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31 December 2008

Change We Could Live With

My New Year's Resolutions are standard and cliche- go to bed earlier, eat less, eat better.. yada yada yada...
But, here are two funny NYR pieces I came across this week, because making resolutions for other people is way more fun. Have a super duper New Year's Eve, see you next year.

MEMO to Brad Pitt: What’s up with the porkpie hat and the slacker pants, fella? Are you a movie star or do you work in a record store?

Note to the former Mrs. Guy Ritchie: time to send the shtick in to the star shop for new brake pads and another one of those trademark reinventions. Eat a cookie while you’re at it, Madge. Lose the leotard.

A heads-up to Lindsay Lohan and Silvio Berlusconi and Mary Matalin and Brandon Flowers and John Mayer and Miley Cyrus and President Bush (watch out for those size 10s!) and yes, even the folks at Zagat.

It’s a new year. You’ve all been caught repeating yourself too often, giving the same trademark gopher-face smile to the media; having too many “private” girlfriend spats in public; putting your foot in a mouth stretched so surgically taut it’s a wonder you can still wedge a shoe past the caps; and reworking hoary formulas, sad routines or “reluctant” Lothario scripts to the point where now imminent irrelevance looms.

The time for a makeover is nigh.

Jack Shafer, the editor at large for Slate, spoke for a lot of folks when he let rip recently about the dreary hegemony exercised over the presidential campaign by the same 10 pundits mouthing canned political “insights” as they wagged their big bobbleheads.

“Why does the mere sight of David Broder, Bob Shrum, E. J. Dionne, or Peggy Noonan on television make me want to kill myself?” Mr. Shafer wrote. Did he really need to ask?

This is the time of year when we all flap our gums about changes we have no intention of making. Come Jan. 1 we embark on mass indulgence in fantasies that, just by willing it so, one can acquire thrifty habits, give up martinis, toss the Marlboros, eliminate the muffin top and finally finish reading Proust. Deep down we know that none of this is likely to occur.

And this is why it’s such a pleasure to dispense makeover tips about everyone and everything else.

And so Steven A. Shaw, a founder of the foodie Web site eGullet and author of “Asian Dining Rules,” recently took aim at the shopworn formula behind the Zagat empire, suggesting that the time had come to rework a tired trope.

“I mean, how many of those ‘not terribly pithy’ entries ‘strung together’ from reader ‘comments’ can a person ‘read without going insane?’ ” Mr. Shaw said in an e-mail message. “They need a new song.”

The French D. J. Michel Gaubert says new songs of a different sort are overdue when it comes to the substance abuse of celebrities driven to rehab.

Mr. Gaubert says he is weary of the usual yawn-inducing drug or alcohol or sex addictions that keep tabloids in business and the revolving doors spinning at rehabilitation centers like Cirque Lodge in Utah or Promises Malibu in California. He would like to “hear about other habits.”

How about compulsive nail biting, knuckle cracking or pica, the disorder that causes people to eat substances like cornstarch, chalk or dirt?

Perhaps, though, celebrities eat enough dirt as it is, in their roles as vessels for our imaginings about how they might live fuller lives, dress better for that endless red-carpet loop and stop making dumb choices in men.

TAKE Madonna. For decades the singer has been the billboard image of a shape-shifter, so much so that her makeovers risk seeming overcalculated and stale. Fans with long memories will recall that, before she dieted and exercised to the point where her ex-husband Guy Ritchie reportedly likened her to a “a hunk of gristle,” Madonna was a lovable and slightly chubby pop chick with a charmingly clueless taste for ripped crinolines and fingerless gloves.
For the rest of this article go to this NY Times page.

1 comment:

pansy said...

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