November 28, 2009



Christmas Kissing- One Or Flu?

British etiquette experts Debretts are advising revellers to refrain from saliva laden Christmas kisses this festive season to help reduce the risk of spreading swine flu.

However, Debretts etiquette queen Jo Bryant said that ‘cheek to cheek’ kissing remains safer than shaking hands prompting the Daily Telegraph to outline her earlier instructions on the correct way to high society kiss.

"Cheek skin must make brief, light contact; sound effects, air kissing and saliva traces are to be avoided at all cost,” Ms Bryant advised in an article on social kissing posted on the Huffington Post in August.

“Don't linger, and make sure that hands are kept well above the waist. Note, too, that social kissing is strictly a cheek-to-cheek activity,” she urged, “Kissing on the lips should be reserved for partners, lovers and romantic moments."

London man-about-town socialite/ friend-of-the-stars/ DJ Ronnie Joice caught swine flu earlier this year and chatting to Skrufff this week admitted to being a prolific social kisser.

“I air kiss approximately fifty times a day and I may have stuck a tongue in once or twice,” he confessed.

The hugely busy DJ (reputedly mates with Agyness Deyn and Kate Moss alongside other London celebs) suggested he caught flu instead from his 13 year old brother after a ‘rare trip home’ and was sanguine about the threat posed by both kissing and flu.

“The thing is, you can't avoid it,” he pointed out, “Get it now before the strain develops into something deadlier or before you kiss anyone ask for a full medical to be completed and a vaccination administered,” he advised.

He was equally nonplussed about the severity of the much hyped sickness.

“I've had worse,” said Ronnie. “Though the Tamiflu medication was weird. You felt all trippy, like a pleasant ecstasy comedown. Then you'd be filled with nausea. Then all of a sudden you'd feel fine. The worst is the first few days with the aches, the pains, the headaches, the loss of appetite, the fevers, the cold sweats. Wanting it all just to end. Good thing is, eventually it does.”

Debretts’ no-snogging suggestion emerged a year after the Guardian identified ‘a sudden explosion of oral promiscuity’ in the UK after British businessmen were formally advised against kissing Indian associates during a trip to the Asian continent.

Body language expert Judi James said social kissing had long been common amongst families and close friends since the 20s, plus amongst people involved in ‘the excitable professions’.

“The theatre, the media, fashion - anywhere you might call someone 'darling', basically. But it's now infinitely more widespread. Even accountants do it,” she told the Guardian.

"We're now starting to see the advent of non-sexual lip kissing,” she added.


New York ‘Loses Its Edge’

London Times columnist Stefanie Marsh suggested Manhattan has finally embraced middle American values this week, and concluded that ‘New York has lost its edge’.

The British culture critic suggested many of the city’s creative types have long opted for Berlin and London leaving bankers living in ‘shiny faceless luxury condos’ and buying US$700 Ramones T shirts from ‘super-high end boutiques’ built out of the detritus of CBGBs.

On a brighter note she noted that Manhattan’s financiers are nowadays regarded as ‘some of the most reviled people on earth’ with some clubs actively cancelling annual corporate memberships.

“We want to distance ourselves from bankers, even if they helped to set us up in the first place,” one (anonymous) club promoter told the Times, “They’re pariahs. Money is just not cool any more.”

The article appeared just as the New York Times revealed that thousands of the America’s artists have earned less in the last 12 months with almost one in five (18%) seeing their income drop by 50% between 2008 and 2009.

5,300 musicians, architects, writers and filmmakers responded to a survey commissioned by arts organization Leveraging Investments in Creativity, which also revealed that almost all artists (94%) earned less than US$80,000, despite many having college degrees.

“A lot of the artists who were reporting were telling us, ‘I live in a recession all the time, so this downturn has really not been so different for me,’ ” study chief Judilee Reed told the New York Times.

Brit in Amsterdam techno legend Dave Clarke flew into New York this week for the first time in a while and revealed he was disappointed with the City in a typical blunt Twitter post.

“In the words of Blake Baxter "New York . . .What Happened?",” Dave quizzed.

“Someone tell me where did the scene in NY go? Don't blame the Mayor please,” he added.

On a more uplifting note, David Guetta prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving in New York this weekend (Friday November 27) with a high profile gig at Pacha. Standard tickets cost US$35, VIP Mezzazine tickets US$200, and VIP Premium Seating US$275.