T LOunge for December 31st, 2021

Posted on December 31, 2021

Moulin Rouge Dinner and Show – Paris, France


Ooh la la, darlings! If you need a reason to celebrate tonight, consider this: WE MADE IT TO THE FINISH LINE OF THE WORST OBSTACLE COURSE EVER! Yay to all of us! We’re heroes and rock stars. Let’s party. Here’s to arbitrary fresh starts and calendar-based new beginnings. Thank you all once again for all your support this year and we’ll be back on Monday morning, fresh as two little gay daisies, ready to spew frivolities at you to help you get through your day. Luvyameanit!




Joan Didion and the Art of Motherhood
Joan Didion was a genius. She was also a mother. The larger culture may see that as a contradiction, Carribean Fragoza writes, but Didion herself was always searching.

Joan Didion was known for her confident, self-assured statements and the surgical precision with which she observed the world. The one adjective continually invoked of her writerly persona and her work was cool. When she passed recently, one of the conversations that bubbled up about her life and her legacy was her identity as a writer and a mother. Online, some male writers asked if she was proof it was possible to be a great artist and a great parent—to be met with parent writers who quickly pointed out the nonsensicalness of that question. But if we look at Didion’s work itself, we see her contradictions. She is often admired for the clarity and conviction of her writing, but in her work, and how she thought of it, there is the uncertainty and tension between the demands of being a writer and the demands of being a mother. And certainly, in how Didion approached it, an understanding that to ask her to conceptualize the two was something that was never demanded of her male peers.


Katy Perry’s Las Vegas Residency Includes a Beer Bra
And so many campy references to 2021.

Katy Perry is bringing high camp to the desert. Last night, the superstar and Super Bowl halftime show alum debuted her Las Vegas residency at the Resorts World Theater and the over-the-top spectacular had it all: a huge singing surgical mask in case you forgot that we’re still elbows-deep in a global pandemic, glitzy costumes, and a giant toilet and super-size rolls of toilet paper.


Nicole Kidman Called Out a Journalist’s “Sexist” Question About Her Ex-Husband Tom Cruise
“I’m not sure anyone would say that to a man.”

Twenty years after getting a divorce from her ex-husband Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman is still getting asked questions about their high-profile relationship. But that doesn’t mean she’s willing to answer every inquiry that comes her way. Case in point? In a recent interview with The Guardian, the actress shut down a reporter for asking what she deemed to be a “sexist” question about her marriage to Cruise.


Queen Victoria’s Love of Jewels Went With Her to the Grave
Her symbolic jewelry has inspired a new generation of poignant pieces.

Queen Victoria took her jewelry obsession to the grave. On her deathbed, she selected stacks of bracelets, layers of necklaces, and rings (one for every finger) for her burial, and the pieces she chose included the British monarch’s precious mourning jewels, the mementos she commissioned to remember lost loved ones, and romantic pieces from her husband. That’s the power of jewelry. It’s often weighed down with much more than gold and stones; it embodies love and loss and is a tangible memory of something precious. Now, there is renewed interest in commemorative jewels and even a comeback of locks of hair encased in pieces. The more personal, the better. It’s a trend that the jewelry-loving Queen Victoria embraced when she famously turned her loves and tragic losses into jewelry mementos. Known as the monarch of mourning, she shrouded herself in black clothing when her husband Prince Albert died in 1871, and she commissioned jewelry inscribed with his name and words of love and set with locks of his hair, and she did the same when her daughter Alice died in 1878 at age 35.


Fans pay tribute to “trans trailblazer” April Ashley, who has sadly died aged 86
The actress, model and activist leaves a powerful legacy of what it means to be true to ourselves.
Fans have flocked to social media to pay tribute to actress, model and activist April Ashley who has died at 86.
Singer Boy George tweeted: “RIP April Ashley! A force of nature and transgender high priestess!”


A Small British Island Is Looking for Someone to Run Its Pub – and Serve as ‘King’
Piel Island has crowned the pub landlord as king of the island for at least 200 years.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of running a pub? Or maybe you have bigger dreams: An island all to your own or being crowned a king (or queen)? A small British island is currently on the lookout for all three – though the gig may be harder work than it sounds.
Piel Island – a mere 50-acres large – is located about a half-mile off the Furness peninsula on the western coast of northern England. Thanks to the island’s beauty and history, ferries shuttle tourists to and from the island from April to September – and so, this being England, the island has a pub: The Ship Inn.


Kristen Stewart’s Biggest Takeaway from ‘Spencer’: Brits Are All “Obsessed” With KFC
Kristen Stewart has been earning rave reviews for her portrayal of Princess Diana in the biopic Spencer. The actress learned a lot about the storied royal while filming the movie, but she also learned a lot about British people in general. Her main takeaway? Brits are obsessed with Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The finger lickin’ scene has made such an impact, that the real-life KFC released their own version of Diana’s iconic black sheep jumper—a black chicken jumper, aptly dubbed “The Spencer.” The poultry-patterned sweater was available to the first 100 people who visited KFC’s Leicester Square location and ordered a bargain bucket.


How Men’s Fashion Changed for the Better This Year
It’s a letdown that I’ve faced far too many times: You walk into a department store, past the fabulous and fun women’s clothes, only to find the men’s section is in a dingy basement and filled with sad, drab pieces. Unfortunately, the men’s market has historically been a snoozefest. While men in Hollywood have stuck to their classic tuxedos and suits on the red carpet, retailers have also clung to what sells (which is said classic suits, or simple pieces in quiet, neutral colors). I’ve often had to shop in the women’s section to find anything remotely adventurous and bold.


This Year, Artists Used the Stage as Their Runway
When COVID first hit in 2020, the idea of a big, splashy concert ever happening again seemed almost impossible. But this year, with mask mandates and vaccinations in place, artists returned to the stage and reunited with their audiences again. Viva live music! To make up for lost time, it’s been a year of epic performance style.
Theatricality was top of mind for many of music’s biggest stars this year. The fashion they wore on stage had an impact even on those sitting in the nosebleeds. Metallics, sequins, and bold colors were a definitive trend throughout artists of all genres.


Sip Your Way Through Our Favorite Whiskies of 2021
From Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Rye to the Paul John Christmas Edition.

It’s time we look back and take stock of what came our way over the past 12 months. In the world of whiskey, at least, there were plenty of highlights. An unveiling of new expressions, across all subcategories of the spirit, was a seemingly weekly occurrence. Poring through the pouring notes, I am reminded of dozens of noteworthy examples with price tags ranging from $20 to over two million. Yes…Really.


The mansion of ‘the world’s richest man’ who sank with the Titanic
The Astors’ Beechwood estate has a Titanic connection
The story of the ill-fated RMS Titanic is known the world over and has been memorialized throughout popular culture, most famously in James Cameron’s sell-out 1997 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. But what of the real people on that passenger liner and the legacies and estates they left behind? From the birthplace of the ship’s architect to the stately homes of those lost to the waves, click or scroll on to explore the remarkable residences forever tied to the Titanic.


‘Don’t Look Up’ or: How Netflix Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Discourse
The No. 1 film on Netflix starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence continues to divide critics, with director Adam McKay commenting on the internet discourse. Will the Oscars follow?

The recent comments from writer and director Adam McKay, along with David Sirota, who shares the story credit with McKay, might not be helping show how we can mend fences. Rather, they may be pouring fuel on a fiery discourse.
“Loving all the heated debate about our movie. But if you don’t have at least a small ember of anxiety about the climate collapsing (or the US teetering) I’m not sure Don’t Look Up makes any sense. It’s like a robot viewing a love story. ‘WHy ArE thEir FacEs so cLoSe ToGether?'”
“A climate movie is the #1 most popular film on the world’s largest streaming platform. This is an enormous win. If you can’t at least acknowledge that, then it’s a safe bet that you’re a character in that film.”


Inside the Ending of ‘No Time to Die’: Daniel Craig and Filmmaking Team Discuss the Shocking Conclusion
This story discusses the ending of “No Time to Die,” currently available for digital rental and purchase. Please do not read if you have not seen the film.
If audiences knew anything walking into “No Time to Die,” it was that Daniel Craig’s fifth movie as James Bond — and the 25th (official) Bond movie ever — was also Craig’s final film as the dashing secret agent. On its face, this wasn’t unusual: Originated by Sean Connery in 1962’s “Dr. No,” Bond has been played by six actors over the past 59 years, keeping the Bond movies perpetually alive as the longest running movie franchise in cinema history.
What most audiences were not expecting, however, was how Craig concluded his tenure as Agent 007.


Ketamine Therapy Is Going Mainstream. Are We Ready?
The mind-altering drug has been shown to help people suffering from anxiety and depression. But how it helps, who it will serve, and who will profit are open questions.

In the fall of 1972, a psychiatrist named Salvador Roquet travelled from his home in Mexico City to the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, an institution largely funded by the United States government, to give a presentation on an ongoing experiment. For several years, Roquet had been running a series of group-therapy sessions: over the course of eight or nine hours, his staff would administer psilocybin mushrooms, morning-glory seeds, peyote cacti, and the herb datura to small groups of patients. He would then orchestrate what he called a “sensory overload show,” with lights, sounds, and images from violent or erotic movies. The idea was to push the patients through an extreme experience to a psycho-spiritual rebirth. One of the participants, an American psychology professor, described the session as a “descent into hell.” But Roquet wanted to give his patients smooth landings, and so, eventually, he added a common hospital anesthetic called ketamine hydrochloride. He found that, given as the other drugs were wearing off, it alleviated the anxiety brought on by these punishing ordeals.


Critics’ Conversation: The Great Film Performances of 2021
THR critics celebrate career bests from Benedict Cumberbatch and Kristen Stewart, honor seamless ensembles and single out formidable turns from rising stars, character actors and clutch supporting players (all hail Aunjanue Ellis!)

“Last year when we talked about the best performances of 2020, I seem to recall we were bemoaning watching them at home instead of on the giant screens for which they were intended. Though there’s definitely a case to be made for appreciating finely detailed acting in a more intimate format, I often found myself slipping into Norma Desmond mode, griping about ‘pictures that got small.’
So it was a tonic to get back into theaters this year, even if for me most of them have been press screenings or festival premieres at Cannes and Venice. I relished every chance I got to sit masked in the dark and soak up a dazzling star turn or superlative ensemble.”


Here are the 9 most interesting conversations I had in 2021
The conversations that challenged me the most and got me thinking about a difficult problem or provocative idea

Nine conversations in particular stick out to me. They were the ones that challenged me the most, got me thinking in a new way about a difficult problem, or just explained what the hell was happening in yet another disorienting year.
There’s no unifying thread tying all these conversations together, but each of them, in its own way, left a strong impression on me. One of my favorites was with Elizabeth Bruenig, who talked about why it’s so damn hard to forgive and why so many us struggle to do it even though we know we should.

Going Out and Worried About Covid Safety? There’s a Calculator for That.
Age + vaccination status + number of guests + ZIP code + activity = Should I even leave the house?
Before David Lee gathered with his parents for Christmas, he and his family took Covid-19 precautions. They isolated themselves a few days before meeting. His parents, who are more vulnerable because of their age, got the vaccine booster shot, as did Mr. Lee, 43, a photo editor who lives in Toronto. His children, ages 8 and 10, got their first vaccine shot. And they all took rapid tests leading up to the holiday.
“With all the different things added together, it felt like a relatively safe gamble to gather for the holidays,” he said. Still, he wanted to be extra sure. So a week before Christmas he used a Covid risk calculator he found on the internet.


Our Favorite Arts Photos of 2021
These are the pictures that defined an unpredictable year across the worlds of art, music, dance and performance.

A crush of vaccinated fans pumping their wristbanded hands in the air as rock music returned to Madison Square Garden after 460 days. A masked standing ovation as “Hadestown” became one of the first musicals back on Broadway. A sweaty, pulsing Brooklyn party — social, not distanced.
It was a year of reopenings, with an almost palpable darkness-to-light feeling in its giddier moments, many of which were captured by photographers for The New York Times.


Last chance to see: Exhibition in Japan celebrates all things Eames
To mark the 80th anniversary of the Eames design office, Tokyo’s Isetan The Space gallery hosts an exhibition (until 5 January 2022), highlighting some of Charles and Ray Eames’ most celebrated designs as well as new editions and collaborations

Celebrating eight decades of the Eames Office is a new selling exhibition staged at Isetan The Space gallery in Tokyo (until 5 January 2022). Featuring over 90 works, ‘80 Years of Design’ includes artworks, photography, architectural models, furniture design, games and books, and it is narrated through archive materials and films from the practice’s history.


Beloved TV Icon Betty White Dead on the Cusp of 100th Birthday
White was set to turn 100 years old on Jan. 17, and the actress was set to celebrate the milestone with a special movie event

White was set to turn 100 years old on Jan. 17, and the actress was going to celebrate the milestone with a special movie event, Betty White: 100 Years Young, which was to feature White sharing stories from throughout her career, plus classic clips from her filmography and a lost episode from her first sitcom. Plenty of celebrity guests had been tapped to appear as well, including Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, and others.



[Photo Credit: moulinrouge.fr]

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