Arts, Media & Culture: Diane Keaton, Deborah Needleman, New Idea

Arts, Media & Culture Update
Emily Rhodes of the book blog Emily Books has her (hard) back up about undervaluing the female-authored novel. "How can publishers tell a woman that her choice of book is only worth £12.99, but a man’s is worth £18.99? And, worse still, how can they deny a woman’s book all the trimmings – hard covers, dust jackets, a decent RRP – that belie confidence in its publication?" So she writes in 'Death of the Woman's Hardback' for Spectator UK.

You can bet Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again, will come out in hardback, just like Joanna Lumley's Absolutely and Patricia Bosworth's Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman (a memoir and biography is surely deserving of hardback status?). You can catch a glimpse of Diane talking about her book – which contains reflections on her mother – here. Did you know she got her inspiration for wearing men's hats shopping in a Salvation Army store? P.S. There is a retro David Jones dress just waiting for someone to love at the Salvo's online shop.

Deborah Needleman, former editor of Domino, editor of WSJ Magazine and creator of WSJ Off Duty, has released her book The Perfectly Imperfect Home... in hardcover (Random House; $55). You can read Needleman's '10 Odd, Yet Essential, Elements of Style' at WSJ online. My new bloggy friend Sarah Brydon-Brown has made some notes on building bloggy momentum for such a book.

Do women in leadership make a difference? You bet! The Australia and New Zealand School of Governance recently convened a panel of high-achieving women, including former Democrats leader, Natasha Stott Despoja, former chief of Victoria Police Christine Nixon, company director Wendy McCarthy and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, with the event opened by Governor General Quentin Bryce. Well worth a watch if you have an hour to spare! 

The ABC's online political commentator Annabel Crabb (above)  is to many female journalists what Annie Hall is to Woody Allen enthusiasts. Watch her present her thoughts on media and politics, and the ongoing story of democracy, to The Sydney Institute here, at your ABC. Viewing will increase your IQ by at least 5 points!

It’s an occupalypse! While mega music mogul Jay-Z has attracted criticism for capitalising on the Occupy Movement “brand” with a slogan tee, somewhat contradicting the movement’s anti-Capitalism purpose, the movement has now set its sights on the poetry scene, aiming to liberate artistic authenticity from the trappings of commerciality and the clenches of benevolence from the wealthy, reports Salon. The movement is also making inroads on college campuses.

Perhaps the Occupy movement could take a cue from poetry? Research by Janina Marguc of the University of Amsterdam published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that typical poetic structures open up writers to “broader perceptions” with links to “seemingly unrelated concepts”. Or, as Wired‘s Jonah Lehrer puts it, “because poets need to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables, or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, they end up uncovering all sorts of unexpected associations. We break out of the box by stepping into shackles.” As apposed to messy and chaotic movements, the challenge of rules and order can lead to greater creative expression. This is an idea emulated by Richard Doster in his essay on Christian fiction: faith gives you a solid foundation to work from.

What every woman needs now is a rucksack... at least that's what I'm sensing looking at Sara D'Souza, travel editorial assistant at UK ELLE magazine, whose Forever 21 sack looks extremely practical. An update on last season's smaller backpack, GWAS will be hitting the streets of New York soon (more on that to come!) in a similar ensemble for the wintry season (only with a satchel, not a rucksack, of course!).

"But," writes William Deresiewicz for The New York Times, "style is superficial. The question is, what’s underneath? What idea of life? What stance with respect to the world."

Collective Shout knows what it stands for. The organisation has nominated brands that should not appear on your Christmas Wish List for 2011 according to the degree to which they excelled in objectifying women and sexualising girls through their marketing and advertising during the year. "The companies we have named do not respect women, they have not responded to complaints or changed their ways, so we are calling on shoppers to boycott their stores and labels during the holiday season,” Collective Shout spokesperson Melinda Tankard Reist said. Jewellery chain Diva, which sells Playboy branded products to tweens, Unilever, which produces Lynx, City Beach, Cotton On, General Pants and American Apparel have all made the list for failing to meet corporate responsibility obligations. On a more positive note, New Moon magazine is an alternative online and print safe-haven for girls.

Does the world really need another magazine devoted to "celebrity"? American Media Inc, publisher of OK!, National Enquirer and Soap Opera Digest, thinks it does. The publisher is launching Reality Weekly in 2012. "It reflects the fun and unpredictability of reality TV," editor Richard Spencer told Min Online. "It's uncensored and addictive." Addictive. That's a worry to me. While Pip made a convincing case for reality TV on JUSTB yesterday, my thoughts are this: you need a really healthy sense of self like Pip to consume such media without it warping your world perception. Research shows that viewing of reality TV is linked to teen cosmetic surgery, aggression and the normalisation of bullying and gossip. This is high-risk stuff for younger girls and women.

Girlfriend magazine has announced the winner of its 2011 Model Search competition sponsored by Rimmel London. Chloe Glassie, 13, joins the ranks of the competition's alumni, including Abbey-Lee Kershaw, Catherine McNeil and Pania Rose. "There is no doubt that Chloe possess the qualities the competition embodies – she’s outgoing, confident, bubbly, and possesses a vibrant fresh, diverse look," said Girlfriend editor Sarah Tarca. "We wish Chloe the very best of luck and look forward to following her journey with our Girlfriend readers." The NSW youngster (she is very young!) will have a meeting with NEXT Model Management in New York City. This competition worries me a wee bit, I have to say: it BREAKS MY HEART when I see the girls succumb to the vagaries of the industry. There need to be protective measures in place. I love the magazine's Girlfriend of the Year competition, which celebrates achievement.

The world of cosmetics is mourning the loss of Evelyn H Lauder, 75, senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. and co-creator of the Pink Ribbon Campaign, which has raised more than $350 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. An avid photographer as well as philanthropist, Mrs. Lauder died from "non-genetic ovarian cancer" and is survived by her husband, Leonard A. Lauder, two sons and five grandchildren.

Ginger Meggs, the comic strip based on the mischievous antics of a red-haired 12-year-old, has celebrated its 90th birthday. The strip first appeared in the Sydney Sunday Sun in 1921 and has been drawn by four cartoonists since. "Ginger has captured the Aussie spirit over nine decades and has inadvertently become a bit of a time capsule of the Zeitgeist of those years," Jason Chatfield, the comic's current cartoonist, in The Sun-Herald.

New Idea magazine's test kitchen will be turning its expertise to Christmas cookery starting this Sunday November 20 at 6:30PM on 7TWO. A six-week series, the show will show us how to make delights such as fruit cake, roast turkey, spiced apricot-glazed ham and cranberry and pistachio biscotti, and will be frequented by celebrity guests. It will be hosted by Damien Leith, the amateur chef and one-time Australian Idol winner who knows how to crack out a carol.

This is an update of a post that appeared at JUSTB.

Girl With a Satchel