Tag Archives: adulterated


A baby blizzard has hit Cologne. At least, they’re calling it a blizzard – though if this was Vladivostok or Sapporo it wouldn’t pass for more than a sneeze.
A friend told me that when you catch a bus in Sapporo in winter, the driver stops twenty yards before the bus-stop so it can skid smoothly to a halt. There are road-heating systems on slopes, as part of the Special Law for Management of Road Traffic in Snowy and Cold Regions. Water discharged from Mt Moiwa power station is pumped into the Yamahana river to create a Snow Flowing Gutter, which is able to handle fifty 11-ton dump truckloads of snow every hour. I like how those words are capitalized: Snow Flowing Gutter.

Anyway, the rare occurrence of snow in Cologne is calming. The best thing about it is how quiet everything becomes, like wool wrapped around a microphone.
Late last night I was catching up with pop culture, investigating some show called Jersey Shore, and reading a Vanity Fair article about the latest casualty among those washed out heiresses who are famous for nothing. Celebrity-seeking detritus: it was a reminder that the worst Monroe-wannabee spray-tanned excesses of our culture are best experienced in 2D: filtered through a blog post on Café Con Lesley or Gawker, frozen in photos where they are not allowed to speak.

After that, I really needed a snowcrash to wipe everything clean. As well as some clattering music to scour the trash from my eyes (see below- a selection c/o Bumrocks, Coco Solid and Molly Kongshuttle). In the words of Velvet Underground, “1000 dreams that would awake me: different colours made of tears.”

Casey has already picked out the baby’s name: Ava-Monroe, after Marilyn, who has long been her idol. “I see a lot of similarities between us,” Casey says. “Her life makes me sad. I don’t think she was very happy. She was just very, very complicated and sort of a deep person, and nobody realized that. They thought she was some dumb blonde, and she wasn’t. She was a smart, smart broad. And I think that sometimes people look at me and think, Oh, Casey Johnson, she’s stupid, she’s blonde, she’s an heiress, blah, blah, blah.”
There’s a hint of melancholy in her eyes, and I ask if she’s feeling well. “Yeah,” she says. “I’m just a little tired.” Back in New York a few days later, though, I get a call from Casey. She’s cheerful now, excited, and she’s been shopping again. “I got a crib, and a changing table, and I got a car seat, and a stroller,” she says. And something for Ava-Monroe she just couldn’t resist: “the cutest leopard baby bikini. Oh my gosh. She is going to be dressed to kill.”


The Paperwork Explosion

Media watch Pt 1

Was listening to an archived
interview by the irrepressible Kim Hill with journalist Michael Wolff on National Radio, as I made mexican meatballs the other night.

Any of Kim Hill’s podcasts are worth checking out: she is an institution in New Zealand radio. At times dry and confrontational, yet quick to make sly jokes and be chatty: your grandmother would think she was a hoot. This interview isn’t notable so much for Wolff’s character defences for media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, so much as for the comments about what makes a good sellable paper and the future of newspapers in general.
According to Wolff, there isn’t one.
He’s hardly the first person to pronounce doomsday, withmany newspapers closing or cutting staff numbers in the USA in 2008, and others outsourcing journalistic work on top of technical labour to India. But it’s always sobering to hear such a hopeless prognosis.

Of course, there’s no doubt, it’s much more time-economic to click through one’s favourite sections online, especially when there are slide shows of hypo allergic architecture in towns called Snowflake to look at. (Did I really say time-economic?)

Whether they maintain an online presence or not, I suspect the demise of print editions of newspapers like the New York Times will end a golden age of writers who were rewarded, however meagerly, for penning standfirsts like the following:

“Living with the clones of a dead dog has its surprises. The DNA may be the same but the behavior is another story.”

Media Watch Pt. 2

I’ve ranted incoherently about American Vogue before. But on December 31, 2008, Cathy Horyn did us all a favour by expressing the shortcomings and strong points of Vogue more delicately, in this article in the NY Times.

MySpace Codes

(Images by Scott King as posted on http://www.creativereview.co.uk. King is an artist-slash-graphic designer who has recently exhibited at Ps1 in NYC and the Kunstverein in Munich)


Three of my favourite scribes contribute columns to New York’s Village Voice newspaper. One of them, Michael Musto, recently wrote a blog post about the passing of Paul Weyrich, in which he posts an outtake of a story he wrote some 14 years ago. He quips: “You can tell how old the story is by my incessant use of the phrase “information highway,” for which I apologize.”

Also, his post about a YMCA member getting his kit off is an amusing titbit. I am now fascinated about the readership demographics of Playgirl.