CRITICS OF THE MASS MEDIA HAVE long charged that television—and most movies, for that matter—are responsible for the doping of the American mind. And it’s hard to argue with the more serious counts of the indictment: that the media mill grinds true emotion into true blather and reduces human character to cartoon character.
EACH AUGUST WHEN YOUR FICTION ISSUE COMES out, I marvel. An entire issue dedicated to something that cannot be mass-produced, flamboyantly marketed, or slathered in designer labels! It amazes and heartens me. Yours is an uncommonly civilized magazine, and this issue (“The Big Guns of August”) is your crowning glory.
Forget April. The cruelest month, golfers outside the Sun Belt understand too well, is November. For with each falling leaf comes closer that wet, wintry weekend when life as we know it comes to an end. When all but the most utterly crazed of us finally surrender to ugly reality:
Before getting into the details of the Navy pea coat, let me draw your attention to Eustace Tilley. Mr. Tilley is the dandy who adorns the cover of the anniversary issue of The New Yorker every February. He wears a high top hat, a billowing neckcloth, and extremely wide lapels.
Behold the ubiquitous travel book or, more properly, the travel guide. It tells you where to eat and sleep, which ancient ruins to Not Miss, and how to get to the volcano where they used to sacrifice the virgins. Oh, it’s useful and functional, like sun block and traveler’s checks, but it rarely, if ever, speaks to your heart.
Château d’Yquem: the name itself, unwieldy, obscure, is a great part of the mystique that surrounds this rare Sauternes wine. It has been shamelessly, lovingly acclaimed as Bordeaux’s greatest single wine, lionized by normally reserved oenophiles, extolled as a pearl among swine.
Although leftover meatloaf makes a great sandwich and fried chicken never tastes better than cold and illicit at midnight, some second glances are not what they seem. A case in point is an Italian soup called ribollita. This lusty specialty from Tuscany is essentially a minestrone twice told and told again.
Wander through the lattices of downtown Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago, on the Friday afternoon before Carnival begins, and watch the seams come loose. Corporate glass-and-steel enclosures peer over into empty lots and down on the Victorian houses, hemmed in by stucco storefronts cracking from years of heat.
Place your opponent with the sun in his eyes" —Ruy Lopez, 1561 I was a hyperactive child, easily distracted and slightly dyslexic. My family’s nickname for me was Schmuck. This quite naturally led to certain sensations of intellectual inferiority, which may explain why I fell into chess at an early age.
<p>“You have something else,” he said to her. “We’ll share.” She put her hand on his shoulder. He is twenty-seven, an executive in the medical publishing field. He wore a gray business suit, but he had the handsome, sandy-haired good looks of a young major-league second baseman.</p>
<p>IT DIDN’T LAST LONG, TWENTY minutes maybe, but it was intense. I left my office and decided I was never going back. I was never going to confront that seething “feed me” screen filled with the green letters that make up the novel I’m writing. I wasn’t going to worry one more second about “my characters,” who have held my threadbare creativity hostage for half a decade.</p>
<p>SURELY YOU REMEMBER THE BOOK, just four years ago, that showed “how to lose weight and live longer without having to eat less.” One needn’t have been fat— certainly nowhere near the point of what the National Institutes of Health calls an established health hazard (though thirty-four million adult Americans are)—to notice a program that, for once in the history of the diet-industry, actually delivered what it promised.</p>
THERE ARE DUMB ORGANIZATIONS in professional sports. Some are pathologically dumb, like the Boston Red Sox. Every ten years or so the Red Sox get into a World Series, but fact is, they haven't won one since the battle of the Argonne Forest.
Just as the tragedy of war has always reaped grand profits for those willing to invest in turmoil, so the awesome latter-day pestilence called AIDS has tempted those willing to roll dice into the miasma of public panic. Far and away the most volatile issues on the various boards this year have been AIDS-related stocks, issues that have garnered astonishing profits and more than a few astonishing losses.
Paul Hogan can throw all the hyperpituitary shrimp on the barbie he wants, but unless you've got the paper work, you won't taste any of it. American citizens need visas to enter Australia, just as they need them to get into Japan and India and even Brazil.
Once upon a time, there was a young man, or maybe it was a woman. He or she entered the Company relatively brisk and fresh of heart. There were triumphs aplenty in the years that followed, and days of chagrin, but he always felt he was a part of something, something roomy, and moist, and companionable, where his interests and those of his fellows were one.
One evening back in June, as I was paying some bills, I suddenly noticed the premium for my umbrella liability policy was due one day hence. There was no way my check would make it in time. Luckily, the company apparently thinks I’m a good risk:
You meant to buy that dream house last spring when mortgage rates dropped to 8.5 percent, but you hesitated and were lost. Until now. Lenders all over the country are offering convertible adjustable-rate mortgages, which allow a buyer to take out a mortgage at a rate that is currently about two and a half percentage points below the fixed mortgage rate.
MARLA HANSON, TWENTY-five, is a native of Dallas, a small, cherubic woman who came to New York to seek her fortune as a model. She got some fashion and cosmetic jobs through the Petite Model Management agency and lived with three other women in an apartment in lower Manhattan.
Out of the closet and into the living room: nine episodes in the most dramatic cultural assimilation of our time
<p>Like every middle-class American kid at college, I was convinced I knew everything—particularly about sex, the first order of business of any boy after his escape from home. On a night in the late 1960s—fall of freshman year at a not-yet-coeducational school—I went off with some of my roommates to put this knowledge into practice. </p>
UNFINISHED PROJECTS ARE BEGINning to wear on master architect Michael Graves. For twelve years he has lived “like a student" in the pink stucco building outside the gates of Princeton, in the midst of one of the great unfinished projects of his life—his own home.
The stance is open, the eyes unmasked, the mouth full, sensuous, poised on the verge of speech—or something even more personal. And the hands, delicate yet powerful, expressive beyond words, capable of conveying the most tender thought or withering expletive in a single flourish.
So you’ve got big dreams ? Start dressing like you mean it
Let’s face it, boys. You need some help. Among you, you’ve got weight problems, height problems, confidence problems, and monotony problems. Special emphasis on the last one. What’s a voter supposed to think? With nearly a dozen hopeful hats in the ring, there has never been a presidential race that seemed to cry out so deeply for a little charisma:
<p>PERVERSE CHARACTER sometimes shows itself physically: Roy Cohn’s lizard eyes; Nixon’s unshavable beard; Kissinger’s croak. Jack Roland Murphy, known to the world as “Murph the Surf” since October 29, 1964, when he and two pals stole the Star of India from the Museum of Natural History in New York, looks like a parrot.</p>
Brored with all those multihued parkas that make you look like a colorized version of the Michelin tire boy? Weary of having to buy one jacket for the slopes and another for wintry weekdays? Stay cool. This year somebody finally decided to combine the casual but classy look of sturdy streetwear with the insulating capabilities of traditionalal skiwear.
The sun that you took so much care to protect yourself against on the beach last summer is the same one refleding so brightly on the ski slopes this winter. We pass this bulletin along because so many people seem not to have gotten the message that's as plain as the nose on President Reagan's face.
The Absolute, Pluperfect, Most Exciting, Sublime Ski Runs in America. Period
A heart-stopping report from the top of the mountain
This is what it's all about. This is where all those lessons, all those cold hours working on form, all those bumps and bruises finally pay off. It's graduation time. Après-ski amenities... convenience...luxurious appointments back at the lodge.
How a brash, brilliant, and troubled actor found redemption in the Hollywood hills
<p>IN OCTOBER 1982, WHEN RICHARD DREYFUSS ran his soft-top Mercedes 450 SL into a palm tree on Benedict Canyon Drive, flipped over, and landed in the hospital, where he was arrested for possession of cocaine, many people were gratified. Yes, he was one of our greatest actors; but wasn’t he due a comeuppance?</p>
No article of men’s clothing packs more potential for dramatic assertion of personal style than the topcoat Knot the belt of a rumpled trench coat and suddenly you become Rick, walking down an airport runway in Casablanca, off to kick some Nazi ass.
A reflection on the cause of today’s common journalism
<p>As one who was identified in the 1960s with the popularization of a literary genre known best as the “New Journalism”—an innovation of uncertain origin that appeared prominently in <i>Esquire</i>, <i>Harper’s</i>, <i>The New Yorker</i>, and other magazines and was practiced by such writers as Norman Mailer, Lillian Ross, John McPhee, Tom Wolfe, and the late Truman Capote—I now find myself cheerlessly conceding that those impressive pieces of the past (exhaustively researched, creatively organized, distinctive in style and attitude) are now increasingly rare, victimized in part by the reluctance of today’s magazine editors to subsidize the escalating cost of such efforts and diminished also by the inclination of so many younger magazine writers to save time and energy by conducting interviews with the use of that expedient but somewhat benumbing literary device, the tape recorder.</p>
<p>What is it about New Yorkers that they so love geographic acronyms—SoHo, NoHo, TriBeCa, and now SoFi, which stands for “South of the Flatiron Building,” a New York landmark shaped like a piece of wedding cake and set at Fifth Avenue and Broadway?</p>
<p>World War III is forty-eight hours old. Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence White, 4th Battalion commander of the 502nd Infan-j try, Berlin Brigade, has had his unit cut up pretty bad. His most successful company is down to ten men, a casualty rate of some 90 percent, and another of his company commanders got himself killed just two hours ago.</p>
ON THE EVE OF HER FORTY-FIFTH birthday, Etheleen Grossberg looks into the mirror and tries to decide what she is. What she is not is beautiful, that is clear. What she also is not is ugly. Somewhere in between is what she is, but not jolie laide either.
On page 108: Polo by Ralph Lauren suit at Polo/Ralph Lauren, New York; New Orleans; Houston; Beverly Hills and Carmel, California. Polo by Ralph Lauren shirt at Polo/Ralph Lauren, New York; Tampa, Palm Beach, and Boca Raton, Florida; Seattle.
Question: What would happen if Jack, of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, met Cinderella in the woods, and Little Red Riding Hood met Rapunzel? Answer: A musical—Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim (right) and James Lapine, the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Sunday in the Park with George.