<p>I used to spend a lot of time in piano bars when I first came to Los Angeles. The reason I spent so much time in piano bars was the trend spotter. Trend spotting is a job category peculiar to New York magazines, particularly The New York Times Magazine.</p>
Every genius has a theme, and with our art director, Michael Gross, that theme appears to be dogs. Look at page 106, where you will see, in a photograph accompanying The Love Songs of Roy Blount Jr., a dog wearing earmuffs. A basset hound, in fact.
You’ve Got To Say One Thing About God: He sells books
D. Keith Mano
<p>We meet in a Grand Union parking lot. I can’t tell you just where. He’s a superstar publisher of Christian evangelical books; call him the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost was almighty reluctant to speak with me. (Both of them are, if truth be told.) Let’s say he doesn’t feel comfortable in lesbian-ordaining New York: Genesis 3 says a lot, none of it favorable, about the Big Apple.</p>
The revitalization of Clay Filter: Yet another passage
The Fractious Fifties On the surface, Clay Filter would appear to have had everything he had ever wanted. (His name is fictitious.) The ginger-haired magazine editor might not have wanted the middleaged spread that occasionally caused his shirt buttons to pop off, but otherwise he had achieved his life’s dream.
<p>Walter Cronkite went on the radio January 23, 1976, to denounce “phony journalists” for cooperating with the U.S. government and thereby soiling the profession. Walter was not his usual affable self. He was hotter than Isaiah as he held the sinner up to public scorn:</p>
Now they've moved Nora near him, let them go earthwise, wherever. To whom can they matter, these mounds? The great bear effigy we saw in Iowa, cleared for everyone's climb and look, connected more. But why should any of it arrest us so, except as burial practice, getting set to learn, near woods and water, schemes of repose? What’s helped before, this side—the taking measure of worlds we don't know quite what to make of—may still count for something when the final oddness comes like a bear and calls, as the dark loses lucidity, “Move nearer, Nora . . . whoever . . ."
Anyone who has ever tried to squeeze six souvenir-stuffed bags under an airplane seat knows that shopping abroad is no idle enterprise. Tourists see shopping as a sacred right (and rite), and many otherwise rational people begin to quiver perceptibly the minute they’re within sniffing distance of the Rue du Faubourg St.
<p>Feature this: A pitcher dissipates only lightly, gets to the park on time, avoids fistfights with his mates, keeps his head in the game, always gives at least one hundred ten, one hundred twenty percent. Only one thing: he insists on wearing his late father’s beat-up old fishing hat on the mound.</p>
<p>A year ago, and about a year after I removed my family from a university town to this Mad River Valley in Vermont, I sat at my desk ruminating about a poet, Ted Hughes, who feels kinship with wild animals, especially predators. By a happy coincidence, as I sat and thought, my own local predator gave voice, and I put it to use, thus : “As I write I can hear a coyote moan and call.</p>
There was no moon at all and it
was about as black as a night ever gets, but that didn’t bother us because we
had a light and a gator’s eyes from a hundred yards away are as big as
half-dollars and shine like fire. We would have been in an airboat, but Hank,
the poacher I was with, had blown a piston in his earlier in the week, so we
were in a sixteen-foot Boston Whaler powered by a fifty-horse Johnson outboard,
which was all he could put his hand on just then.</p>
Bruce Jay Friedman (The Lonely Guy Apartment, January) is way too funny to be an honest-to-God Lonely Guy; he must be a fake. But keep him coming in your magazine, and I’ll subscribe for at least twenty years. Kay Cunningham Hickory, N.C. Bruce Jay Friedman claimed with dubious whimsy that Sandor Ferenczi killed himself.
The hottest-selling items in Hollywood these days are sequels and headlines. There was a time when studios and producers took chances and risked a lot of money on an original script or an unknown actor. They’d spend their time talking about their commitment to new talent and the pursuit of art.
<p>Instant everything. Instant books and instant movies, instant celebrities and instant producers. Instant deals, GARY GILMORE FIRES LAWYER, HIRES AGENT. Headlines become the movies. Half the work of exploiting an idea has been done. A businessman knows a bargain when he sees it.</p>
Karen Quinlan, Patty Hearst, Melvin Dummar, Peter Reilly, Lt. Col. Nethanyahu and Idi Amin, Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward, Gary Gilmore. Good guys, bad guys, in-between guys—they all have this in common : a film or a book is being made about them, or has been made, or is planned.
Just seven years ago, Detroit’s automobile manufacturers offered 375 models to the public. When new cars were introduced this past fall, there were 295, often with little more than chrome trim and nameplates to distinguish one model from another.
Nuclear missiles may or may not be with us forever. But while they are, how would you like to live right next door to one?
<p>The car followed a road that ran between a broad tidal river and thick woods. Cypress and swamp oak furred with Spanish moss. A sailor in whites drove. He steered with one hand and in the other he held a microphone, into which he murmured. The admiral and I sat in back.</p>
<p>Okay, that’s a silly title, but we had to get your attention. If we had suggested right off that we intended to talk about something good for you, would you have read any further? But Japanese food is good for you. And business is booming. There are almost as many Japanese restaurants in the U.S. as there are transistor radios—one hundred fifty in New York City alone.</p>
At three in the morning, the Kid was still chainsmoking in the living room of our Saratoga house, staring transfixed at the Daily Racing Form. His nervousness was understandable. The Kid had recently dropped out of graduate school at The University of Chicago to see if he could make his living as a professional horseplayer.
Several years ago, a newcomer to horse racing cheered wildly as his horse won the second half of a daily double at Belmont Park. The double paid $80 and the boy held three winning tickets. When the taped replay of the race appeared on the television monitors, he howled again with delight.
When your horse is coming from the backstretch through the clubhouse turn, it’s not the time to miss any of the action. All binoculars are classified by a standard system. The numbers are usually on the top and will read 7X35, 7X50, 8X30, etc. The first number indicates the degree of magnification; seven-power binoculars, for instance, make an object seven hundred feet away appear to be only one hundred feet away.
It's not whether you win or lose, but how you kill the time
I knew from the moment we arrived at Aqueduct that we were going to have a lot of time on our hands. There was no jazz band. The last time my wife, Alice, and I were at Aqueduct, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was playing in the park behind the Grand Stand —a sure bet for all the spaces.
The man was there, standing outside Federal Hall, corner of Wall and Nassau. Sweating in a frayed shirt and overused suit, he held a homemade sign over his head, hand-lettered on both sides, political in nature. But down here, in the district, the men gaped only at females.
Woman is either political or merely generic; A doll or a dame is a dullard. Femme and lass are crass or esoteric ; Lady, I guess, is like colored. Girl, it is argued, is too much like boy. Broad is just used for effect. A bird or a frail’s like a pet or a toy; Tomato connotes disrespect.
Decide early, avoid the crunch: Who do you want to meet when you go up?
Ralph L. Woods
My first choice would be Adam. How did it feel, after all that time, to set eyes and other things upon the first female creature? Was he surprised by a) the menstrual function, b) her physical changes when she first became pregnant, and c) was he as nervous or more so than most males at the time of the accouchement'? As the children grew older, did they wonder at the absence of an umbilicus, which marked their father as different from them, and one would have to ask what he replied when they said, “Daddy, where did you come from?”
It was the spring of '42, and boyhood had a few more moments to go
<p>Let me tell you about the Somerset Maugham party that we gave at <em>The Advocate</em> in the spring of 1942. The magazine was housed then in a dark grey flat-roofed three-story building across the street from the stern of<em> The Lampoon</em> (and indeed we were much aware of being in their wake—Lampoon editors usually went to <em>Time</em>, ours to oblivion).</p>
"You can't see Mister Buckbinder and you can't see Mister Murdock. Mister Buckbinder and Mister Murdock worked side by side for twenty-some years, then suddenly yesterday at ten minutes past four Mister Buckbinder shot Mister Murdock. Perhaps I could get an appointment for you to see Mister Carlyle."
Fistfight on the old cemetery. Both of them want Donna, square off, and Donna and I watch from the Lincoln convertible. I’m neutral. I wear sharp clothes and everybody thinks I’m a fag, though it’s not true. The truth is, I’m not all that crazy about Donna, that’s all, and I tend to be sissy of voice.
Who is that?” hissed the woman at the corner. Pete and Tardy were necking. They could never quit. They hardly ever heard. The porch where their bench was was purple and smelly with creeping pot plants. Their child, who was thirty, rode a giant trike specially made, he being, you know, simple, back and forth on the walk, singing : Awwwww.
I’ve often remembered the long days of fishing at sea off the coast of Cuba. My father and mother, my grandfather Ernest, his wife, Mary, and different friends were there. The crew was on board, notably Juan, our first mate and cook. I was seven or eight, wiling away the day as the grown-ups fished, sitting quietly while Mary and Grandpapa answered my endless questions about the sea.
You think you know, but are you sure? How can you tell if your friends are for real? Do they like you for yourself, or for what you can do for them? Should they? Some of the best minds of our time wrestle with this tricky, neglected subject. Billy Graham After Watergate What hath it profited a man? The first post-Nixon look at the mighty evangelist.