Diary: Glammed up for drag mag

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The Independent Online

James Franco, my (and everybody else's) favourite "slash" careerist (actor/writer/student/artist/model), has been photographed in rather fetching drag by Terry Richardson for the cover of the second issue of Candy magazine, which describes itself as "the first fashion magazine ever completely dedicated to celebrating transvestism, transexuality, cross dressing, and androgyny, in all its manifestations."

A tad niche, perhaps, the title has a global print run of just 1,000. The heterosexual Franco also recently appeared on the cover of The Advocate, a US gay magazine, and has performed film roles including the poet Alan Ginsberg in Howl and Harvey Milk's partner Scott Smith in Milk. Franco's first solo art show featured a staged romantic encounter between Star Trek's Mr Spock and Captain Kirk. "Everyone thinks I'm a stoner," Franco told The Advocate, "and some people think I'm gay because I've played these gay roles. That's what people think, but it's not true. I don't smoke pot. I'm not gay..." The big tease.

* How does Red Ed feel about the Red Sox buying the Reds? It is well known that Miliband (E) is a lifelong fan of baseball's Boston Red Sox, so one presumes he would be cheered by news that the team's owner, New England Sports Ventures, plans a bridgehead to the UK by purchasing relegation battlers Liverpool FC from unpopular fellow Yanks Hicks and Gillett. Miliband (E) and his people declined to comment on the matter when I called, missing their chance to connect with the famously sensitive citizens of that staunchly Labour city. Football-wise, Miliband must be familiar with their plight, being a supporter of a once-great, once near-bankrupt club himself: Leeds United. Following their 1990s successes, Leeds have dropped two divisions. Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, are famous for their 86-year World Series losing streak, broken only after NESV bought the franchise in 2002. Liverpool's last championship win, just 20 years ago, seems like yesterday.

* You, dear reader, can now own the website founded by Mark Zuckerberg, and for a mere $15,001 (£9.433). Sadly, the site in question is not Facebook (valued at more than £20bn) but an earlier creation called FaceMash, which displayed photos of pairs of Harvard hotties and asked users to rate which was the more attractive. After generating 22,000 page views in its first 24 hours, it was banned by the US university's authorities. Now the domain is on sale at Flippa.com; the auction ends today. Bidding had reached $15,000 (£9,432.72) by 5pm yesterday. Since the US release of The Social Network (a film about Zuckerberg), traffic to FaceMash.com has reached 1,000 hits per day, though it is normally steady at about 600 per month. Facebook's monthly page views also top out near 600 (billion, that is).

* The last word, I hope, on Jonathan Franzen and the kidnap of his spectacles at his book launch: the man responsible, student James Fletcher, 27, confirmed to GQ.com that he was arrested after fleeing into the Serpentine with Franzen's specs. He spent time in the cells but was freed when the author declined to press charges. Fletcher says he thought up the ruse because the party, attended by the cream of London's literati (Victoria Barnsley, Hanif Kureishi, Geoff Dyer, Rachel Johnson ... and, erm, me) was "dull". This from a chap who studies "computational aerospace design".

* The political class's love affair with inappropriate MOR rock continues. David Cameron's conference speech was preceded by the same song that soundtracked Miliband (E)'s leadership victory: Coldplay's "Viva La Vida". "Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate," it goes. "Just a puppet on a lonely string. Oh, who would ever want to be King?" Who, indeed?

* Cancer Research hosts its regular "Turn the Tables" lunch on Monday, at which MPs get the chance to grill journalists. This year, Chris Huhne takes on Rod Liddle, while Dennis MacShane faces Justin Webb. As always, Independent readers have the chance to pose a question. A bottle of champagne to whoever suggests the funniest (to the above email address) by Monday morning.