Sunday, July 22, 2012

With A Little Luck

Katherine Jackson, Mother Of Michael Jackson, Reported Missing

Katherine Jackson, the mother of the pop superstars Michael and Janet Jackson, was reported missing to authorities on Saturday night, according to reports. According to CNN, Jackson's lawyer believed she had been traveling with Rebbie Jackson, her daughter. "I'm concerned that she's not safe," Sandra Ribera, the lawyer, said. Jackson is 82. A police spokesman said that the missing persons report was filed by Trent Jackson, Katherine's nephew. "The report will be referred to the Homicide/Missing Persons Unit, and they will be handling the investigation," Lt. Josh Thai told RadarOnline. Michael's three children have lived with Katherine since their father's death in 2009, Ribera said. Ribera added that Katherine had not contacted the grandchildren in a week. Early Sunday morning, Paris Jackson, Michael's 14-year-old daughter, said the same on Twitter, and asked for the public's help in finding her grandmother. The missing persons report comes in the middle of a heated dispute over Michael's will, and conflicting reports over Katherine's health. Michael's siblings claim the will was forged, and have called for the firing of John Branca and John McClain, the executors of his estate. Michael's will stated that Michael's assets be placed in a family trust and that Katherine be named guardian of his three children. ''Since the passing of Michael, our beloved brother, you have failed to perform your duties as executors of his estate, but what you have not failed at is taking advantage of a grieving mother, father and a grieving family," they said in a letter to the executors. The sibling's letter also said that Jackson had a "mini-stroke." Paris Jackson, Michael's daughter, tweeted at her uncle, Randy Jackson, and accused him of spreading lies, according to ""@randyjackson8 hello dear FAMILY member i don't appreciate you telling everyone things that aren't true thank you very much." "I am going to clarify right now that what has been said about my grandmother is a rumor and nothing has happened, she is completely fine," she tweeted. The posts have since been deleted. - The Huffington Post Paris Jacksoη@ParisJackson retweet if anybody sees my grandmother , please call the authorities or this number— (818)-876-0186 it's the security number .. thank you so much

Greg Ousley Is Sorry for Killing His Parents.

Please Try To Forgive Greg Ousley
Greg's Mom found Greg lying on his stomach, refusing to speak or even look at her. She sat on the edge of the bed and began stroking his back. In the telling, Greg slid into present tense, pantomiming his mother’s caress. “And she keeps saying: ‘What’s wrong, honey? What’s going on with you? Talk to me. Just talk to me.’ ” The 14-year-old boy told his mother that he was scared, that all he ever thought about was murder and suicide. “And as soon as I say that, she takes her hand off my back.” Greg, who is now 33, yanked his hand into the air, as if scalded. “She jumps up — ‘You’re just watching too many movies’ — and walks out the room.” His face crumpled. Over the many hours I had spent with him, he rarely showed emotion, and the abruptness with which this came on seemed to startle and embarrass him. He took a minute to compose himself, then said: “I remember lying there thinking: Man, this is just never going to change. Mom and Dad, they are never, ever gonna listen to me. I’ve got no choice, I’ve got to go through with it.” “Go through with it?” I asked. Greg gave a slow shrug of his shoulders. “Kill them.” Four nights later, at about 11:30, Greg went into his parents’ bedroom with a 12-gauge shotgun and shot his father once in the head. Moments later, as his mother rushed for the telephone in the dining room, he killed her with two more shots. Greg then drove the family pickup truck to his best friend’s house three miles away. He told his friend what he had done and swore him to secrecy. Then he drove back to his home around 4 a.m., parked the pickup in the garage, placed the gun in the kitchen doorway and ran to a neighbor’s house to raise the alarm. The story Greg told the police — that he returned home from a late-night joy ride to find the shotgun on the floor and his mother lying dead just beyond — had holes in it from the outset, and those holes became gaping once his friend revealed what he knew to investigators. By midafternoon the next day, Greg finally broke down at the Kosciusko County sheriff’s office in Warsaw, Ind., and provided a full confession. “I had been thinking about killing them every time I get mad,” he told his interrogator. “They don’t seem to understand me.” Indicative of either his youth or his mental state at that moment, Greg made a forlorn request of the detective: “Please don’t tell my family.” Despite Greg’s age, his case was swiftly waived into the adult justice system. Facing the possibility of life in prison, he accepted a plea agreement of guilty but mentally ill. In early 1994, Greg, then 15, entered the Indiana penitentiary system to begin serving a 60-year sentence. He was one of the youngest adult inmates in the state’s history. - SCOTT ANDERSON

The Geneva Freeport

The Singapore Freeport

Alexander Cockburn Is Dead

When Christopher Hitchens died of cancer last year, Mr. Cockburn did not mince words in a remembrance. “He courted the label ‘contrarian,’ ” Mr. Cockburn said of Mr. Hitchens, “but if the word is to have any muscle, it surely must imply the expression of dangerous opinions. Hitchens never wrote anything truly discommoding to respectable opinion and if he had he would never have enjoyed so long a billet at Vanity Fair.” - COLIN MOYNIHAN

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Time

August 10 - Quad Cinema NYC & August 24 - Laemmle’s Noho 7 Los Angeles

“The Glamorous World of Lloyd and Jocelyne.”

Jocelyne Wildenstein — the millionairess whose good looks have been ravaged by innumerable plastic surgeries aimed at making her look like a cat — is being sued for allegedly backing out of a deal to appear in a documentary. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Transparent Television says it struck a deal with Wildenstein and her designer beau, Lloyd Klein, back in 2007 to appear in a film called “The Glamorous World of Lloyd and Jocelyne.” Wildenstein, the suit notes, “represents herself in the media as a glamorous multimillionaire divorcée and world-recognized socialite who mingles with celebrities in a life of ‘jet-setting’ from one home to the next, each of which are ‘filled with priceless antiques.’ ” She’s also “widely recognized as one of the world’s most notorious users of cosmetic or plastic surgery, having been dubbed in many periodicals as ‘The Cat Woman’ based on her present appearance,” the suit says. The deal called for Wildenstein and Klein to be paid $100,000 for about 15 days of shooting. They were paid $25,000 up front, but when it came time for them to be filmed, they pulled a disappearing act, the suit says. “Despite repeated attempts by Transparent TV’s executives to schedule filming with the defendants from january 2008 to May 2008, the defendants continually made unjustified and meritless excuses and refused to make themselves available,” the suit says. The pair subsequently “made themselves completely unavailable,” causing Transparent TV, which had hoped to do a film and reality show on the pair, “substantial damages,” the suit says. They also refused to return the $25,000, the suit says. Transparent says the entire episode cost it big bucks, and damaged its reputation. It accused the pair of fraud, and is seeking more than $700,000 in damages for their “criminal conduct.” Wildenstein and Klein could not be reached for comment. Wildenstein’s purr-fectly stunning looks first made headlines in 1997, when she was involved in a sensationally ugly split from her billionaire husband, Alec Wildenstein. - NY Post

Friday, July 20, 2012

'Queen of Soul Food' Sylvia Woods died on Thursday at age 86.

Her family said: It is with great honor and profound sorrow that The Woods Family announces the passing of their Matriarch, Sylvia Woods, known to the world as the Queen of Soul Food, who died peacefully the age of 86 today at 4:50 p.m. at her Westchester home. Ms. Woods was surrounded by a host of family and loved ones. Sylvia gallantly battle Alzheimer's for the past several years, but never once lost her loving smile. Sylvia publicly announced at her 80th birthday celebration that she was retiring and passing the torch to her children and grandchildren whom have worked side by side with her and her late husband Herbert building a Soul Food empire for the past 50 years. The Family is thankful for your prayers. In lieu of flowers please the family would appreciate donations made to the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Foundation. - The Root

El Dorado wants to evict trust-fund transsexual

Hit the bricks, smokestack! A chi-chi Upper West Side building wants to boot the trust-fund transsexual who’s been stinking up the joint with her chain smoking. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the co-op board of the El Dorado, at 300 Central Park West, says Diane Wells has ignored its pleas to be more considerate of her neighbors — even refusing to use the air purifiers residents bought her for her ninth-floor apartment. “Wells smokes so heavily that the smoke and odor permeates the elevator and extends as far down as the lobby of the building and at least as high up as the apartments on the 10th floor,” the complaint says. “On multiple occasions, the cigarette smoke and odor [have] filled the entry halls on at least the ninth and 10th floors of building, requiring shareholders to traverse a cloud of smoke between the elevator and their apartment entrances.” The odor “permeates the inside of other shareholders’ apartments,” says the filing on behalf of the El Dorado, which has been home to the likes of Alec Baldwin, Bono, Michael J. Fox and Marilyn Monroe over the years. While Wells has lived — and smoked — in the apartment for about a decade, the problem apparently started this year. The building blames it on holes in the walls of Wells’ four-bedroom apartment, as well as a hole in the plumbing line. Management has offered to seal the holes, but Wells, 59, has denied them access, the suit says. When she refused the building’s requests to buy air purifiers for her apartment, fed-up residents bought her some on their own. But she’s refused to use them, the suit says. Wells, who was born a man, also has fallen behind on her common charges to the tune of $18,000 and is $42,000 short in the escrow account she agreed to maintain in return for living in the apartment, which used to belong to her late mother. The building is seeking an order barring her from smoking until the apartment is repaired — and an order giving her the heave-ho. She could not be reached for comment yesterday. Her multimillionaire mom, Constance Cheney, died in 2007. A Manhattan judge allowed Wells to stay there pending the outcome of a battle for her mother’s estate in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, where she’s duking it out with her two siblings. - DAREH GREGORIAN

12 shot dead at Batman screening - Please Try To Forgive James Holmes

A 24-year-old gunman killed at least 12 people – including an infant reported to be only three months old – and injured at least 50 in a shocking massacre at a theater just outside Denver, Colorado, authorities said. The madman – who was taken in to custody – was armed with at least three different firearms, was wearing a gas mask, and deployed some kind of smoke canister about 30 minutes into a midnight showing of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises." The shooter was identified by ABC news as James Holmes, a 24-year-old white male with a clean record and no apparent links to terrorism. Local and federal officials are searching his home at E. 17th Street and Peoria in Aurora. - JEANE MACINTOSH and TOM NAMAKO
This won’t help Hollywood’s case for using violence as entertainment. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the Colorado shooter suspected of opening fire in a suburban Denver movie theater resembled “The Joker”—the archetypal villain from the comic book series—when he attacked. At a news conference on Friday, Kelly said the “deranged” suspect, James Holmes, “had his hair painted red” at the time of the attack and claimed to be “The Joker,” the terrorist played by Heath Ledger in the last Batman film, The Dark Knight. Kelly said the NYPD has stepped up security in New York City movie theaters “as a precaution against copycats” and to ease fears in the wake of the awful Colorado shooting. - The Daily Beast

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell

With more and more American institutions becoming inclusive and even openly gay-friendly, the Boy Scouts of America has just reaffirmed its unregenerate straights-only status: a special committee, formed in 2010, recently announced the organization’s intention of sticking with the 2000 Supreme Court decision that it is within its constitutional rights to exclude gays from leadership roles. All this is richly ironic in view of the fact that the founder of the Boy Scouts, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (raised to the peerage as Lord Baden-Powell) was in probability a gay man himself — though closeted, of course, considering the circumstances. A Victorian military hero who skyrocketed to fame after his valiant defense of the besieged city of Mafeking during the Second Boer War, Baden-Powell was one of the British Empire’s most adulated soldiers, looked to as the very model of muscular Christianity. Baden-Powell, the author of the hugely popular and influential “Scouting for Boys” (1908), inspired a national cult of manliness even as he entertained serious worry about his own sexuality. “Was B-P a closet queen?” Ian Buruma asked in The New York Review of Books two decades ago. “The pointers are hard to ignore.” Indeed they are, as a perusal of Tim Jeal’s superb and definitive 1989 biography of the hero, “The Boy-Man,” will show. Baden-Powell’s formidable mother, left an impecunious widow with a large family, forced all of her children to participate in her fierce and occasionally demeaning struggles to promote the family’s fortunes and social status. Young “Stephe” was a sensitive boy who liked playing with dolls, and as he grew into a young man he formed deep attachments to other boys. Once in the army he made a name for himself playing female roles in army theatricals. Throughout his life he openly admired muscular men and pretty boys, while attractive women sent him into a state of anxiety; he was much more comfortable with plain, companionable ones. He was 55 before he decided to marry, but he panicked soon after his union with the lovely young Olave Soames, developing agonizing headaches that were relieved only when he left the matrimonial bed and returned to his ascetic soldier’s cot. Baden-Powell’s strongest emotional bond was with Kenneth McLaren, a fellow army officer. The two met while serving in India, in 1881, acting in an army performance of a farce called “The Area Belle” in which Baden-Powell, for once, played a male part, while McLaren, a 20-year-old who looked 14, appeared in the ingénue’s role. Baden-Powell nicknamed McLaren “The Boy,” and the two remained extremely close for years. McLaren’s second marriage, in 1910, put strains on the friendship — Baden-Powell did not hide his disapproval of the match or his distaste for the bride — but it was not until his own marriage that the partnership ended definitively, for Olave was jealous of her husband’s old friends in general and of this special favorite in particular. The two men never met again; “The Boy” slipped into clinical depression during World War I and spent the last few years of his life in an asylum. Historians’ speculations about Baden-Powell’s sexuality have usually hinged on the question of whether the relationship with McLaren was a physical one, but this is not necessarily germane. A man as steeped in the puritan, idealistic mores of his era as Baden-Powell clearly was might well have been too repressed to act on urges that he, and everyone in his social circle, would have considered not only transgressive but sinful. Baden-Powell was no revolutionary; he did not question the rigid sexual ethos of his time. Mr. Jeal, after very extensive research, found no direct evidence of a physical relationship between Baden-Powell and McLaren, but he certainly did not conclude from this lack that his subject was therefore a heterosexual. Victorian England had a tradition of intense but chaste male-on-male friendships, of course, but “we are perfectly entitled,” Mr. Jeal asserted, “to question today whether the attempt to deny the undoubted link between love and sexual desire could have succeeded as well as it did without repression, sublimation, and in many instances massive doses of self-deception.” He added that “available evidence points inexorably to the conclusion that Baden-Powell was a repressed homosexual.” Geoffrey Wheatcroft, writing several years before the biography appeared, expressed the same opinion. “Without hard evidence,” Mr. Wheatcroft insisted, “it is not unfair to speculate — without hard evidence, speculate is all we can do — on B-P’s own fascination with boys and ‘boyology.’ In the absence of physical attraction, after all, most adult men find most adolescent youths a pain in the neck.” There is no particular reason that an awareness of the first Boy Scout’s sexual proclivities should affect the decision of the special committee convened by the Boy Scouts of America. Were Baden-Powell himself to be consulted on the subject, he would no doubt be horrified by any mention of open homosexuality in the Scouting movement. His mother’s training had taught him that sex was dirty, and this was an opinion he did his best to impart to the boys — and girls — who took up scouting. (“A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed,” after all.) Still, Baden-Powell’s life is a poignant story that should be known. This man who gave so much to so many suffered from the forces of repression and taboo. It is unfortunate that the American branch of the movement he founded should perpetuate them. - Brooke Allen

Thanks God for Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis directing The Nutty Professor onstage in Nashvlle.
He has no plans to pack it in any time soon. “Why?” Mr. Lewis asked. “I prayed for this.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is there really a person left in the world who hasn't seen Madonna's boobs at this point?

On Tuesday night, the 53-year-old singer entertained a huge crowd in Hyde Park, London, fake guns were everywhere -- some she even points at her temple. Madge's wardrobe is pushing the same old "risky" envelope, seemingly designed just to get people talking. The problem is that we've seen it all before... in Madonna's '80s and '90s phases. Nipple baring top? Check. Provocative underwear? Check. Is there really a person left who hasn't seen Madonna's boobs at this point? We wish the Material Girl had kept evolving in creative ways (the '90s brought us her geisha phase, her henna tattoo phase, her house music phase) and had unleashed an interesting array of costumes that stoked the zeitgeist but didn't come off seeming desperate. How great would it be if Madonna innovated a new style wave, instead of resorting to tired and raunchy gimmicks that only merit yawns? After all, we've already seen most of her body before. We know the idea is that Madge is revisiting her classic costumes, which is pretty cool, but when it comes to her new material: It's time for Madonna to try a new style direction. - The Huffington Post

Will and Erwynn

Will and Erwynn were the first same-sex couple to have a civil union or wedding ceremony on a military base.

Ed Ruscha, Last Artist on MoCA’s Board, Resigns

Ed & Eddie Ruscha
In his resignation letter, Mr. Ruscha said the museum “is on a course different than I imagined, but one I hope to support in the future.” - NY Times

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gaza Christians protest what they call forced conversion to Islam

Ramez Amash
GAZA CITY -- Scores of Christians in the Gaza Strip organized a sit-in Tuesday at the Greek Church of Gaza to protest what they call the "kidnapping” of five Christians by an unknown Islamist group seeking to forcibly convert them to Islam. A smaller protest was held Monday at the church in which Christians, who have long complained of persecution in Gaza, demanded that Hamas, which controls the seaside territory, return the five individuals. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in a statement Tuesday that the five people had met with their family members and affirmed that they had not been forced to convert. Family members of the five Christians believe the young man, a woman and her three children are being held against their will by a Hamas lawmaker, and say that it is impossible that they have changed their beliefs. "If my son is not kidnapped, why don't they just let him go home with me?" asked Huda Amash, mother of Ramez Amash, 25, the missing young man. “My son was brought up as a Christian. His love of Jesus is strong enough to keep him Christian. He cannot change his beliefs all of a sudden." The Hamas police, however, said the five people had not been kidnapped and that they have converted to Islam voluntarily and without any pressure. Hamas officials said the individuals are staying with a Muslim family under the protection of the police. Christian leaders in Gaza say there are about 1,500 Christians in Gaza, down from about 3,500 in 2008. - LA Times

David Shrigley

Scholz & Friends

Butt Crack Cleavage

Pin Up Robert Downey Jr. Tumblr

There is concern that it doesn’t look good for a wedding-dress designer to get a divorce.

Vera Wang and Arthur Becker
Friends believe incessant fighting between designer Vera Wang and her husband, Arthur Becker, led to the couple’s split after 23 years. Women’s Wear Daily yesterday reported the two have “mutually and amicably agreed to separate,” but a source tells Page Six: “They used to fight all the time in public, even at dinner. They would berate each other in front of other people, even though it made others uncomfortable.” A source added that Becker, a former CEO at tech firm NaviSite, even bitterly joked that he was “Mr. Vera Wang,” making light of his place in the marriage. Another source told us, “They didn’t get along. But all her staff have been ordered not to talk. There is concern that it doesn’t look good for a wedding-dress designer to get a divorce.” But a third source claimed, “Vera, Arthur and Wang president Mario Grauso remain the best of friends, and Vera and Mario will continue to run the company. Arthur will act as a consultant on new business development, as he always has.” - NY Post

Ed & Eddie Ruscha

Artists Catherine Opie and Barbara Kruger have resigned from L.A. MOCA's board in protest of its current leadership which leaves Ed Ruscha as the only artist board member. - ARTINFO

Jemima Kirke

Self Portrait

Art Southampton - International Contemporary & Modern Art Fair

Inaugural Art Southampton Proving Big Draw for Young Collectors Scores of Young Contemporaries to Attend Special Events at Art Southampton Pavilion The Inaugural Edition of Art Southampton presented by Art Miami July 26-30 is proving to be catnip for savvy young collectors and groups from up and down the East Coast. Many of the individuals and groups are very familiar with the Art Miami style of presentation and are eagerly looking forward to the fair. But there is also great excitement among first-timers, many of whom are too busy to fly down to Miami mid-winter and relish the idea of a world class art fair right outside New York City. Art Southampton has already won the support of numerous prominent collectors, philanthropists, and major art world figures who call The Hamptons home, many of whom are serving on its prestigious Host Committee. They have also made a concerted effort to reach out to the next generation of collectors. The event schedule includes visits and events with several prominent groups including: Harvard Business School Club of New York Whitney Contemporaries Museum of Modern Art Junior Associates Columbia Alumni Arts Patrons Hedge Funds Care Young Professionals The Museum of Arts and Design Members The Contemporaries ArtTable The fair will take place from July 26-30, 2012 in a state-of-the-art 75,000 square foot Pavilion located on the sprawling 18-acre fairgrounds behind the Southampton Elks Lodge. The fair will commence on Thursday evening, July 26, 2012 with a highly-anticipated Opening Night VIP Preview benefiting Southampton Hospital. - AFC

“Madonna and Child” attributed to Sandro Botticelli

A painting attributed to Sandro Botticelli and valued at $9.5 million may be sold in order to pay some creditors of Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, which declared bankruptcy over four years ago in New York’s biggest-ever art fraud. Although a consignor still owns “Madonna and Child” (circa 1500), a New York judge has ruled that state law may allow the gallery to sell it to benefit creditors. Hundreds of creditors, including actor Robert de Niro and tennis star John McEnroe, who were defrauded in Salander's Ponzi scheme are still awaiting payment. Most are not expecting much even with 4,000 artworks in storage to be sold. Art dealer Lawrence Salander is serving 6 to 18 years in prison for stealing $100 million from consignors and investors. He was sentenced in 2010 for failing to pay consignors when their artworks sold and peddling half-shares in artworks multiple times. The Botticelli is owned by a family trust, Kraken Investments, based in the Channel Islands. The work was supposed to be part of Salander's over-reaching exhibition “Masterpieces of Art: Five Centuries of Painting and Sculpture,” but the gallery closed before the show opening in October 2007. - Artfix

Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer

“Channing and Alex had a fight while filming,” said a source close to the movie. “Those around them tried to mend their relationship, but Channing doesn’t want anything to do with Alex.” After the film wrapped, Tatum appeared on a recent cover of Entertainment Weekly in a sexy spread, but tongues wagged because he only shared the spotlight on the shoot with buff co-stars Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer. The cover showed Tatum suggestively unbuttoning his shirt, with the headline, “Channing Tatum Wants You” followed by, “And Look! He Brought Some Friends.” But Tatum’s “friends” didn’t include Pettyfer, who has second billing above the three other actors. “Channing said he didn’t want to do [the shoot] if Alex was there,” our source sniffed. “Alex is known in Hollywood for being rude and difficult.” Previous reports have chronicled Pettyfer’s issues on other movie sets. Pettyfer stars in “Magic Mike” as Tatum’s protégé, a character based on Tatum’s time as a male exotic dancer. - NY Post

Photo Booth

Andy Warhol
Holly Solomon
Gala and Salvador Dalí.
Jackie Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.