Report from a meeting of Wall Street's secret, tasteless plutocrats' club #1yrago

In the process of writing his just-released book Young Money, an investigative look at the bankers who’ve joined Wall Street since the crash of 2008, author Kevin Roose snuck into a meeting of the secretive Kappa Beta Phi club – an organization of hyper-rich Wall Street bankers.

Roose recorded the captains of of industry, whose shady dealing had crashed the world economy and plunged millions into untold misery, cavorting on stage, making jokes about poor people and Hillary Clinton, dressing up in drag, and singing an anthem about how much bailout money they’d suckered out of the feds, to the tune of Dixie: “In Wall Street land we’ll take our stand, said Morgan and Goldman. But first we better get some loans, so quick, get to the Fed, man.”

New York Magazine has a membership roll of the Kappa Beta Phis, which is a who’s who of the richest, most powerful men on Wall Street.

The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.

The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.

The last thought I had, and the saddest, was that many of these self-righteous Kappa Beta Phi members had surely been first-year bankers once. And in the 20, 30, or 40 years since, something fundamental about them had changed. Their pursuit of money and power had removed them from the larger world to the sad extent that, now, in the primes of their careers, the only people with whom they could be truly themselves were a handful of other prominent financiers.

Young Money [Amazon]

One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society [Kevin Roose/New York Magazine]

(Thanks, Josh!)

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anonymous asked:

I was thinking about Liam's #3 in Attitude's Hot 100. Not that he isn't hot, he just doesn't get media attention like that. Then it came to me: seeding for LGBT-themed questions during album promo! Niall supported same sex Ireland vote, Harry - the US vote/danced with Canada flag & now Liam is considered hot by a gay man's magazine! Eventually he'll be asked what he thinks, and the others about theirs. And coverage of Rainbow Direction for when they'll be asked about fan reaction to the CO!

They can definitely talk more freely about rainbows, signs are appreciated and shown on the big screens, articles talk about their LGBT support, just today they are the gayest band so I am really looking forward to great interviews and I hope that the sickening girl crush questions and all its versions will be blacklisted.


David Sims . Florence Welch . LOVE Magazine //

Okay, diese Woche scheint der Sommer kurz eine Verschnaufpause einzulegen. Wobei die Betonung auf “kurz” liegt, hoffe ich. Nichtsdestotrotz eignet sich diese Pause hervorragend, um einen Ausblick auf den Herbst/Winter 2015/2016 zu wagen, denn die neue Ausgabe des LOVE Magazine steht in den Startlöchern, die Nummer 14 mittlerweile. Katie Grands Modebibel erscheint nur zweimal im Jahr, dafür handelt es sich bei jeder Ausgabe um ein monumentales Werk, in dem sich das Who is Who der Modebranche die Klinke in die Hand gibt. Und es handelt sich um ein Werk, das den Zeitgeist reflektiert und Themen setzt. Was geht, wer ist angesagt und wer wird nächste oder gar übernächste Saison angesagt sein? Was wird man tragen? Das LOVE Magazine ist Pflichtlektüre und Inspirationsquelle zugleich.

Auch die Ästhetik des Magazins ist im Fluss, verändert sich von Ausgabe zu Ausgabe. Und so gut wie alle namhaften Fotografen haben bereits ihren Beitrag geleistet im Laufe der Jahre. In dieser aktuellen Nummer 14 wird dem Briten David Sims der rote Teppich ausgerollt. So hat er allein bestimmt 50 oder mehr Seiten zu verantworten. Wer möchte, darf gerne nachzählen. Das Motto “Talents” spiegelt sich in seinen Arbeiten wie in denen anderer beitragender Fotografen. Und es sind schlicht zu viele und vor allem zu viele gute Fotos dabei, dass ich kapitulieren musste. Doch um wenigstens etwas zeigen zu können, entschied ich mich für obige Aufnahmen der Sängerin Florence Welch, die mich spontan verweilen ließen. Nicht weil man Florence noch nie im Modekontext gesehen hätte – im Gegenteil, sie galt und gilt als Ikone – doch diese Aufnahmen sind derart natürlich, dass ich tatsächlich einen Moment lang brauchte, um die Britin zu erkennen. Und wie gut steht ihr ihre Natürlichkeit, die sie seit Veröffentlichung ihres Albums “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” vor Kurzem neu in den Fokus rückt! Eine Überarbeitung des eigenen Image sozusagen (das man bekanntlich wie die Gaderobe wechseln kann). Florence, die Natürliche. Florence, die Tiefgründige. Florence, die Ungekünstelte. Kamen sie und ihre Songs früher nicht ohne den gewissen Bombast aus, ohne Pathos, so sprechen diese und andere Fotos, die im Rahmen der Album-Promotion erschienen, eine deutlich zurückhaltendere, nachdenklichere, weniger glamouröse, ja einfach eine gänzlich andere Sprache. Wenn der Eindruck nicht täuscht, ist dies sorgsam inszeniert. Dennoch mag man eben diesen Schritt als nächste (logische?) Stufe in der Entwicklung der Künstlerin verstehen. Sicherlich keine verkehrte Entscheidung.

Ich denke, ich werde noch weitere Strecken aus der neuen Ausgabe des LOVE Magazine im Laufe der kommenden Wochen an dieser Stelle vorstellen. Es lohnt sich. Und ich gelobe Besserung, was die Frequenz meiner Beiträge angeht. Bisschen Ebbe gewesen zuletzt. Wird sich wieder ändern. Zumal ich auch noch ein paar eigene Fotos schuldig bin. Mehr demnächst!

Die offizielle Website des LOVE Magazine ist folgende:

Alfredo Piola

A Day With the Man Who Brings Museum Works to City Walls

In 1877, William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted “Le Jeunesse at l’Amour,” a sensuous nude shouldering a playful angel, a work now hanging on the main level of the Musée d’Orsay. In early June, Julien de Casabianca pasted an oversize simulacrum of the figures on the wall of nondescript building in the 18th Arrondissement. 

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Alexander Skarsgård in Knockout at Fortune Gym

Alexander Skarsgård, born in ’76, is the oldest of eight children. Two of his brothers are working actors, with Bill appearing in the Netflix seriesHemlock Grove and Gustaf playing the role of Floki in the History Channel’s Vikings. Skarsgård’s mother, My Skarsgård, is a physician in Stockholm who specializes in working with addicts. His father, Stellan Skarsgård, is a veteran of the Stockholm stage and such Scandinavian films as Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves.

In recent years, Stellan has made a place for himself in Hollywood as a key cast member in two separate blockbuster series, The Avengersand Pirates of the Caribbean. At the same time, after 35 years of marriage, he and his wife split up. Stellan now has two sons with his second wife, Megan Everett Skarsgård.

Stellan and Alexander faced off against each other, to good effect, in von Trier’s apocalyptic nightmare, Melancholia, a 2011 film that includes a line that pushes the bleakness of Scandinavian drama to its limit: “All I know is, life on earth is evil.”

In the movie, the Skarsgård père plays a gamey rogue, while Alexander, smiling sweetly, is a submissive groom who understands little about his bride-to-be, a spirited depressive played by Kirsten Dunst.

As actors in that one, both Skarsgårds did what they usually do to win over audiences: Stellan went out and grabbed them, Jack Nicholson–style, with his sharp tongue and glinting eyes, while Alexander drew them in by keeping himself quiet in his body and gentle in his speech. The father conquers. The son seduces.

Henry-Alex Rubin, the director of Disconnect, compares Alexander to a long-ago Swedish actor-director who got his start in the silent era: “He’s less like his father,” Rubin says, “and more like  Victor Sjöström in Wild Strawberries—a great Swedish actor who did a lot with very little. As opposed to a lot of Americans, who come from the Stella Adler school, Alex comes from the Swedish school of doing a lot with very little. There are a lot of shots [in Disconnect] where he does absolutely nothing on screen. Just a tiny shift in the eyes. And that’s his choice.

 “True Blood capitalizes on his brooding, mysterious quality, but in real life Alex is very sweet and thoughtful and even kind of boyish. At festivals or when we’re out socially, I watch as he spends his time taking pictures with these middle-aged housewives and grannies. It’s little things like him bending at the knees, not to dwarf them in pictures. It reminds me of what I’ve read about James Dean, how respectful he was around women, which is a contradiction, because he was such a handsome boy. In a similar way, Alex doesn’t act like a handsome lady-killer. He’s very respectful, and that’s something you wouldn’t expect, because women find him to be a sex symbol, and he’s got these screaming True Blood fans. But he doesn’t exploit or even take advantage of his looks, and I think that’s telling.

“He has never said this to me, but I imagine he is tired of playing a vampire and wants to explore different sides of himself. I think, in the past, he has been underestimated, which is a great place to be, because then you can blow people away.”

Rubin has been out on the town with Skarsgård as well and reports, “He’s a really loving drunk. I probably shouldn’t say that, but you know how people’s personalities come out when they’re drunk.”

 The director also talked about the filming of a key scene in Disconnect, when Skarsgård’s character finally loses it: “When he broke down and cried like a baby, even the crew was shocked. He really cracked—and when he cried, it was real. It wasn’t fake crying. He reached inside. He went in deep and he found it and he cracked. It was very emotional to experience, watching him do that on set. I imagine that it is difficult for anyone in Swedish culture, because they are incredibly restrained people who don’t often wear their emotions on their sleeves.”

 We meet Alexander Skarsgård at the sweet spot in his career, when he is morphing into a movie star. To commemorate the change, M set him up at Fortune Gym, on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, to re-create the sweaty Hollywood glamour of Somebody Up There Likes Me(starring Paul Newman, 1956), or Champion(Kirk Douglas, 1949), or maybe Kid Galahad(Edward G. Robinson, 1937). At left is former heavyweight professional and current gym proprietor Justin Fortune, who fought Lennox Lewis back in ’95. “I was six-two when I went in the ring,” Fortune says, just before working with Skarsgård. “Now I’m five-foot-nine.”

 His film career got its start in 2001, while he was visiting his papa (actor Stellan Skarsgård) in LosAngeles. “My dad’s agent said, ‘Oh, I’ll send you out on a meeting,’” Skarsgård says. “I auditioned for Zoolander and got it.” It was the small (but crucial!) role of Meekus, a dim-bulb fashion model who perishes in a gasoline fight. It did not hint much at what was to come for the star of HBO’s True Blood, who is now making his name in three movies playing at the same time: The East, What Maisie Knew, and Disconnect.

 “He’s a good mover,” says film director Henry-Alex Rubin, who made the Oscar-nominated 2005 documentary Murderball and cast Skarsgård in the recent Disconnect. “The way an actor moves through space is essential to believing them. Alex moves like a soldier. More important, there’s a mystery to him. You don’t meet Alex and immediately think, ‘I understand him.’ It takes a long time. If I were to compare him to someone that he is going to grow into, he reminds me of Clint Eastwood.”

When gym proprietor Justin Fortune saw Skarsgård lying on the canvas, he said, “Don’t get used to that fuckin’ position, all right?” The actor lifted his head and laughed. He has been down before. Roughly 10 years ago, he found himself auditioning for stupid parts. Then he saw something he wanted—the role of U.S. Marine Sgt. Brad “Iceman” Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, which was co-produced by The Wire’s David Simon and Ed Burns. “I got lucky,” Skarsgård says. “I got the part.”

Skarsgård is six-foot-four. His arms are like ropes. Those attributes (and his linguistic skill) made him right for the role of a Mississippi golden boy turned rapist in Rod Lurie’s brutal and effective 2011 remake of Sam Peckinpah’sStraw Dogs. In real life, though, as if to compensate for his physical gifts, Skarsgård has a gentle manner, which he shows off to good effect in What Maisie Knew. In that one he plays a slouchy bartender who impulsively marries a self-involved musician (Julianne Moore). Little by little he becomes a doting father figure to her neglected daughter, Maisie (Onata Aprile), in the sweetest cinematic pairing of an adult male and a young girl since Ryan and Tatum O’Neal starred in Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon (1973).

 Skarsgård was famous as a kid, after appearing on a popular Swedish TV show, but he hated being recognized—so he quit acting for his teenage years. Now, at age 36, he doesn’t mind being approached by even the most smitten True Blood fan. “I’ve learned to be genuinely happy if someone likes what I do,” he says. It helps that he’s a fan himself. “I love Spencer Tracy. And Marlon Brando was phenomenal—I’m a huge fan of his. Paul Newman, as well, with Hud. There was a darkness and also something very naturalistic about the way they acted that you didn’t see so much of before that. They weren’t theatrical. James Cagney had it, too. That intensity. For a leading man, to have that darkness, and to be able to explore that, back when a lot of them were just flashy leading men… Cagney was awesome. Awesome.”

Skarsgård began making his own way at age 19, when he joined the Swedish army. “My dad is an actor,” he says as he sits on the bike behind Fortune Gym, “and all his friends are artists, painters, musicians, actors—so it was great, growing up with these super-creative, interesting people. There were big dinner parties, and my dad loves to cook. Tons of wine—it was a crazy household, but so much love, as well. So I come from a family of these super-left-wing pacifist bohemians and wanted to challenge myself and do something completely different from what I was used to.” As a member of a special operations unit called SakJakt, he picked up a lot of what he has used as an actor—skills that may come in handy once more if Warner Bros. decides to go ahead with Tarzan as its new tentpole franchise, with Skarsgård in the loincloth.

Source:  WWD.comPhotos By Matthew Brookes