Posts Tagged: Vanity Fair

Meet The People Who Still Write Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor have always been the first thing I read in a magazine, and in 2006, I had my own letter published in New York. It was about Will Shortz, and I thought it was sort of clever, and it made me happy. But even so, I often find myself wondering about others who write in to the editor: Who are these people?

I understand why a doctor would write a letter to the Atlantic about, say, the role of fast food in public health. And I understand why a young woman would write to New York with a trying-to-be-pithy observation about a crossword puzzle, I [...]


Flashback! Sexy Lady Tells All, Sells Self, In 1997

Chris Rovzar, editor of Vanity Fair's website, just found this delightful item in the VF archives, from February of 1997. (Ancient history? Or yesterday? YOU DECIDE. Either way, it was before irony died.) That year was the publication of the excellent collection of New York Observer columns, called Sex and the City. Some notable things about this picture:

1. The photo caption: "Candace Bushnell enjoys posing seductively to promote herself."

2. The photo itself: Man. There is a lot to talk about regarding how women memoirists are presented/allow themselves to be presented/are coerced into being presented in the book and magazine industry but this one really takes [...]


Chad Harbach Tells All About Publishing

As a human being whose personal blog is primarily about cats, I would be extremely offended by the above passage in Keith Gessen's piece in the October Vanity Fair (the one with Angelina Jolie on the cover, zzz), except that Gessen keeps company with a person whose blog can often be cat-centric, so, he is EXCUSED! In more important news, this is a very exciting piece that breaks down exactly how Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding was agented and published. The funny thing is that the book is going to be published tomorrow—so who knows what'll really happen with the tale of the million-dollar first novel? [...]


Our Rich Culture Heroes Are Shilling Perma-Adolescence

The great social prophet in consumer society is the bearer of taste refinement. This is a figure who can assuage our innermost disquiet over the dizzying rounds of having, holding and re-leveraging that make up our economic lives. Sure, we might, from time to time, inspect the great storehouse of disposable junk and value-free financial instruments that sustain the fictions of our pecuniary well-being, and find a still small voice offering variations of the great existential questions “what does it all mean?” or “why bother?” But tastemakers can briskly smooth over our worry-ravaged brows; they realign the often brutal prerogatives of the market with the heaving tremors of the [...]


'Vanity Fair' 2010 Best-Dressed List Has 'Eclectic Feel,' Claims 'Vanity Fair'

Congrats to H.R.H. CROWN PRINCESS MARY of DENMARK and the guy who's keeping Uma Thurman's undoubtedly frail and chilly body comfortable in the evenings, and, LOL, some Tisches. You're all the best dressed people in the WHOLE WORLD. Ugh, I can't believe I clicked through every slide in that slideshow!


Graydon Carter's Editor's Letter Reveals Fussy Old Man

"I used to rail against the layers of packaging for DVDs and CDs-that hard-to-break-into clear wrapping and those extra strips of white tape over the edges, to prevent theft." -That's Graydon Carter, keepin' it real (if syntactically complicated!) in the March Vanity Fair editor's letter.


'Vanity Fair' Layoffs: More Than 80% Female

Layoffs at Vanity Fair have been ongoing since yesterday-they're not centralized, which means that editor Graydon Carter need not be present. And that's handy, as the rumor that Carter was on a private plane is indeed said by staffers to be true. Well, while he was out, a trend emerged, according to a staffer, as department heads made their layoff choices. Of the 13 or so let go so far-with possibly a few more yet to come-only two were men. And of the 11 women let go, it's estimated that just three five of them were under 35. The overall office population, with some variation by department (photo and [...]


Man Likes Other Man

"The moral complexity of the Rampaging Dad saga—or at least the semblance of moral complexity—comes in the unfolding depiction of how even a righteous mission can warp, debase, and harden a decent man over time until he goes functionally berserk. In order to right a wrong and rescue a captive soul, the movie’s (anti-)hero may carve a trail of destruction whose human toll surpasses that of his adversaries, becoming the very monster he seeks to slay. This is amped up to insane, absurd excess in Taken, where, according to one online tally, Neeson’s Bryan knocks off about three dozen guys with neck snaps, gunshots, knife stabs, and, in one showy [...]


Controversial "Sopranos" Finale Declared Officially Awesome

“When I first saw the ending, I said, ‘What the f–k?’ I mean, after all I went through, all this death, and then it’s over like that? After I had a day to sleep, I just sat there and said, ‘That’s perfect.’” —James Gandolfini talks about the final episode of "The Sopranos." Much of the rest of the cast do, too. Mostly unrelated: Remember how great Sting was before he sucked?


'Vanity Fair' Really Is Made of One-Third Kennedys-Related Content

Exactly how intense is Vanity Fair's love affair with the Kennedys? The math may or may not shock you: "Roughly one-third of the issues of Vanity Fair since 2003 have contained at least one article about a Kennedy, written by a Kennedy, or mentioning a Kennedy at least seven times…. The October 2009 Jackie cover sold 437,000 issues, beating out both Gisele (281,000) and President Obama (370,000) in 2010. Angelina Jolie seems to be the only star with enough power to consistently outsell the family—her most recent cover sold 512,507."


John McCain, "Political Shape-Shifter," Really Hates Obama

The November Vanity Fair story on John McCain-the "ruthless and self-centered survivor" and Senator from Arizona-is online. Two things that jumped out are unsurprising yet off-putting.


Trading the Purse for the Purse Strings

While the lackluster courtship rituals of the overclass may not be box-office gold these days, they do exert endless fascination for the proprietors of luxe magazine brands. Witness, for instance, Melanie Berliet's Vanity Fair online testimonial, "Desperately Seeking Sugar Daddies." The conceit of the confessional piece is to combine the writer's impatience with her stalled day-job prospects with her willingness to undertake a "social experiment"-registering as an enterprising gold-digger at a dating site called "Seeking Arrangement" ("the elite sugar daddy site for mutually beneficial relationships"). Berliet makes a pro forma show of ethical introspection as she prepares her profile. Sure, she may be "walking the line between [...]


January's 'Vanity Fair' Slightly Larger Than 'Harper's' and About Half the Size of December's 'GQ'



Levi Johnston's Sarah Palin Article Simplified

I just read "Me and Mrs. Palin," in which young Levi Johnston "tells Vanity Fair his story about life with the Palin family-with whom he lived for two months after the election-over the course of his two-and-a-half-year relationship with Bristol." There are many surprising revelations in its pages; you could say that "he turns a number of commonly held beliefs about the former governor-the purportedly loving mother, devoted wife, and prolific hunter-upside down." (Particularly if you write teasers for Vanity Fair.) I suggest you go out and buy a copy!

Still, there was something rather troubling about the article: Almost none of the words within it were more [...]


Shall I Compare Thee to a Tournament Rose Dipped in Whipped Cream?

• "She holds out her right arm to show me her tattoo of Marilyn Monroe. All that remains of Marilyn is a few drops of black against skin that is the color the moon possesses in the thin air of northern winters."—Stephen Marche on Megan Fox, Esquire, February 2013.

• "Her skin is lined and slightly worn and depends on light from other sources—from her eyes, from her smile, even from the hounding incandescence of television."—Tom Junod on Hillary Clinton, Esquire, February 2008.

• "I can't help but notice her skin. It's the smoothest skin I've seen outside of a Clinique ad."—A.J. Jaocbs on Rosario Dawson, Esquire, [...]


Pictures of Joan Didion

In the October Vanity Fair—the one with Angelina Jolie’s most recent spin on the cover, this time in an ultra-zoomed-in portrait leaving her looking like a close-up-ready revision of Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein—Joan Didion was depicted in her biennial being-thin tour, occasioned by the upcoming release of her memoir Blue Nights. The picture, taken by Annie Leibovitz, depicts a gaunt and dimly lit Joan, her hair overtaken by wispy flyways and even a small sweater piling upon itself on her frame. Some meager light plays across her face. The photo, in uncopyrighted reproduction, has 625 notes right now on Tumblr, and the actress Zooey Deschanel [...]


Boycotting Koch Products is Not Just Fun but Mostly Remarkably Easy

I was thrown into a brief quandary when I thought that the "hacker" group Anonymous was trying to get us to boycott Vanity Fair because of the Koch Brothers. What has Graydon gotten up to! I thought. But no, they mean the paper plates and napkins. Oh.

If you can manage to not purchase those or their similar products (Brawny!), you can also probably forego all the Koch Brothers' Invista products, including Stainmaster carpeting (ew) and Lycra. You can avoid Lycra, right? Also maybe look out for like, oil and natural gas. Good luck with that!


A Few Tiny Notes on the Sarah Palin 'Vanity Fair' Profile

We read it, and it was worth reading. It did not make me feel good about the future. It will make you feel concerned too.

• "Todd Palin received as much as $20,000 worth of clothing-a wardrobe that would last most men for many years, if not for life." This is probably true and also is hilarious that it appears in Vanity Fair. Because, hey, that's how much the outfits cost, in the pictures?


The Best-Dressed (Rich) Man In The Entire World

Serious business: it's the Vanity Fair Men's Best Dressed List voting time! Will it be Viscount Linley, known to you as David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, the 1st Viscount of Snowdon, not to be confused with craggy-hot Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon? Or Ogden Phipps II, known to you as horse-loving Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps? The odious Cody Franchetti? Or some other descendant of the hideous elitist blood-stained riders of the working class? We're voting Daniel Craig and also equity fund manager Ivan de la Fressange, solely because his name sounds like some fun lesbian act.


Graydon Carter Orders Fresh Desk Clearing

Since every memo leaks in this annoying modern age, the way to handle potentially embarrassing corporate moments is what they used to call "in person," which means "face to face." Smart policy! That's what we hear Vanity Fair's managing editor Chris Garrett just did, when she went around to inform all the magazine's assistants that they were not allowed any personal items on their desks. Apparently not even back issues of the magazine are allowed upon these flat surfaces? This is odd, as the assistants' desks are behind cubicle walls, so you can't even see their desktops from the aisles. This policy was not necessarily in the service of general [...]