Look, we're as shallow as... okay, we're shallower than any other media-obsessed pop culture outlet in town. When an actor or designer is interviewed, we want to know about A) what shoes he is wearing, B) which model he is secretly boning while dating which starlet, C) when was he in rehab and what for, and D) what he really said to piss off Harvey Weinstein, what deal he made with Miramax's Matt Brodlie, and how he kissed Christine Vachon's ass.

But when it comes to celebrity profiles these days, it seems we don't even get the dirt — much less any actual story. We get Cheese Whiz, handled and processed with mandatory cover placement and guaranteed column inches. Take the Calvin Klein retirement send-off in the NYT magazine this Sunday. In this (otherwise intelligent) cultural meditation we learn that Klein created racy advertising, worked with great photographers, opened a new market in mens underthings, and freaked out at a Knick's game. No shit. There isn't a 12-year-old in Manhattan who couldn't have told you that.

Worse is the October Vanity Fair George Clooney interview, and it's worse because there's actually a real story that Ned Zeman couldn't or wouldn't get while he partied down at Clooney's Lake Como villa. Instead we get a few funny paparazzi stories, and a little dirt on Clooney's love life and his now-ancient feud with director David O. Russell. You can practically see Clooney ditching Zeman on the shore as he walks off across the surface of Lake Como, hand in hand with Stephen Soderbergh. It's a celebrity blowjob at its worst — and we all know there's nothing more unpleasant than bad head.
The Calvinist Ethic [NYT]