I T’S NICE to know you guys are willing to laugh at yourselves (“Viva Straight Camp!” June), because the chicks and the gays are getting too fabulous for comfort. Gays invented camp because straight people have everything else. -KARL SOEHNLEIN JR.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT these are children,” contributing editor GUY MARTIN says of Germany’s new crop of Nazi youth, which has once again heaved that still-divided nation into the fearful gaze of world opinion. “And when children take up weapons—historical or otherwise—it gets very serious, very soon, because, when they want to be, children are the most dangerous people in the world.”
THE LAWYERS AT NBC topped the absurdity of claiming ownership of David Letterman’s signature comedy bits by threatening to try to stop Chevy Chase from doing satirical newscasts on his new talk show at Fox. Hard as it is to imagine how NBC would use Letterman’s top-ten lists and stupid pet tricks without him, that the lawyers figure the network owns Chase’s political satire is even more baffling.
HERE AT THE BUTT END of the twentieth century, the reader of contemporary literature knows better than to expect the recherché delights of a happy ending, having been groomed by years of ennui and angst, irony and subterfuge, black humor and morbidity, all the dark tropes designed to ferret out the woeful contradictions of life and language. Frank Conroy’s Body & Soul (Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence) may therefore come as a shock to the literary system, as it is that rare thing, a genuinely happy novel, in which virtue and fidelity are rewarded and joy made as plausible as divorce or nuclear meltdown.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN any actor do waking up so well,” a friend commented as Ashley Judd got out of bed in the opening sequence of Victor Nunez’s Ruby in Paradise. It doesn’t take a Redgrave to yawn and stretch, you might argue, but Ruby’s groggy vulnerability as she squints against the morning sun—the future shimmering with bright uncertainty through a crack in the seedy motel curtains—is one of the loveliest bits of acting you will see in a film this year.
IF YOU AGREE that a cashmere scarf is one of the few frivolous fashion options for the welbdressed man, then you can accept a scarf that has some . . . let’s say innovations. No doubt you’ve noticed the fringe. True, those extra tendrils (running lengthwise instead of the traditional bangs on the ends) don’t add much in the way of warmth.
<p>AT EIGHTY-FIVE, Harry Cram is the epitome of the gentleman hunter, having spent a lifetime shooting grouse in Scotland, duck on Long Island, and quail in South Carolina. A superb marksman, Harry is a fanatic about gun safety, but he’s not above having a little fun now and then.</p>
HANDS DOWN, Barneys takes the prize for the most chutzpah in what is either a recession or the end of prosperity as we know it. The biggest mens store in the world has just become nearly twice as large, expanding from its flagship New York store to a nine-story limestone palace on the Upper East Side.
work, for the Japanese, who’ve already spent $3 billion on them, control 95 percent of the flat-panel market. Top-gun pilots won’t get their flat panels for years, but you can already watch Top Gun on tiny TVs. Sharp has developed huge projection panels—Miracle Screens—that light up the Ginza, and computer panels as large as fourteen inches.
IN ORDER TO WRITE two autobiographies, a person would have to live two lives—in theory, at least. In fact, it seems as if Willie Morris has lived about a dozen lives. In his first autobiography, North Toward Home, published in 1967, he wrote about several of them: his boyhood in Mississippi; his life at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar; his involvement in Texas politics as the editor of The Texas Observer; then his arrival in New York as an awed outsider going to work in magazine publishing.
ONE HUNG-OVER, wintry predawn nearly twentyfive years ago, stumbling softlegged and head-throbbed down by the turbid East River, yours truly encountered the entire Myth Science Arkestra, dressed in aluminum-foil tunics, flowing scarves, and tight leggings, just as if it were Monday night at Slugs.
ONCE BACKSTAGE I had to use ham,” says Kim Deal, explaining her habit of rarely shampooing. “I took a piece from the deli platter and rubbed it in my hair. I had to—that fluffy thing was really bothering me.” Self-consciously egalitarian, Deal is often at pains to deflate her fame in the specialized world of alternative rock.
IT WAs NOT exactly communion with nature, but it was reasonably close. “See that trash can at her feet?” Captain Shastay said. “Cast to about fifteen feet in front of it.” The feet were enormous and green against the darkening New Jersey sky.
GEORGES PERRIER has never denied that he’s a little crazy. But that, he would say, is one of his good points. In fact, his manic insistence on perfection is what drives him and his staff at Le Bec-Fin to come so close to it on such a consistent basis.
THE PLACE: Paris, the Marais, a hundred-odd hectares of Grade-A swamp-land domesticated in the 1300s, the very nut of the Right Bank. The old Jewish quarter, it’s now about as cool as Paris gets—a rich cassoulet of artists and sansculottes, shoppers and fops.
<p>IT’S A BEAUTIFUL MORNING in American business. Not for you, but we’re not talking about you. We’re talking about me, because I’m a consultant! Guys like me, we run the planet. I’d say the future belongs to us, but that would be wrong, sort of. I mean, of course the future belongs to us.</p>
GIVEN HIS DRUTHERS on this particular spring morning, Will Perkins would probably be in some obscure Colorado farm town like Eads, where the mayor still openly refers to homosexuals as queers and where the population, all eight hundred of them, regard Perkins as the closest thing to an all-American hero since Ollie North.
THE NIGHT BEFORE the Grouchofest, Toby Young and I attend a televised town meeting on violence in movies. This is an opportunity to whine about everyone’s favorite subject: American cultural imperialism. “When the playwright David Hare went on TV and said Keats is better than Dylan,” Landesman says, recalling an earlier debate, “he was treated like this great resistance fighter against The Modern Review philistinism.”
Peter Alicke grew up in the cult of the boot, the iron truncheon, and the ghost of Hitler. He tried to get out, but in Germany, history takes no prisoners.
Two YOUNG MEN died in Hoyerswerda last February One was a roadie for an out-of-town band called, of all things, Nekromanth. His name was Mike Zerna. After a Friday-night gig at a Hoyerswerda club, Zerna was beaten and kicked senseless. Then his van was rolled on top of him.
FINALLY, THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL IS HERE. IT’S SEXY. IT’S FUNNY. IT’S FURIOUS. IT’S TERRIFYING. AND IT’S A MOVIE!
<p>Somewhat alarmingly, the first thing that Robert Altman says to me, after we’re introduced, is: “The dyed-in-the-wool Raymond Carver fans are not gonna like it.” We’re in Los Angeles, where Altman is shooting his latest film, Short Cuts, which is based on the work of one of America’s most beloved writers.</p>
With a mouthful of boudin, a fistful of hundreds, and a big ol’ Super Bowl ring, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys heads home to Port Arthur, Texas, and shakes everything loose—except, of course, his hair
JOHN ED BRADLEY
<p>AT SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO 11:00
A.M. the little black limo comes gliding off Highway 69, spitting sun off its
paint and momentarily blinding a crowd of local folks gathered on the exit
ramp. They’re standing next to a makeshift stage decorated with red-white-and-blue
bunting, and framed high above them is a giant green sign that until recently
pointed to Seventy-fifth Street. Today the sign says JIMMY JOHNSON BLVD, and
that is why everyone has come, to officially dedicate the road to the one
person who still makes the place proud, and who, despite a life of pure,
unsullied glory, never seems to forget where he came from.
The great Greyhound partnership of the '92 campaign has given way to the incredible shrinking Vice-President. Where does Al Gore go from here?
SOMETIMES AL GORE’S intellectual earnestness can rend your heart. He can be so desperately eager for you to follow him aloft on his flights of abstraction that it is hard to remember that he is the second most successful politician of his generation—not some hyperkinetic assistant professor continually passed over for tenure.
The further purifications of the goat-singer of Hollywood
<p>HARVEY KEITEL LOVES THE OCEAN: the sight, the sound, the smell of it. He fell in love with it as a boy, growing up in a second-floor apartment in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, where the asphalt ends at sand and sea, melancholy breakers and beer bottles, cigarette butts and latex love-litter, which, in those blithe days, went by the name of Coney Island whitefish. </p>
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE cellular intercourse? It feels good, devotees claim, and there’s a long-term payoff: immortality. All you gotta do is awaken yourself on a cellular level to the idea that you weren’t born to die yesterday but to live forever.
Life expectancy today is about 72 years for men. That means that half of all baby boys will live longer than that. (The oldest human alive is 118.) The Social Security Administration predicts that by the year 2050 life expectancy for men will rise only to 76.5; for women to 83.
<p>1. Stay married. Tying the knot may shorten your wife’s life, but it’ll extend yours. It’s in your interest to keep her alive, since her soothing presence significantly boosts your chances of hanging on longer. Keep in mind that, because of her multiple burdens, her stress hormones diminish and her blood pressure drops when she goes to her office, then both kick back up again when she goes home (the opposite of your pattern).</p>
From the moment the first cascade of androgens—male hormones— masculinizes the fetus, the mate gender takes a beating. There are more male than female spontaneous abortions and stillbirths, and more mate neonatal, infant, and childhood deaths.
<p>FIRST, GET A CHIROPRACTOR. No matter how old you are, if you exercise and play sports a lot, you’ll eventually hurt yourself, and you’ll want to get back on the beam as fast as possible so you don’t end up looking like the bum described below. Second, accept the fact that eventually you’re going to lose half a step and won’t be able to play squash with the college kids.</p>
<p>CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE begins plucking enough forty-year-old men from the population to become the number-one killer of men in that age group. . . . One in five sixty-year-olds has had a coronary event. . . . High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and physical inactivity are the main modifiable risk factors, according to the American Heart Association. . . .</p>
Experiment: Comparison of diagnoses by doctors in private practice, at hospitals, and in managed-care settings. Protocol: Thirty-two professional actors—young and old, black and white, men and women—are videotaped complaining either of chest pains or breathlessness, classic symptoms of an impending heart attack.
Your body may be a temple, but chiseled into its architectural details are clues to your chances of developing a particular disease. Anthropometry, the study of body proportions, has come a long way since Hippocrates suggested a link between short, thick men and apoplexy.
Nutritional-medicine specialists try to identify “intermediate end points”—signs of latent disease (like abnormally formed cells)—and treat them before they reach an end point (cancer). They believe many diseases in progress can be arrested by administering high doses of antioxidant vitamins, avoiding more invasive therapies.
Can’t Afford Couture? Today’s Designers Are Taking Up a Second (or Third) Collection.
IT WAS A SIMPLE IDEA: Create lower-priced designer clothing for younger or less-affluent consumers. But then the rules of dress began to loosen up—as belts began to tighten—and what was thought of as weekend or off-hours clothing started finding its way into the office.
IT LOOKS as though we will walk out of the twentieth century the same way we came in: wearing boots. Clearly, this is a trend with legs. In addition to wearing them at the turn of the century, men wore boots with suits in the Twenties (as well as their more refined distant cousins, spats), briefly in the Fifties, and again during the Sixties, when guys really jumped into the phenomenon with both feet.
Play it close to the vest this fall. Any kind will do. Because the vest has become the new necktie—the item that finishes an outfit, unites all of the elements, and lets you express your personality. Button up a corduroy vest and suddenly you’re a natty professor.
Man At Hls Best, page 37: Meg Cohen at Metropolitan Design Group scarf ($250) at Paul Stuart and Paul Smith, New York. For information contact: Meg Cohen Design, 841 Broadway, New York, New York 10003. Fine Lines, pages 134 and 135: Emporio Armani sweater ($285), shirt ($215), vest ($235), and trousers ($260); suit ($730), sweater ($285), and vest ($450); suit ($750) and scarf ($165); sport Jacket ($490), vest ($240), shirt ($175), and trousers ($200); sport Jacket ($380), sweater ($190), and trousers ($225); at Emporio Armani, New York, Boston, and San Francisco.