43 minutes ago
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Graydon Carter - Cool Guy
As a kid, I was never much of a Mad Magazine fan. My buds and I were too busy to find much time to read, and we blew all our grass cutting money on french cars and motor boats.
In the spring of 1970 though, a new magazine emerged. The National Lampoon. It was irreverent, topical, funny and strongly directed at college age males. I was hooked immediately, and can still recite verbatim many of the first several issues. The creativity level died pretty quickly though,and by the time the movies came out it was a hollow shell of its former existence.
Fast forward 15 years or so. Another new magazine arrived aiming at the demographic of the original National Lampoon reader, now in his 30's. You remember it as Spy Magazine.
Spy, like NP was topical, satirical, funny, and at times nearly libelous. Occasionally, you be amazed to find a hard hitting investigative piece which would knock your socks off. The recession of the late 80's crippled it, and it was killed it off too soon in the early 90's. It's creator was today's birthday boy, Graydon Carter.
Carter sold off his share of Spy and knocked around journalism awhile. In 1992, after Tina Brown left for the New Yorker, he became editor in chief of Vanity Fair, a position which has given him access to the world of celebrity, wealth and power for nearly 20 years.
Blogging buddy, on hiatus, Sartre hates VF but reads it regularly. I like the magazine a great deal, but get to it infrequently. Like most of us, I enjoy looking at beautiful people, but unlike Jon Goesselin I don't ever want to get caught up in the mix. Fortunately, for me, it ain't never gonna happen.
So the years have been good to him. He's put on a pound or two. Owns the Waverly Inn, his own restaurant in NY. Shows up in a movie here and there. Is a well known raconteur, and pretty good guy considering all that he is surrounded by. There is a marvelous book about Graydon's unique management style, "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" by Toby Young. Catty!!
I'd kill for his hair.
Here's to today's cool guy, Graydon Carter. Happy Birthday.