everything is never quite enough (mikeijames) wrote,
everything is never quite enough

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the rocky horror, then the free state in maryland.

Here is your Daily Single's Horoscope for Monday, May 14

It's undeniable -- you have the hots for this person and vice versa. But when you both clam up, a lot of nothing is going on. Pick up the phone and ask them on a date. Don't worry: failure's simply not an option right now.

i write from a strange place of happiness: only three weeks ago, i found myself in the grips of horror thinking that my still green relationship with, well, my new someone -- for the first time, even as i write this, i realized that i hadn't come up with a pithy nickname or epithet or even code name which strikes me as groundbreaking even as i write -- found itself horribly on the rocks: one might never think it as i bounced around the bustling isle of miami beach, but only twenty four hours before, i stood in my new someone's living room vamping and making excuses about why there existed blood on the sex rag we had just used. i knew exactly why. i told my new someone exactly why. however, my new someone didn't quite grasp the gravity with which i spoke because i do have a tendency to make light of the unpleasant if not to completely avoid it. and i had already thought we found ourselves in a tricky position. it had reached that early plateau where communication waned and the dates trailed off and even that night had the air of a hook up and though i said it hurt and said that we probably shouldn't, we did, and after the heartache was over -- yes, paging tina turner -- i went to the guest bathroom to clean myself and my new someone went to the master bath to do the same. when we met back up in the living room, i stood getting dressed for work and my new someone stood with the sex rag in hand demanding an explanation. no doubt i played sexual roles in this relationship that i haven't since the stock broker and as i've aged, i've heard the horrific tales of what could happen from the ongoing medical sagas of my best friend. so, of course, i thought the worst, and my stomach sank. and i reached out with affection even as my new someone retreated deep into silence and eyes so cold that i felt for sure that what had gone along so swimmingly had come to an end.

and then, i went to miami. because i felt that my trip schedule had started to slack since argentina and i believe in all things reciprocation and since my old favorite coworker treated me to such a wonderful south beach birthday last year, i thought it would be fun and since she had just broken up with her near-fiance just days before, i felt it the least i could do. and flush with a bit of cash, i bought a plane ticket on the friday for the saturday and made quickie reservations at hakkasan and got ourselves onto the list -- like it mattered -- for liv. we spent the morning shopping -- although i had not slept at all the night before -- and then i napped while she tried to make the night as favor-able as possible and when i awoke, i ran to club monaco for clothes and then ran back to get ready for hakkasan. it lived up to all of its overhyped london roots and i found myself drunk -- and three hundred dollars poorer -- and meeting her friends in the lobby for smuggled in liquor in the fountainbleau bar. of course, when we got to the line, it became a hassle and i had to pay eighty bucks, but, you know, it's liv. and after two of her friends left (crying about costs), we proceeded to make a night of it although i remember absolutely nothing except the glowing staircase and a seventy dollar bar tab. according to my old favorite coworker, i literally paid some poor youngster ten dollars to make out with me in the lobby in front of liv. and it being miami, of course, this poor youngster did. the next day, reeling from the amount of money hemmoraging from my bank account, i began to make excuses about doing cheaper things and although we still managed to drop over sixty bucks at brunch where neither of us so much as gestured at a full meal (after all, full blown pride celebrations ensued on the streets), we went home and had a good quiet night -- why can't i have more of these please lord?! -- with watching american reunion -- talk about feeling old! i did not know it's been as long as it has and kudos on the marriage equality plug even there -- and cold stone creamery at one in the morning -- i love miami! -- the next day, i engorged myself with whole foods -- she lives basically across the street -- and then wrote a quick short story for my workshop that wednesday. that night, we went out for thai food where we overheard some of the craziest superficial ravings of the typical south beach queen -- and went to bed. the next day, i vegged out getting ready for my flight and got back home not-so-late but fully stressed because my car had fuel injection issues that still have not gotten resolved three weeks later. in the mean time, i have been on a spending spree with the purchase of a britto original for my living room -- that wound up going into my bedroom -- and a david yurman cable classics bracelet -- you know, i always thought everyone got the 7mm when they turned thirty, but now i think they get the 10mm! -- and this week i got an ikat upholstered chair that i saw on vogue.com and had lusted forever at urban outfitters and a jack spade "le dirtbag" bag for my continued studies in creative writing. i'm done with big ticket purchases except for a john hardy bracelet to complement my david yurman (and to replace the one i lost all those years ago), the jonathan adler rhino box (which i think is so perfectly political), then smaller things like, the "keep calm and carry on" tray from z galerie, the striped favorite throw from west elm, and my citizens of humanity jeans i need to jump start my green look.

but onto more substantial things, once i got back from miami, my new someone and i had a period of near radio silence. we had these cryptic conversations where the new someone would say things like "i'm just in a bad mood" and completely shut me out and i thought i found myself in a re-play of those exsomeone days where i'd go crazy not because i thought i did anything wrong but because i had no clue how to break through the silence. my new someone stated it had to do with workplace drama -- and seeing as i had a boatload of my own which had taken me to the point of starting to search for opportunities outside the company even as i got a nearly ten percent pay hike -- but i found myself ill-equipped to do anything but say "that sucks." almost two weeks passed without me seeing the new someone. but then, just like that, the clouds cleared, and we began making a habit of watching glee on tuesdays, and going out to eat again, and, in one of the best dates of my life, we went to see rocky horror picture show put on by the local theatre company, american stage, and though the weather didn't hold up, the pinot grigio in my system matched with the romance of the entire evening -- how many years have i gone to those things with the taste of salty envy in my mouth as i watched perfect couples embrace over the flush of a live performance -- and in the best moment, during intermission, the rain began to fall and we pulled the blanket over ourselves to keep ourselves from the deluge and we made out like high school kids -- no, high school kids from the fifties -- and when the rain stopped, we got dirty looks from old ladies and awkward stares from teenage boys. and that's when my memory started going splotchy. i remember my favorite morning personalities from play 98.7 coming on stage for an announcement about pride, and i remember singing along with the songs that i had heard a million times on late night movie channel viewings and i remember walking back to my apartment by cassis and the diners on the patio of bella brava and past the thick music oozing out of tryst. and while i'm sure i made it home, the crazy sexual escapades i got told of later solidified just how drunk i must've been. i just felt good that not only did my apartment find itself clean enough to meet my new someone's approval -- on the twenty fourth of march, my new someone came over after the grand prix and my very romantic evening plans devolved into a cleaning session of my bathroom and kitchen -- but it's the first time i've ever had someone spend the night who i've been emotionally and sexually involved with. at least, on purpose.

and it's gotten even better since that night, i went to the doctor and got a prescription for better health and just tuesday night we had the best sex we have ever had. and we made plans for kathy griffin in june. and anyone who reads this knows how i love making future plans. what else? ever since rocky horror, and the popularity of "think like a man" and the way that the title track of that film has continuously played in my house, i've noticed an odd occurrence of unsubtle androgyny. not even. out-and-out gender bending. while it's been something that's intrigued me for years at chanel, it became most pronounced with marc jacobs' new tendency to wear dresses in a non-drag, non-effete way, but it's become so pronounced with kanye coming out of the closet with celine womenswear and then a campaign for the little black jacket by chanel, the latest handbag range receiving the coy name "boy chanel," the appearance of a young boy on the fall runway, brad pitt getting enlisted as the new face of chanel no. five (which, if they release a mens blend, i am going to buy it), and the re-appearance of full-grown men at the resort show and i don't know where i'm going with that but needless to say that as all these things get jumbled up, it's starting to really problematize the idea of the 'suitable' roles for men and women and how those could ever fit into the traditional marriage construct which makes the president's sudden evolution so ill-timed. the world has begun to change and young people see it everyday: we live in a world where women have started to break through the glass ceiling and where one of the most watched reality shows is a drag race. while it's not his duty to speak to this change, the president could make a plea for people to live and let live. for people to stop worrying about other people. that's a message that would resonate with lots of people including some key swing constituencies on the issue. could he not have come out before the north carolina vote and perhaps rallied his base in a swing state before the election? i mean, i know i said it after the election, but i just don't think that his campaign knows how to lay roots. one has to engage the local and state parties, not just dispatch them. even if you spend a bunch of money and lose, they'll remember it. that's why the announcement felt so pat. it's like he just capitulated at the end instead of having an actual evolution. and in an atmosphere where african-americans have proven they can show up -- if even for a box office oddity -- what better show of leadership than to get african-americans to show up at the ballot box in an off election. while the african-american community has its own evolutions to live with, it's clear attitudes have changed if some black men feel comfortable enough to wear heels in atlanta, kanye feels comfortable sporting givenchy skirts on stage, and lil wayne feels comfortable kissing birdman on the mouth and wearing pants made for teenage girls on stage! and it's not like this test is the last one this year: it's potentially on the ballot in maine, maryland, washington, and minnesota. all swing, all critical for their own reasons. that constabulary needs to get built NOW not later. evolution happens one person at a time (maine would be the first time a ballot initiative would get un-done, maryland would show that the african-american vote does not rule out a victory, washington would stand as a rebuke to social conservatives in liberal-leaning states, and minnesota would help root out some of the odd social conservatism taking over formerly liberal bastions like wisconsin). and real evolutions aren't pre-packaged speeches. an actual evolution is my sister turning me around before we head out for cinco de mayo because i don't look like myself in baggy clothes anymore. an actual evolution is coworkers feeling uncomfortable making homophobic jokes in the workplace. actual evolution is clay aiken on "celebrity apprentice" alongside everyone else like it's no big deal. really, it is. it's not being backed into a corner by a vice presidential remark in some throwaway sunday morning interview.

but what else has happened since march second? well, there exist two characters in the new someone's off stage interactions: the doggy daddy with whom the new someone shares custody of a dog they had together and a best friend who i am not even going to try to compete with for time since they take ballroom dance together and go out together quite frequently and i want to reserve that option to take advantage of -- like i did on cinco de mayo eve (that fell on first friday) that i spent with nicole at an art opening at studio 620 for one of my classmates in the workshop and then at macdinton's -- not in tampa, mind you -- but four blocks from my house! talk about a mind fuck and it's next door to some fancy new restaurant called "the kitchen" so yeah definitely have to go there soon -- and then nicole and i went to cafe alma which hadn't switched over so we sat at midtown catching up and i went home quite drunk but with no temptation at all to jump on line or to text anyone -- but in a move in the right direction, after a friday night date night in with my new someone that march ninth, and then we went out for st. patrick's day a week later with a parade i didn't even know occurred in ybor city and drunken diner food after and apparently no fucking, but plenty of cute pictures although the one of us two i'm not allowed to have for fear i might post it on facebook. the trials of our age. somehow, in the mean time, i saw "friends with kids" which is the intellectual equivalent -- though stylistic superior -- of "friends with benefits" so i'll probably buy it. for jon hamm alone. and that's when my computer broke and i learned just how much cleaning i could get done without the distraction of limitless internet porn, tumblr, and justjared.com. and then, on the weekend of the twenty third, the new someone came to my apartment ostensibly to go out to eat and stuff after the grand prix but wound up doing nothing but naked cleaning -- and that's not code for anything -- before we went back to my new someone's place. and yeah. awkard. issues laden. craziness. i mean, my most fundamental issues with my father have to do with him cleaning my room without me having access to it and in a surreal recreation of a scene my new someone could know nothing about, i emerge from a post-coital shower to find my new someone butt naked on hands and knees in the kitchen scrubbing stains out of my tile. in another state of mind, i might have stood back and masturbated to that scene since that's about the breadth of my pornagraphy dirtiness. normal people doing normal things just naked. like buying tents or getting a tire changed. neither of which are code for anything! and the next week, my new someone and i started to have our communications unravel when we had planned on a cute house shopping date -- seriously, in my top ten after witnessing alex and his fiance in crate and barrel last october -- but i got no calls, no texts and so i went to crate and barrel and ikea all by my lonesome and physically exerted the shit out of myself trying to get two massively heavy bookcases upstairs then assembled and then styled with my books and dvds and new crate and barrel vases and my cute argentinian tchotchkes. but even as i found myself burning in anger -- everyone knows that spoiled plans in doing what i want to do remains one of the easiest ways to make me mad -- i still went over there and spent the night. as april rolled around, my condo development changed hands once again so i previewed an apartment at fusion 1560 which costs as much as my place but finds itself immensely more fabulous -- seriously, the pool alone not to mention the floorplans -- just in a much more sketchy neighborhood. we'll see. we, then, had one more friday night in (with me leaving for work a few hours later), and that brings us to the night of the accursed rag. seeing as we met on leap day, we're approaching the three month mark and i think it's going good although i spent the night last night and we humped like gerbils twice today -- and we had brunchy sunday morning with a day spent doing mundane shopping (a going out of business dollar store, a going out of business blockbuster store, and flower shopping at lowes). we spent about twenty hours together and it felt good. so we'll see, i don't want to jinx it.

Here is your Daily Couple's Horoscope for Tuesday, May 15

Supporting your mate in a time of conflict is crucial, but being there for your friends is just as dire. Don’t leave your chums out in the cold when all they want is to hear some of your sage advice.

The Sun Enters Gemini!

This week continues the theme of remaining light on your feet as you also maintain flexible thinking. It's time to review your relationships as love planet Venus turns retrograde on May 15. Then, Mars trines Pluto on May 16, when some of your plans will finally fall into place. But with Jupiter and Saturn forming a quincunx aspect on May 16, you won't want to get too far ahead of yourself; rather, conserve your energy and resources! Rounding out this compelling week, a solar eclipse on the Sun's first day in Gemini -- May 20 -- brings plenty of drama!

Park setting right for 'Rocky Horror' camp

American Stage will put its stamp on the ubiquitous musical "The Rocky Horror Show" at Demens Landing Park in St. Petersburg.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, through May 13

Where: Demens Landing Park, corner of Bayshore Boulevard Southeast and First Avenue Southeast, St. Petersburg

Tickets: $35 onstage chair seating, $24 to $27 reserved chair seating, $21 premium blanket seating, $11 to $16 for general lawn admission, free lawn seating for children age 6 and younger; call (727) 823-7529 or visit www.americanstage.org

Other info: Picnicking is encouraged; however, alcohol and pets cannot be brought to the park, (alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be for sale); Parkshore Grill Catering also will have cheese boxes, salads and sandwiches for sale, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit American Stage

By KATHY L. GREENBERG | Tribune correspondent
Published: April 06, 2012

"The Rocky Horror Show" is like the McDonald's of pop culture: Everyone's heard of it, and you can find at least one in every town in America.

In our corner of the cosmos, American Stage will serve up this steaming slab of camp at the 27th annual American Stage in the Park.

The outdoor venue allows American Stage to put a personal stamp on the ubiquitous musical.

"I was worried about producing it in the park, to be honest," said director Karla Hartley. "I wasn't sure we'd be able to convey a certain darkness and mood. I was wrong about that. The more I think about it outside in a broad venue, the broader we can be and the more campy fun we can have."

In 2008, Hartley directed and acted in a "Rocky Horror" production at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts (then the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center). She played the doomed biker, Eddie. Wearing two hats was daunting, and Hartley vowed never to repeat the performance.

"The reason we're directors is so we can look at things. I couldn't do that and be on stage at the same time," Hartley said.

The bigger challenge now is correcting previous mistakes and crafting a show that matches Hartley's vision.

"I feel like last time I came at it like it was a piece of pop culture. It is, but I didn't come at it like a play. I was focusing on the big moments and not connecting them. We're spending time looking at the text and motivations," Hartley said.

For those who've resided under a rock lo these many years, Richard O'Brien's 1973 cult classic is about transvestite aliens from transsexual Transylvania. Try saying that five times fast.

Newly engaged and virginal, Brad and Janet are stranded in the rain after their car breaks down. They find a weird Frankenstein-like castle in which they expect to take refuge and phone home. Instead, they find a strange bunch of cross-dressing extraterrestrials, led by super-tranny Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who seduces them beyond their wildest dreams. Brad and Janet succumb to a 180-degree transformation.

"Brad's trying to keep an open mind at first. It's fun for him to try to maintain the façade that everything is OK and 'I have to protect my little woman.' But because of the sexual nature of the house and choreography, he's still a guy horrified and shocked, but drawn and interested," said Jim Sorensen, who plays Brad.

Alison Burns has taken the role of Janet. Her character gets an immediate taste of what's ahead.

"The first thing Riff Raff does when Janet walks through the door is touch her boob. Brad hasn't even touched her boob yet. Janet was raised in a home where everything was neat, very PC, nothing out of the normal. She was a virgin and staying a virgin until she married Brad. True love waits," Burns said.

Assuming that sexy aliens could land on Earth, the real question is why Brad and Janet don't leave after that first grope. One explanation is that it takes awhile to cut through the thick layers of naïve, two-dimensional thinking. Once that happens, it's too late to turn back.

"It starts when Frank makes his way into their rooms, which feels wrong but oh so right. The reason we don't get up and bolt is because we're trying to be nice and give them the benefit of the doubt. We don't want to be rude," Burns said.

When that creepy castle blasts into space, some might be left wondering what becomes of the "new" Brad and Janet. Has the experience changed them and their relationship? Have they learned anything at all, other than the joys of Victoria's Secret? Sorensen has his own theory:

"There's a lot of leather in their future."


Thursday, March 8th 2012
What In The Hell Kind Of GD Outfit Is This?

Well, here's one way to get your picture in The Daily Mail. Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs: The Exhibition in Paris last night with leather daddy Peter Marino and bitch looked like if Sweet Valley High crashed into a drag queen's Thanksgiving party. This is what it would look like if there was a J.Crew, a Liberace boutique and a Plymouth (Crack) Rock shop on the Mayflower and I don't like it. Sometimes you just have to look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Do I look like a second grade girl circa 1981 who totally half-assed it for the Thanksgiving pageant?" If the answer is yes, have a seat on one of the orange plastic chairs until your legal guardian shows up to take your busted ass home.

That being said, if Suri Cruise wore this mess, I'd probably declare it the greatest outfit of our time.

Posted by: Michael K



Marc Jacobs Loves His Comme des Garçons Dresses

We’ve seen Marc Jacobs don kilts several times, but yesterday he wore two Comme des Garçons Spring 2012 dresses.

The first black dress was worn when he took his bow for Louis Vuitton after his Fall 2012 presentation, the second time he wore pink whilst attending the ‘Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs: The Exhibition’ that same evening.

Both Comme des Garçons t-shirt dresses were paired with black pirate shoes with an embellished buckle from his Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 collection.

Kanye West has been known to rock a kilt.

Is a dress next on his agenda too?


09.05.12 MENSWEAR

Marc Jacobs In Comme des Garçons – 2012 Met Gala

Marc Jacobs attended the 2012 Met Gala on Monday night in New York City with Alexa Chung and Lorenzo Martone.

I would like to pretend that I’m not shocked by this look as we’ve seen Marc Jacobs wear dresses before, but a lace sheer Comme des Garçons Spring 2012 dress with white boxers is a jaw-dropper.

Credit: Style.com & Getty


2012 May 10

How You Can Get Marc Jacobs' Met Ball Look

We've been on the phone with Barneys New York and Jeffrey to see if anybody had Marc Jacobs' Commes des Garcons Met Ball ensemble in stock, but as predicted, it's sold out. What to do? Our friends at International Male have come through for us once again! For just $32, you can rock the red carpet at the next Cinema Society event in this sexy-and-you-know-it black mesh shirt. You can figure out the white boxers and pilgrim shoes on your own time.


Comme des Garçons Spring 2012 Menswear

PARIS, June 24, 2011
By Tim Blanks

Rei Kawakubo's theme this season, "tailoring for punks," could almost have been applied to her earliest years with Comme des Garçons, when the formality of the style and the ferocity of the attitude combined to create the blueprint that prevails to this day. In reality, the show itself was a notably polite affair. From the outset—a slim black duffel, a lean skirt, chisel-toed shoes and socks—the emphasis was on an elegance that was almost Edwardian. Immaculately tailored pieces in classic fabrics like houndstooth and Prince of Wales check certainly spoke to that era. The retro preciousness of the kiss curls sported by the models also harked back to another time.

The theme was more explicit in the items that matched sartorial cut to punk thrust, like the diagonal biker zip that bisected a pinstriped blazer and a checked jacket, or the slashes that opened up another jacket. But that intimation of violence was the closest the collection came to punk's iconoclastic rush. Fact is, such a thing is felt, not thought, and it's scarcely the kind of emotion designed for analysis.

Kawakubo's creative cross-fertilization with punk's dowager, Vivienne Westwood, has yielded some career highs. Here, she may even have been stirring up the past when she accessorized her models with gaudy crowns by Christian Astuguevieille, just like Viv did so memorably decades ago. But Rei's punk princelings could have done with the frisson of a Johnny or a Sid.

Haute punk: Alice Dellal brings edgy twist to Chanel campaign - in stunning photos taken by Karl Lagerfeld himself
PUBLISHED: 11:58 EST, 19 March 2012 | UPDATED: 06:30 EST, 20 March 2012

The much-anticipated Chanel campaign starring model Alice Dellal has been revealed - and if there were any doubt surrounding her appointment, it has been swiftly eradicated.
The announcement of the 24-year-old thrash metal drummer, model and socialite as Karl Lagerfeld's latest muse was met with more than a few raised eyebrows.

But the resulting photographs - part of the campaign for the French couture house's Boy handbag collection - prove that Karl is, as usual, pitch perfect with his sometimes eclectic choice of brand ambassador.

Haute couture with an edge: Alice Dellal's punky personal style lends an added dimension to Chanel's impeccable styling

The campaign was photographed by Karl himself, who shot on location at a French chateau.

Clad in Chanel tweed and pearls, Alice lounges on lavish antique sofas and ornate dressers.

The scene is opulent but edgy, and is all the more compelling for its contrasts.

Holding a Chanel Boy bag in each (metallic alligator, heavy chains and metalwork, strong, boxy shapes) Alice lends her own punky personal style to the scene, her ripped fishnet tights, tousled bleached hair and nose ring adding an extra dimension to Karl's elegant styling.
A Chanel spokesman said she was the perfect match for the Boy handbag campaign.
'Alice Dellal represents the perfect incarnation of all that is unique about the Boy Chanel handbag collection, which strives [to be] far from conformist notions of femininity,' they said.

The shots, styled and taken by Karl Lagerfeld himself, prove that the designer's choice of Alice as star of the Boy campaign was spot on

'Alice is a real model of the moment,' said fashion experts from style blog Fashionfreude.com.

'She's been well on the radar for a while, having walked for Vivienne Westwood, among others in the past. But all credit to Karl Lagerfeld for choosing Alice for this campaign. She really is the perfect choice.

'Her edgy appearance and punk aesthetic lends something new to any brand that affiliates itself with her.

'For Chanel, Alice has an instant youthifying effect, while that punky edge that comes so naturally to her gives them instant kudos. Her rebellious look fuses so well with that exquisite elegance of Chanel's classic tweed, lace and pearls.

It's not just about Chanel though. Fashionfreude.com say these partnerships will give Alice's already burgeoning career a major shot in the arm.

'Watch her profile soar after this,' they said today.

Alice is the daughter of Brazilian supermodel Andrea Dellal and sister to successful shoe designer Charlotte Olympia.

Exquisite contrast: Chanel's classic tweeds, lace and quilting look fuse perfectly with Alice's edgy look

In each shot, Alice holds one of the bags from the Boy collection, which Chanel say are for those who 'don't feel the need to be conformist'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2117193/REVEALED-Alice-Dellals-stunning-campaign-Chanel-Boy-handbags.html#ixzz1utDS0zXo


Wednesday, May 9th 2012
Behold, The New Face Of Chanel No. 5

Does this mean that Chanel No. 5 is finally going to retire that Nicole Kidman commercial, because if I hear coo out the line "I love to dance!" one more time...

Chanel announced this morning that Chanel No. 5 will be the odor every Brangeloonie secretes when they're in heat, because Brad Pitt is officially the new face of that shit. This is the first time a dude has ever been the face of Chanel No. 5 and it's Brad's first time hawking a beauty product. The amount of Brad's paycheck hasn't been confirmed, but Entertainment Weekly says that Chanel has stuffed seven figures into the lock box held by Pax, the child army's official treasurer. Chanel released this first picture from the campaign of Brad looking like he's hungover and trying to control himself from barfing at both ends while posing for his passport photo.

Unless Chanel tweaked the formula in Chanel No. 5 so that it can be used as a vagina douche now, this doesn't make sense to me, but whatever. My biggest complaint is that Chanel chose the worst picture to start this campaign. This is why Maddox should approve every single piece of publicity material before it goes out, because he would've never signed off on this. This picture makes Brad look like he's really selling enemas. This picture works for Chanel No. 2, not for Chanel No. 5.

They should've went with something like this instead:
Now that's how you sell stank in a bottle.


Found in Translation
First Stop: Tokyo for Chanel's Little Black Jacket Exhibition

The Chanel road show is a formidable machine. It just rolled into Tokyo for a three-day celebration of Karl Lagerfeld's new book The Little Black Jacket, which launched Wednesday night with a party in a backstreet off Omotesando and a dinner at the Park Hyatt. That will forever be the hotel where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson plighted their obtuse troth in Lost in Translation. X-zillion floors above Tokyo's magic carpet of lights? Who wouldn't feel turned on?

But this celebration felt more like a family affair. That's what it's like when Karl takes to the road. In Tokyo, there was his usual small circle of intimates, including Vanessa Paradis, Amanda Harlech, Stephen Gan, Virginie Viard, and Sébastien Jondeau; longtime professional collaborators like DJ Michel Gaubert, Sam McKnight on hair, Peter Philips on makeup; plus the customary coterie of devastatingly attractive French starlets: Gaspard Ulliel, Clémence Poésy, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey. That's one big mobile comfort zone, so it was no wonder there was so much talk about kids at dinner. Pressed to pick a favorite from the 120 portraits he shot for the book, Karl nominated the picture of his godson Hudson Kroenig. (He also said he was partial to his partner on the project Carine Roitfeld's revamp as Coco herself, which is the book's cover.) Sarah Jessica Parker was enthusing about introducing her car-mad 9-year-old to Tokyo toy shops (nobody does them better than the Japanese). And model mums Stella Tennant and Arizona Muse were sharing pictures of their young'uns on the far side of the world. There were pet pictures in the mix there somewhere as well. (One of my Jack Russells is called Stella, after all.)

Tokyo also offered endless opportunities for grown-up playtime. Tennant accompanied Lily Donaldson, Alice Dellal, and Cara Delevingne on an expedition to a five-floor emporium of erotica earlier in the day (nobody does them better than the Japanese, either), where purchases included a couple of coy kilts, none of them on display, unfortunately, not even later at Le Baron, where Jalouse's Jennifer Eymere and Alexei Hay were holding court. (Surely, Olivier Zahm was in there somewhere, too.) If you weren't out all night at Le Baron or La Jetee, you could be up before dawn cracked to go to the legendary Tsukiji fish market, or head to Kyoto for the day (the ever-enterprising Natasha Fraser managed that one), or seek out one of the older, more traditional suburbs of Tokyo, like SJP did. "I have crazy wanderlust," she admitted. "I just wanted to see how real people live."

But everyone reconvened in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden by 5:30 for tonight's repeat performance of Chanel's January Couture show. Same jet set, same clothes, same models, and same Captain Karl emerging from his cockpit at the finale to soak up the awestruck applause. (Being struck by awe in the designer's presence was one more thing the Japanese excelled at over the past few days.) The photo exhibition touches down next in New York, followed by another seven stops around the world to mark the Year of the Little Black Jacket.
— Tim Blanks

Chanel Ready-to-Wear Fall 2012
PARIS, March 6, 2012
By Tim Blanks

Karl Lagerfeld thrives on the new. And he's happy to share his thirst for novelty with the massive audience at his biannual Chanel spectaculars. In today's often enthralling show, there was the new proportion of a three-piece suit—jacket, skirt, and pants. (Well, almost new. Lagerfeld has tried that before, but this time, he got it right.)

There was new music (Michel Gaubert soundtracked the proceedings with a not-yet-released number by Tristesse Contemporaine). And there was a credit no one would have seen at a fashion show before: eyebrows by Lesage, the legendary couture embroidery house. The strips of crystal that defined each model's brows were a microcosmic rendition of the show's grand design, which featured a set that looked like the Fortress of Solitude.

"Nature's the greatest designer," said Lagerfeld, pointing at some of the more spectacular crystalline excrescences. "These shapes are millions of years old." He lavished crystals on hems and cuffs as the trim on coats and the heels of shoes. And he indulged his new mineralogical bent with the mica sparkle in the dark tweeds that opened the show, in jeans with the streaky grain of rock formations, in the knits that looked like layers of sediment, and in a scatter of moonstones across a sweater dress.

But Lagerfeld also found a man-made co-relative for Nature's geometry in an exhibition of Czech cubism he saw in Prague. So there was angular cubist articulation in sleeves—a new silhouette, in other words—and in the polyhedron decoration of coats. The abstract color-blocking also had a vaguely cubist feel.

Ah yes, color. Karl felt it was time to bring it back, after last Fall's monochrome and Spring's pastels. But as it turned out, the colored pieces didn't fare so well against those penumbral tweeds, or the oily glisten of the feathered pieces that closed the show. It was much easier to imagine the younger customer that Lagerfeld has so successfully courted for Chanel being drawn to the dark side.

Chanel Resort 2013 Runway Review
By Tim Blanks

Karl Lagerfeld was exultant. Twelve months of planning for Chanel's 2013 Cruise presentation and, the week before the big day, current events conspired to completely recontextualize the show, injecting a delicious layer of irony into the time and place. His succinct summation—"Versailles in a Socialist France"—said it all. Up until last week's election, which restored a left-wing government to power, Lagerfeld's collection was a gleeful mash-up of hip-hop edge—à la his favorite Azealia Banks or M.I.A.—and Louis Quatorze's eighteenth-century court at Versailles, the focal point of a period that history recognizes as France's last Golden Age, with Louis the Sun King at its pinnacle. Soundmeister Michel Gaubert dubbed the hybrid "Ghetto royale." He obliged Karl with an M.I.A. track whose refrain, "Live fast, die young/Bad girls do it well,"—might have been Marie Antoinette's musical signature if she'd lived a couple centuries later. She might even have joined Alice Dellal and Karla Lagerfeldas, who played an exuberantly retro-punk set at the post-show cocktail.

Lagerfeld has proved himself a master of this high-low hybrid in recent times. Here, formal eighteenth-century details, like panniers and fichus, were re-created in casual twenty-first-century fabrics—chambray, tech denims, even plastics—dressed up with frothy lace ruffles and cuffs, and dressed down with gold platform trainers and short shorts. Occasionally awkward though it may have been, the lightness, the girlishness, of the clothes had a balletic quality, reflective perhaps of Louis' own love of dance. Lagerfeld said he wanted something floating and frivolous. "Frivolity is a healthy attitude," he said after the show. "I know people who were saved by frivolity."

But the levity of that declaration was lent some provocative weight by the election. Clearly equating President-elect François Hollande's incoming government with a general shrivelling of the French jeu d'esprit (although that is, in itself, something of a myth), Lagerfeld went on to say, "I don't want the rest of the world to think of France as a sad, gloomy country. They won't come to buy our products." A worrying prospect for someone who never fails to crowd his catwalk with an overabundance of clothing and accessories. "Too many ideas," wailed Inès de la Fressange jokily as she leaned in to bestow a congratulatory kiss. "Too creative." Lagerfeld glazed one tweed in gold, sequined another in pale blue, embroidered a tiny sundress with gold bullion, and applied the most delicate floral beading to snowy white handkerchief linen. Watercolor florals suggested Watteau maidens; male models Brad Kroenig and Jon Kortajarena were dressed in britches as their swains. "It's nothing that literal," Lagerfeld insisted, but the Rococo echoes added some charm.

The show took place around three of the furiously spouting fountains for which Versailles is famous. Guests then trained through the grounds to the cocktail at the Bosquet des Rocailles, where Louis staged theatrical productions. (Could it be true that Marie Antoinette's "farm," the private playpen where she'd go to play-act ordinary folks, was just through the trellised fence?) Speaking of imperial whim, look no further than the gall of the guy who persisted with plans for a ginormous outdoor spectacle while the heavens were blessing Paris with six weeks of nonstop rain. Guess what? Glorious Sol came out on cue. So who's the Sun King now?

Chanel / Resort 2013 by Sarah Mower

With exquisite timing on the eve of Nicolas Sarkozy’s handover to the new Socialist president François Hollande, the fashion world gathered at Versailles to watch Karl Lagerfeld play the Sun King to Cara Delevingne's Marie Antoinette. Well, that was sort of the gist of it—a Chanel resort collection staged at about six in the evening amid the spectacular playing fountains and waterfalls of Louis XIV’s gardens, with the sun blazing in an exceptional burst, after several weeks of dull, drizzly weather. A blue-bewigged and ponytailed Delevingne stomped insouciantly across the golden gravel, heading up a posse of girls in a mash-up of teeny, tiny, pastel-colored pannier dresses, foppish, gilded eighteenth-century jackets, and wholly twenty-first-century variants on denim and shorts. If Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film depicted how young Marie Antoinette’s court looked in the past, this was as if Lagerfeld had imagined what a teenage princess and her entourage might look like today, charging around in brothel creepers in the actual gardens where the Austrian-born queen played out the fantasy games that eventually led to her sticky end at the guillotine.

Lagerfeld has often riffed on Rococo, but he has never staged an expression of his fascination for the era so literally in situ. There was much charm: a play on fichu necklines, straw cartwheel sun hats, and hints of a corseted, ruffly-skirted milkmaid silhouette. Still, despite the historical narrative, there were plenty of Chanel tweed jackets and suits on parade—regular, yet special enough for an older generation to buy into. The breathtaking scale of the entertainment, however, sent Chanel’s audience spinning. Being that it was Monday, the honey-colored palace and its vast vistas of topiary, pleached trees and water gardens were closed to the public, thus creating an enchanted world for guests to wander until they took their cushioned seats in custom-built, canopied pavilions edging a sequestered garden designed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to resemble an outdoor drawing room. Afterwards, champagne and canapés were served in a sparkling glass house, while the world's press queued for an audience with Lagerfeld. “This was the place where the most civilized frivolity was allowed,” he said. “In the days before political correctness!”

As the euro teeters on the brink, it might not seem quite the moment for an extravagant fete of such an epic scale. But, then again, what could be more utterly patriotic in its graphic delineation of the luxury and skill that sets France apart from the rest of the world? Even as the French administration shifts into a more egalitarian mode tomorrow, there is something in the awe-inspiring pristine white dresses, detailed at the waists with rich imperial red or purple embroidery, that speaks to the common cause of an embattled European country. They preserve Chanel jobs—positions for the skilled workers of the atelier de broderie Maison Lesage—and everything that goes with it: exactly the kind of traditional Hollande says he wants to uphold.

O'Malley signs same-sex marriage bill
Measure expected to have impact beyond state borders
March 01, 2012|By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

Amid cheers and camera flashes from a crush of onlookers, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law Thursday his bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland — legislation that raises his national profile and, advocates say, gives momentum to those pushing similar measures in three states.

"The way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all," said O'Malley, giving brief remarks before signing the legislation. "If there is a thread that unites all of our work here together, it is the thread of human dignity. … Let's sign the bill."

The ceremony was held in a marble hallway on the first floor of the State House, with O'Malley and the General Assembly's presiding officers seated before a staircase packed with supportive lawmakers and advocates.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller gave the crowd a thumbs-up. House Speaker Michael E. Busch beamed and pointed to supporters. After signing, all three handed out black pens — one of the first going to Del. Maggie McIntosh, the first openly gay Maryland lawmaker.

O'Malley invited the crowd to join him "across the street" in the governor's mansion for a reception open to the public.

The law doesn't take effect until 2013, and opponents have started the process to collect signatures for an attempt to repeal the measure in November.

"We're in full swing to put this on the ballot and let the people decide," said the Rev. Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes the bill. "Not the governor, who brings a unique level of craftiness and tricks to the process."

Underscoring the point, Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Democrat from Baltimore County, watched the signing from the far end of the corridor. He held up a pencil and said he would work to "erase" the law by throwing his energy into the referendum.

O'Malley's signature puts Maryland squarely in the middle of a widening national debate on same-sex marriage. Maine and Washington also are likely to have same-sex marriage measures on the ballot this fall.

Gay marriage advocates see 2012 as a "tipping point" for their cause nationally.

"We are moving at lightning speed in support for marriage equality," said Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

Rouse, who has worked on marriage equality laws in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, among other states, said this year "is the most significant in American history" on the issue because so many legislatures are taking it up.

"I think every state helps every other state," Rouse said. He pointed to Rhode Island, Hawaii and Illinois as states that might be influenced by Maryland and move next on the issue.

Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris agreed. "A lot of us here in Illinois are watching what Maryland does," said Harris, a Democrat who represents part of Chicago and is pushing a same-sex marriage bill. He said his colleagues kept an eye on the "thoughtful debate" in Maryland and watched how lawmakers here "gave a lot of consideration and decided that full equality is the right thing do."

Harris sees Maryland as "the heartland" — one of the country's original 13 Colonies. He said that California and even New York are viewed as "different culturally."

Maryland's General Assembly is the fourth in the past year to approve gay marriages. The action comes on the heels of approvals by legislatures in New York, Washington state and New Jersey. (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the measure.) Five other states — Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire — and the District of Columbia also allow same-sex marriage.

The issue is a challenge for President Barack Obama, who does not support same-sex marriage but has said his views are "evolving" on the issue. White House spokesman Jay Carney said recently that the president "strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue," but he declined to comment on recent developments in Washington state, Maryland and New Jersey.

Opponents nationally are also keeping an eye on Maryland. National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said the Old Line State is the one she's "least worried about." She said voters in Maryland will see the same-sex marriage bill as an example of "Democratic leaders looking to please one of their big-money constituencies."

And, she said, opponents have defeated same-sex marriage bills every time they've gone to referendum. "There is no big call for this among voters," she said.

Several powerful local opposition forces joined Wednesday to push the drive to gather the 56,000 signatures needed to put the Maryland same-sex marriage law on the ballot. The coalition includes the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which is a group of mostly African-American ministers, the Maryland Catholic Conference and MDPetitions.com, an organization headed by Del. Neil Parrott, a Western Maryland Republican.

Maryland's Board of Elections approved the groups' proposed petition form Wednesday, the first step before they can start collecting signatures.

McCoy, of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, said the organizers are focused and motivated. The groups will be training volunteers next week and will be in churches gathering signatures by next Sunday, McCoy said.

Gay rights advocates acknowledge that they haven't had success nationally at the ballot box. But they say the dynamic is changing.

In the past, same-sex marriage became law in some states through judicial rulings when marriage laws were challenged in court. Passage of such laws by legislative bodies signals a broader acceptance of same-sex marriage, Rouse said. "It is a new day," he said. "The ground has shifted."

The Human Rights Campaign has already spent $500,000 in Maryland doing outreach in targeted House of Delegates districts. That campaign — and the Maryland General Assembly debate — forced families to talk and think about the issue, he said.

"Let's be frank, those conversations have been uncomfortable," Rouse said. "People's minds and hearts have been opened and changed."

Those who gathered Thursday weren't talking about the referendum just yet. "We want to savor this," said Robyn Zeiger, 60, who attended with her wife, Stacey Williams, 47.

The pair married in a small ceremony in Washington, D.C., but want to have a second, bigger wedding in Maryland, if possible. "I don't want to feel like I have to hide who I am," Williams said. She'd like to have another ceremony where she can "scream down the aisle and jump up and down like everyone else."

The bill has further significance, whether or not it survives referendum. Passage represents a legislative victory for O'Malley, who took up the cause after it was shelved in the House of Delegates last year for lack of votes.

The governor and his staff dedicated considerable time to work with wavering lawmakers to find the 71 votes needed for passage. In a dramatic week during which four delegates switched their positions, the bill squeaked through the body with a single vote to spare.

"This is another piece of what is a growing national profile for Governor O'Malley," said Anita Dunn, an adviser to Obama during his 2008 campaign and his communications director in 2009.

"It is has been a long time since Maryland has had a governor who is seen as a national leader," Dunn said.




Posted at 12:37 PM ET, 05/10/2012
O’Malley: Obama’s gay-marriage stance will help in Maryland
By Jonathan Capehart

President Obama’s affirmative declaration of support for marriage equality was a spectacular ending to the most watched “evolution” in political history. But it was also a comfort, coming the day after North Carolina voters used a ballot referendum to amend the state constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Tar Heel State, which already had a law banning gay marriage, is now the 30th state to adopt a constitutional amendment. But one state has the potential to break this disheartening trend: Maryland.

The state legislature passed and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed a law in March, making Maryland the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage. (The District has also done so.) It doesn’t take effect until January, which gives opponents the opportunity to try to bring the law up for a vote this November. Putting the rights of a minority up to a popular vote is wrong. Stripping rights from a minority is unjust. But O’Malley believes Obama’s announcement will be of great help.

“I think the president’s statement today is probably the most significant advancing of our cause since the bill-signing,” the governor told me during a meeting in Baltimore, two hours after Obama’s remarks became public. “This is an issue that is moving very quickly in the hearts and minds of people throughout our country, and that is certainly true here in the state of Maryland.”

Asked about the impact of the North Carolina results on Maryland, O’Malley said, “It is sometimes difficult — given the results of statewide referenda to date — to convince some that Maryland is actually very fertile ground for becoming the first state to pass a referendum affirming religious freedom and marriage equality.”

Part of what makes the state so fertile is its support of the president. He received 62 percent of the vote in the 2008 election. His approval rating is 55 percent. And support for same-sex marriage rests at the hope-inspiring 50 percent.

O’Malley was at the White House in February for a meeting of the Democratic Governors Association when the president gave him props for what was happening on marriage equality in Maryland. “[H]e was saying goodbye on his way around the table,” O’Malley said of the encounter. “He did shake my hand and say, ‘Congratulations on what you guys accomplished in Maryland. That’s a big, positive step.’ ” That was on Feb. 24, the day after the state Senate joined the House of Delegates in passing the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

“The president’s leadership here will be noticed by a lot of people all around the country. I think it is a very, very courageous, strong and positive step,” O’Malley said of the president. “Part of the art of leadership, part of the art of leading public opinion, is having the wisdom to know when the seeds of change will flourish.”

In that regard, O’Malley believes the president made the right call. And no doubt he’s hoping the seeds of change will flourish in Maryland come November.

By Jonathan Capehart | 12:37 PM ET, 05/10/2012


Barack Obama’s Bullshit Gay Marriage Announcement
BY JOHN COOK MAY 9, 2012 4:15 PM

ABC News has only released one brief clip of Obama's conversation about gay marriage today, but it seems fairly clear from the network's coverage that his announcement amounts to much less than meets the eye. He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn't believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?

The key language in the ABC News write-up is this:

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.

On this afternoon's special broadcast, Jake Tapper echoed that point: "The president said he thought this was a state-by-state issue."

Well, before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. So was slavery. There are 44 states in which gay men and women are currently barred from marrying one another. Obama's position is that, while he would have voted the other way, those 44 states are perfectly within their rights to arbitrarily restrict the access of certain individuals to marriage rights based solely on their sexual orientation.

That is a half-assed, cowardly cop-out. There are currently at least three cases winding their way toward federal courts that address the issue of whether (among other things) the equal protection clause of the constitution guarantees gay men and women the same access to marriage rights as heterosexual men and women—the Proposition 8 case, in which David Boies and Ted Olson challenged California's ban on gay marriage, and several challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars gay men and woman from receiving federal marriage benefits and allows states to refuse to recognize valid gay marriages. Obama's Justice Department has admirably declined to defend the constitutionality of DOMA. But the position he enunciated today is in opposition to Boies and Olson: Obama is saying that if he were a judge, he would have rejected Boies and Olson's constitutional arguments and affirmed the right of Californians to enshrine bigotry in their state constitution.

Equality is not a state-by-state issue. There is no reason other than ignorance and hatred that two men can get married in New York and not North Carolina. At a time when vindictive hucksters are rolling out anti-gay marriage amendments across the nation, and when conflicting state and federal laws portend an insoluble morass of divorce, custody, and estate issues, and when gay Americans are turning to the U.S. Constitution and the courts to seek an affirmation of their humanity, "it's a state-by-state issue" is a shameful dodge.

Is it a politically wise dodge? Maybe. This was obviously a hastily arranged interview—we're told that ABC News' Robin Roberts, who is close to Michelle Obama, was only tapped in the last 48 hours by the White House to come down—designed to clean up the mess left by Biden's pro-gay marriage comments in as advantageous way as possible. And for Obama to declare that he considers North Carolina and other states' bans on gay marriage to be unconstitutional would probably energize the GOP base. But those bans are unconstitutional. And anyone who supports their legitimacy—as Obama just did, in no uncertain terms—even if they oppose the policy, is adopting the retrograde position in the contemporary gay marriage debate. Obama is moving backward, not forward.


(202) 604.8124
Obama Announcement Is Cold Comfort to LGBT Americans

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans respond to President Barack Obama’s latest evolution on the freedom to marry.

“That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.”

Date: 5/9/2012
Copyright 2012 Log Cabin Republicans


(202) 604.8124
Amendment One Divides the North Carolina Family

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans call upon North Carolina conservatives to stand against Amendment One, which would amend the state constitution to prohibit any legal recognition of unmarried couples, gay or straight.

“Log Cabin Republicans stand with many conservative North Carolinians in opposing Amendment One, including Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC), John Hood of the John Locke Foundation, and former Charlotte mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Vinroot,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “These conservative and Republican leaders know that Amendment One goes far beyond marriage, banning the basic domestic partner protections that North Carolina voters support and harming real families, gay and straight. The campaign in favor of Amendment One has been deceptive and ugly, dividing families, friends and faith communities. It is time North Carolinians chose to stand and defend liberty for all by voting against this amendment.”

Date: 5/8/2012
Copyright 2012 Log Cabin Republicans


Think Like a Man Beats Latest From Judd Apatow
Ensemble romantic comedy Think Like a Man continues to outperform expectations, winning the weekend again after last weekend's smash debut. The film took in $5.5 million on Friday and is slated to earn $16 million this weekend, bringing its total gross to more than $50 million.

But along with every success comes a disappointment: this weekend's bomb is The Five-Year Engagement, which earned a modest $3.5 million. The romantic comedy is on track to take for a $10.3 million opening. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if this weren't a Judd Apatow production: Apatow's past producing credits include Bridesmaids, Pineapple Express, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Most were predicting similar success for The Five-Year Engagement, which stars Emily Blunt and Apatow favorite Jason Segel. Segel co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.

In other box office news: Pirates! Band of Misfits, Safe, and The Raven all did OK — the latter two took in $2.5 million, while Pirates managed $3 million.

It was a modest weekend overall. But next weekend sees the opening of oh-my-God The Avengers, so expect things to get a lot more exciting (or at least profitable) then.

[Image via AP]

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