Storm and a teacup

Thursday 11 Feb 10

Last night I attended the Amfar gala at Cipriani's in NYC.  Amfar is a great organisation doing really amazing work to try to find a cure for AIDS, and educating and spreading awareness about HIV.

Last night's gala was really special for many reasons.  The late Natasha Richardson was honoured, with an amazing, moving speech by her mum, Vanessa Redgrave, and then in song by the utterly brilliant Meryl Streep.  There was not a dry eye in the house, nor a chin that was not dropped to the table.  It really felt like we were at a wake in an Irish pub. It was a great way to remember Tasha.

Elton John and David Furnish were honoured too for their amazing work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, as was Louis Vuitton's Yves Carcelle.  Lady Gaga performed, wearing white pearls on her face and a white bikini on her body.  She appeared on top of a white piano and spat out some pearls after drinking from a white cup, then sang Future Love.  I love the fact that we have a pop star who is also a performance artist.  The lovely Cyndi Lauper introduced her.  And Rufus Wainwright sang two beautiful Judy Garland songs.

My cast-mate from Burlesque, Stanley Tucci, hosted the evening, and I sat next to my cast-mate from The Good Wife, Julianna Marguiles. 

Kenneth Cole, the president of Amfar, and pun-mesiter extraordinaire, was there to greet everyone and also handed out pairs of his boots ('save a hide, wear a rubber' he quipped.)  The boots were intended to help people deal with arriving at the event all poshed up in the middle of a snow storm, and to that I would like to channel Albert Finney in the movie The Dresser, and say...

Where was the storm?!!!!

I think this storm, or lack of it, is an example of how America is under the thrall, and the potentially malevolant influence, of the media.  There was no big storm. It was a bit of snow, followed very quickly by a lot of slush. No big deal.  But had you listened to or read the reports prior to this impending weather event, you'd think we were about to experience a second Ice Age. Seriously, it was no big deal, people.  But the whole city of Manhattan was a maelstrom of closing and cancelling, all pretty much unneccesarily, and I think it is really scary to realise that so much weight was given to the frenzy the media induced.  Was it just a slow news day or something?  Or is it that now our news outlets have to outdo each other in terms of sensation and therefore can exaggerate and over-react to the extent that they make the population panic to such a degree? I think the answer is a big fat yes and I say shame on you, media.

How much did all those closures and cancellations cost?  How inconvenient and utterly unnecesary?  And how frightening to think that if we are fed information and act upon it in this way, what else could we be told or persuaded to do that was not based on reality, but merely a by-product of the dumbing down and influence of infotainment on what used to be called journalism, and the greed for viewers of an industry that is dying.

Ok, I'll stop now.  But here is a picture of me pouting.  I am pouting so hard at the media about its fake storm frenzy.

I forgot to tell you that last Saturday I went to the photography show opening in LA of my friend Traver Rains' new work. Traver is an old friend from New York, where he used to live and be one half of the Heatherette fashion line.  His new photographs combine high fashion with his homeland of Montana, sometimes with dresses in the pictures made from the timber of a shed's roof, and sometimes with the frames being made from Montana wood.  They are amazing. Click on his name to check out his website. Here we are having a laugh at the party.