain, to calm down the fucking tone of their rhetoric on Zimbabwe. It could actually become counterproductive, provoking pro-Mugabe stances in people otherwise receptive to the critique of tyranny.

Ideally, Senator Barack Obama would find time on his schedule this week to leverage some of his massive soft power in Africa to give a nuanced speech damning Mugabe and his regime. That would allow African heads of state the maneuvering room to get out from under the shadow of Mugabe's stale anti-imperialist rhetoric that the West -- the BBC, in particular -- feed with their disproportionate coverage of Mugabe's tyranny, which counter productively reminds Zimbabweans of the disgustingly racist colonial history of the British-backed Ian Smith regime. Wouldn't the British like to forget about that noxious little episode? From Bloomberg:

"In his opening address at the AU summit in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said greater political will would be required to resolve the conflicts on the continent.

"Africa must fully shoulder its responsibility and do everything in its power to help Zimbabwe's parties to work together' to overcome its current challenges, he said.

"A group of international statesmen, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, urged the African Union to appoint a special envoy to mediate talks between Mugabe and the opposition to create a transitional government and prepare for free elections.

"The group, known as The Elders, said leaders at the AU summit should 'clearly state that the results of the poll were illegitimate. They occurred under the cloud of targeted political violence, precipitating the withdrawal of one of the two candidates.'"

And for those who question The Corsair's lifelong crusade against African dictator chic, one needs only go here (published: October 2003). More here.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

(image via abportail)

"Ivanka Trump was the toast of the Hearst Tower on Thursday night, when she was fêted by Town & Country editor-in-chief Pamela Fiori, whose July cover she graces for the first time .. While the cocktail party was originally planned for Trump's eponymous jewelry store on Madison Avenue, a leak nixed that idea, and well-wishers instead gathered on the 44th floor--with a nifty view of Richard Parsons's private gardens at the Time Warner Center--for the first of what the company hopes will be several branded 'Ultimate Access' events that began when the magazine shot Katie Lee Joel's closet several months ago. With cases of her diamond, onyx and pearl jewelry collections on display, the statuesque blonde mogul was on cloud nine, surrounded by friends and admirers including Vanessa and Donald Trump Jr., Fe Fendi, Zani Gugelmann, Elie Tahari, Marjorie Gubelmann and Kristina Stewart Ward, who penned the accompanying story .. 'I remember a long time ago, I think in 1984, my mom did a Town & Country cover at Mar-a-Lago and I was wrapped in sheets and lingering on the sides of all the shots,' the younger Trump reminisced. 'So now to have grown up and been on the cover is a tremendous honor.'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"I was so stunned by last week's headline 'Heather Locklear Institutionalized' that I forgot to, er, commit to a written reaction. I have to say I worship that woman! She's been a TV constant my entire adult life, from commercials ("And I told a friend...and so on and on") to the shoulder-padded bitchery of Dynasty to the eyeball-rolling witchery of Melrose Place and beyond. But I have to admit I always wondered when Locklear's glinty veneer was going to crack." (Musto)

"AS if writing a tell-all book about his famous sister wasn't enough, now Christopher Ciccone is going one step further to hurt and embarrass Madonna. He's been shopping a reality show based on the fact that he's her brother, a publishing insider tattled - 'He hasn't gotten a deal yet, but he's been pitching it around.' Meanwhile, the exposé is said to be so under wraps, there are only six bound copies in existence - and they get messengered around, with no one allowed to keep a copy." (PageSix)

"Jann Wenner is said to be quietly exploring a sale of celebrity magazine Us Weekly to Condé Nast and the price tag could hit $750 million. 'Jann is definitely trying to sell Us Weekly,' said an industry source. Speculation about a sale of the magazine began to swirl yesterday after Wenner, during an appearance earlier this week on 'The Charlie Rose Show,' was asked by the show's host, "So what's this story that Condé Nast wants to buy Rolling Stone?' Though Rose was wrong about the magazine that's for sale, he wasn't off the mark about Wenner's desire to sell a Wenner Media asset to Condé Nast - the lucrative Us Weekly." (NYPost)

"Today we’re running three new additions (four, technically speaking) to The List: Debbie Bancroft, Reinaldo and Carolina Herrera, and Kathy Sloane. When one is more than passing familiar with someone, as it is with me and the aforementioned, it is a challenge at times to describe them accurately to someone who may not know them at all." (NYSocialDiary)

"Hillary Clinton wasted no time in hitting the campaign trail as a surrogate for Barack Obama after their joint appearance earlier in the day, telling an auditorium of black teenagers that Obama sends 'each and every one of you his best wishes.' Speaking Friday evening at Columbia University for the first graduation of The Eagle Academy For Young Men, a school she helped start, Clinton said, 'Earlier today I had the great pleasure of being in a place called Unity, New Hampshire.' She added, 'We declared that we would go back together to Unity, New Hampshire to pledge our commitment, together, to change this country.'" (Observer)

"Caged hens and pigeons are hardly the backdrop one imagines for a Hamptons benefit, but nevertheless, the East End's influential social set turned out at Hans van de Bovencamp's Twin Oaks Farm and Sculpture Garden on Saturday, raising $100,000 at the first-annual benefit for NARSAD, a mental health research charity ..Karen Larrain and Alejandro Santo Domingo, Inca's Stephanie Hirsch, Fernanda Niven, Wendy McClure, Dan Baker Jr., Dylan Lauren and Sari Gueron were among the guests. 'Our entire house played caps before coming,' Gueron laughed. 'I had half a glass.' Rae Dawn Chong and Gary Jourdan (with daughter Nyla in tow) were among the performers who read bits from noted personalities afflicted with mental disease." (Fashionweekdaily)
Sharon Stone: Or, In Praise Of Cougars

Soon to be gnawing on this sweet hunk of man. (image via thisislondon)

God bless you, cougars, ferocious man-eaters, you who are about to roar, we salute you (The Corsair sips a tawny port). Cougars are, in the wild, the natural allies of the young and horny; they pounce!

And God bless Sharon Stone, who licking her paws after being wounded, slightly, by the vicious Chinese dragon over her admittedly impolitic roar on Tibet, is recovering nicely with a side of Grade-A American beef. Cats and their chewtoys.

From Thisisshowbiz:

"Actress Sharon Stone showed off her cleavage in a racy dress for a night on the town with a toyboy.

"The 50-year-old, who is famed for her raunchy film roles, was clearly not shy to reveal her charms as she was seen arm in arm with a young beau on her way to a restaurant in Hollywood.

"She displayed a plunging neckline in a little black dress, worn with long bronze beads and fashionable gladiator sandals."

Gladiator, indeed. She's a veritable Startacus in the coliseum of man-candy. Rowr!
Corsair Math

What equation will bring us to the curiously hott Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who's VeePee buzz groweth daily"



Spears + Fey = Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; images via thestar/moviecritic/nicedeb/
Sienna Miller And Balthazar Getty?

Got nip? (image via newsoftheworld)

Okay: We are kind of embarrassed to admit this but we are fascinated at Sienna Miller's romantic life and her propinquity at "homewrecking" ever since that whole "Sienna Turned Puce" episode with Jude Law and Salma Hayek. She's what one might call a "hot mess." Then, of course, we cannot fail to note that there was the odd pairing with the married -- but still game -- P Diddy a while back. Always "sex drama" concerning Sienna ..

Now this, with Balthazar Getty, formerly a seedy character in David Lynch's serpentine -- no pun intended -- and murky "Lost Highway." From the extremely downmarket Newsoftheworld:

"SEXY Brit actress Sienna Miller is secretly on the Edge Of Love with a MARRIED multi-millionaire oil heir, we can reveal..

"The rampant movie beauty has been enjoying ROMANTIC NIGHTS with tycoon actor and dad-of-four Balthazar Getty after dumping heartbroken Notting Hill star Rhys Ifans earlier this month.

"The besotted pair have been holed up together day and night in Hollywood after his heartbroken wife fled the country with their kids.

"Despite playing a cat and mouse game to stay out of the headlines they have been spotted secretly meeting at restaurants near their hillside hideaway.

"A source revealed: 'They went to great pains to find a place where they thought nobody would find them. They daren't go out together, so they spend most of their time inside. When they do leave, they go separately.'"

Getty, according to this site, isn't an heir to the Getty fortune, because "When Balthazar's father married his mother at age 18, he violated the rules for his trust fund and forfeited his inheritance." More here.
Mitt Romney Will Probably Be McCain's Running Mate

Yeah, yeah, yeah. There is lots of talk, lots of yam-yam, about Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska (A favorite of right-wing radio talk show hosts and neoconniver William Kristol), Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (Some say too young, we say too Exorcism-ish), Governor Crist of the necessary Florida (Who fucked Giuliani up so majorly)and, of course, Governor Pawlenty of Minnesotta (As exciting as watching plants produce oxygen). Plus there have been Veepy mentions of Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman.

Obviously McCain needs a Governor. Also, quite probably, McCain needs and executive -- read: businessperson -- someone who can bolster McCain's laughable lack of economic knowledge.

Mitt Romney is both a former Governor and an executive that understands the economy both nationally and internationally. He is matinee-idol good looking and supplies oxygen to the flatlining McCain ticket. Romney is also a primary winner in Michigan, with a history there -- his father was Governor -- and could help the GOP win in that necessary state (McCain won there against Bush in the 2000 GOP primary). Romney also has ties to the Bush family and Karl Rove has been lobbying for "Mittens" with great gusto. Clearly Romney is the Bush family choice for continuing the Bush 43 legacy, making sure the Iraq War is well-funded and looked after. From Politico:

:Surprising many Republican insiders, Mitt Romney is at the top of the vice-presidential prospect list for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). But lack of personal chemistry could derail the pick.

"'Romney as favorite' is the hot buzz in Republican circles, and top party advisers said the case is compelling.

"Campaign insiders say McCain plans to name his running mate very shortly after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) does, as part of what one campaign planner called a 'bounce-mitigation strategy.'

"The Democratic convention is in late August, a week ahead of the Republicans convention. That means McCain can size up the opposing ticket before locking in his own.

"One of the chief reasons the Massachusetts governor is looking so attractive is his ability to raise huge amounts of money quickly through his former business partners and from fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons.

"McCain sources tell Politico that they believe Romney could raise $50 million in 60 days. One close Romney adviser said it could even be $60 million."

From the point of sheer logic it would be an act of supreme stupidity if McCain picked anyone other than Romney. Romney is so perfect for McCain that it is almost frightening. Obama probably ought to begin counterprogramming his running mate choice against Romney.

More here.
Should Obama Thank Justice Kennedy For The Gun Decision?

(image via achievement)

Gun control is an especially thorny issue for Senator Barack Obama, even as he tacks to the center for the general election. At least it was. That controversial April 16th fundraiser speech about bitter clinging to guns was a shot of adrenaline to the moribund Clinton campaign. What role will Obama's stance on gun control play on his attempts to remake the electoral map in places like the Rocky Mountain West, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia? From our favorite Dickensian villain, Robert Novak:

"After months of claiming insufficient information to express an opinion on the District of Columbia gun law, Barack Obama noted with apparent approval Thursday that the Supreme Court ruled the 32-year ban on handguns 'went too far.' But what would he have said had the high court's five-to-four majority gone the other way and affirmed the law? Obama's strategists can only thank swing Justice Anthony Kennedy for enabling Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion to take the Democratic presidential candidate off the hook.

"Such relief is typified by a vigorous supporter of Obama who advised Al Gore in his 2000 presidential campaign. Believing Gore's gun-control advocacy lost him West Virginia and the presidency, this prominent Democrat told me: 'I don't want that to happen with Obama -- to be defeated on an issue that is not important to us and is not a political winner for us.' He would not be quoted by name because he did not want abuse heaped on him by gun-control activists.

"This political reality explains the minuet on the D.C. gun issue danced all year by Obama. Liberal Democrats who publicly deride the National Rifle Association privately fear the NRA as the most potent of conservative interest group. Many white men with NRA decals on their vehicles are labor union members whose votes Obama needs in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. That is why Obama did not share the outrage of his supporter Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty over the Supreme Court's decision."

More here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"FORMER House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has resurfaced with an appeal for contributions to the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, which lists him as chairman and founder. DeLay suggested that this be enclosed with any contribution: "I am thrilled to learn that you have gotten back in the fight against the Left.' DeLay, who has endorsed John McCain after expressing misgivings, in his fund-raising appeal takes positions to McCain's right. DeLay asks: 'Are you concerned by the growing evidence that there are powerful forces inside our government and out who are quietly moving to have America absorbed into a globalist style 'North American Union' with Canada and Mexico?" (Novak)

"Hollywood is one of those places where, traditionally, money has come from — along with New York, Texas, Florida, Silicon Valley in northern California and the unions. But because of the Internet and the way campaigns are financed these days, you don’t need traditional financing as much as you used to — and Obama has tapped into that in a big way. But at the end of the day, people in Hollywood care more about [the presidency] than just the trappings of it and the surface type stuff. They care about the issues." (Politico)

"President Bush on Saturday said he has instructed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson to develop sanctions against the “illegitimate government of Zimbabwe and those who support it.' Bush called Friday’s “runoff” election, in which President Robert Mugabe an unopposed, a 'sham.' Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the race, citing worries that his supporters were facing violence if he had stayed in the contest." (TheHill)
RESOLVED: Senator Obama Move To The Center In The Culture Wars

One of the great problems Senator Barack Obama has with white working class voters -- Catholic and Protestant both -- is the culture wars issue that these United States has been fighting in quiet desperation for the last 40 years. Karl Rove himself hinted at the likely Republican strategy in the general election, namely, from ABCNews:

"'Even if you never met him, you know this guy,' Rove said, per Christianne Klein. 'He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.'"

That liberal, arugula-munching effete archetype of the Ivy-law school attending Democrat. How original! But effective, we cannot fail to note, very, very effective. How can one compete against such a vicious mischaracterization?

This blog would argue that Senator Obama should tack to the center on the cultural wars issue. This, of course, does not mean the Senator should veer to the loony, Helmsian Right, otherwise he might turn off the intelligent Jann Wenner-Kurt Anderson elites, a group to which Obama culturally belongs. Rather, Obama should project a stern moderate counterbalance against pop-cultural excesses. This blog, and many others, attest, through our studious mockings, to the clearly evident excesses in American pop-culture.

Already Obama has begun to project such a Centrist image, in his brilliant Father's Day speech on African-American fatherhood, and his mild but powerful critique of video games on American youth ("We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time"). In fact, a little backlash from the snarky pop-cultural elites would help Obama boatloads in Pennsyltucky and Ohio and Michigan and in the hills of West Virginia. And the Senator from Illinois' response to the recent Supreme Court rulings clearly signal that the great move to the center is upon us.

In a conversation with Harper's, in the July 2008 issue there is an interesting conversation between Kevin Baker, Scott McConnell, Kevin Phillips, Thomas Schaller and Luke Mitchell on how the Republican Party has to die to be reborn again (a la Goldwater), and how the Democrats can win:

"McCONNELL: Yes, and reversing that order of priority might drive a wedge into the G.O.P. The Republicans have come so close to failure that Democrats could achieve a sort of counter-alignment simply by becoming more diverse on cultural issues. They still march in lockstep over abortion, for instance, and if the party were more welcoming to working-class voters who are pro-life or culturally conservative, such voters might be more inclined to vote their economic interests, which are almost certainly Democratic.

"SCHALLER: But in general the country is pro-choice and becoming more so with each passing generation. Even in the South, people who identify themselves as "pro-life" are in the minority. If the Republicans really thought they had hay to make on abortion politics, they would have proposed a constitutional amendment banning abortion instead of the one that banned same-sex marriage. Bush has had almost eight years to do so, and so far there's no sign of movement on that score.

"BAKER: For better or worse, abortion is a waning issue. The anti-abortion policy of intimidation, including actual assassinations, has made it virtually impossible to obtain an abortion in some parts of the country, while elsewhere there is little objection to the procedure. The Republicans would risk a lot by upsetting this standoff. If abortion were outlawed and federal marshals started arresting doctors and pregnant teenagers in those strong pro-choice regions, the whole issue would swing against them.

"McCONNELL: We have to keep in mind, though, that the abortion issue is a signifier for a host of other cultural issues related to family and sex. A number of politicians have managed to somewhat fudge the abortion issue -- Daniel Moynihan, for instance, was able to vote against partial-birth abortion, speak out eloquently against it, note that there is something called "infanticide" and that it is related to abortion, and yet still be, on balance, pro-choice. They can do this by being generally on the conservative side of the culture war. That could be a reasonable model for Democrats.

"BAKER: I think Democrats could reconnect with a lot of voters if they just acknowledged how ugly our popular culture has become. They could disagree on abortion rights or gay marriage, as long as they were saying, 'Hey, we understand. We're worried about our culture, too.' A good liberal candidate would make it all of a piece: 'We care about our culture, our kids, our natural environment, our working people. It's time we stopped shipping your jobs overseas, stopped filling your good with crap and your air with carbon, stopped filling your kids' minds with garbage.'"

More here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

They call this little dance move "The Moment of Fertilization." (image via thecobrasnake)

If he were a Peanut Caramel Bar, he'd be a Salty-sweet Gayday, filled with extra nougat.(image via thecobrasnake)

Quentin Tarantino is unique among directors in that he requires neither resume nor headshots. (image via thecobrasnake)

Tucker Carlson has a posse. (image via thecobrasnake)

.. It was only then, as the felt the cigarette smoke and bad intentions against her bare legs, that she realized what it was exactly that she forgot when she left the house so quickly to get to the show. (image via thecobrasnake)

Oh yes I did "go there"; further, sweetie, I'd recommend that you double down on the Rose Hips and also the Vitamin B. (image via thecobrasnake)

They say two thousand zero zero party over, Oops, out of time/ Tonight he's gonna party like it's 1689. (image via topnews)
A Little Of The Old In And Out

In: "Creative Capitalism." Michael Kinsley and Conor Clarke have started a website to begin a serious conversation about how capitalists can use their ambitions and raw energy -- Thumos, the thumoeideutic -- to help the world's poor, uplift the downtrodden, and not merely accumulate toys. From Creative Capitalism:

"'Creative Capitalism: A Conversation is a web experiment designed to produce a book -- a collection of essays and commentary on capitalism, philanthropy and global development -- to be edited by us and published by Simon and Schuster in the fall of 2008. The book takes as its starting point a speech Bill Gates delivered this January at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In it, he said that many of the world's problems are too big for philanthropy--even on the scale of the Gates Foundation. And he said that the free-market capitalist system itself would have to solve them.

"This is the public blog of a private website where a group of invited economists have spent the past couple of weeks criticizing and debating those claims. Over the next couple of months we'll be posting much of that material here, in the hopes of eliciting public commentary."

And from The Corsair's response: "How do we 'find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well'? I agree that economic self-interest is one of if not the most powerful motivating forces in the world, and harnessing that energy towards uplifting the quality of life of the poor is a smart thing to do. We'll never arrive at 0% global unemployment, to be sure, but the closer we approximate that figure, I'm betting that wars and famine and disease and the perennial geopolitical frictions that distract us, as human beings and as civilizations, from doing The Great Things, would lessen significantly. Consider the potential of all the children in the so-called Third World that never make it to adolescence. Imagine the lost potential! Leo Strauss, a profoundly misunderstood thinker, used to say something to the effect of that he, per se, was not philosophizing, but merely preparing the ground for the Burmese philosophical genius in 2020, who will take up where Aristotle left off. What if that genius of world-historical dimensions dies of cholera in South America, unheralded and unsung? And what if the CEO of the next Microsoft, or the warrior of the next Kuhnian scientific revolution is killed by the janjaweed in Darfur over water use?

"There is so much spiritedness -- the Greeks called it 'Thumos' -- going on on Wall Street and London and Chicago and other places. That energy, if harnessed, would be a perfect alternative energy source for the planet. How does one do it? You've assembled some great minds, but I'd ask only that you maybe consider some philosophers on the panel. A theoretical inquiry into the nature of 'Thumos' -- which is what you guys are trying to make work for the betterment of the poor -- might be an interesting starting point in refining the questions asked to the economists. Philosophers are very good at asking precise questions."

Out: Rascism in Brazil. Bloomberg has an interesting article about how darker-skinned citizens are treated. From Bloomie:

"Dias, who lives with his wife and two sons in a 170-square- meter (1,830-square-foot) high-rise apartment in Sao Paulo, says the four of them are the only blacks among 1,000 individuals in the condominium complex. Another resident once confronted his son at the condo's swimming pool and admonished him that the facility was for residents only, not for the children of workers, Dias says. 'How can I possibly get used to this?' Dias asks during an interview in a third-floor conference room at HSBC's Sao Paulo headquarters. Nelson Santos, an economics professor at Universidade Federal de Pelotas and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, says that 'things that should be trivial become an embarrassment.' He recalls once in his 20s being trailed by security staff at Iguatemi, a high-end mall in Sao Paulo."
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

(image via style)

"Vintage hip-hop and youthful indiscretions were the nostalgia trips of choice at Wednesday night's Cinema Society screening of The Wackness, the buzzed-about coming-of-age tale set in the early days of Rudy Giuliani's New York. The likes of Rob Thomas, Maggie Rizer, and Ann Dexter-Jones joined director Jonathan Levine and actors Sir Ben Kingsley and Mary-Kate Olsen for a sneak preview, followed by an after-party on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel." (Style)

"Few occasions could conceivably unite Graydon Carter, Jann Wenner and Terry McDonell — not to mention Tom Wolfe and Jimmy Buffett — or entice them to share top billing as hosts, but remembrance of Hunter S. Thompson did it. A cocktail party Wednesday evening at The Waverly Inn, hosted by the gentlemen, preceded a screening of 'Gonzo,' the well-reviewed documentary on Thompson directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and co-produced by Carter." (WWD via Observer)

"While the fashion set seems to fancy the latest and greatest--both in runway trends and party venues--Kai Kühne opted for a classic on Wednesday night, hosting an intimate alfresco dinner for friends at the Central Park Boathouse ... The slightly muggy climate did little to deter the likes of Horacio Silva, Patrick Li, Genevieve Jones, Haidee Findlay-Levine, Victoria Bartlett, Lee Swillingham and Christina Kruse, many of whom had never been to the restaurant. 'Skinny bitches, time to eat!' Kühne roared as certain guests substituted the cocktail portions for a prolonged cigarette break. Keegan Singh made a cameo." (Fashionweekdaily)

(image via bsideblog)

"THOSE who own a boxed set of Ted Koppel's programs might prefer death to 'The Real Housewives of New York City,' but for average ordinary everyday mortals Bravo's Tuesday night reality thing is necessary to life. Comes now my newsy transfusion: They'll be back. Re-signed for Season 2. Ten episodes. Shooting starts Saturday. For a minute it looked shaky. Not that the series would return, but iffy if the ladies everyone's grown to know would be with it. The issue was - surprise, surprise - money. As Jill Zarin, the original signed housewife, put it to me: "The first season I could about buy myself a Birkin bag. Now I can buy the bag, get my hair done and go on vacation. 'Our first season I got $8,000, which ended up less than $1,000 per episode. We did six, but they then cut them into 9 1/2. Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly how much we're getting now because there's a confidentiality.'"(CindyAdams)

"When we were last in Rome, we made daily pilgrimages to Sant' Eustachio, the coffee bar between Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. We never got lost. We just followed that signature coffee aroma." (NYSocialDiary)

"Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It's causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect." (Slashdot via ForeignPolicy)
Can't We All Just Get Along?

Today Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will make a show of unity in, of all places, Unity, New Hampshire -- a McCain-loving swing state -- where, symbolically, both received 107 votes in the hard-fought Democratic Primary. Absent from the event will be Bill Clinton, the former President of these United States.

He was, and in many ways still is, the biggest cat in the jungle.

Clinton is famous, for example, of being up to an hour late -- and sometimes more -- to events. Bill Clinton Time (tm), if you will. William Jefferson Clinton is the ebullient alpha male with a boyish Southern charm that offsets the off-puttingness of the steely will that took him from a modest childhood in Arkansas to the White House and, quite possibly, the Secretary Generalship of the United Nations before his extraordinarily productive career is done.

Bill Clinton put his enormous legacy on the line for his wife's campaign for the Presidency. The image of Bill Clinton campaigning for the North Carolina "Bubba vote" on the back of a 1941 pick-up truck will endure. And the Clintons almost, to their credit, pulled off the nomination. Unfortunately for them it was a change election and History, alas, thwarted their efforts. So it is not surprising that this alpha, not accustomed to losing on big gambles, is still fairly bristling at having his Legacy questioned and his Position at the top of the party firmament now occupied by the man who might be "The First Black President."

There is the story today, for example, by those intrepid Page Sixxies that the former President still hasn't forgiven Oprah for endorsing Senatopr Obama. "There was a very cold reception between them ... Oprah and Bill, who used to be very close, barely acknowledged one another," the source said. And from Politico's excellent Ben Smith:

"Finding a role for her husband is a slightly trickier endeavor. For one thing, he appears to be engaged in a bit of a standoff with the nominee: The two men haven’t spoken on the telephone, aides to both said, since Obama clinched the nomination, although as the last Democratic president and one of the party’s preeminent minds, Bill Clinton would be an obvious call.

"But any sense of personal pique masks a substantive argument that weighs against including the former president. During the primary, Obama repeated over and over the need to 'turn the page' on decades of political division – decades which pointedly included the 1990s, regarded by Clinton’s camp as a golden era of peace and prosperity.

"Obama at times attacked more directly. In one mailing shortly before the Super Tuesday primaries February 5, Obama summed up the political impact of the Clinton presidency.

"'8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation,' the mailing said.

"Bill Clinton, by contrast, argued internally that his wife should rest her campaign in large part on his accomplishments and on nostalgia for the 1990s.

"He spent much of his time on the campaign trail defending his legacy against the charge that, as he put it last summer in Iowa, the Clintons 'are sort of yesterday’s news.'

"'Well, yesterday’s news was pretty good,' he told his Iowa audience.

Come on, guys: Hug it out already. There is enough love in the hearts of the citizens of this country for both The Obama's of Illinois and The Clinton's of New York by way of Hope. More here.
Jeff Goldblum To Replace Chris Noth On Law & Order: Criminal Intent

(image via guestofaguest)

Chris Noth, who has played the role of detective Mike Logan, is leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent, presumably because the success of Sex and the City has opened the doors to new opportunities. From Variety:

"Goldblum is set to replace Chris Noth next season on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'
Like Noth, Goldblum will be seen in half of the series' episodes; discussions are ongoing with Vincent D'Onofrio to continue headlining the other half.

Noth, who joined the show in 2005, when D'Onofrio opted to reduce his workload, reps the show's latest departure. Exec producer Warren Leight recently left and signed a deal with HBO, where he'll oversee the second season of 'In Treatment.' A replacement for Leight has not yet been named.

"Noth, who joined the show in 2005, when D'Onofrio opted to reduce his workload, reps the show's latest departure. Exec producer Warren Leight recently left and signed a deal with HBO, where he'll oversee the second season of "In Treatment." A replacement for Leight has not yet been named."

Production on "Criminal Intent," which airs the new season on USA in the fall, starts at the end of the summer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When Mary-Kate Olsen Hooked Up With "Sir Ben" Kingsley

Eeeew. (image via accesshollywood)

"Sir" Ben Kingsley -- and you shall know his velocity if you forget to call him by his knighthood -- hooked up with Mary-Kate Olsen in The Wackness. She is roughly 1/3 his age. But, Sir Ben wants us to know: Mary-Kate was in total control. Big time. Because, like, if she wasn't, it .. would .. be super-creepy (And, like, did she have to call him "Sir" while she was -- sotto voce -- "in charge")? From People:

"He's a screen legend – heck, he's even been knighted! But Sir Ben Kingsley isn't above a little kiss-and-tell when it comes to his on-screen smooch with 22-year-old Mary-Kate Olsen in The Wackness.

"'She was completely in charge,' the actor, 64, tells PEOPLE of their enthusiastic make-out scene in a telephone booth."

That's probably how he likes it. A Little BDSM on the DL, so to speak. That's how Sir Ben gets down, if you know what we mean. Freak. Powerful guy, tired of ordering the servants around, moving assets, wants to explore his "feminine" side. Possibly in a dungeon. Maybe with a mutually agreed upon safe word. Freaky little monkey. We know the type; but only theoretically, to be sure (Averted Gaze). More:

"The former star of Gandhi and Schindler's List – who's currently shooting with Martin Scorcese in Boston – drove down to New York for the movie's Cinema Society and Sony Cierge-sponsored party at the Gramercy Roof Club.

"'I love watching the movie,' his wife, Daniela, said of the coming-of-age stoner film. As for her real-life leading man, she added, 'I love him. He's amazing.'"

More here.
Mandela Rebukes Mugabe's Zimbabwe

African Dictator Cheek. (image via geoconger)

That Nelson Mandela has broken his silence over the idiot regime of Robert Mugabe is a wonderful development in the politics of the continent. Just wrote this on the Kenneth Cole AWEEARNESS Blog:

"Ronald Reagan once quipped - he always had good writers -- that the eleventh commandment of politics is "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican." A similar law operates with even more urgency in the continental affairs of Africa. It could not have been easy then for Nelson Mandela, Africa's most respected statesman, to speak ill of Robert Mugabe. It is sort of like airing one's family's dirty laundry in public. But Mugabe's Zimbabwe, which began perhaps with the best of intentions, has veered, horribly, into what can only be properly construed as a nightmarish thugocracy. And when so many lives are at stake, as in the case of AIDS, one must speak frankly, customs notwithstanding."

More here.
Nicole Richie To Guest Star On NBC's "Chuck"

(image via reuters)

We are fans of NBC's sweet comedy "Chuck," about a geek who gains unflashy superhero powers. And we are suckers for a good redemption story. Nicole Richie, of all people, will guest star next season on "Chuck," and we oddly think that this works. It actually sounds like brilliant casting if, of course, Richie can bring the comedy like Britney Spears did in "How I Met Your Mother." From TheHollywoodReporter:

"On 'Chuck,' Richie will play a snarky, spiteful girl whom Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) went to school with and has to confront at their 10-year high school reunion.

"'This role is a great opportunity for Nicole to show off her comedic skills and be diabolically evil and kick some butt,' exec producer Josh Schwartz said."

We hope at the reunion they play "Say You Say Me."
African-American, Latino Churchers Oppose Sirius-XM Merger

(image via eonline)

Right about now we are thinking that Howard Stern is probably wishing that he could take back his infamous Dolly Parton-is-a-racist comedy bit. On the one hand Stern is facing opposition for attacking so beloved a pop-cultural figure as Mrs. parton. And on the other hand he is facing an attack from African-American and Latino churchgoers -- we kid you not -- who did not see the humor in the bit which had Parton's words manipulated to sound racist. Parton, of course, is not racist; neither, for that matter, is Stern. From The Washington Times:

"A group representing more than 16,000 black and Hispanic churches has urged federal media regulators to reject the merger of XM Satellite Radio Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., citing its objections to a segment of Sirius shock jock Howard Stern's show in which audio clips of country singer Dolly Parton were manipulated into racist and sexually vulgar comments.

"In a June 21 letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, the National Black Church Initiative said, 'There is no 'public interest' in allowing Mr. Stern a larger platform to spew his filth.'

"The group cites a May 6 show in which Mr. Stern aired clips of Miss Parton apparently using racial slurs and describing vulgar sexual acts, mentioning other celebrities including Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Burt Reynolds and Johnny Carson. The sound bites are manipulations of an audio-book recording by Miss Parton."

In defense of Stern, these are probably the same type of dim churchgoers who gave President Bush the margin of victory in Ohio on the gay marriage issue. Wasn't life so much better, dear reader, when the evangelicals just wanted to be left to their own tedious devices and simply Rendered Unto Caesar without imposing their own over-emotional interpretation of human existence on the more intellectually-oriented public political sphere? Hmm? Fuck you very much Karl Rove. More here.
What Was Henry Kissinger Doing Lunching With Patricia Duff?

Granted, at 85, McCain pal and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger -- who just returned from romancing the leadership in Russia -- isn't what he used to be with the ladies, assuming, that is, that he ever was and he wasn't just bullshitting the fawning press. Also noted, reluctantly, accomplished seductress Patricia Duff, last seen romancing "The Torch," doesn't quite seem the type who would go in for the May-December thing, notwithstanding Kissinger's toadish baritone and funereal air of hideous evil.

And some girls are into that.

Plus: that foxy, busty Patricia Duff is presently in combat with her ex, the scrappy -- and fabulously Rich -- Ron Perelman.

Anyhoo: they had lunch. Is there anything there. From NYSocialDiary:

"Yesterday in New York, sunny summery day, bright and fair, crowds of tourists along Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. I went down to Michael’s.

"You see so many famous faces and familiar faces at Michael’s but sometimes there is an added drama, mainly imagined, but nevertheless resonating.

"Monday, for example, as I was taking my table with my guest Yanna Avis, I noticed at the table across the way was a woman, with long blonde hair, whom I could only see from the back; and who looked, I guessed, on the younger side. She was leaning into her lunch partner, so as to speak quietly and confidentially; least compared to her male lunch partner who was listening raptly (it looked like she was doing the talking), none other than Henry Kissinger."

But wait, it gets even more pimpy ...

"So there was this blonde…. And don’t think there were others in the room thinking just that.

"Furthermore the young blonde woman was Patricia Duff, one of the most likable, most enigmatic, controversial, prominent women in New York."

"...Meanwhile, back at Michael’s on Monday, this reporter would have liked to have been a fly on the wall just to hear what the beautiful Ms. Duff was saying to the most famous (and most controversial) Secretary of State of the last half of the 20th century.

"It was was a tete-a-tete with few interruptions (Lesley Stahl saying hello, excepted), a couple others pay homage. It was obviously some kind of business lunch. Ms. Duff is in the business of political consciousness-raising and promotion. To others she’s a natural born seductress too. She’s been at it for many years, all the way back to Los Angeles when she was married to producer Mike Medavoy. The politics, I mean."

We're sure it is business, but a "Duffinger" pairing would be mindblowing, no?

Mandela Attacks Mugabe's "Tragic Failure of Leadership"

Nelson Mandela, the most respected man on the continent of Africa, came out against the despotic leadership of Robert Mugabe. Of his despotic regime and the attendant "African Dictator Chic" this blog has written often. Now the world -- Africa, particularly -- is faced with the choice of whether to allow his sham election to stand, or to finally gather the collective will to put an end to Mugabe's iron-fisted rule. From FT:

"Zimbabwe’s neighbours increased diplomatic pressure on Robert Mugabe on Wednesday night as Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, broke years of silence to describe Zimbabwe’s crisis as a 'tragic failure of leadership.'

"Mr Mandela chose what is potentially one of his last international appearances to add his moral voice to the mounting criticism across Africa of Mr Mugabe’s role in the collapse of what was once one of the continent’s most prosperous countries.

"He described Zimbabwe in the context of some of the world’s enduring disasters, saying: 'Nearer to home we had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe,” and implored younger generations to 'rid the world of such suffering.'

"His remarks were brief but will be far harder for Mr Mugabe to dismiss than criticisms from former colonial power Britain and other western countries."

More here.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"...(I)t was four-year-old Lila Grace Moss-Hack, who proved she had inherited her mother's knack for fashion statements as she was spotted out with her supermodel mum yesterday in a T-shirt reading 'I love Kate Moss'." (Thisislondon)

"Today is the last day of the Milan shows .. Tyson Beckford opened and closed the Dsquared show, which was an homage to the birth of rap and the 1980s. Breakdancers and heavy gold chains galore! .. I sat with supermodel Gabriel Aubry at the Calvin Klein dinner at Ristorante Ricci, where across from us was Wilhelmina models head honcho Sean Patterson, who is currently on TV Land's hit show, She's Got The Look. Also at our table was the New York Times' Guy Trebay, David Farber from Men's Vogue and Out's Aaron Hicklin .. Meanwhile, the Armani cocktail party, held in another beautiful palazzo on the Via Mozart from the 1930s called Villa Necchi Campiglio, had actor Adrien Brody and Clive Owen, as well as Maria and Bobby Shriver there to support Project Red." (Fashioinweek)

"Over the years, it's been both disconcerting and somehow satisfying to watch Matthew Broderick gradually morph from a lithe, cocky teen heartthrob to a pudgy, middle-aged sad sack. The puppy-dog eyes have sunken deeper into down-turned crevices of disappointment, and he seems lost in his burly torso, often vacuum-packed into tucked shirts and constricting ties. Broderick's onscreen persona has come to embody early forties despair, when fading youth has given way to ambivalence about the future; this seems to have been a long, slow journey, which began somewhere around Alexander Payne's superlative 'Election.'" (Indiewire)

"If Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is content to be a preening hack, that is between him and his feather boa. That his preformulated ideas ooze across the op-ed page like synthetic foam from an aerosol nozzle makes him no different from David Broder or any of the other giants of journalism blinking in the abrupt light left behind by Tim Russert's departed shadow." (JamesWolcott)

"Beautiful last night in New York. First stop Georgette Mosbacher’s cocktail reception to celebrate the publication of Man of the People: The Maverick Life and Career of John McCain by Paul Alexander. Six to seven-thirty. The evening sun was setting in the west over avenue. The Mosbacher shades on the 12-foot windows were drawn but the light filled the room, giving it an extra sheen and softness. The author was there. I took a picture of Jolie Hunt and Cat Buckley. Ms. Buckley is the daughter of Ms. Hunt’s Main Personal Interest, Christopher Buckley and grand-daughter of the late Pat and Bill Buckley. She has her father’s sunny countenance and her grandfather’s quick wit, albeit presented with her grandmother’s divine grace." (NYSocialDiary)

"Senator Elizabeth Dole has long been a Republican star: U.S. transportation and labor secretary, spouse of 1996 presidential nominee Robert Dole, and a candidate for president herself in 2000. Dole was elected to the U.S. Senate from North Carolina in 2002 with 54 percent of the vote, the state's biggest Senate margin in almost a quarter-century. Now, it's Dole's Republican credentials that threaten to undermine her re-election chances. Considered an easy bet for re-election earlier this year, Dole is facing a tighter race against Democratic state Senator Kay Hagan. Democrats say Dole, 71, now is a leading target in November's elections, as the slumping economy and Iraq war are endangering Republican seats in states that earlier seemed out of reach." (Bloomberg)

"The gayest book in history is about to come out! Gayer than even Harvey Fierstein's children's book or my own column collection that came out last year. It's a collaboration between author Mark Bego and the Village People's original cowboy Randy Jones about how, you know, gay it is to be gay in a culture that's increasingly, you know, gay." (Musto/VV)

"Just a month ago, Republican strategists were trying to closely link Democratic House candidates to Sen. Barack Obama, convinced that in certain parts of the country Obama would drag candidates from his own party down to defeat. This week, a Republican senator, Gordon Smith of Oregon, offered a much different assessment of Obama's coattail effect: He included words of praise from Obama as part of an ad promoting his own reelection." (WashPo)

"Last night, Milk Gallery hosted The Art of Elysium (an organization of artists, actors and musicians voluntarily dedicating their time and talent to children battling serious medical conditions) exhibit, 'Rebel Rebel,' a special collaboration with Mick Rock and Russell Young. PAPER asked host Elijah Wood if his seriously scuffed shoes were vintage, to which he replied, 'Oh yeah, they are re-runs.' I told him they used to call those 'shit-kickers' and he shot back, 'they still do!' We surely hope that the new 'haunted look' on fabulous Agyness Deyn’s face is replaced with her usual joi de vivre countenance." (Papermag)

"There are many touristy stereotypes concerning Santa Fe, NM, a UNESCO-certified 'Creative City.'(For one thing, as I discovered, it’s the sort of burg where housekeeping leaves a smudging stick of sage on the pillow in lieu of a mint.) Similar bromides accompany SITE Santa Fe’s international biennial, typically known for entertaining novel curatorial conceits. Last weekend’s opening of the biennial’s seventh edition, optimistically titled 'Lucky Number Seven,' found high-concept hitting the high desert. Curated by former dealer Lance Fung, the show was conceived as a loose set of ephemeral 'site-inspired' commissions by twenty-two emerging artists .. Usual biennial suspects were refreshingly absent. This was no 'Grand Tour'affair (though there were reportedly two 'Gagosian girls' in town for Friday’s gala dinner). Few present were familiar with the young, unrepresented artists in the show, and there weren’t many recognizable art folk milling about, save Fung—whose face pops up on brochures and in every local publication—and brassy local Judy Chicago, who was hard to miss at Thursday’s press preview, where she chatted with Bulgarian SITE artist Luchezar Boyadjiev (who, like Chicago, wore dark glasses in the galleries). 'We were in a show in Japan together,'Chicago proudly announced." (ArtForum)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Salman Rushdie Knighted

(image via deadlyheadlines)

Granted, the concept of "Knighthoods" is archaic and more than a little bit silly, but we cannot think of a British subject more worthy of that damn thing than an intellectual heavyweight like Salman Rushdie. Still, we wonder: Will this add fire to the conspiratorial arguments in the Muslim world that the War on Terror is in fact a civilizational war between the West and Fundamentalist Islam? From The Associated Press via Observer:

"Queen Elizabeth II conferred a knighthood on 'The Satanic Verses' author Salman Rushdie on Wednesday, a year after the announcement of the knighthood provoked protests from the Muslim world.

"Some Muslims accused Rushdie him of blasphemy in the book and Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini pronounced a death sentence on him in 1989.

"'I really have no regrets about any of my work,' Rushdie told reporters after being asked about 'The Satanic Verses.'

"'This is, as I say, an honor not for any specific book but for a very long career in writing and I'm happy to see that recognized,' he said."

And whether or not Padma Lakshi is indeed married to Salman, she is, and always will be, a Lady.