Monday, December 11, 2017

A good way to move through life

Madonna, soccer mom extraordinaire, with Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa.
Clothes Makes the Man ... “Year In Kemptness” ... Selena Gomez as Billboard's “Woman of the Year” ... All-Time Leading Ladies on the Charts — Soccer Moms Included ... A Capitol Christmas.
by Denis Ferrara

“IF I was going to be an animal, I’d be an eagle, because it’s got the least amount of predators.” 

That’s Louis Vuitton’s top menswear designer, Kim Jones, in GQ for December.

Photograph by Arnaud Pyvka for GQ.
I’ve never heard of Jones, but that comes as no surprise to anybody who knows me.  My favorite designer is Gap. 

I enjoyed his Q&A with Mark Anthony Green, in which Kim reveals he has zombie proof houses — he didn’t intend it, but, that is how they came.  And he says the delicate model, Kate Moss would be “pretty good in a zombie apocalypse ... she’s tough and she knows how to bargain with people.” 

Jones, who is 38 (or 43 or 44) says he’d like to retire soon from fashion. His interviewer appeared shocked. (Because what can be more fulfilling than designing great clothes worn by people with generally bad bodies, right?) Jones wants to do something else, “Conservation” he says. “There’s lots of stuff you can do.  Life doesn’t have to be about one thing, does it?”

No it doesn’t. Although, I can’t do anything other than this.  And this ... just barely. 

I also liked the photo of the cherubic-looking Jones that accompanies the article.  He’s holding a desk fixture that says, “I’ll be nicer if you’ll be smarter.”

Seems like a good way to move through life right now.
ALSO IN GQ, “grooming director” Garrett Munce, looks back on “Year In Kemptness.”  The unnatural dye job was in. (Has it really been out in recent years?) As was — alas — the mustache.  Also hand tattoos.  Shearing or buzzing the head remains popular.  And Jon Hamm living the clean life and handsomer than ever, is “Groomsman of The Year.”
IF YOU were to play me a song by Selena Gomez, I would not know who I was listening to. I know what a big deal Gomez is.  At 25, she has already sold 3.4 million albums, and is even a bigger draw in on-demand streaming.  She’s hot.  But to attempt to keep current with this girl’s music would be — as I see it — ridiculous.  (The only thing I remember about her appearance at the recent American Music Awards is that she performed on what appeared to be wrecked, abandoned car. I assumed it was a metaphor for something.) 

All this said, I’ve been an admirer of Gomez as an actress and a young woman with a lot of presence since her days on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.” I initially tuned in to that series to appreciate the fine acting talents of David Henrie. (My story and I’m sticking to it.)  
Selena Gomez and David Henrie in "Wizards of Waverly Place."
But Gomez was a real charmer, and I sensed, in my guise as the Long Island Medium, that she was going to be one of Disney’s breakout stars, like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron.  I even wrote it.  I was right.  (She was very appealing in “Spring Break,” “In Dubious Battle,” “The Fundamentals of Caring,” etc.)  

Now Selena is on the current cover of Billboard, as “Woman of the Year” and inside profiled extensively by Brooke Mazurek.  Having been though media firestorms, Justin Bieber, chronic illness (lupus), a kidney transplant, and perhaps more Bieber, she comes off remarkably mature and grateful for her life.

Discussing the scar she bears from her kidney transplant, she says it was hard to deal with at first, especially as a relationship she’d been in previously didn’t give her body confidence to begin with, but she concludes, “I feel now I am wonderfully made!”

Selena Gomez’s music is important to her, so I hope she continues to work in that area and is fulfilled.  As for me, I am more anxious to see her next year in Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York” with this year’s It Boy, Oscar nominee shoo-in Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name.”) 

P.S. On page 130 of Billboard, the magazine cites “All-Time Leading Ladies on the Charts.”  This covers hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums ranking.

The Queen stands alone.
The Queen herself, Madonna is the all-time top-performing female artist since the Hot 100 debuted in 1958. Followed by Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, The Supremes (yay!), Olivia Newton John, Aretha Franklin, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift at # 10.  The top 20 on this list includes such varied females as Diana Ross, Brenda Lee, Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Heart, Pink, Connie Francis, Beyonce, etc. 

As for the Billboard 200, it is the phenomenon that is Barbra Streisand who holds the peak position, with 34 Top 10 albums.  She is followed by Taylor Swift, Mariah, Whitney and Madonna. 

Speaking of Madonna, just by chance, I caught her with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest last Friday morning. Unusually relaxed (especially for her!), Madonna, who now lives in Portugal, with most of her six children, described herself as “a soccer mom — a fat soccer mom!”  (She is not fat.  But she is more like the voluptuous Madonna of the early 1980’s.  This is not a bad thing.)

She promoted her MDNA beauty line, but spoke most enthusiastically and sweetly about her kids.  Very much the Madonna I knew and saw privately. (Whenever I described her as “well, she’s nice,” friends would roll their eyes. They would have preferred me to say she was a bitch. I guess that’s entertainment?) Her friend, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, also popped with Kelly and Ryan and M, to play a game; something to do with sketching. I lost interest at that point.  But it was good to see the pop icon in such easy, amused and amusing form.  Obviously, soccer, Portugal and all those children agree with her!
AS a kid I never remember the Christmas season beginning so early. To be honest, there is such a glut of holiday advertising, that begins even before Thanksgiving, not to mention all the Christmas movies, that I feel December 25th has already come and gone.

But it hasn’t and I do like to keep Christmas songs going constantly in the house, about a week or so before the 25th.  This year, I’ll have even bigger selection to download onto my computer and iPhone.  (My adorable iPod, reached its limit with about 4,500 songs. I miss it, because it was so tiny.) 

Capitol Records has released “A Capitol Christmas Volume 2.  This features 24 favorites. Including “The Christmas Waltz” (Nancy Wilson), “Christmas All Alone” (The Letterman), “Winter Wonderland” (Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers), “Old Toy Trains” (Glenn Campbell), “Song of the Sleigh Bells” (June Hutton and Axel Stordahl), “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” (Gordon MacRae), “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” (Lena Horne) and more! 

Available now via Amazon.
ENDQUOTE:  “Be just in an unjust room.”

So says radio and TV personality Nessa.
Contact Denis here.