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Filling in this week for an ill Jonathan Shipley.

Vanity for the Bonfire
Vanity Fair's massive 500-page March issue is out and causing hernias everywhere. We might be able to take Graydon Carter's convenient political moralizing more seriously if his Editor's Letter didn't appear after 121 pages of smelly advertising. Of course, it is the annual, Oscar-ready Hollywood issue, but how disheartening to have to wade through endless Burberry, Grey Goose, and Dolce & Gabbana ads to find the world-class work of the legendary investigative duo, Don Barlett and James Steele, who examine a McLean, Virginia company with 9,000 government contracts, most in secret intelligence. Which is kind of what Barlett and Steele provide to Vanity Fair.

Not to be missed in the vanity-run-amok department is Michael Wolff's column on disgraced O.J. Simpson publisher Judith Regan. Wolff is a world-class twit who knows far less of whence he speaks on media matters than reputed, but he happens to have known Regan since college and writes that he has heard her anti-Semitic garbage for years. Wolff confesses he used to find it funny.

Ding Dong
If you're pro-choice, it's okay to order Domino's again, even though founder Thomas Monaghan's moral crusade goes on. Monaghan sold the company - which then went public in 2004 - a few years ago to concentrate on the Catholic town, complete with university and law school, he is building in Florida. The New Yorker's portrait of Monaghan's mission is fascinating.

As would be the magazine's feature of a master origamist - if they would take the time to explain how it works. My God, folding paper into Long-Legged Wasps and Multimodular Polyhedra, a little how-to might be nice!

Intelligent Design
Helvetica has taken over the world, but the maker of a documentary about the typefont tells I.D. magazine that it was superior marketing - not a superior product - that triumphed. Just like Microsoft - which the magazine says is trying to bring back chocolatey colors to help market its iPod competitor, Zune. Which may have worked if Microsoft found a better name for its product than Zune. But probably not even then.

Rolling Stone is always a painful read - it's only the rotation because for some forgotten reason it arrives for free at Beachwood HQ. But it's particularly painful to see John "You're Body Is A Wonderland" Mayer on the cover representing "The New Guitar Gods." Mayer might have some blues chops, but any expressive playing he achieves is all artifice. Rolling Stone calls him Slowhand Jr., but let me tell you something: This guy ain't the son of God.


Posted on February 21, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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