Homo homini rodentius est

SPY at 20

I attended a reunion of the founders of SPY Magazine, the publishing phenom of the 80s and early 90s that revolutionized satirical humor in this country and paved the way for many [lesser imitators] to come. The panel discussion with Kurt Andersen, Graydon Carter and editor George Kalogerakis was hosted by New York Times culture editor David Carr. The sold-out event was held in the ornate Celeste Bartos Forum in the main branch of the New York Public Library and was timed to coincide with the release a new book, [SPY: The Funny Years], an anthology of annotated greatest hits from the magazine’s salad days.

I’ve rarely seen a room so filled with sleek, attractive and thin people (the Upper East Side dame who sat in front of me couldn’t have weighed more than 90 pounds and balanced on the middle of her seat like a couture pipe cleaner). The SPY reunion brought out the NY media A-list, most of whom I knew not — though they all seemed to know each other. One person I did recognize was Gawker’s Nick Denton, who sailed in after many had taken their seats and made a circle of the room looking to get as close as possible to the front, where the machers clustered. He sidled up to a clutch of black-clad schmoozers and waited for them to acknowledge him as he made motions to claim a seat. They made way without breaking chatter for a moment, apparently not knowing who the hell he was. Well, at least I wasn’t alone in my anonymity.

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Utterly Clueless

Ted Haggard, the latest naughty Reverand to get caught with his pants down (and, in his case, way way down), has been [formally dumped] from his job as spiritual leader to 30 million evangelicals. To give you an idea of just how clueless these people can be when it comes to human nature, check out [the advice] from Pastor Mark Driscoll on how church leaders can avoid getting into similar situations. David Goldstein at The Huffington Post was the one to unearth this gem, noting the suggestion from Driscoll that a leading cause of adulterous, drug-fueled, gay sex is… fat wives.

The saddest part — these idiots are leaders of millions of people.

War is Stupid

I was speechless the first time I saw it… and I’m still speechless.

Short Bites

Obese Drug Addict with Erectile Dysfunction Criticizes Parkinson’s Patient
Corpulent radio talk show blowhard, Rush Limbaugh (a man who knows something about self-medication) must’ve thought it would be a good idea to take on the “Hollywood elite” when he savaged Michael J. Fox over his support of stem cell research by claiming that he went off his meds as a theatrical stunt. It’s a sign of how out of touch and desperate the Repubs are that their usual schtick isn’t even playing well [in the heartland]. Further bad news for them, Zogby shows in his [latest polling] that Dems are comfortably ahead across the country as we head into the election.

Beating the Gay Drum
The recent NJ Supreme Court decision that requires the legislature in that state to come up with some way to balance the civil rights claims of gay families against those of straights is either [a boon] to the Repubs [or not]. It may be telling that even Slate’s resident [bushy-eyed bigot] — no friend to gay couples — seems to be preparing himself for the inevitability of gay civil unions that are, legally anyway, equivalent to the m-word.

Saw III Rips into America
As a sign of how ass backwards morality has become in Bush Country, while controversy still rages over whether gay couples should be encouraged to form families, not a peep from the conservative moral scolds about the fact that the [number one movie] in the country is a viciously brutal torture porn flick more obscene than anything seen at the most decadent gay pride parade. Some people are, finally, [asking] why the MPAA ratings board keeps giving a pass to these snuff films.

Madonna Dearest

It was just about two weeks ago that the first reports surfaced that Madonna was adopting an African baby. Now, the adoption is being challenged by African child welfare organizations that claim Malawian law was side-stepped for preferential treatment, the child’s father is claiming that he was duped into signing away parental rights and Madonna finds herself immersed in a controversy that may be the least welcome of her career.

With controversy swirling, what is a sincere woman to do but… go on Oprah, of course! Like good mothers in similar circumstances the world over, Madonna set up a satellite feed into the Chicago studios of the Oprah Winfrey Show so that she could decry the evil influences of media while utilizing… well, media. If you didn’t see it, you missed a masterwork of public relations. The ploy was clever in that it allowed her to raise the specter of a villain who is disliked even more than she is — the media — while setting up a necessary ally in her attempt to discredit the boy’s father, who has claimed she duped him into approving adoption when he only wanted foster care.

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