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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vanity Fair Magazine Print Edition Is Real Thin (Media News)

Vanity Fair is this blogger's favorite print magazine to buy at San Francisco International Airport when traveling. "VF," for all of it's faults, does a great job of presenting a certain way of the good life. While it could be more diverse in it's presentation of what that means, Vanity Fair is always an enjoyable read. The problem today is it's shrinking. Check out my video:

Yep. Vanity Fair's January 2011 print mag edition is a full 50 percent smaller in thickness than past issues. VF fans are used to seeing a thick, heavy, magazine, as was the case as recently as the December 2010 mag.

The one with Cher on the cover, wearing fishnets.

Or the April 2010 issue where Michael Douglas announced the new Wall Street movie, and the David Letterman sex scandal was detailed in all of its glory.

Those issues, two of countless many VF's I own, are all damn thick, heavy magazines.

Then, there's Johnny Depp, or the VF issue with Depp on the cover. There's only two words for it: shockingly small.

Curious, a little cyber walking revealed that Conde Nast, the company that owns Vanity Fair and other publications, embarked on an initiative to have its properties think in a more "business like" way. After losing $1 billion in ad revenue in 2009, it's no surprise to lean Conde Nast has some problems, but then, as it's CEO Chuck Townsend pointed out, so does its competition.

Its print competition.

Much was made of Chuck Townsend announcing how well Conde Nast was doing compared with Hearst Corporation and TIME media properties, but that's print. Magazine ad revenue as a whole barely recovered from the recession, and newspapers are just plain taking on water. Print's seen better days and before the Internet World.

The question is what's the future for Vanity Fair?

I can't see VF lasting as a monthly. Quarterly, yes. Monthly, no. Moreover, it's future is in television and multimedia. And it's got to up its audience grab from Oscar-related content.  Why in heck it doesn't emphasize video and video-blogging is beyond me, but the old heads there better wisen up before it's too late. The VF brand can survive, but it's got to grow out of its print-oriented mentality.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

iPhone: At New York's Penn Station, Be Careful When Using It

If you're an iPhone or smartphone owner and find yourself in New York City's Penn Station, as this blogger does frequently when visiting Manhattan, be careful if you need to use it out in the open.  Someone may try to grab it.

I ran across this tweet by Don Van Natta, Jr:

DVNJr Don Van Natta Jr.
Just had a guy try to rip my iPhone out of my hands outside Penn Station. He failed. Try to take my iPhone and you're going to get hurt.

That happened not on Christmas day, today, but on December 21st, but it's still wrong.

Apple needs to build-in voice recognition software that periodically checks in with the user. That way, if someone does steal an iPhone, and it "recognizes" that the user is someone else, the phone will just shut down.

That aside, the person who tried to take his iPhone learned a hard lesson: don't mess with an iPhone owner.

Friday, December 24, 2010

NORAD Santa Tracker - Christmas Eve Santa Tracking

This year, 2010, once again this blogger is following (kinda) the Santa Tracker, but while tree trimming, wine drinking, and talking, and listening to Nat and Frank (Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra).

 But here's my NORAD Santa Tracker Video, because I just had to!

This business of going to the NORAD website to track Santa Claus' trip around the World is rather cool, but I'm in the middle of watching It's A Wonderful Life, so I decided to embed the tracker right here in my blog:

As of 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST, Santa Claus is , well, he's moving really fast! (If the embed doesn't work in your browser, click on the NORAD link.)

Merry Christmas!

Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song

Presenting the Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song, or The Santa Baby 99ers Song, on Christmas Eve.

Donalee King (in photo from Zennie62.com), who goes by Paladinette, at Zennie62.com, created this variation of the classic Christmas Song Santa Baby.

King, a blogger who also has her own blog called Jobless Unite,  is one of the so-called "99ers," those who's unemployment benefits have ran out after the 99-week limit, and seek an extension of benefits, or better yet, a job.

In seeking both, the San Diego resident has become a tireless advocate for the jobless. Her work on this song landed her notice by the LA Times.

The video is below, followed by the lyrics, which are graphic but worth reading and singing...if you dare!

(In fact, if you're in Oakland, California, print out the lyrics, take them down to The Alley at 3325 Grand Avenue, present them to Rod Dibble at the piano, and ask he would accompany you in song. Santa Baby is a song he knows how to play.)

Lyrics to video song Santa Baby - 99ers Style 2010

Congress Baby, the 99ers need a tier 5......to survive
I know you’re HEARTLESS P@#*s But....so what?
My children need some dinner tonight!

The car got repo’d and the rent is awfully late...but wait
You only care for the rich that’s a B*@#H
there’s millions of us dying out here

We can’t afford a Christmas tree
While you’re all buying Cartier at Tiffany
You bailed out banks Greece and Haiti too
I think it’s time the 99ers heard from you

Obama baby, just help the 99ers please
and... don’t tease
Been a really tough year
Out here
I Hope Your change is comin’ tonight

Obama honey, you sold 99ers flat out
no doubt
and now it’s snowing out,
My stomach’s growling
I need some food and shelter tonight

Sherrod honey, Schumer and that Stabenow too
Were through we all trusted you
but senate baby your lies have left us hurtn’ out here

We’re not rich - guess we don’t count
The dirty little secret you won’t talk about
There’ll be no jobs again next Year
It’s time you kicked your senate’s butts into high gear

Congress baby just pretend to care for us poor
once more - come on it’s just a check - so what the heck?
there’s millions of us dying out here!

That’s right I’d rather work than fight
Hurry Congress there’s 99ers dying TONIGHT

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festivus 2010: No Mediaite Festivus? What Gives?

Festivus, that annual celebration for the rest of us, is upon us, once again. But in 2010 Festivus just don't feel like, well, Festivus.

The idea was first introduced in Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld's long-running television comedy, as an alternative to what some perceive as the commericialization of Christmas.

But this time, Festivus doesn't feel like Festivus, and maybe that's because the idea was started by a long-cancelled TV show, rather than a religious event?

At any rate, I know Festivus isn't as huge this year, because Mediaite's not mentioning it at all. Last year, the online media watchdog publication had a Mediaite Festivus of the top 50 media influencers in 2009, and that I talked about in my vlog here:

This year, zip.  Nada.

And while Festivus is a Google Trend, some of the blogs and articles don't seem to be focused on it in the title heading.  Festivus is more the day that, say, an NFL football game is being played.

I think AOL's David Knowles got it right when he observed that Festivus lived on, although Seinfeld reruns were "dated."  I think Festivus is headed in the same direction.  But there's still Christmas, and always will be.

Now, for this blogger, Christmas is about giving, not necessarily buying. It's also a celebration of the time of Christ's birth.

That's forgotten.

An aside.

For some reason there are people who just want to be mean. They want to be mean 24 and 7, and so they hate Christmas. Can't stand it. Those people are sad sacks. There's nothing wrong with being nice to people and giving to them in honor of the birth of Christ, and because it's just a plain nice thing to do.

As I said to someone who explained the common rationale for not celebrating Christmas, in other words, it's commericialized, "Christmas is something you do with society. Why does it have to be about you?"

Don't be selfish. Get into the sprit. Give of yourself.

Happy Festivus and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Michael Vick, Desean Jacskon Punt Return - Eagles Stun Giants 38-31

In what some are calling the second Miracle At The Meadowlands, Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick engineered a dramatic come-from-behind win over the New York Giants 38 to 31.

The Eagles shocked the NY Giants and The World by scoring 21 points in six minutes, and 28 points in seven minutes, going from down 10 to 31, to win the game.

The shocking turn of events started with Vick's 65-yard pass to Brent Celek, and ended with Cal Football Star and now Eagles Wide Receiver Desean Jacskon's amazing 65-yard punt return, which Jackson prolonged to run out the clock.

NY Giants Not Ready For Onside Kick

With about seven minutes remaining, the Eagles tried an onside kick after scoring to make it 31-17. The Giants didn't have their "hands team" ready; the Eagles recovered the kick. Later Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin said (on NFL Network) that he didn't think "they were going to try an onside kick with seven minutes left."

Seriously, Coach Coughlin said that.

Eagles On Top Of The World

The win makes the Eagles if not the front runner, then perhaps number two behind the New England Patriots as Super Bowl favorites. For the New York Giants, Coughlin said they had to "run the table" and win their next two games. It's going to take a great coaching job on his part to overcome this shocking win.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Elaine's, Elaine Kaufman celebrated by Alec Baldwin, Gov. Patterson

The celebrated New York bar and eatery Elaine's was celebrated by celebrities, politicians, New Yorkers and Twitterers after the passing of its founder, Elaine Kaufman, last week. Ms. Kaufman died of complications due to emphysema, and lived to 81 years of age. (Photo courtesy of New York Daily News.)

What's so sad for this blogger is to have gone to New York and visited 21 club (six times including this year), Tribeca Grill, Windows on The World (before the passing of the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center), Trump Bar, Club Macanudo, the model-as-waitress cafe called Coffee Shop, and many other places. But there are three places I've never set foot in and feel as if I still don't know New York for that reason. One of the three places is Elaine's.

This, famous eateries and places around the country, is one way this blogger "keep's score." Everyone has their way, but for me life's filled with many interesting people, events, and experiences, and it's important to stock up on them before you check out. Sadly, I missed meeting Elaine Kaufman before her trip to Heaven.

Now, had I walked into Elaine's last night, I'd have shared space with " Jack Donaghy" for the second time this year.

On Saturday, Actor and Star of NBC's 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin (AKA Phil Tagami), shared the space with New York Governor David Patterson according to Will B who goes by brigantiw on Twitter:

@brigantiw Will B
Alec Baldwin at #Elaines tonight in honor of Elaine Kaufman.
3 Dec via HTC Peep Favorite Retweet Reply

From the looks of the tweets, Elaine's was packed on Saturday night.  Even New York Governor David Patterson stopped by and was spotted "just chilling" by New York Poltical Correspondent Miles Miller who sent this tweet:

imareporter Myles Miller
#GovernorPaterson is chilling with #colallen and #bodietel at #Elaines tonight. #govny
3 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply

As to who h #colallen and #bodietel are, the hashtags lead to nothing, so as of this writing, it's not known.

Home To Celebs, Writers, and Athletes

Elaine's is one of those places that is shaped strictly by the person who started it, and who's name is on the window. From what I've read and watched, Ms. Kaufman is every bit the "living New York Landmark" she was designated to be.

That place, her place, has been immortalized in every way possible. Woody Allen, one of Elaine's most famous regulars, filmed this scene from his classic movie celebration of New York, Manhattan, in Elaine's:

Vanity Fair's John Heilpern wrote a classic piece on her in 2009, in which he ponders why she had not "slugged any of her patrons lately."

The last major celeb (there are scores of minor ones) to have been involved in a physical or verbal joust with Elaine was, most famously, Norman Mailer. But not every celebrity has had such a relationship with Elaine Kaufman.

For example, Rachel Welsh on Twitter:

Raquel_Welch Raquel Welch
So sad about Elaine Kaufman. #Elaines is a NY institution. Such good memories.
4 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
The End of An Era?

I fear that in this hyper politically-correct, male emasculated culture some seem bent on creating in America, we may not see another Elaine's.  I certainly hope I'm wrong. There's nothing wrong with a place where people can be the characters they really are.

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