Sunday, May 16, 2004

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Friday, May 14, 2004

Breaking News

After two weeks of vehemently defending his actions in publishing questionable photos of abuses of Iraqi prisoners by British "squaddies," Daily Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, has stepped down.

"Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has stepped down after admitting that the pictures of soldiers abusing Iraqis were a 'calculated and malicious hoax.'"

Mined Gossip

Paris Hilton told her stylist that Australian Idol contestant, Robert Mills, performed oral sex on her forty times in one night. No wonder why Australia is her favorite vacation spot (it really is). (Popbitch)

Train wreck, Courtney Love, gave an impromptu press conference in the ladies room of a Manhattan courthouse. She told reporters "If I'm addicted to anything, it's nicotine." During her hearing she rambled to the judge incoherently, "This is God saying you do not sleep with married men." What do you mean she's not ready to have custody of her daughter, you Fascist? (NYDN)

Alex Polier is set to cash in on her 7 1/2 minutes of fame by writing an essay for New York mag about "her experiences at the center of a political firestorm." Her fee? $10,000. (Lloyd Grove)

The East Hampton club Resort is selling time share to private cabanas for ten grand this summer. Perks include "a bodyguard, photographer and masseuse." All for ten G's. That's it? Count me in. (Page Six)

Dry-humping is the new black. First, Mischa Barton and bf got into it in front of throngs of music fans at Coachella, now, Britney and white trash fucktoy d'jour, Kevin Federline, were spotted getting into it in Sweden. (Rush & Molloy)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

A.O. Would Know

Ditzy starfucker Jerry Hall versus Yoko Ono cast as Lady Macbeth. Mark Jacobson spins an entertaining yarn, but we can’t decide if this is a total crackup or just totally pathetic. Also, how is it possible that Sean gets so many chicks? And what happened to Leelee, anyway?

C.C. Role Model

In high school, we thought Anita Pallenberg was the ultra cool one, but Marianne Faithfull is the real deal.

Missed Opportunity

Roberta Smith’s tract on the most recent spate of art vandalism falls a bit short of the mark. Props to the Times, though, for supporting this sort of think piece.
Technicolor Sprawl

“Mall of America, the biggest in the United States and the most potent tourist attraction in all of Minnesota, may have looked good on the drawing board. But it has aged badly since it opened in August 1992. You can see stains on the outside of the building, and grass has begun to poke through the asphalt of the parking lots. It is huge and unsightly. You can’t imagine Disney World or the Statue of Liberty being allowed to decay this way. Yet this mall has more visitors than Disney World, Graceland, and the Grand Canyon combined.

Sandra Tsing Loh reviews Call of the Mall by Paco Underhill (Simon & Schuster).

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

While Lecturing her Students on the Bullying Bush's Occupation of a Beautiful and Exotic -- but Neglected and Misunderstood -- Country for its Precious Fluid...

"I was teaching a class on imperialism," she continued, "and I was delivering all this material that was kind of new and upsetting, and everyone was getting all worked up and upset, and I was getting all worked up and upset, and all of a sudden, all I wanted to do was flash my underwear! It was crazy," (2nd item)

Mined Gossip (While We Guzzle Corona)

Don Johnson, Eighties icon extraordinaire, is reportedly so strapped for cash that he can't even afford groceries. The London Evening Standard is kind enough to detail some of the actor's outstanding debts, which include, around $1,000 to the Isberian Rug Co. Just substitute the phrase "Isberian Rug," with "Peruvian Flake" and you'll have a good idea of what's going on. (London Evening Standard)

"It" kid Fabian Basabe can't seem to make much headway in the pan-European marathon, a 3,000 mile car race, because he can't resist "'stopping in every city along the way to shop.'" Does he drive with his foot on the brake as well? (Rush & Molloy--3rd item)

Lindsay Lohan's rep, responds to the rumors about her client receiving a boob job with utter disbelief and moral outrage, "I find this rumor perverse, and the fact that she's 17 is bordering on pedophilia." Heh, nice. (Rush & Molloy--2nd item)

Russell Simmons defends his wife, Kimora, from charges of diva-ish antics by calling her a "hard-working mother of two." Hey, c'mon, you think it's easy beating your servants with a leather strop all day long?

Page Six is set become a TV show called "Rock Squad," with the first episode focusing on a Paris Hilton type character being found, drug-addled, in a "compromising position," by Paula Froelich. Spill, Page Six, spill.

Ashley Olsen lost her virginity to ex-bf Matt Kaplan, but dumped him because he was "overbearing" and jealous. Also, David Katzenberg, is two-timing his girlfriend, the other, skinny sister. It's a quandary. Should he stay with Mary-Kate and cut himself on her pelvic bone every time they hit skins, or should he cut his losses? The poor little rich dears and their problems. (Page Six--items 5, 9, and 10, respectively)

Get On Board, Kids

"I may run for the office of the president. I'll have a slogan on billboards all over the country: 'Gimme a bottle and a glass and I'll get American off its ass.'"
—Frank Sinatra

While we’re looking for the appropriate candidate to execute the chairman of the board’s sentiments, the GOP spin machine is recruiting members from a very tender age.

Did You Ever Ask Yourself: What the Hell is Julianne Moore Doing on the Cover of VF Again?

The LA Times and the NY Times are both set to run stories that allege Graydon Carter is benefiting financially by his ties to Hollywood, LA Weekly is reporting. Michael Cieply, of the LAT, claims to have "'six cases already'" of Carter taking money from moguls. The payoffs seem especially to revolve around which Hollywood star gets placed on the cover of the once highly esteemed mag. But, really, if Carter uses celebrity "journalism" to offset the cost of running harder-hitting stuff does the magazine really suffer? Certainly, that precedent was set by Tina Brown, twenty years ago. Whether or not the practice hurts the movie biz, however, is another story.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Runge's Secret-Police Background is No Biggy

Conde Naste has released a press release in which Chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, "expresses confidence" in his lieutenant, Bernd Runge. The statement is in response to the latter being accused of spying for the East-German secret police force, STASI. Newhouse, who is his father's heir-apparent, dismisses the claims (without denying them) as having no "relevance to (Runge's) career at Condé Nast." Perhaps, his stint in the East-German equivalent to the KGB helped Runge get the job.
Pulling out all the stops, Conde Naste also touts out Runge's sister, who is believed to have been turned in by Runge. Here she is responds to the Der Spiegal article, "Herewith the impression is given that my brother betrayed me. This is absolutely incorrect." Runge's STASI handle was "schnuffler" or "nosy-parker." So, when is Hitchens KGB file going to be released? No, just kidding, Hitchens was a Trotskyite. (Press Release) (FWD)

The Sun Must be Getting to Me

When I first started this blog, my main focus was taking the Republican spin machine and especially their foot soldiers in the media to task for spreading misinformation and baseless propaganda. However, since almost everything these phony journalists say and write are distortions, outright lies and Rove’s talking points, it quickly became redundant.

I am constantly amazed that Conservative columnists, pundits and talk-show hosts, who compare Liberals to Communists at every turn, act so much like Bolsheviks. Like Bolsheviks, the GOP has party discipline; they have an intellectual wing and a rabble-rousing wing – think Jonah Goldberg and Sean Hannitty, respectively -- that skew the party’s message to fit their respective audiences. Now, David Broder, a self-proclaimed former Conservative “hit-man,” who, like Whittaker Chambers (a communist who became a cold warrior) before him, has become an effective tool for his former adversaries, has introduced another way the GOP propagandists are like Commies: cradle-to-grave job security. In Broder’s words, Conservatives have, “every financial incentive in the world to stay in the conservative movement forever.” Serving big business, that’s where the money is. Next time you see Bill Safire on the street, decked out in his rumpled cords, call out loudly, “I thought Joseph Brodsky was dead!”

Now, in a new book, “The Mighty Windbags,” Broder explains how the Conservative “Noise Machine” came to run the media with the help of a passive, overly self-conscious Liberal “media elite.” So, what can be done? I have thought for a long time that Liberal journos have to get over themselves. They have to put aside their childish notions of objectivity and be willing to tell people what to think. That’s what people want – answers, not nuance. This whole idea of journalistic objectivity only goes back thirty or forty years and is based on myth. The myth is expressed by the hagiography of Ben Bradlee, Woodward and Bernstein; I mean, you don’t think said triumvirate wanted to take down Nixon? Of course, they did.

Now the Left has a similarly explosive scandal to go after another super-secretive, dangerous administration. They have to be willing to use it. Attack Bush on Iraq, attack Bush on his Vietnam service, attack Bush on prisoner abuses, ties to Halliburton. Otherwise, Kerry could lose the election on the controversy surrounding his Vietnam medals (because the GOP assassins have no such ethical compunction), and wouldn’t that suck? Victory is too important to let the sanctity of a phony ideal get in its way. (Salon) (Daily Emerald)

Easy Target

“Worst of all, state officials say, many shooters do not retrieve all the fish they kill. They leave behind fish they cannot find or do not want to wade after and fish that exceed the state's five-pike-a-day limit or fall under the 20-inch minimum length for northern pike. Mr. Marcelle recently found 18 dead fish left to rot.”

This must have something to do with inbreeding, right?

A Chance to Meet One of Those Heinz Hotties

Okay, who’s going to Boston?

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Charlie Finch slams Mary Boone’s respective uptown and downtown shows of Peter Halley and Hilary Harkness. Although we’re inclined to agree with his assessment that Halley’s new prison pieces phone it in, we have to admit we like Harkness’s take on mean girls. But, Charlie knows better.
Hello, Iberia?

It appears Barcelona is the place to be. In addition to the opening of the 2004 Forum, a four-month global conference, a new Herzog and de Meuron building now enhances the city’s Gaudi fabulousness. We’ll hit town just before P.J. Harvey’s show on May 29. You’ll find us in a bare-bulb-and-floor-boards bar in the Barrio Chino, sitting at a table on the back wall with a bottle of Vittel, a sugar cube, a fork, and a glass of sweet, sweet green.

Mined Gosssip

Conrad Black and his wife, Aimee, billed Hollinger "$90,000 to refurbish a 1958 Silver Wraith Rolls-Royce." The duo also billed the corporation for their household staff including "chefs, senior butlers, butlers, under-butlers, chauffeurs and footmen." Under-butlers? Footmen? Well, you don't expect a "lord" to open and close his own door, do you? Do you? (London Times--Subscription)

Noel Gallagher and ex-Stone Roses singer, Ian Brown, have recorded a track together. Eighties and Nineties unite! You have nothing to lose, except being so fucking over. (Sun--2nd item)

Kick 'em when there down -- disgraced former CNN producer, Jim Miller, is now being charged with hitting his wife. Page Six also reported the first scandal to rock Miller, being forced to resign from CNN for making "inappropriate comments." (Page Six)

Packer Collegiate has banned its kids from mentioning their "country houses." The tony school insists that the kids, "instead of saying things like, 'What I did at my country house' - to ask, 'What did I learn last weekend?'" C'mon guys, at that rate, a pecking order might never be established. (Lloyd Grove--2nd item)

Prince Charles and Jay-Z are both into "hip-hop," and "opulent bling-bling." Yes, indeed, but are they both "From the dope spot, with the smoke Glock, fleein the murder scene?" We think not. (Rush & Molloy--5th item)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Mined Gossip

BFF's Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie aren't speaking or something. They like to give each other the silent treatment. Maybe, it's because they have nothing to say?

Ricky Martin is being sued by a former manager, Alfred Medina, because he failed to love er--live up to, rather, a contract. Sixty-three million buckaroos, pack that in your bong and smoke it, but seriously, that's a big fucking number.

Scarlett Johansen admits to "making out or having sex or something," with freebase loving actor, Benicio Del Toro (check our archives), in an elevator. Maybe SAG should make sure their young stars have a baseline proficiency in language, you know, like the NCAA -- they either learn to be vaguely coherent or they're not allowed to act. Actually, forget it; five million dollars in tutors and we'd never get to see Lindsay Lohan's rack. (Page Six--2nd, 10th, and 11th items, respectively)

Mariah Carey scared off a male suitor at the Marquee when she hiked up her skirt and flashed her fleshy thighs. Mariah Carey? It rings a bell, oh yeah, that crazy chick. So, are gossip writers just camping out under the tables over at the Marquee? There seems to be an awful lot of items that come out of that place, that's all we're saying. (Elisa Lipsky-Karasz {Sunday})

Keanu Reeves hooks back up with old flame Autumn Macintosh. Yeah, really? Oh, okay. (3AM)

Macaulay Culkin to write an Edmund Morris styled meditation on, well, himself. The book's treatment promises to deal with Culkin's "quest to come to terms with the awesome pressures of childhood megastardom and family dysfunction." Can we order twenty copies, like right now? We can't fucking wait! In other news, David Foster Wallace just jumped out of a window. (Lloyd Grove)

The Gin for Vodka Drinkers

In our dreams, the pool house is illuminated with these.

Exactly Why We Learned the Book Rules for Blackjack

On our first trip to Las Vegas, we were fairly naïve about gambling. After losing a hundred bucks in about 20 seconds at a roulette table, we settled in front of a slot machine and proceeded to turn into one of the drooling masses with silver-grey-ed fingers that are key to filling the casino coffers to the tune of some $30 billion a year. We were amazed at how difficult it was to stop feeding the slots and how easy it was to establish an affinity for one sort of machine, believing it was the only type that would yield a jackpot. This week’s New York Time Magazine cover story gave us a little relief regarding our weakness, as it exposes the fact that contemporary slot machines are intentionally designed to be the “crack cocaine of gambling.”

On our next trip west, we went to school for about an hour with a friendly dealer at a Blackjack table and learned the book rules. We’re pleased to say on our last outing to Sin City we walked away from the weekend $500 ahead of our outlay. We’d like to tell you about the fabulous piece of designer clothing that hangs in our closet as a reminder of our gambling prowess. But we’re pretty certain we spent the winnings on cabs.

You Can Make a Difference

The New York Times Style editors came in a bit late with yesterday’s piece on the live Pac-Man phenom. It’s our understanding this story hit the Web seven days ago, so what’s with the Page 1 treatment? If the nation’s paper of record is going to mine the blogsphere like this, Steve Outing and his Poynter pals are going to have to think twice about whether or not blogging is going to affect the face of journalism.

Attitude Adjustment

Speaking of the ephemeral, our regular pursuit of transitory visceral states seems to have been the deciding factor in which live shows we have attended in the last few months. At recent Belle and Sebastian and Air performances, the low-key, ambient nature of both bands were heightened by some of the most amazing light shows we have ever seen. These designers are producing some seriously trippy shit, and it’s an experience we sometimes wish we could reproduce at will.

Fortunately, the Aluminum Group has done just that in a cool little Flash movie. This is required viewing for anyone who has just emerged from one of those brain-draining bureaucratic meetings that causes us to think we’re members of the trench-coat mafia. Spur the action by clicking on the animated tablets, which are, of course, Valium. Enjoy.

Okay, now that we’ve lauded the AG’s artistic pretensions, we have to admit their show on Saturday fucking sucked. Listen boys, stop spending so much time getting fitted for your Prada suits for the stage and have a few rehearsals. We actually left the show early, which we have to say is a first for a band we actually sought to see. We’re sorry we didn’t drag ourselves away from our heated cocktail conversation on Friday to make the Peaches show. From what we hear, that’s an experience that can change your life.

That Dopetastic C. C.

While we realize regular readers of Anonymous Outsider have come to expect pithy recaps of the day’s gossip as well as breaking news, we must reluctantly admit we are not nearly as talented at reading between the celebrity headlines as your regular poster A.O., nor do we have his contacts.

(In truth, however, we’re only interested in one star story, and that would be exactly when our number one supine fantasy, Mr. Brad Pitt, is back on the market. Our degree of separation from said Adonis currently stands at three—a situation we are looking to improve with ongoing tenacity.)

Hence, we bring you the most entertaining bit of Internet ephemera we recently received from our own deadly viper squad. This came across our desktop last week, and we apologize if it’s made the rounds, but it’s a goodie and always worth another look.

Check it.

Friday, May 07, 2004

More Boring Crap from That Cultured Chick

Bowing to Choire’s discerning insider art sensibilities, we checked out Stewart Waltzer’s auction reports on ArtNet. While we are fans of the snarky irreverence Waltzer’s prose manifests, we are still inclined toward Carol Vogel’s straightforward daily news reportage—at least when it comes to auctions. (We’d love it, though, if someone would disclose why Sotheby’s gets such favored-child treatment by Vogel over the oft-neglected Christie’s.) Still, we laud ArtNet publisher Walter Robinson’s patronage of stylistically impudent voices who tell it like it played. That said, we wish there were a whole hell of a lot more of art-world persona non grata Charlie Finch’s perspective either on Robinson’s virtual pages or in real-world black and white.

After Anna and Plum had Proclaimed the Good News to This City...*

"So what are the essentials of looking good New York-style? Mostly, it seems to be down to what you do with your hair, wherever it grows. And, leaving aside the waterfall that should flow between your shoulder blades, less is definitely more."

Also, see London "It" girls stack up against New York "It" girls. (But, Serafina--new and hip?)

Mined Gossip (and a Quick Word)

Okay, sports fans, this is probably it for us until next Wednesday. We will probably, however, check in with this feature. Because, you know, what the hell would you all do without it -- read these shitty ass gossip columns that we recap? In the meantime, it's going to get awfully intelligent around here, with our guest nigga being into very high-brow subject matter and shit. It might get so bad that you will be crying out for the downmarket drivel that we dish out on a regular basis. Also, this (Nice, huh?) has been in the cue for quite a while now, and will finally be launched sometime next week.

Vanity Fair employees kicked out a scribe for the NY Times from one of its super-secret glitterati parties. Evidently, the incident was noted in yesterday's "Boldface Names" column, but we missed it because, well, we just don't read the column, it's kinda lame. (Roger Friedman)

Heidi Klum left a bizarre message on her homepage "from" her newborn baby girl. It reportedly reads, "hey, could this ugly motherfucker really be my Daddy?" No, just kidding, it says: "They tell me I'm a very pretty child and having tasted the best nourishment in the world I am very tired and just want to sleep." Awww, actually, we can't get all snarky with that, it's sweet as sugar. (3AM)

Harper's Bazaar editor, Glenda Bailey, finally throws a bash and it turns out to be a "shill for her boyfriend," fashionistas are grousing. Kind of makes sense, doesn't it? Anyway, Harper's is experiencing a brain-drain lately, losing talent to other mags. Wait, Harper's Bazaar, what's that? Some kind of literary thingy, isn't it? (Page Six)

Jay-Z and Beyonce were married secretly in the islands, Page Six reports. We reported it months ago. It's so far back in our archives that were not even going to look for it. Also, Trump's wedding might be a year away. Is Melanoma Knauss being tested, or something? (7th, 8th items respectively)

Donald Trump cops to thinking Rob Lowe is "the most beautiful guy I've ever seen." God, Trump is even all late-eighties when he's being gay! (Lloyd Grove--last item)

Piers Morgan -- a Gentleman by any Estimation

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan's take on what Naomi Campbell's libel victory against his paper, the Daily Mirror, means for society:
"This is a very good day for lying, drug-abusing prima donnas who want to have their cake with the media, and the right to then shamelessly guzzle it with their Cristal champagne."

Thursday, May 06, 2004

A Note from That Cursing Chick

We’ve been swearing a lot on the Internet today, and we must apologize to anyone out there whose delicate sensibilities we may have offended or any remarks we were too slow to get. We seem to be experiencing a certain belligerence that we suspect has quite a lot to do with the nature of last night’s intoxicants. An all-too-common excuse (see below), no doubt, but we’re somewhat proud to wield such a classic banner, and have to admit look forward to hoisting it again.

Although we can barely get past the headlines today, this account of last night’s Sotheby’s sale made us wish we were Carol Vogel. We’d also like to note that headlines like this do not happen by accident. Why do you think the sports desk loves it so much when Tiger Wood wins a tourney?

Mined Gossip: Magazine/What Guys Will Do For Pussy Edition

Gotham mag (not on web) has an incredibly elaborate blind item pointing to a tell-all book that might be coming down the pike from one of JFK Jr.'s gay lovers (whose so stretched out he needs surgery, yikes!).

Mary-Kate Ashley looks worse than ever in a Star Mag photo spread -- really very sickly, actually. But, if you're into that sort of thing, you fucking sicko, countdown to legality over with these super-sickos: "5 weeks, 2 days, 11 hours, 55 minutes, and 39 more seconds!"

Will one of the Olsens stay in the acting biz and the other one become the former's manager? So hints Liz Smith, anyway.

Now, onto an illegal chick with some goods, Lindsay Lohan. Star is reporting that she tried to pick up Colony badass Colin Farrell on the Paramount Lot, he allegedly turned her down, though. Next time Linds, try Russell Crowe, we hear that he really digs them young.

Britney flies new bf, Kevin Federline, to England for poolside romps. Does Federline talk shit about fucking Brit-Brit in bathrooms? (Sun, Page Six--5th item)

Does Anna Wintour and her bf only pay $5,800 a month for their Chelsea sub-let? Or is tenant John Frieda jacking up the rent on them? That's what we want to know. (Page Six)

Celeste Holm, famous for her supporting role in "All About Eve," marries a guy forty years her junior. Forty years! What some guys will do for puss -- er money. Cindy Adams: Giving her geriatric readers hope.

Second-generation, balding crooner Enrique Iglesias gives vixen Anna Kournikova a $5 Million dollar rock.

Who's the father of Heidi Klum's new baby girl? Racecar driver Flavio Briatore denies that it's his. Seal, however, steps into the breech -- sucka. Actually, scratch that, it's Heidi Klum for Christ's sake, and he's ugly as sin. (Rush & Molloy)

Friends Finale Spoilers?

Since we have no way of verifying these Friends "spoilers," -- and Popbitch, where they come from, is notoriously unreliable --take them with more than a few grains of salt. Actually, we barely even know who the characters below even are, because we spend our Thursday nights reading long philosophical treatises by Schopenhauer and Heidegger. We did, however, read something about the Joey character being some sort of gay serial rapist. Okay honestly, what we want to know is -- did Phoebe ever once get laid during the whole ten-year run of Friends?

*The girl who is giving her baby to Chandler
and Monica gives birth to twins.
* Ross and Rachel have sex: Ross thinks they're
back together but Rachel says it's a great way
for them to finish as she heads off to Paris
* Phoebe drives Ross to the airport in her cab
to win Rachel back but it's too late.
* Ross returns home and hears Rachel on his
answermachine saying "I love you too, Ross." He
hears her yell at the air hostess "I want off
this plane" and the stewardess saying "It's
too late we're taking off."
* But then Rachel walks in - Ross proposes.
She accepts.
* Joey gets to keep the chick and the duck.

Only Once a Year, Really?

"One young person in three has admitted drinking so much on a night out they were unable to do their job properly the next day. The 16 to 28-year-olds said such binges took place at least once a year, although in many cases more often." (Daily Mail--Subs.)

Fleet Street Shake-Up

A huge story is developing on Fleet Street and it's much more interesting than Posh/Becks. Piers Morgan, the editor-in-chief of the London Daily Mail, a liberal tabloid, is taking heavy flack from Conservatives in Parliament for allegedly running doctored photos of abuses committed by Brit troops of Iraqi prisoners. The most inflammatory photos show prisoners, respectively, being urinated on and hit in the groin with a rifle butt. Richard Desmond’s Daily Express (no web content), which just announced a change of loyalty to the Tories, has led the attack on Morgan, who is seen by some as contemptuous of journalistic standards. The liberal broadsheets, the Independent and the Guardian are also critical of Morgan, however. Perhaps, they see this as one too many in a long line of "gaffes" committed by the outspoken editor. Interestingly, Murdoch's papers, the Times and the Sun, and Hollinger's Telegraph seem to be going easier on Morgan. In any case, Morgan is standing firm, planning to, in the words of an inside source for the Independent (which incidentally, has the best take on the story), "brazen" the scandal out. He employed a similar tactic when his paper got in hot water for accusing the US of being war criminals shortly after 9-11.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Our Best Blind Item Ever?

We haven't come up with any really juicy pieces of celeb gossip lately, and we guess today is no exception, unless you can solve the following blind item:

Which tres famous Method actor was spotted by a confidant of ours copping drugs with Abel Ferrara over by Crunch on Lafayette Street? The wacky director bought some glassine envelopes from a fat Hispanic guy at around 12 AM, as his famous companion stood by, a reliable source tells us. The unnamed party was trying very hard to look inconspicuous--not so easy.

And Now, a Word from That Cynical Chick

“But do the management consultants who invent the jargon even know what the hell they’re talking about? Are they any good at what they’re doing? Has anyone ever measured the efficacy of their techniques, their ‘retreats,’ their role-playing games? Just in terms of the bottom line, forgetting for a moment the insulting condescension of their disingenuous New Age game-playing, does anyone know whether their whole project has produced positive results or has just been a massive waste of time that’s kept managers away on retreats while the Jack Kelleys and the Jayson Blairs fabricate away unsupervised?”

What’s in the water this week? Ron Rosenbaum sounds off on the corporate infiltration of the old-fashioned newsroom, while Cynthia Cotts riffs on a few stabs at romancing the journo. myth. Forgive our cynicism, but haven’t these people realized journalism is as well intended yet ultimately as adulterated as politics? Sorry kids, but we don’t believe that faced with any of the corporate dilemmas the villains you decry were your behavior would be any more noble. Somehow, this sort of navel gazing and self-serving soap boxing just seems like too little, too late.

Mined Gossip

Alicia Silverstone was especially fucked up at Coachella, Page Six is reporting. Also, Misca Barton was pissed off at her herpes-lipped boyfriend, Brandon Davies: "I thought you said it wasn't contagious anymore motherfucker?" she was heard yelling as she pushed him, sending him spiraling backwards. Okay, maybe she didn't say that exactly, but according to said gossip column she was very pissed off.

"Hey young world, the world is yours," sing it, bitches. While the skinny and mean Olsen, sometimes called "Mary-Kate," is still running hot and heavy with bf, Katzenberg's son, (who gives a fuck what his first name is, youknowwhatimsayin?), her fat and nice sister--Ashley--just dumped her bf, Matt Kaplan. (Page Six--8, 10th items, respectively)

We thought QEFTSG star, Ted Allen, was the unstereotypical 'mo, but apparently not, he stiffed a bathroom attendant and then said his boyfriend took care of it. C'mon man, a restroom attendant? Next time, pony up. And speaking of cheap, our own Governor, Pataki, is even cheaper. According to Page Six, after buying a couple of drinks during intermission at "Valkyrie," after paying his "$17 tab with a $20 bill, 'He thought about it for a while, then left a $1 tip and pocketed the other two bucks.'" Go back to Albany, you fuckwad. (Lloyd Grove, Page Six)

JFK Jr. never got to fuck Madonna. They couldn't sneak out of the hotel to buy a Today's sponge (it was the nineties, yo), or something, without being detected. That's what personal assistants are for and shit. Jr. did manage to get a blow job from the queen of pop, however. (Rush & Molloy)

Courtney Love is at it again, yelling out, on stage in Atlanta, "Give me back my kid and my money." Apparently, it was absolutely frightening. You know what? This isn't really even a story any more. (Rush & Molloy)

Another porn actress, this time a transsexual, has tested positive for HIV. (Reuters)

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Something from Our Cultural Correspondent

In preparation for our stint as Anonymous Outsider's guest blogger next week, we’ll be posting a few times this week. Of course, we wish we were going to be in a drunken stupor on a beach next week like A.O., but, hey, isn’t wasting time on the job the next best thing?

Okay, first thing first. I do not have a crush on Chris Noth. Doubtless, the guy is imminently doable, but there are far more choice morsels over whom I might care to lick my chops. And now, on to the flogging:

Could the Arts section editors at the Times have gotten it more wrong when they slugged today’s story by Julie Salamon on an arts festival being planned to coincide with the Republican National Convention, which will infiltrate New York the week before Labor Day? Republicans Lure the Arts to Politics and Protests sounds to us like the GOP is actually giving money to those wacky, tree-hugging, creative types. As it turns out, the piece begins as a snoozer about the deluge of events intended to entertain the journalists covering the convention and hopefully bring home the point that the nation’s majority is not exactly down with the Bushies’ White House antics. Fascinating. Unfortunately, most readers will have lost interest by the time Salamon gets around to talking about how some art types might be galvanized to get political.

“‘I think street theater is great, but I decided that if your intention is to defeat Bush and foil the Republican attempt to hijack our country, the most direct method is to directly engage in the political system,’ [Erik] Stowers said. So he organized Downtown for Democracy, or D4D, registered it as a political action committee and has been raising money through events intended to attract cultural types more inclined to network and party than to protest.”

Now that’s a story worth telling.

Also: What’s up with that yawner on the ivory-tickling Osmonds?

The World of White

All you kids that think Courtney Love has a Heroin thing going on were proved wrong today--she has a heroin and cocaine thing going on. LA assistant DA announced today that Love, "tested positive for several illegal drugs after her October arrest, including cocaine." He did not elaborate. Kind of sweet of him, actually.

Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher allegedly attacked a German cop while drunk and high on coke (which he tested positive for, after being arrested). Gallagher engaged in plenty of fun antics that night including breaking up a concert venue, "whirling a microphone stand around like a battleaxe." Sound familiar? Gallagher's bodyguards were knocked cold by a German businessmen swinging a brass ashtray. That's it guys, don't take any shit from anybody. Eighty cops were sent out to arrest Gallagher. Eighty cops! Jesus, what a bunch of wusses.

"In Touch" Stepchild to Launch

If you're the type of person that lurrvs celebrities, but are put off by the edginess of "In Touch," Bauer Publishing has the mag for you. "Life & Style Weekly" will focus on things like J.Lo's "huge designer merchandising business." Can you say "advertorial," bitches? Seriously, why bother employing a bunch of whiny, over-paid writers when you can just paste press releases into a colorful template? This kind of thinking has really seeped into the cultural zeitgeist. Last night, some blogga genius told us what "a great idea" it would be to start "a blog completely made up of press releases." It's called PR Newswire, buddy, but seriously, knock yourself out -- you'll probably get 500,000 hits a day. (Paul Colford)

Mined Gossip

If you want gossip, forget about Page Six, come right here instead. The world-famous column has two items that we picked up from Fleet Street yesterday. If the Page Six gang isn't mining us, well, they should be.

Wannabe flacks are beating down the doors of the Learning Annex to get into a class Lizzie Grubman will be teaching about "How To Succeed in PR Without Really Trying," or something like that. Topics the leather-faced publicist will discuss include, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know" and “the felony--a great way to get publicity for your clients." Okay, in all seriousness we're sure Grubman has a lot to offer her students, we’re just worried that she'll be a little hard to understand, what, with all the teeth grinding and sniffling. (Lloyd Grove)

Tom Sizemore tests positive for methamphetimines while on probation. (Rush & Molloy-last item)

Anna Wintour is ready to throw down with Brit super-designer Alexander McQueen. Wintour, editor of Vogue, is pissed because he was a no-show at the Costume Institute Gala in New York. He was probably just avoiding Plum Sykes. (Daily Mail--subs. req)

Monday, May 03, 2004

Thank Goodness, Now We Have a Correspondent For This Sort Of Thing

Although she won't be filling in for us until next week (as we lie in a drunken stupor, working on our tan), we thought you might enjoy something from our soon to be substitute blogger. Even though she pretends to like this 6,000-word New York mag profile by Jay McInerney, of Ron Gallotti (half Jewish, who knew?), we tend to think she might just have a crush on Chris Noth. Seriously though, pay attention, because she's a super smart chick and knows the media like the back of her hand. All right, we'll get out of the way now.

"It’s a question that implies a value system—a faith shared by most of the highly accomplished and celebrated New Yorkers at the wedding, whose very presence at this event certified their citizenship in a realm that they believe is more vital and more real than any other possible world. It is, in part, the faith that John Updike once nailed with his comment that real New Yorkers believe that anyone living anywhere else must, in some sense, be kidding—although it’s catholic enough to include as honorary communicants those from other parts of the world (Los Angeles and London, for instance) who get written about in the gossip columns and the business pages. It has a distinct Calvinist element—the belief of the elect in their own worthiness and in New York as the ultimate meritocracy. For its most devout adherents, Galotti’s story conjures up the secret fear of banishment and excommunication. It may also represent an even deeper fear—the nagging suspicion that our faith is an illusion."

In addition to including one of our favorite words in the piece—catholic with a small c—easy lit target Jay McInerney proves he’s got the skills to instill a fluff profile with enough insider entertainment value to hold the reader’s attention for an entire 6,000 words. Juicy bits from the Bright Light Big City author’s opus on New York publishing bad boy Ron Galloti include McInerney’s admission that he initially found Galloti to be unpolished; Gallotti’s buxom third wife being shocked by Candace Bushnell’s size 1 clothing hanging in Galloti’s closet (they were waiting to be picked up by the ex); a description of Solomon Rushdie’s wedding to Lakshmi Padma; and a cocky Tina Brown naysaying Galloti’s retirement fantasy. In our humble opine, New York hit one out of the park with this piece. Certainly farther than former ed. Caroline Miller’s serious-journo. swan song on Spaulding Gray.

And She's the Well Read One, II

Apparently, not only is Plum Sykes ignorant of the differences between the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" movie and the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" novel (4/13), she thinks Truman Capote wrote “The Great Gatsby,” as well.

"For all her vaunted education - she mentions her Oxford history degree with terrifying regularity - Sykes has not yet mastered the legends of American literature. I ask her if she compares her work to The Great Gatsby?
'Yah,' she replies, 'and For all her vaunted education - she mentions her Oxford history degree with terrifying regularity - Sykes has not yet mastered the legends of American literature. I ask her if she compares her work to The Great Gatsby?"

"'Yah,' she replies, "and the other works by Truman Capote by Truman Capote.'"

Did Lee Radziwell buttonhole her at a cocktail party one night and tell her what a supreme genius Capote was, or something? Maybe she hopes that if she plugs Capote enough, he’ll use her as the inspiration for, “Tiffany’s Is For the Poor,” the “Breakfast…” sequel. We wonder what "other works" she had in mind? His seminal play, "Cat on the hot tin Roof," perhaps?

Perhaps, Sykes, with her tantrums and grandiose sense of self, is suffering from botulism poisoning brought on by too many Botox injections, too early on. More likely, though, she is just a fraud, a nepotism-hire extraordinaire, whose books are the result of close collaboration with editors and "friends." I'm sure we can expect to see more writers, like her, completely lacking in either talent or frame of reference. Why should publishers wait for a Zadie Smith (pretty and talented), when they can prop up some vacuous "It" bitch and insure a return on their investment? The only upside is that if popular literature is marked by ever-increasing frivolity, Paris Hilton and Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord will be the flavor of the summer soon -- and then there will be no room for a high-brow genius like Plum Sykes. (Telegraph) (Gawker)

Mean Girls

A few months ago, an acquaintance of ours interviewed for the position of Anna Wintour's assistant with her present two assistants. One of the girls asked our acquaintance, "(if Anna) yells out Pastis, what would you do?" Er--hit the deck, maybe? No, it turns out, that's Anna's way of saying she wants a reservation at Pastis. So, anyway, our acquaintance was quite nervous which didn't bode well for her. One of the catty assistants told her, "God, if you're nervous around us, imagine what you'll be like around Anna?" Obvs, the chick didn't get the gig.

Mined Gossip

The Horace Mann sex tape featured a female eigth-grader, "masturbating and simulating oral sex." The girl wanted to impress the kid she had a crush on. He was so impressed, he e-mailed it to all his friends. God, those Jewish kids are still having more fun than we are. (NYM)

Britters Kabbalah tattoo on the back of her neck, which she wanted to say "new era," instead says "era new." That must be why she keeps shacking up with married men. This is the second time she's tattood herself with gibberish. (3AM)

Kathy Hilton, whose face is looking especially smooth lately (and nose especially thin), says that her new reality show won't be using her famous daughter to boost ratings. Of course, that's because when Paris was asked to help out, she said, "no fucking way! I'm A-list, bitch." Okay, we really have no verification for that last quote. (Cindy Adams--2nd to last graf)

Hugh Jackman's apartment, in the Richard Meier glass towers, is becoming a big attraction for peeping toms. Does the "Boy from Oz" star prance around in his skivvies belting out show-tunes? What, the guy doesn't close his curtains? Also, surprise, Vincent Gallo isn't making any sense. (Page Six)

Hottie Jennifer Esposito, is such a screamer that she was threatened with eviction by her East Village co-op board. Can the East Vill get any more fucking lame right now. And don't tell us to think about the children--the children are off giving each other head. "Pals" of Esposito tell Page Six that the starlet has an unnatural obsession with J-Lo. Good friends she has, that Esposito. What, Esposito wouldn't fuck Chris Wilson, or something? (Page Six--last item)

We give Elisa Lipsky-Karasz's new column a B+. Anyone that calls Martina Borgomanero Basabe's "supposed" fiancee, is allright. We'll forgive her the Lloyd Grove type stuff for now. No wonder why Cindy Adams felt like she needed to get a big "scoop."

Brad Pitt gets the June cover of Vanity Fair. (Liz Smith--2nd to last item)

Speaking of Brad Pitt, he partied over the weekend without the old ball and chain. (Roger Friedman--Last item)

Winona Ryder denies reports printed in Star mag, that her and Naomi Watts ex Heath ledger were making out in an LA club. Just once, I would like to see a celebrity flack confirm one of these celeb hook-ups. (Rush $ Molloy)

No Big Scoop for Cindy Adams?

The London Daily Mail is claiming that Cindy Adams big scoop, that ran on Friday, about Camilla Parker-Bowles suffering from lung cancer, was merely a rumor, "started because Mrs PB has hardly been seen in public in the past three months." Rather comically, the paper chalks her disappearance up to all the time she has been schtupping Prince Charles in Scotland, lately. Although the Royal friendly Mail does not name Adams' column specifically, it hints that the printing of the "rumor" was irresponsible: "The report was, rightly, dismissed as ‘rubbish’ yesterday by a senior aide." (Subscription req.)

In the Papers, Sort Of

I can’t remember when, exactly, I was introduced to the strange nature of Liberian history, but I must have been very young, because the Americo-Liberians we’re still firmly ensconced in power. I do remember, however, that the grammar school lesson raised more question than it answered. My teacher described a country founded by agents of Black Nationalism and racism, where the descendents of slaves had American names and customs. Further curiosity on my part yielded that her people lived in ante-bellum style mansions, spoke in Southern American accented English, wore stove-pipe hats and tails and listened to Gospel music. A Black idyll? Even as I desired to see pictures of this strange, undiscovered country (and found none, really), the dream of the place—built on rotted foundations—had collapsed. ‘Africa’s oldest republic’ was a chimera. After decades of one of the most gruesome Civil Wars in history, and the kleptocratic rule of the wicked Charles Taylor, books on Liberia still seem to raise more questions than they answer.

Rastafarianism: another Black idyll. I would sit in my father’s kitchen smoking bong hits with my friend, listening to Marley’s “Forever Loving Jah.” The pot, bought from dreads in Hunts Point, would have me wondering if the Rastas weren’t really looking for some great white father in all of this. (After all, their god, Ras Tafari--king of Ethiopia--was a very light skinned African). This was before the pot brought self-awareness, and doubt, my stoned gaze still directed outward. The sheer otherness of the religion fascinated me; worshiping, as Marley did, a living man as God. Marley, in turn, becoming a sort of adopted son of God (Tafari never spoke of his own status as deity). Now, the wife of the adopted son of God has written a memoir.

Sometimes a thing can be so terrible that it just kicks you in the fucking teeth, and you're speechless.

In Coachella: a religion we can all jam out to?

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