Well, today's new issue of The L Magazine is a double issue, out through November 11th. This is, we think, a good thing, because otherwise we would have a new issue out the day after the election, and nobody in our office wants to come up with that issue's cover, so whew. So instead we'll look a little forward and a little back, and a little at random stuff, it'll be fun!
Like the fun we had imagining who will actually end up running the country fairly soon. In our fantasy cabinets, we imagine the bipartisan compromise cabinet, ideal cabinet, and Krazy Kelebrity Kabinet (4tehlulz!) (I don't know what that phrase means?) for both McCain and Obama. For what it's worth, our speculation about Gates, Hagel, Daschle and a former Clinton Treasury Sec (though we went with Rubin) is echoed in the current, much less funny New York cover story, so, um, so there.
Plus, a couple of timely online exclusives: Chris Mathias runs down 10 recent political books that you can read, and then quote around people who haven't read them, so that they think you're as smart as Babs Ehrenreich or Joe Stiglitz. And!, our how-the-other-half-lives correspondent Jessica Hall sits in on a recent meeting of downtown New York City's remaining Yippies, as they brainstorm helpful (and silly) ways out of the Great New Depression.
Another way out of the Depression? Dating! Specifically, NPR-sponsored dating. Ever wondered what goes on at "singles events"? Read Jamie Peck's embedded account, and wonder no more, or continue to wonder because presumably they're all different.
Plus, Laurel Pinson runs down the best and worst style moments of the election, and confesses, "Cindy McCain scares the bejesus out of me," which is: correct. Meanwhile, the Conscientious Objector applauds the Obamas for adopting a shelter dog, and Audrey Ference, The Natural Redhead talks about internet porn, sort of. And more, pick us up and hold us close, close to your heart.
Secretary of Plumbing, ha ha, we are hilarious.
The Business/Investing/Finance section of Publisher's Lunch has become my favorite part of this weekly deal announcement email now that its masquerading as a ridiculous Self-Help section. My, how quickly things change.
This week, Jill and Daniel Keto sold Don't Get Caught With Your Skirt Down: A Practical Girl's Recession Guide, which was pitched as "Skinny Bitch meets Suze Orman." It's amazing that combination can actually exist now. Two Bitches On A Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style is forthcoming from Karen Conner and Rosalyn Feldberg. Because it's so feisty when you refer to gals who save their monies as "bitches." Oh, and Charles Geisst offers up Collateral Damage, which is about, like, interest rates and credit-card and mortgage-disclosure documents or something.
The important thing, ladies, is that before long we'll have the proper tools to look good and feel good
while the Dow takes nosedives and we arrive each day in fear of pink
slips and shattered American Dreams! Because doing self-explanatory
stuff like, er, I dunno, bringing lunch to work and trying not to buy a
new shirt every week -- or, um, making sure you have underwear on, if,
in fact, you do get caught with your skirt down (worst title ever) --
isn't the most goddamn obvious thing in the world.
Who said nobody wants to read books anymore? The publishing industry is gonna be just fine!
Every week or two weeks, I sit down to write the synopses for the L's repertory film listings, and every week or two weeks I go hmm and add a dozen or so previously unheard-of titles to my mental list of Movies I Will Have Seen Before I Die. I am not making as much progress on said List as I would like to be; not helping in the matter is Scandinavia House, which tonight kicks off a new series on The Golden Age of Finnish Cinema (the 30s-70s, if you're scoring at home, which seems to be potentially more than an Age), featuring a lot of rare screenings of not particularly available but nevertheless crucial-sounding movies. It begins tonight (and repeats on Saturday) with the 18th century peasant love story Juha, from a director, Nyrki Tapiovaara, who made several lauded late-30s dramas before disappearing for good during the Second World War (he was 28).
Jump, jump for more apparently classic Finnish cinema, and the FREE VODKA, in all caps per thelmagazine.com's blog stylebook.
The L's Lauren Beck went to CMJ last week and probably had more fun than you -- because she actually braved all those terrifying "limited badge" shows -- and totally got in. Was it luck? Or the fact that Broken Social Scene made her their 701st member? Find out in her recap of the week in music that was.
The Muslims at Mercury Lounge, Thursday 10pm
The Muslims played 10 shows during their time at CMJ. I'm not sure what number their show at Mercury Lounge put them at, but they seemed to have gotten pretty comfortable with playing on a strict schedule -- six songs in 18 minutes, each one impeccably tight and incessantly catchy. I like to call them "San Diego's answer to the Strokes" because I have a penchant for unoriginal music writing, and also, because they sound like a sun-baked version of the Strokes. For a man with exactly one facial expression (the I-don't-care-enough-to-move-my-face gaze) and few words ("Thank you, we're the Muslims"), frontman Matt Lamkin may have been blasé, but was also miraculously far from boring. He cupped the mic like he was holding on for dear life and sashayed his long-limbed body around the stage as if feeding a nervous tic. Needless to say, every low-cut Converse All-Star in the crowd was moving, albeit ever so casually and coolly.
Jukebox the Ghost at Mercury Lounge, Friday 1am
There's something to be said about mothers who coerce their children into piano lessons; it's because of them that bands like Jukebox the Ghost exist. Thanks to three Suburban Moms, we now have three recent college grads playing bouncy piano-laden pop with a quirky, theatrical flair. High-pitched "Ooohs!" and "Ha's" punctuate lyrics that could've been lifted from a meticulously folded note passed between homeroom and algebra ("Oh my God, if I tell him, he'll tell her, and then she'll know I like her!!"), save for the three-part ballad involving the apocalypse and outer space. ("This one's about fire and brimstone," they explained.) After an unfortunate series of van breakdowns and lost auto parts that left them stranded along the Nevada border earlier in the week, Jukebox the Ghost drove two days straight before arriving in NYC just an hour or so before their set. Despite self-professed exhaustion, they were nothing but eager, earnest and utterly enjoyable -- and, damn, those songs are still playing in my head.
Broken Social Scene at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Friday 10pm
Biblioburro. A 4,800-title mobile lending library in the remote northern part of Colombia, traveling from town to town on the backs of two donkeys.
Biblioburro. Say it aloud, it brings such joy. (And read the article — and look at the slideshow — since it is a ridiculously heartening and helpful reminder that books will save the world if we let them.) Biblioburro. Just rolls off the tongue, you couldn't keep it on your tongue if you wanted to, oops there it rolls away, goodbye, goodbye Biblioburro, goodbye.
I had my suspicions -- I guess we all did -- but I never thought the Page Six gossips would be the one to bust Lydia Hearst for having her Page Six Magazine columns ghostwritten (!!) by a reporter. Although, after she quit in a huff on Monday and, in the process, tried to throw the publication that printed her monthly diatribes under the bus, the snipe seemed rather inevitable. Why all the fuss? Oh, Page Six just went ahead and printed a column that dissed the Hearst Corporation -- her family's company. But Lydia insists she didn't say anything bad! Whoa, haha, yeah, err, big whoops, she actually really absolutely did. Poor socialites. Crows Page Six:
The publishing heiress/model claims she wrote all her columns. She didn't. She was inter viewed by a reporter, who put her thoughts into cohesive paragraphs. She claims she never criticized Hearst Corp. But she did. Exact words: "They're having events every night and shutting down magazines. I think it's excessive . . . People should focus more on work. It's a lot more important than parties at the moment." After Hearst canceled its Christ mas party, Page Six Magazine went back to Lydia for further comment, and this is her e-mailed reply: "I do think they should cut back on events, but it is a bit sever [sic] to cut back on the Christmas party, that's like the joke in the Scrooge films where the holiday parties and bonuses are canceled." A Page Six Magazine editor said, "As this statement seemed overly harsh towards her family company, we decided to edit it out to protect her." With Hearst falsely accusing her editors of fabricating, she no longer deserves such protection.
Whee! You can practically hear the cackling sewn into the subtext no? Guess Lydia doesn't envision herself a feminine Hemmingway after all. Thankfully, Ashley Olsen still fancies him and can help keep his name relevant to the Today's Youth, none of whom ever read books anymore. Or can get a job in media. Because they're too busy, with the blogs and the Twitters. Lucky for them, looks like Page Six has a columnist slot open! Who will rise to the occassion? It can easily be written in Facebook status update-style. That couldn't be much worse than what Lydia (and her journalistic minion) churned out.
Tomorrow is the deadline, so commence with the witty scribbling, please!
The L Magazine is now accepting submissions for our 2008 Comix Issue. Submissions should exemplify a unique artistic style and variety of subject matter. All work should be submitted as completed, final artwork, black and white or color.
Submissions should be one of the following three sizes (no bleed):
- 1/4 page, 4.635"w x 1.794"h
- 1/2 page, 4.635"w x 3.755"h
- 1 full page, 4.635"w x 7.875"h
300dpi, JPEG, TIFF or PDF documents.
Submission deadline is WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2008. Please send all submissions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PSA: Get an Absentee Ballot, If You Will Need One
New Yorkers: today is the last day you can mail off for an absentee ballot — download the form at the NYC Board of Elections site and have it postmarked today, or walk into one of their offices (the Brooklyn one is around Borough Hall) before 5pm. (You can also vote early, on weekdays, at said locations, if you're registered here.)
If you're living here but from somewhere else in the state, here is the state Board of Elections page for it, to mail today to your County Board.
Out-of-staters check your own state's BoE site for absentee info, but today would seem to be the day.
At first, Sarah Palin pretended to ignore the swirling commentary surrounding her $150,000 RNC-subsidized wardrobe, even when other Republicans called the numbers "embarrassing" and the Times's Eric Wilson got Glamour editrix Cindi Leive on the record, saying "Honey, I could have dressed you for a lot less than that." Zing! It's hah-hah because it's true. Where is Rachel Zoe when someone truly needs her and her photographic-gown memory?
But as we near the End Times, or, whatever, last few days of this campaign, Palin felt the need to get her digs in at a rally in Florida. She said she couldn't wait to give back the fancy duds so that she could get back to shopping at Out of the Closet, her fave hometown consignment shop. Um, guess she didn't realize she'd be bringing a lawsuit upon the store in the process. WWD reports (and offers this fabulous photo of Palin and a very cute Target pup -- are those real, FUR mits? Hi, PETA!):
Unfortunately for the Alaskan shop, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has operated charity resale stores under the same name in California and Florida since 1990. It registered the moniker as a trademark in 1997. In a teleconference Monday, the group, which describes itself as the nation's largest HIV and AIDS nonprofit, said it sent a cease and desist letter to the Anchorage store. It also threatened a trademark suit if it wasn't appeased, and invited Palin to donate her campaign wardrobe to its own Out of the Closet operations after the election.Oh dear, just when you thought Fashion-Gate couldn't get any more ridiculous! Please, though, let's take a step back, because we're supposed to be talking about the ISSUES, people, insists The View's Elizabeth Hasselbeck in Palin's defense -- not sexist matters such as what a Veep candidate wears. That's silly and unecessary and wastes the time we could be using to spread vicious rumors about that socialist-loving terrorist friend Barack Obama and his terrible, terrible connections. "But enough about clothes and hairdos and high heels," Palin reiterated at the rally yesterday. "I want to talk about the important things." Cool, so, like, how about that socialism! It's gonna be heaps of fun under Obama's reign. Maybe we'll even get to wear awesome vintage polyester uniforms instead of cruel red pumps made by a tween-targeted brand called Naughty Monkey.
The Peter Blum Gallery is not necessarily known for exhibiting historical works, but following the Francisco de Goya exhibit this summer is another seemingly off-beat choice in their smaller Soho space: a complete set of the early 20th century Dutch arts journal Wendingen. While the choice to show Goya's series The Disasters of War can be seen as a timely political statement, Wendingen rings a bit of nostalgia, and not exclusively because Blum grew up in the Netherlands. Taking a good look at the detail, craftsmanship, and unique design decisions of the long defunct journal is enough to awe (at least a little bit) any current day magazine consumer.
Immediately notable about the design -- and in part the reason this journal had such a difficult time getting a printer on board in the beginning -- is the square format, which is modeled after the size and shape of a Japanese Tatami mat. The references to Eastern design don't stop there, but the Tatami mat in particular, which is not only flooring but also the standard single unit in traditional Japanese architecture, was meaningful to the Architect founders of Wendingen. Organized by the Amsterdam art society Architectura et Amiticia and edited by the architect Hendricus Theodorus Wijdeveld until 1925, Wendingen's issues were often focused on the progressive Amsterdam school of architecture.
By surveying all 116 issues front and back, it becomes quite clear that
there was absolutely no attempt at consistency between cover designs
from month to month. Each month a contemporary artist would design the
cover, including the magazine's title in whichever typeface suited his
overall style, therefore completely ignoring the now indispensable idea
of the logo. Popular design styles included New Kunst, the Dutch
variety of Art Nouveau, more angular than the also present curving
French version, as well as Symbolist and abstract forms. The iconic El
Lissitzky issue is actually as much of a hiccup in the overall look of
the issues as any: though there was no overall consistency in design,
there is still noticeably only one truly Constructionist cover.
Although each issue was themed -- for example dedicated to Russian icons, Hindu sculpture, aerial photography, Diego Rivera, Frank Lloyd Wright (seven issues), dance and so on -- the cover design did not necessarily reflect what was inside the magazine. The Gustav Klimt issue does incorporate gold paint into the cover design but the references to the artist stop there, even though the entire issue is one long article about his work. The result of this freedom is a collection of limited edition (650 issue run in the beginning) lithographs and woodcut prints that are hand bound with raffia: each copy itself a distinct work of art (and priced accordingly).
Having the opportunity to view each issue in succession creates a visual history of Wendingen where clues to design and political concerns as well as business issues pop up through patterning. For example, during the first year of publication (1918) the journal had advertisements on its back cover for a Dutch cement company. By the end of this year, however, there was a consensus among the board of directors that they would only run small ads on the inside on the last pages, so for the first two issues of the following year the back covers are completely empty. Eventually, the artists who were creating the covers began to bleed their designs around back, or even design separate works for the second available space.
Wendingen was surely elitist, expensive, and not very successful in German or English markets, but the innovations in design and the pains taken in printing -- including accordion binding and hard cover "deluxe" options -- as well as the results of artistic freedom matched with quality production are worth a first hand look. The show stands as an argument for the longevity of limited editions and uncompromising craft.
Wendingen: A Journal for the Arts, 1918-1932
Peter Blum Gallery, 99 Wooster St.
Closes November 1
Far from Vietnam is a movie from 1967 that's screened, watched, discussed, far less than you'd think it would be given that it's directed by Jean-Luc Godard (at the height of his formalist Marxist influence), the poetic documentarian Joris Ivens, the livejournalist of the French New Wave Agnes Varda, the American-in-Paris photographer William Klein, the modernist-chic time traveler Alain Resnais, the New Wave also-ran Claude Lelouch (there were always a bunch of second-tier directors attached to these kinds of projects), and the mercurial international man of semiotic mystery Chris Marker.
This assemblage of the work of the various directors is about the war — the one in Vietnam? the one in Viet-fucking-nam! — and it's variously musing and pre-'68 agitprop, featuring interviews with Ho Chi Minh and Castro and Vietnamese citizens and protestors, newsreel footage and TV commercials and more. Basically, it is the late 60s, and it's playing tonight at Light Industry.
The current New York cover story, by John Heilemann, is called The Next New Deal. It's crystal ball-gaze (ew, ball-gaze) to the early days of an Obama administration, is kind of a catch-all, lots of horse-race stuff and inside baseball, but when he finally gets to policy ("A new energy economy," a stimulating middle-class tax cut, amid "wars between deficit hawks and public-investment liberals") Heilemann's really compelling, and reminds me at least of things Obama has been frequently talking about, like energy and infrastructure, in the context of a growing consensus that his will be an FDR-style presidency. Infrastructure and energy, coincidentally, are things discussed in the current Harper's cover story, a forum with the eye-catching title How to Save Capitalism.
Just getting to Ginia Bellafante's piece on the Olsen twins: hooray, they are rife and relevant for more coverage because of their new book Influence (Razorbill.) The authors will sign books tomorrow, October 28 at Barnes & Noble, 33 E 17th St, between Broadway and Park, at 12:30 pm. Freak out or ignore this information, as you see fit.
The Y.A. title contains interviews with famous designers and friends, giving the author-twin-moguls both an opportunity to collect advice about how to approach their next phase as businesswomen while simultaneously providing an excuse to put out yet another blasted fancy fantasy product with their name on it. Query: who does it better, Disney or Dualstar? I'm not talking quantity, Disney has factories and cross-platform branding that Dualstar can't quite match, but still the two seem worthy of competition. If not now, soon.
Bellafante's piece offers up a platter of the sort of delectable quotes you don't normally get from Mary-Kate and Ashley, given their notorious anti-interview status. Plus, this sharp observation (do we buy the fact that Ashley hearts Great Expectations and Mary-Kate swoons for Walt Whitman?):
Although it is nearly impossible to imagine Paris Hilton citing Dickens, what most distinguishes the Olsens from their peers in the tabloids is a resistance to certain kinds of recklessness on the one hand and a decidedly less egomaniacal approach to branding on the other.
Most wondrous of all is the Times's
"Related" sidebar. You can reread the announcement of the
real estate purchase that marked the Olsens' start as NYU students, the story
MK's ashcan chic into the mainstream, and even go way, way, way back on the
Interwebs to 2001, when MK & A were just 14 and premiering their
Family sit-com So Little Time. Also noteworthy: their own
blog, which is kind of ridiculous -- most of the posts come from
someone called "The Mystery Blogger," (an underpaid minion?) although occassionally one of the
twins will chime in with a quick, personality-free blurb.
What's most striking to me isn't how quickly they've shape-shifted from fresh-faced child stars into beguiling, weird, wacky grown women. It's the fact that they have been working themselves as a brand for longer than many women nearly twice their age -- Anne Slowey, Rachel Zoe, Rachael Ray, holler? -- funny how they figured it out first (and perhaps best), which is how they're able to go from Wal-Mart to Madison Ave without blinking an eye. Dynamic duo, indeed. Oh: I will never forget the day I saw MK's byline in the Styles section, gushing about Chanel bags. Maybe she and Bono can co-author some Op-Ed columns in 2009. That should help the Gray Lady's numbers!
I do have to wonder, though, what kind of rigors Bellafante had to endure to interview both the twins -- they refuse to speak to press together -- and how noticeably different they are in their mannerisms. Bellfante calls Ashley the one who is more "entreupeneurial," which, I mean, c'mon: code-speak for the puppet-master who is truly running this elegant show behind the scenes?
This is contributor Jessica Hall's weekly column, in which she
interviews the street and homeless people she meets around the city.
If I were to be honest, I would say that I enjoy being with Roger because he thinks I'm Wonder Woman. The last time I saw him was in the park. It was spring, and I was sitting on a bench under the trees when he appeared with a duffle bag full of Budweisers. He didn't remember that I had interviewed him previously, but he did want to know what I did with my golden lasso.
Roger had been staying at the Bowery Mission. He is still homeless. He left the Mission and is currently sleeping on the steps of a church in lower Manhattan.
I recently ran into him where I met him, at the entrance to the 6 train at Astor Place, panhandling. He was very interested in talking about the upcoming election and the presidential candidates.
Roger Dennis, 38
So, what's the difference between McCain and Obama?
On Saturday afternoon, the Brooklyn Indie Market converted itself into a Circus of the Steampunks: half a dozen tables were set up under the festive red-and-white-striped tent on Smith and Union St to showcase anachronistic bric-a-brac, quaint Victorian-themed threads, and jewelery made out of doll's heads (seriously cool). Plus, tarot readings! And vintage-y decorated cupcakes!
The space was admittedly small and crowded, but the wares were wonderful -- from delicate heart necklaces by Rebecca Shepard to some fantastic deconstructed pieces by Sylvia Holden. If you were in Carroll Gardens this weekend, in desperate need of a pair of brass goggles, "The Grand Chrono'nauts Tea" was definitely the place to be. A few more pictures are after the jump, and again, click here for more info about the designers. If you missed them at the market, you can always find them on Etsy.
A series of letters to people I don't know.
Dear Tifanie White,
Was this what you dreamed of during your first day at beauty school?
I know you were kinda last week's news, but I can't quite get over you or that picture of you in your snazzy yellow blouse and black vest, deftly applying face powder to John McCain skulking forehead. Basically, I just really want to know whether you are actually physically able to stare into his eyes while you're pasting some cake-like foundation and blush onto his sagging jowls. Or, you know, if his handlers told you not to look directly into them, for fear that you'll, um, turn into a spitting lizard-demon?
Also, I think it's great that you spell your name with one "f" and an "ie" at the end. It's very Saved By the Bell. You're okay in my book, Tif. Keep on keepin' on.
Dear Ashley Todd,
Good gracious gravy, Ashley. Seriously. SER-I-OUSLY. What? Why? You DO realize how mirrors work, don't you? That when you CARVE A LETTER onto your FACE in a refelctive surface -- instead of getting some other McCain minion to help you in your idiotic mission of lies -- it comes out backwards. Right? Holy pwoar, here is what Wonkette's Ken Layne had to say about that wee stunt you pulled:
"This isn't the sad tale of some tragic loser who makes up a story to get attention or whatever. This evil little troll made a cold, calculated effort to give Pennsylvania to her candidate and her party leader, John McCain, with a foul racist fantasy deliberately constructed to horrify white people who had slowly been won over by Barack Obama. I hope she lives a hundred years and that nobody ever forgets her hideous stunt."Hah, wow. People are so tired of hating on John McCain that a lot of them seem to be transferring their unspeakable rage onto you! That must suck. It's kind of hard to feel sorry for you, given that this was a quote on your MySpace page: "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths (sic) off, but its better if you do."
"The following day, no one died," begins Jose Saramago's Death with Interruptions; it's a thought experiment, as his books are often described, but he maybe doesn't take his conceit seriously enough.
Welcome to our weekly feature in which I, Gary, The L's wooden goose, shall answer the questions asked of Audrey Ference, The Natural Redhead, in the current issue of the L.
I am a single mom with a young daughter. My boyfriend always wants me to dress up like a schoolgirl. Should I be worried? How do I tell him how creepy this is?
Just imagine how awkward things will get once your daughter becomes an elementary school teacher who volunteers as a nurse on weekends and works as a maid for a little extra cash during the summer.
You are an idiot. No one has the right to make false rape claims and…
Henry, awesome article! Dead on! If you send me mailing address I'd be happy to…
I'm not the absolute biggest fan of this movie (that is, I thought it was…