Going native.

Homegirl Kate Moss, waiting for the rebound

From the Department of Well at Least She Can Score Some Good Drugs Here comes the morning’s gem:

Guess which local municipality is the recipient of an extraordinary valentine in the September issue of W magazine? “Detroit is coming back, reborn as one of the most vibrant cities in the world,” proclaims W, the chic fashion monthly published in New York.

And here I thought fashion-magazine lies were confined to touting anti-aging formulas that turn back the clock.

But no, this is W, which is no mere fashion magazine. The salute to Detroit — and please, note the razor wire on the fence behind Kate in one of the most vibrant cities in the world — comes as part of a 54-page spread, which is sort of W’s signature. They were the ones that brought you that weird Brad-and-Angelina photo thing, in which they seemed to be impersonating a ’50s couple who hated one another. Then there was the similiar-size Madonna thing a couple months ago, a tryout of the costumes from the equestrian portion of her current show. (I was looking at those photos online while IMing with a guy in San Francisco, who was doing the same thing. “What if Madonna f*cked a horse?” he wondered. “Would anyone care?”) Both were sort of the ultimate statement on fashion-magazine editorial copy, in the sense that they contained little useful information — captions, location notes, where-to-buy info. Just pictures: Here’s a horse. Here’s Madonna regarding the horse lustfully. Here’s Madonna lying down on the horse, smoking a cigarette. (Which led to the what-if question.) Now we have 54 pages on Detroit, an equally strange choice to devote that much editorial space to. Although, it seems, there is amusing copy to go with it:

“I don’t know who I’m more in love with, Kate Moss or Detroit,” (photographer Bruce) Weber is quoted as saying in a short bio.

I guess there are some fashion facts in this layout, but on the whole, it just seems creepy. The Metro Times is not amused, and makes some very good points along the way.

It’s an all-media bloggage bouquet today: Local press critic Jack Lessenberry on the decline of the Detroit dailies.

And some comic relief, via Mitch Harper via Gawker, demonstrating that when it comes to being provincial, no one quite does it like Indianapolis. That’s a restaurant review, and from the headline (“Ooh la la”) to the little details (the critic notes each table has its own “brass pepper grinder”), it’s a delight. I shouldn’t spoil the surprise, but for those who won’t click through, I have to single out this:

The menu has many words in French, my undergraduate minor. But it’s been a while, so I asked a waitress for a few interpretations. It’s lucky I did. Otherwise I might have accidentally ordered goose liver pate as an appetizer.

Heavens to Pierre!

Posted at 10:35 am in Media |

18 responses to “Going native.”

  1. mary said on August 30, 2006 at 10:53 am

    If French was her undergraduate minor and she didn’t know what pate foie gras was, where did she go to school? Also, is she saying she went to grad school?

    Speaking of critics, did you see that the NYT has a perfume critic now? Personally, I think it’s great. I want that job.

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  2. brian stouder said on August 30, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    It’s an all-media bloggage bouquet today

    FWOb has a piece on the flight of advertisers from newsprint to other media which ties right in to today’s theme.

    I was buying (or at least rolling along with) Lessenberry’s little essay, right up until he said

    We also need to discover fascinating people and things and enjoy good writing. Before Gannett, the News was becoming a paper that explained the world to Detroit. The Free Press was often superbly written, and fun. Now they are neither. The message is that good journalism doesn’t pay anymore.

    Hmmmm. If we agree with Lessenberry’s point that newspapers used to be “superbly written, and fun”; and that “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.�?; and that the Detroit area (or anyplace else) “desperately” needs to talk to itself right now….

    then it seems that an area’s “desperate need” to talk to itself is being filled by other means (as NN has eloquently pointed out in several essays that touch on the same subject). I can’t help but view rants like Lessenberry’s as part gossip/part score evening/part nostalgia.

    For instance – we value “institutional memory”, by God! The papers are being run by “outsiders”. Yet we also snicker and hiss at any examples of “provincialism” or “boosterism”

    It seems that when some pundits decry the decline and fall of old fashioned print journalism, what they are really gnashing their teeth over is the loss of the concentration of media power that a whole class of newspapers (say – with circulations between 100,000 and 500,000) used to have.

    But truth be told, the salad days of print journalism are akin to the halcyon days of railroad travel, or the golden age of any big industry. By way of saying – all big enterprises have changed – even as people’s basic needs have continued to be met.

    PS – I winced a bit at the “going Native” header with the accompanying picture. Not saying that this was an NN ‘Macaca moment’, but it certainly risks misinterpretation

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  3. brian stouder said on August 30, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Hey – another ‘doctored pictures’ issue comes before us


    This time by CBS News, regarding a Katie Couric publicity shot(Horrors! they made her look slimmer!)

    (Speaking of anachronistic forms of journalism, her mega-buck 30 minute primetime news show on broadcast television may well end up looking like the last flight of the Concorde, eh?)

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  4. nancy said on August 30, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Brian, I chose that headline for a reason, and I use it ironically. If you see the MetTimes reaction to the piece…

    Did you really put Rosa Parks and Kate Moss back-to-back without making yourselves puke? So you set out to prove fashionistas are as vapid and superficial as those of us with wider-ranging intellects have always thought? Kudos! I got the message too. “This year, the new clunky black shoe looks best with real black accessories. Choose from the civil rights or hip-hop eras, but African-American faux-companions are such a fun addition to this season’s wardrobe!”

    …that’s pretty dead-on. That link also contains a photo of Kate apparently being romanced by a black boxer, while she lolls on a rug holding a Jackie Wilson record. Look, Kate Moss came to town and had an authentic Detroit experience in all of our well-known hot spots, complete with black people. It’s pretty icky in a pretty stupid way.

    As for your reaction to Lessenberry, lemme think on it some.

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  5. mary said on August 30, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    I think Kate is going to try a soccer style header on that basketball in the photo.

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  6. Connie said on August 30, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    Whereas I would have ordered the goose liver pate in a heartbeat.

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  7. joodyb said on August 31, 2006 at 12:08 am

    i just love kate’s nobby knees. what a bizarre photo.

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  8. nancy said on August 31, 2006 at 1:12 am

    I ran across a phrase in the Brit press a few weeks ago, discussing Mrs. Beckham’s incredible skeletal frame: “Her thighs shrink from one another, as if in fear.” I thought the same thing of Kate’s odd physical form.

    Another oddity: The basketball player is Lindsey Hunter, a Piston. The boy on the left is his son, Lindsey III, and the one on the right is Lindsey IV. The one on dad’s shoulders is Caleb. Why not Lindsey V? That’s what I want to know.

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  9. Randy said on August 31, 2006 at 9:17 am

    If “Madonna F*cks A Horse” was offered on pay-per-view, I’d consider it… for not a penny more than three dollars.

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  10. brian stouder said on August 31, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Maybe if she engaged in oral sex with the horse.

    If she went down on a filly, Madonna could modify (and one-up) the Catherine the Great allegory. (it could be a real kick in the head, you might say)

    ‘Course, she’d (the human) almost certainly have to do all this while wearing a nun’s outfit

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  11. mary said on August 31, 2006 at 10:59 am

    And where is Lindsey II? Why isn’t he participating in the family fun with Kate?

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  12. Jim from Fla said on August 31, 2006 at 11:09 am

    Lindsey Hunter II is the one holding Caleb on his shoulders.

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  13. mary said on August 31, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Aha. Thanks, Jim.

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  14. Nance said on August 31, 2006 at 11:54 am

    Is there a rule of thumb for when you name a kid “Dad’s Name Jr.” or when you name him “Dad’s Name II”? Thinking out loud, I’d guess you’d maybe use II when you’ve skipped a generation — Henry Ford II is Henry Ford Original Recipe’s grandson. Is that the way it works, genealogists?

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  15. John said on August 31, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Rule of thumb I have seen, is name your kid what ever floats your boat. Traditionally, the son of the re-treaded name is Junior, which forces the current title holder to become Senoir. The grandson would be the first with the number, III. However, I have seen the son become II right out of the chute.

    Also, the generational skip sometimes is named II. The kid who shares a name with gramps but not his own dad can pick up the II.

    Of course, this entire apple cart was mowed down by George Foreman.

    So the bottom line…call you kid what you want to. But please retire a name before you get to IV, unless you are a blue blood.

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  16. mary said on August 31, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    I’m with you, John. My ex was a V, and his mother wanted our son to be VI. I refused, since I think it’s not only pretentious, but that numbers that high should be used only by royalty and popes, and we’re neither.

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  17. brian stouder said on August 31, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    “My ex was a V”

    Gotta say – a well-turned phrase!

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  18. Dorothy said on September 1, 2006 at 7:52 am

    Huh. My husband is a II but he’s never used it. Must be because his (mostly) Polish blood is not blue enough. Or blue at all.

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