27 April 2007

Describing: Jeff Koons

Koons, who is fifty-two, looks very much the same as he did at thirty—trim and boyish, with neatly barbered brown hair and the sort of unfinished features that seem to be peculiarly American. He was eager to show me around.

—Calvin Tomkins, in "The Turnaround Artist" (Apr. 23)

Jeff Koons (b. January 21, 1955) is an American mixed-media artist noted for his use of kitsch imagery. His works are among the most expensive in the world for a contemporary artist.

20 April 2007

Describing: Gunter Sachs

Only liquids were consumed. I celebrated with him. The last thing he said to me, at five o'clock the next morning, was that I was a girl, a coward, because I insisted I had had enough.

Hundreds of eager young men tried to emulate Rubi's manner, accent, and way with women. No one observed him more closely than Gunter Sachs, a hollow-eyed German with a protruding lip and a cowboy gait."

—From "Princes, Playboys, and High-class Tarts," by Taki Theodoracoupolous.

Fritz Gunter Sachs (b. November 14, 1932) is a German mathematician, photographer, and multi-millionaire industrialist.

Morning breaks on the newsroom

Backlog of three New Yorkers to read, plus the one retrieved from Waterhouse's car. Huge paper on 'representations of masculinity in the media' due Monday. I'm drawing a line from a colonial pamphlet, The Boys' Own Paper, to modern-day lad-mags like Maxim. While I'm spouting sociologica all weekend, I want you to do something that makes your cheeks ruddy.

13 April 2007

I went to my first ballet

Yesterday, on the very day I was carping about men's clothing with Stephen Connolly, an invitation to the ballet flung me into the great generational sartorial divide—What belt goes with what?
Me, showered, in a navy suit and white shirt: "Help, everyone, I'm a little confused about belt selection."

Girlfriend, on the phone: "Don't listen to your father—black never goes with blue. Wear the oxblood belt and shoes."

Father, truculently: "If I took you to any men's shop in the city in a blue suit and that belt, they would think you'd walked off a farm."
The ballet? A thrill ride for the ages.

The clothes? I split the difference—black belt and oxblood shoes—and tried to keep my jacket buttoned. Wrong, I know: you shouldn't compound error with indecision.

I'm leaning toward dressing the way that young women prefer it, but I think it may set a bad precedent.

Glad for any guidance here.

(JJB Photo: "Bag.")

12 April 2007

On Tarantino

I think the issue I lost contained a review of "Grindhouse"—that new double feature by Quentin Tarantino and the other guy.

I'm working hard on an article about funeral music (by the way, you can still vote for your song), but I'm going to go and seek the review out later, and treat it like a sorbet for my brain. In my heart, I hope it's by Denby, and that he does Tarantino a little ultraviolence, but I'm willing to accept another result.

Having seen the TV commercials for "Grindhouse," though, I'm bracing for another queasily masturbatory homage to a 1970s schlock-action genre. I've never resented a director so much as I did Tarantino, after watching "Kill Bill I."

Anyone disagree with Denby that "Kill Bill" was "what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap"? Taipei Davey?

(JJB Photo: "9 Alma.")

10 April 2007

What would Remnick do?

As you can tell by the previous post, New Yorker-philes, I'm reading Gigi Mahon's "The Last Days of The New Yorker." I need something while I'm jonesing: I left the latest issue of the magazine in Waterhouse's car on the way out to PoCo and I'm three days from a new one in the mail.

The book, as you'd expect, refers to the magazine frequently. There's a quirk of capitalization, however: Mahon capitalizes the "the" only when citing the name of the magazine by itself.
At The New Yorker there was mixed reaction to the news.
They discussed the New Yorker's business prospects.
He presided over a New Yorker annual meeting.
He was leaving The New Yorker to take a job at Hearst.
I have to admit, I'd never thought about the article this way. I'd always assumed it was ponce and chauvinism that compelled The New York Times or The Economist to uppercase the "the." Of course, I'd never seen nine permutations of a journal title on the same page of text before.

Is this the way you wield the article, or is it just a thing between Mahon and her editor?

(JJB Photo: "Sinkmaster.")

Describing: William Shawn

Shawn was a small, dignified man with a balding head, large ears, and rosy cheeks who spoke in a high-pitched, wavering voice. He took great care to select the correct words when he spoke, and his speech was filled with painful pauses, especially when he was in front of a group. He was unfailingly polite, courtly, gracious, and formal in manner. He dressed in dark suits and ties, which he neither shed nor loosened during working hours.

Everything about him was unobtrusive. His shoulders slouched some and his chin seemed to tuck toward his chest. He gave the appearance of a man who would prefer to be invisible.

Gigi Mahon, in "The Last Days of The New Yorker" (1988)

William Shawn, who died in 1992, edited The New Yorker from 1952 to 1987.

07 April 2007

Describing: Paul Wolfowitz

"Wolfowitz, who is sixty-three, has jug ears, hazel eyes, a furrowed brow, and thinning gray hair that he combs to the right. He is a rumpled but unflappable traveller, seemingly oblivious of bad weather, uncomfortable transportation, and lack of sleep, as well as of the antiwar protesters who tend to appear wherever he goes."

—John Cassidy, in The Next Crusade (Apr. 9)

Paul Wolfowitz, now president of the World Bank, was a primary architect of the American war in Iraq.

05 April 2007

My last six Google searches

A modern Rorschach test, yes. Make of it what you will.
  • Haber Bosch
  • "best-connected"
  • "most well-connected"
  • "blood sweat and tears"
  • "blood sweat and tears" nhl
  • "infant hats" "knife play"
And yours? (Waggle your cursor over the 'entry' field.)

03 April 2007

Can an editor dazzle?

You judge. Is this Coldcut mash-up full of sharp cuts or just cheap hacks and misquotes?

You don't need to be an anarchist to find it cool, but it doesn't hurt.

This end of term is like a long car accident. I'll be back soon.