THANKS TO LYNN DARLING for a look at the mating habits of an exotic world (“Sleeping with the Enemy,” April). Perhaps only at Harvard would hours spent debating be considered taking sex seriously. —MICHAEL TROTMAN Northampton, Mass. ELEANOR STAFFORD and her friends may be representative of one segment of the Harvard female population, but they by no means represent Harvard women in general.
IF THE PREVIOUS DECADE is any indication, the neophyte fiction writer is young and glamorous, a marketing dream whose fresh-scrubbed face and up-to-the-minute attitude often attract more attention than his or her prose. And why not? The books, the stories, and especially the attitude sold.
IT'S MORE THAN JUST Malcolm, that movie and those hats. Wiseass white kids have found Xavier University caps, with the crossed hockey sticks. Xavier McDaniel, the XMan, came to the Knicks and finally got big media play in the Garden. X is the right letter for the uncertain times.
WHEN SUMMER SANDERS dives into the pool in Barcelona later this month, she’s not sure that many people will be tuning in. “Swimming is boring to watch,” she says. “People just don’t get it.” It’s difficult to imagine anyone finding Sanders boring. At twenty, the leggy Stanford sophomore has qualified for more individual events than any other U.S. swimmer and is favored to bring back four medals to her native Roseville, California.
THE REVOLUTION may not be televised, but if you look closely, you can see the outline of the American Indian Movement on the big screen. Director Michael Mann has cast two leading Indian activists, Dennis Banks and Russell Means, in his adaptation of the James Fenimore Cooper classic The Last of the Mohicans, coming this fall.
IN TERRY SOUTHERN’S CLASSIC SHORT STORY “Red-Dirt Marijuana,” a kindly Negro farmhand discusses the pleasures of marijuana with a twelve-year-old boy. The boy asks, “How come it’s against the law if it’s so all-fired good?” The farmhand replies, “It’s ’cause a man see too much when he git high.
Three Simple Things You Can Do with the String Shopping Bag You Never Use
Long-term storage for rice cakes, seaweed chips, squid-ink pasta. (See also, “Simple Things You Can Do with Uneaten Rice Cakes.”) Unravel and reuse string: Bundle newspapers, truss free-range poultry, spool your own nonsynthetic dental floss! High-fiber topping: Shred bag; sprinkle onto soups, cereal, salads.
LET'S FACE IT, presidential campaigns are a disgrace, and the purest sport in the Olympics is watching to see whether the networks recoup their investments. No one’s in the mood for flag-waving; the odd thing is, our clothes are doing it for us.
LITTLE JACK MELODY with His Young Turks (Four Dots): I don’t know what they’ve been slipping into the salsa down in Denton, Texas, but it seems to have had a strange effect on the local music scene. First there was Brave Combo, the pioneering polka-rock band that started out touring mental institutions with accordion-fueled renditions of Jimi Hendrix tunes, among other eldritch things.
VARIOUS (RHINO): This three-CD chronicle traces the late'50s, early-'60s folk boom from its roots (Woody Guthrie) to its last wilted blossoms (the New Christy Minstrels). In the process, it also salvages tracks by the great Fred Neil (“Other Side to This Life”), Judy Henske (the still-stirring “High Flying Bird”), and Dave Van Ronk (the definitive “Cocaine Blues”).
BOBBY BLAND (Ace, UK import): Thirty years after his heyday, the banked, smoldering fire of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s exquisitely controlled vocal style can still nail you to the wall. These twenty-six tracks aren’t entirely definitive—where’s the sensational "You’re the One (That I Adore)"?
FOR SUSTAINED SPEED and freedom from trouble," one early customer of Henry Ford's first V-8 wrote him, “the Ford has got every other car skinned. “Even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal,” Clyde Barrow went on, Bonnie presumably at his elbow, “it don’t hurt enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V-8.”
WHEN HBO aired its remarkable baseball documentary When It Was a Game last July, the never-before-seen home movies of old players and great (meaning extinct) ball parks drew such standing O’s that it didn’t take the wisdom of Stengel to figure out another one was on deck.
THE HERITAGE Foundation, a “family values” think tank, has lobbied aggressively against funding for public television, citing a perceived liberal slant at PBS. Here, the foundation’s Laurence Jarvik with a comparative analysis of children's programming: “Sesame Street is just another kids’ show, no better than Underdog or The Flintstones.”
IT TOOK CLAES OLDENBURG a decade to realize his idea for a sculpture in the form of a giant pair of binoculars—an almost archetypal shape that has changed little from the field glasses through which General Bragg gazed off Lookout Mountain.
CITY OF THE Big Hair, Houstonians call Dallas. “A nice place to live if you happen to be a lizard or a divorce lawyer,” Big D says of Houston. As an easterner, I stay clear of such arguments, but when it comes to restaurants, I must come down on the side of Houston.
JAMAICA BLUE MOUNTAIN may be the world’s finest coffee; it is certainly the most expensive. The Japanese, you see, have discovered coffee, and the brew they covet most is JBM. Thanks to strategic investments in Jamaican plantations and trade agreements, they have cornered 75 percent of the supply.
THE PLACE: New York, New York. Specifically, one stop from Manhattan in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood so peaceful, civilized, treelined, and downright neighborly it could be in Minneapolis. THE ARCHITECTURE: Not every brownstone was created equal.
<p>THE IMAGES on television sear into some fright-response region of the brain: fires, looting, anarchy. At the corner of Florence and Normandie, in the heart of South-Central, a white truck driver is beaten almost to death. The city panics.</p>
<p>IT WAS the perfect scandal for America’s perfect player. Christian Laettner, bless his heart, whistled for scribbling. Could it be? The same Christian Laettner who led his band of adorable yuppies from Duke to another national championship (I exclude Bobby Hurley from the adorable yuppies, of course; Hurley actually looks like he could win a fair fight with somebody).</p>
<p>IT WAS 2:30 ON A HOT FRIDAY afternoon, all my ducks were sleeping nicely in a row, there was nobody in the building, for a variety of very excellent reasons, I am sure, the sun was blazing, the birds were worming, and there were still two dozen people on my level of the corporate tree making more money than I was.</p>
In your twenties, you think it wont happen to you. In your forties, you’re too busy to think about it. In your sixties, they tell you how “golden” it’s going to be. No one ever tells you
<p>ONCE, NOT SO LONG AGO, old people were scattered little patches on the family quilt—distinct, but of a piece. Now they are everywhere. You see them picking their way slowly along the sidewalks in your neighborhood, ones and twos. They infest the malls.</p>
<p>Christian Fletcher generates enough speed with one powerful thrust to get his skateboard all the way across the parking lot, playing an acoustic guitar as he coasts toward me. The motion of his strumming combined with the unevenness of the pavement make Newton and Einstein into a couple of hodads, his balance centered somewhere within his being without the betrayal of trembling knees.</p>
THE STORY THAT SERVES as formative mythology and personal inspiration for all businessdude-surfers is almost certainly not true, but who cares? It’s about when Otis Chandler was still running the Los Angeles Times and was said to have these sedate business or editorial meetings during which a butler would come in carrying a note on a silver tray.
Twenty years after the scoop of a lifetime, Bob Woodward is a wealthy man and a doting husband, entrenched in the establishment that he once turned upside down. Deep Gloat revealed
<p>HANGING IN THE downstairs study of Bob Woodward’s large Victorian house in Georgetown is a black-and-white photograph of Richard Nixon—typical dark Nixon, with typical dark stubble and typical dark suit—shaking the hand of Elvis, the bejeweled, white jump-suited model of the possibly dead rock ’n’ roll idol.</p>
WITH EURYTHMICS FAR BEHIND HER, THE SISTERS DOIN’ IT FOR HERSELF
PEOPLE GET DRUNK TO WRITE,” says Annie Lennox in that smoky Aberdonian burr, widening those North Sea eyes. "People get stoned to write, people destroy their marriages to write, people destroy themselves to write...." It seldom takes much to get any pop star talking about the anguish of being Creative Me, and this isn’t just any pop star: This was the ice queen of postpunk Eighties alienation.
Ross PEROT may be running as the uncandidate, but his nascent campaign is a high-concept exercise in nostalgia politics. A few disjunctive moments with—and a lot of strange facts about—the Texan that time forgot
<p>THERE ARE C&W BANDS, square dancers, and barbecue galore this sunny Saturday in the parking lot of the Fifties-looking Texoma-Truck-N-Stuff near the Texas-Oklahoma border. A lot of down-home hoopla to get the folks stoked about the local honcho, one Ross Perot, whose ten-acre Lake Texoma spread—one of his three homes—is just a few miles down the road.</p>
SIX OF NASHVILLE'S BIGGEST ACTS IN THE BEST WEEKEND JACKETS FOR FALL
RANDY TRAVIS Lest anyone forget, it was Randy Travis who got America's toes tappin' for a country-music revival. With his first album, in 1986, Storms of Life (Warner), Travis became the standard for the "new traditional" sound in Nashville.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO encounter three strong new voices in American fiction; it may be the first of their work that you read, but it will not be the last. These stories were culled from the hundreds of manuscripts we read annually and from the work we receive as a result of constantly asking our colleagues in publishing: “Who do you know who’s new and good?”
<p>I WANT TO TELL THE TRUTH about my mother but what’s the truth? She married late and badly and died when I was eighteen and her youth is the hope of my imagination. I can barely see her as young—by the time I was old enough to distinguish her, to take in her life as something separate from mine, she was weary and ill and sadder than I knew how to admit, not living exactly but going on.</p>
<p>I BELIEVE IN THE PHILOSOPHY of rock ’n’ roll. Like, “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, don’t make a pretty woman your wife.” I mean, who can refute that? Can Immanuel Kant refute that? How can you refute that? I mean, really. Any guy knows this is true, even a shallow, superficial guy like me.</p>
<p>TETHERED TO HER STATION by a coil of beige plastic, a tiny microphone in her mouth, voices in her ears, she feels her body become part of the machine after the first few minutes of work, the type of work machines do better anyway: “Reservations this is Tina how can I help you?”</p>
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A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER KEEPING YOU UP TO THE SECOND ON ALL CULTURAL AND SOCIAL FRONTS.
WHO’S A RACIST? Everybody is! That’s why Pigmentco’s new hand-held Let’s Make It Racial computer is likely to be popular with whites worried about stepping over that very thin (and oh-so-confusing!) line between acceptable dialogue and unacceptable bigotry.