Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lebron in the City

Forget the oil spill, the World Cup, Lindsay Lohan’s expiring Get–out-of-Jail-Free card…. Here’s … Lebron. Not only does his sheer stature occupy serious pixel real estate on your TV, but now his management has decided to play with prime –time TV in a new game where the odds are interesting gambling sites a good deal more than the recent play-offs.

Maybe he’s jealous that Lamar Odum is picking up an extra paycheck from the Kardashian show, or maybe he felt jilted that he wasn’t invited to the televised wedding. Suddenly the traditional meaning of ‘game’ is no longer enough… there has to be a press angle, a reality show. For a player who has the potential status of a Michael Jordan, this kind of publicity seems somehow unfitting… but now there is Hitchcock-worthy suspense, a media-spin signing competition with huge ESPN resonance, and no doubt advertising time is beginning to rival superbowl minutes.

The current boy-King is currently in Greenwich--- not a traditionally homey place for black people, unless, of course, you are a Knickerbocker or a Yankee star. This is hedge-fund territory, a town of no malls and many Ferraris, maybe the country’s largest per-capita wine cellar acreage.

Anyway, we will sit looking at our cellphones and take our place in an audience larger than that of any recent presidential address for a one-hour extension of a pronouncement which could at best be slowed down to a 30-second sentence, including family and professional appreciation. What will he be wearing? Armani? Tommy Hilfiger? Will it be blue and orange? Tommy has done these colors-- lives in Greenwich, along with Alan Houston, David Cone….getting warmer? Will he be holding his child, standing with his wife? Will she be wearing a hat? Will Mrs. Obama’s favorite designer be making an emergency trip to Greenwich? What does Mrs. James look like anyway and will she be signing up for the newest version of Housewives of Greenwich?

The suspense is killing me. Not. But speaking of TV, I was forced to sit in front of the set to witness one of those Project Art-star episodes, produced by the fashion-savvy Sarah Jessica Parker who is Bravo-friendly and not well-known for her art expertise. And Simon de Pury…. Was it not enough for Phillips to have sold out to a champagne company…now they belong to a Russian conglomerate whose ruthless retail philosophy has little to do with art but much ado about marketing? The Warholian joke has long been exhausted, and besides the numerous PBS documentaries and the prayer that the computer age will improve the art of television, there is little compatibility between art and the TV runway. Mr. de Pury looks and acts ridiculous and the so-called gallerists are over-styled and pathetically a-philosophical. The Brooklyn Museum must be more desperate than during the 1970’s.

I was frankly baffled by the thought process of each and every one of the ‘artists’, and found one of the bottom-3 pieces very slightly better than the signature work of the visiting art-star of the week whose work is a sad and sorry example of what passes today as bankable and collectible. Bring on the Russian influence--- the grunting sexy tennis stars and the botoxed new breed of Spies--- the litigious girlfriends and models, the histrionic drama-queen skating stars and dancers.

What happened to Tolstoy and Chekhov, Gontcharova and El Lissitsky? Okay, Chagall moved to Paris. What next… Lebron in Moscow? Something suspiciously Russian about all the drama… the Nets have gone Russian… Chelsea… but not many Nets players in Connecticut… So could it be that the Knicks are about to be bought? We’ll be watching at 9 PM… which is 2 AM Greenwich time? The one that’s closer to Moscow.

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