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The In Box

  1. the in-box
    Little Britain: Peace in Our Time! This is what we came home last night to find waiting with our doorman. (We have never, for the record, mentioned our name to the Tea & Sympathy people, nor said exactly where we live.) It was tasty, we were charmed, and now, we confess, we think we’ve reached acceptance. We’re Daily Intel, and we live in Little Britain. God save the queen! Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of Little Britain
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    Little Britain: We’ll Close Our Eyes and Think of CakeOh, thank God. Turns out our little conversation with the Little Britain people didn’t end yesterday afternoon, as we feared it would. Not at all. They still like us, they assured us last night. They really still like us! And now they’re offering us cake (and using fun Britishisms): From: info@ campaignforlittlebritain.com Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:26:25 PM To: intel Subject: Tally-ho! Intel, You know we love you. You’d definitely have a point if all the business on the block hadn’t signed individual letters of support, if we hadn’t collected over 1,000 signatures in person in the stores, if we hadn’t received over 90 letters of thanks from community groups we’ve supported over the last year, if a fine, upstanding pillar of the community hadn’t spoken in support at the Community Board 2 meeting. But they all did.
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    The Battle of (Little) Britain Rages On We wonder if perhaps our across-the-street/pond conversation with the jolly good folks at the Campaign for Little Britain is coming to an end. We’ve received another missive from them this afternoon, and this time there’s no humor, no suggestions of a special relationship. We’re keeping a stiff upper lip, but we’re concerned: From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:41:38 PM To: intel Dear Intel Let’s address the real issue, regardless of any rational arguments and examples of precedent we might make you can’t get over your central objection — “it’s a marketing gimmick.” This is a specious.
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    Little Britain: We Will Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Never NeverWe’ve received an offer of détente in our ongoing battle with the Campaign for Little Britain, to which we have heretofore entirely objected. Yesterday we suggested, dismissively, that if they succeed in getting Greenwich Avenue between West 12th and West 13th Streets — the British-ish shops Tea & Sympathy and A Salt and Battery are on the north side of that block — renamed “Little Britain,” we’ll campaign to have the southern side of that same block, from which we’re writing this, renamed “Little Place Where Some Jewish Writers Live.” Late in the day, we received a supportive reply. Here, a Balfour Declaration just for us: From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 2:41:42 PM To: intel Terrific idea! We’ll vote for you if you vote for us. We’ve put the kettle on… Sean Sigh. If only we could bring ourselves to vote for them. Earlier: Daily Intel’s self-indulgent coverage of Little Britain.
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    Correction: The British Are Bemused! The British Are Bemused!If anthropomorphization is when human characteristics are applied to things not human, what’s the opposite? Because we got another letter today from the Campaign for Little Britain, which writes very much as though it’s one human being but signs its notes as though it’s an intangible entity. In any event, our new pen pal Campaign takes issue with both our response to his (her?) letter yesterday, and with our (punning) headline description of the Brits as angry. Here’s London calling, from a far-too-close place: From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 1:11:08 PM To: intel Subject: Angry? Me? Dearest Intel Not remotely angry. Bemused, perhaps.
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    The British Are Angry! The British Are Angry!Earlier this afternoon we noted our disgust with the PR-driven plan to rename a block of Greenwich Avenue as “Little Britain,” a ploy by the proprietors of two British-ish businesses on that block to get themselves onto the city’s official street map. We objected to many things, among them the attempt to liken this designation to Chinatown or Little Italy, which, we argued, organically developed because of the immigrant populations who clustered in the area, not because a tea shop got a few bucks from Richard Branson to hire a PR firm. The Campaign for Little Britain responded, refuting some of our claim and charmingly using the words “recognised” and “cheers”: From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 2:20:24 PM To: intel Hi Got to take issue with your article, it is in the tradition of already recognised neighborhoods, check out Little Brazil, Koreatown, or Little India — they were started by businesses, too.
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    Please Call Andrea Peyser a BimboWednesday we pointed out what might well be the best New York Post cover ever, a Photoshop job of adoring throngs lifting a fresh-out-of- prison Paris Hilton. But we also noticed a curious coincidence: “Paris Liberated, Bimbos Rejoice,” read the cover line — and inside the paper marquee columnist Andrea Peyser was, in fact, rejoicing. Was the Post calling its own writer a bimbo? And, if so, how would she feel about that? From today’s e-mail: From: Peyser, Andrea [SMTP:xxxx@nypost.com] Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 11:00:56 AM To: intel Subject: bimbo? I love you! Oh, we love you, too, you little bimbo. Earlier: ‘Post’ Either Loves or Hates Paris Hilton
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    Hungry for Dollars Last week, we chided City Councilman Eric Gioia for realizing the difficulty of eating nutritious meals on a budget of $28 a week. Gioia, following in the footsteps of Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski, ate only what he could buy with food stamps to advocate increased funding for the program. A week’s worth of ramen and off-brand white bread can make anyone cranky, and Councilman Gioia’s office took issue with our treatment of his efforts. We also heard from Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, who joined Gioia’s diet last week. Their words are after the jump.
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    Don’t Mention the Swift Boats!In the magazine this week, Geoffrey Gray wrote about the political implications of Rudy Giuliani’s lack of military service. In the piece, he described VoteVets.org as a “left-leaning version of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” Those eight words were posted on Daily Kos and generated lots of letters. There are too many to print here, but after the jump, a sampling of spleen. (Gray’s response will be posted shortly.)
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    Do Not Mess With HargitayEvery Monday through Thursday, Daily Intel ends its day with Party Town, a feature that identifies a few of the charity galas or premieres happening that evening and then lists the celebrities who are scheduled to appear. Invariably, that list includes Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay. So when she got her own event last week for making the cover of Gotham, we declared Hargitay the “patron saint” of Party Town. And we (sarcastically) chided the Gotham article for mentioning all of Hargitay’s fine qualities but “shamefully failing to note her fetching singing voice and kindness to disabled puppies.” Though we have never heard from Hargitay, her fans came in her defense. After the jump, three outraged e-mails.
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    The Pied Pipers of Dallas and Louisville With city fast food restaurants being overrun with rats last week, Daily Intel heard the other side of the rodent’s story from a local enthusiast, Raquel Cintron. Her claim that rats are simply misunderstood was met with cheers from others around the country who keep the animals as pets. Perhaps predictably, their side of things is not often heard in public. After the jump, letters from people decrying the injustice of allowing tenants to keep hamsters but no rats. “People just think about the tail,” lamented one rat-keeper.
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    Bill Moyers Does Not Care for Glass Phallic Symbols (or, Not Unreasonably, for Us)A few weeks ago, Daily Intel’s “Neighborhood Watch” mentioned Bill Moyers’s involvement in neighborhood protests over a residential tower the New-York Historical Society wants to build on the Upper West Side. (Later, we got confused and suggested he was also opposed to a Chelsea development, a mistake we quickly corrected.) In a letter to the magazine, Moyers takes issue with our portrayal, takes another jab at the Historical Society, and concedes that we did at least spell his name correctly. The text of his letter is after the jump, or you can read it here as a PDF. (See real Moyers letterhead!)
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    In the Mailbag: I Want to Be a Producer!Here’s what landed in our in-box today, as reality-TV finally begins to eat itself: My name is Danielle and I am the casting producer for Magical Elves which does Project Runway, Project Greenlight, Last Comic Standing, Top Chef ect [sic]. We are doing a new show described below looking for the best producers nationwide to compete for a huge prize. Please read the show description below and let me know if you would ever be interested in trying out for something like this or if you know anyone that would be great! If so, please send me your resume, a picture, and your current contact information. Thanks! AMERICA’S NEXT PRODUCER Think you have what it takes to be the next Jerry Bruckheimer, James Brooks, JJ Abrams or Mark Burnett? Then we want to hear from you!
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    We’ve Angered the Vegans As any competent blogtrepreneur knows, the best way to get some attention is to piss people off. And you get the best returns, of course, by pissing off the professionally self-righteous. (Witness, say, Gawker’s baiting of George Clooney last year.) So imagine our delight to discover that we’d, off-handedly and without any calculation, managed to offend some of the most professionally self-righteous out there: the vegans. “We gently avoided last week’s Times article about the amazing strides being made in the cruelty-free fashion world,” we wrote yesterday, without thinking much about it, “because, well, we think vegans are kind of stupid.” And then the e-mail began arriving. Hell hath no fury like the morally superior mocked.