Quote of the Day: Vanity Fair, the Hive

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato is not sure whether this (Sean Spicer vs. the Press) is a long-term strategy or a tactic designed to divert attention from self-generated controversies.

He’s proven the ‘value of devil figures’, says Sabato. “Against all odds, he catapulted into the Presidency by skilfully using a series of devils (Obama, Clinton, Mexicans, Muslims, China). To keep his 46% together, he must continue to target a great big devil figure. The news media does nicely.”

(James Warren, Chief Media Writer, Poynter.org, writing for the Warren Report in Vanity Fair’s Hive, 23 January 2017)

Quote of the Day: Graydon Carter, Editor’s Letter, Vanity Fair, December 2015

The political arena has always held its attractions for business leaders who believe that wisdom picked up at the coal face of American industry can be applied to civics. On the surface, this seems like a natural transition. But it isn’t. Most people who succeed at business do so with a relentless, single-minded ego thrust that crushes the opposition and tosses aside the weaklings who stand in the way. Wait, that does sound like what it takes to win at national politics.

What’s interesting is . . .  the way voters keep seizing on the idea that someone from the business world (Lee Iacocca? Ross Perot?) is the ideal candidate to lead us into the Promised Land when the only real business titan we’ve ever had as president was Herbert Hoover. And look how that worked out.

Vanity Fair 2016 Holiday Issue: J-Law (Self Bought the Issue Just Because It Was Her)

She’s still Katniss. To thousands of tumblr followers.

With Trump’s win, there’s been a boom in dystopian Hunger Games fan fiction. A site went off-line today for a mere two hours. Self nearly had a meltdown.

Despite everyone hating Darren Aronofsky and semi-hating Passengers (Yes, the problem is no one knows whether it’s a rom-com or a space movie. Least of all Lionsgate), she’s the only actress the Guardian’s ever called “America’s national treasure.”

Vanity Fair has her on the cover of its 2016 Holiday issue. She’s not glammed up. She looks real. Self likes it so much better than the other Vanity Fair cover, the one where she was sitting in a jungle pool. It didn’t look like her.

The pictures inside the issue, especially the black-and-whites of her in an Alberta Ferretti dress: HAWWTTTT!!! Kudos to photographer Peter Lindbergh.

And, she is still a risk-taker. She’ll agree to do a movie just to get a chance to work with a particular director, even without seeing a script. That’s so completely her: impetuous, and NOT image-driven.

Julie Miller’s cover article begins:

  • The bar of the Plaza Athénée, an elegant Upper East Side hotel, is empty save for an elderly French couple sipping Bordeaux at two p.m. when in bursts a tall blonde crackling with energy. It is Jennifer Lawrence, wearing a black cashmere sweater, jeans ripped at the knee, and black boots, her platinum hair chopped into a chic bob. Delicate gold jewelry circles her wrists, neck, and fingers, and her most pronounced accessory, a security team, looms nearby.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Vanity Fair Hive

Good morning! We hope that all the tryptophan and Beaujolais provided a momentary respite from the reality that the world’s most vital democracy is now being run by a Twitter troll. But here we are!

*nods in agreement*

LOL!

Stay tuned.

Buzz Bissinger’s “Call Me Caitlyn” (Vanity Fair, July 2015)

Pardon, dear blog readers. Self is only now catching up with her Vanity Fair subscription. She’s been itching to get to the July 2015 issue, the one that has Caitlyn Jenner on the cover, in the white bustier (There is absolutely nuthin’, apparently, that can be done with the meaty thighs. Onward!)

Let’s see, where was self in July 2015? London.

Here’s what the article’s author, Buzz Bissinger, has to say about his subject:

This is the most remarkable story I have ever worked on in 38 years as a journalist, the only writer in the world with unlimited access to Jenner for a story of global interest, witness to the final months of one of the most iconic male athletes before he disappears and a woman appears in his place. I spent hundreds of hours with the man over a period of three months. Then I spent countless hours with the woman. It was initially weird, and virtually anyone who says it isn’t weird is giving themselves far too much credit.

And that, dear blog readers, is such disarmingly charming writing.

Stay tuned.

 

Brienne of Tarth!

For a while, self was waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, but Justin Bieber wasn’t on the night’s list of performers so she got bored.

Self has spent the days leading up to New Year’s bingeing on Game of Thrones Season 5.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

OMG Brienne! So good to see you! Hey, did you just chop off someone’s head with your mighty sword? And hey, did Vanity Fair really opine that maybe Stannis Baratheon isn’t really dead? And oh hey, what’s with Danaerys surrounded by a marauding pack of plains horsemen (If self were Danaerys, she’d pray for a quick execution. Which, this being GOT, will never happen)

Vanity Fair refers to Brienne’s path in Season 5 as totally off-book. What does that mean?

Also, one of self’s favorite moments in the finale of Season 5 was Theon and Sansa jumping off a wall together, holding hands. At last! These two most degraded of characters — go take a leap of faith! If only someone would go truly off-book and have Ramsay Bolton throw himself off a castle rampart, not into a snow bank but into a pit of sharpened stakes! That would be the only fitting end for such as he!

Also, she doesn’t understand what’s happening to Arya but possibly the young damsel is becoming bat-shit crazy as who wouldn’t be after living in a cold stone monastery-type place with a man who speaks in cryptic sentences and is constantly shifting faces. Not to mention the girl who keeps striking her.

Then of course self is in complete denial about Jon Snow.

Maybe he’s turning into a White Walker!

Maybe now that he’s been released from his physical incarnation, his true essence can flit about and become a true instigator!

Also, Stannis and to a lesser extent although maybe not to a lesser extent Mrs. Stannis: HOW COULD YOU?

Also, loving the Podrick/Brienne camaraderie.

Also, that was quite a long, lingering look at naked Cersei, even though it was for the purpose of showing the Queen’s absolute humiliation (Only Lena Headey could pull that one off so convincingly!)

Also, self knew without a doubt that when Ellaria gave Myrcella a full-on lip-to-lip kiss, she was up to no good, which was borne out about an hour or so later, when Myrcella started gushing blood from her nose. All in front of her dad, Jaime Lannister. Since Jaime’s ship didn’t look very far from land, self wondered if he would turn the ship around and slay Ellaria. Which — did self ever share with dear blog readers that she saw the actress who plays Ellaria in the Globe production of Titus Andronicus last year? And she was truly truly awesomely seductive. Anyway, of the three acolytes of Ellaria (who are very bad fighters, despite the showy whips, in self’s humble opinion), the smallest one has an impressive rack, and shows it off. Another looks like she could be Filipina. And as for Jaime, she thinks the metal hand is cool. But he should really go back to engaging in witty repartee with Brienne.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Are You Ready For This? Vanity Fair’s 10 Best Movies of 2015

And self has only seen three of them.

Time was when self had seen all. All of the movies nominated for 10 Best.

Self is kinda shocked that three of the movies she really liked this year are nowhere: Pawn Sacrifice and Bridge of Spies. And Mockingjay 2!

Starting in reverse order (10th to 1st):

10.  The Martian: YAY for Matt Damon! Absolutely!

9.  Steve Jobs: God, NO! But if you want to see Steve Jobs’s life transformed into a Lifetime movie, complete with angst-ridden assistant played by Kate Winslet in her most painfully sappy performance to date, then this is the movie for you!

8.  Eden: Self has yet to see. YAY that it’s directed by a woman, though. Triple-YAY.

7.  The End of the Tour: Self has yet to see. She’d see it for Jesse Eisenberg alone.

6.  Tangerine: Self has yet to see. A movie about “pimps, johns, donut shops, and laundromats.” (Sounds like a Mary Gaitskill short story. The part about donut shops and laundromats sounds also like self’s current life) Shot entirely on iPhone. YAY for technology!

5.  Ex Machina: Everyone, but EVERYONE says self has to see this. And self loves Alicia Vikander. So, yes.

4.  Carol: Self has yet to see. But — Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett? The twins of serious acting? Will it be boring?

3.  Spotlight: Self has yet to see. One thing she’s never understood about the Church sex-abuse scandal is, she remembers a wave of sex-abuse Church scandals at least 20 years ago. The Archbishop of Boston was forced to resign. Remember him? Bernardin? Do we never learn? 20 years from now, will there be another Church sex-abuse scandal? Judging from the present: YES!

2.  Clouds of Sils Maria: Self has yet to see. But Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, the twins of really serious acting without being obvious about it. Yes!

1. Mad Max: Fury Road: God, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Tom Hardy playing Max. Charlize playing Imperator Furiosa. Five pretty girls in white dresses. Nicholas Hoult saying Oh what a day. What a lovely daaaaay!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Great Article: Thank You VF.Com

It starts with a training seminar at Stanford. One of those that Stanford makes its employees take to highlight an issue: in this case, sexual harassment. It begins with some chit-chat about high jinks at a primate research center.

A primate research center.

Bet the woman leading the seminar never expected to be the lead-in to an article about the “spiraling Stanford sex scandal.”

Self must admit, when she saw the headline of the VF.com article, she had to do a double-take.

Unfortunately for the hapless seminar leader, there was a plant.

Who began by asking a seemingly innocent question:

“So the policy that Stanford has actually says that where such a recusal is required you must notify your supervisor, department chair, or dean,” he said. “What if the person involved is the Dean?”

No problemo. The seminar leader says, without batting an eyelash: You should go straight to the provost.

The man presses on: “Suppose Ed was a Dean and Melissa was a senior faculty member who was married to another senior faculty member and Ed was involved in a relationship with Melissa. Ed would have to recuse himself from making decisions about both Melissa and her husband?”

“Do you know something I don’t know?” the seminar leader asks.

The man says he might.

“Don’t out him or her here!” the seminar leader (who happens to be a lawyer) says quickly.

Laughter.

Self thinks that seminar leader is quite charming. Very snappy and quick in her responses. She seems to be kidding when she tells the question man: “You and I need to talk outside!”

Read the rest of the delicious story here.

Kudos, writer David Margolick.

Stay tuned.

Iconic Shades: A VANITY FAIR Post (February 2014 Issue)

Self probably hasn’t mentioned Vanity Fair in almost a year.  Strange how this year has gone.

She’s still on the same Jhumpa Lahiri short story, the one she began two weeks ago.  Ordinarily, she’d tear through this collection (Unaccustomed Earth) in a week or two.

Anyhoo, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth.  Here she is this evening, perusing the February 2014 issue.

On p. 46, the Fanfair section, there’s a piece on sunglasses inspired by classic Hollywood looks.

You could go “Dark Thriller,” like Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963).

You could go “Lolita Luxe,” like Sue Lyon in Lolita (1962).

You could go “Killer Glam,” like Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface (1983).

Or you could do “Riviera Chic,” like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief (1955).

You could also go “Anonymous Cool,” like Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959).

You could do “Going Gonzo,” like Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).

Or you could go “Dapper Affair” like Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair.

Or you could go “Need for Speed” like Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986).

These are the makers of the aforementioned sunglasses:  Dries Van Noten, Alexander McQueen, Linda Farrow, Balenciaga, Prism Portofino, Persol, Isabel Marant (for Oliver Peoples), Tom Ford, Warby Parker, and Saint Laurent.

The sunglasses start at $95 (Warby Parker) and go as high as $620 (the Linda Farrow cat-eye).

Three of the eight movies listed above star Cary Grant.  What does that tell you? He was the coolest, absolutely the coolest.  Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp don’t even come close.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

How To Test Your Silicon Valley Cred (Accdg to November VANITY FAIR)

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!  A 10-point checklist of milestones on the Silicon Valley Road Map to Riches (p. 129, November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair)

  1. Do something incredibly precocious by the time you’re in high school:  “If you’re coming up on high school graduation and haven’t created something marketable or hacked someone major, you’re way behind.”
  2. Drop out of college:  “If Harvard or Stanford wasn’t good enough for Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or the Yahoo founders, surely it’s not good enough for you.”
  3. Park yourself in a garage:  “Move to the San Francisco Bay Area, crash with friends, and sleep on a futon while you search for a garage where you can launch your start-up . . . “
  4. Have your eureka moment:  “In your mission statement, involve the buzzwords creative destruction, paradigm shift, or mobile anything.”
  5. Meet with an angel investor:  “. . .  try to run into Ashton Kutcher.”
  6. Take a trip out to Sand Hill Road:  “Go fishing for Big Money and persuade Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, or Greylock Partners to fund your next round of financing.”
  7. Embrace failure, and pivot:  “Just because your idea doesn’t work doesn’t mean you’ve failed.  Retrench, reiterate, reconvene . . . “
  8. Make the Grand Conference Tour:  “Book your ticket to Sun Valley to make your presentation to bigwigs at the Allen & Co. conference.”
  9. Show up on the cover of Wired and Bloomberg Businessweek.
  10. Now, decide how to cash in:  “Time to set up a meeting about an I.P.O. with Goldman Sachs and put down some money on a Tesla Roadster . . . ” or “sell out to Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or AOL . . . “

Also, self simply cannot believe that next week, she is dropping by the grand Miami International Book Fair, for the first time ever, and the keynote author is:  DAN BROWN.

Is this for real?  Is the universe playing some kind of cruel trick on self?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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