Philip Markoff, the Craigslist killer, definitely one of our least favorite killers of all, gets the Maureen Orth treatment in the October Vanity Fair. What's creepy is how it points out the sheer amount of tracking in our lives. For instance, they know you're reading this website right now, at least if you're at work, you future killer! This, you know, is a great thing when you're trying to find a dude who kills people.
"Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar each put Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen on covers this year, and both promptly had their worst-selling issues off the newsstand in 2009," reports the Observer's John Koblin. But why might that be?
Melanie Berliet got up on that cheating-on-wives website Ashley Madison (don't you feel bad for all the 8-year-olds name Ashley Madison?) and met a bunch of guys and wrote about it. "I don't want to disrupt my life," Jackson said in a monotone voice. "I have three little ones. I want to wake up at home, to cries of 'Daddy!'" After a brief pause, he added, "But my wife, she's so conservative. She doesn't fuck me, you know? Like really fuck me."
"How conservative? You didn't exactly answer my question, by the way."
"She thinks watching porn is cheating," he said.
"Yikes. How often do you have sex?"
So how is the economy? "The yearly loss in overall employment in percentage terms is the worst since 1958; the loss in private services, the worst ever. We've lost 6.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, and the employment level is now below the peak reached in 2001.
Taking Graydon Carter's Vanity Fair editor's letters seriously is probably, on the whole, less pernicious than, say, taking anything Michael Wolff ever writes seriously. Carter doesn't need to be outrageous; he knows that attention will accrue to him no matter what he says (or doesn't), unlike Wolff, whose increasingly desperate pleas for attention will no doubt shortly result in a blog post about how only Michael Wolff has the courage to admit that black people are scary. That said, Carter's current missive irks the hell out of me. Because it's just plain wrong.
I mean, really, it wouldn't have been very different from what Portfolio would have put out anyway, right? If Vanity Fair had just been a little less selfish the whole thing could have turned out very differently.
[Graphic Artist: Todd Grantham]
I don't like Vanity Fair. Mainly this is because I find it incredibly difficult to navigate; I'm a man who's never read any of the ad-heavy ladymags (or similar dudemags) where the table of contents starts on page 110 and then it's an obstacle course of perfume samples and pictures of shirtless, overgelled, stubble-faced guys whose gazes convey an impressive combination of "brooding" and "eye-raping" toward the female in the photo. So I've never been properly "trained" to get through that type of book. If there's something worth reading I reckon I'll hear about it and find it online, or at least go directly to the page where it starts.
Vanity Fair.com's summer intern Thomas Kaplan has been locked in a Conde Nast research closet to watch cable news from 9-5 for four days straight-while being broadcast on the internets. Today, while he alternately sat through CNBC, had lunch with a pretty, young fellow intern, and asked his viewers what celebrities he looks like, he also chatted with me-a former Vanity Fair intern myself-about his experiences at the forefront of modern journalism.
There's an article about Sarah Palin in the new Vanity Fair, and the thing's damn near 10,000 words. But is it worth plowing through writer Todd S. Purdum's overheated prose ("It was in this environment that her ambition first found an outlet in public office, and where she first tasted the 151-proof Everclear that is power.") to get the whole story? I spent the last hour reading it, and I have determined that there are several types of people who definitely qualify!
Ah, to be young, listless and flacked. Behold the June Vanity Fair, which delivers a breathless inventory of the members of the heirs-and-heiresses set, who have squarely faced the challenge of "populist, economically perilous 2009" by rolling up their sleeves, spitting on their soft, bejeweled hands and getting down to work. As Bob Colacello marvels, these plucky young scions are "expanding the family business… striking out independently, launching a career in the arts… plunging into philanthropy."
Not that they need to, of course.
Finally! Vanity Fair has done the definitive, intelligent profile of Jessica Simpson!
"If you ever forget you're a Jew," wrote Bernard Malamud, "a Gentile will remind you." But sometimes a Jew will too. Take David Sax, who writes about "the New Yiddishists" for Vanity Fair. Have you heard about the New Yiddishists? Of course you haven't; Sax just made them up. Apparently they're a "new breed of American Jewish writers… responsible for a renaissance in Jewish storytelling that is turning the narrative of assimilation on its head."