FREE AT LAST! For all the men wandering through the ’70s and ’80s confused and mired in guilt, “The PostSensitive Man Is Coming!” by Harry Stein (May) helps put man’s continuing evolution in perspective. The pendulum has swung wildly from Neanderthal to neutered and is now settling comfortably on natural.
IF, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE in the Western world these days, you want to kick Madonna’s admittedly tight butt, fine and dandy. But don’t necessarily do it in Norman Mailer’s presence (“Like a Lady,” page 40). The seventy-one-year-old writer may be feeling an avuncular protectiveness for the thirty-six-year-old performer.
THE ONLY BIGGER PUBLISHING STORY might be a new J. D. Salinger novel: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wrote a memoir and gave her children, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and John F. Kennedy Jr., permission to publish it if and when they choose to.
A RECENT ISSUE of The Hollywood Reporter listed the power rankings of numerous actors and actresses, based on grades from studio executives, producers, and distributors from around the world. The highest possible score was 100 (for such bankable names as Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, and Mel Gibson), while the lowest was 10 (Spalding Gray bottoms out at 13).
Lava lamps had their renaissance. Mood rings, too. Now another Seventies artifact is rearing its head. Literally. The second coming of the Afro. Are power ties, Rubik’s Cubes, and coke sluts far behind?
AND YOU'RE so busy feeling good that you never question why things are going so well...." Why? If you've seen the video for “Liar,” from singer/psychodramatist Henry Rollins’s new album, Weight, you know damn well why. With a breathtaking confidence common to psychos and downtown cult figures, Rollins transforms himself into a red-faced, fulminant demon, writhing in joy at the prospect of tormenting his next lover.
FLORENCE, Venice, Siena—all the great Italian city-states have been absorbed by the larger republic except one, the high-tech powerhouse of the Republic of San Marino, from whence has just issued the Ducati 916 superbike. The company will produce just three thousand specimens of what may be the closest thing the world offers to a two-wheeled Ferrari.
WHEN Junko Onishi was an eighteen-yearold girl in Tokyo, she withdrew into her room and refused to eat until her horrified parents agreed to let her come to America to study jazz. “I never talked to them or saw them,” she says. “Then finally I won.”
Lyle Lovett’s sneaky Texas swing was always hard to figure, even before Dolly Parton (like she should talk) said his hair was weird. But in light of his recent prominence at the checkout stands, what are Lyle fans to make of the lyrics on his new album, I Love Everybody (MCA): “I don’t go for diamond rings, fancy cars, or movie stars,” or “They Don’t Like Me,” in which his bride’s family is heard to remark, “He’s really not that ugly”? Oh, the torturous subtext! Lyle, weird as he was, used to be jus’ fun.
BILLIE HOLIDAY— she of the gardenia in the hair, the ashy voice, and the achingly languid delivery—has become the Eternal Diva of American culture. Now that she’s more with us than ever (this summer Verve collected her “standards” in a two-CD “songbook,” and the U. S. Post Office is issuing a commemorative stamp), writing about her has a way of assuming the form of worship.
IN MAY 1921, Marcel Proust, mortally ill, in the terminal stages of tuberculosis, set forth to visit the Vermeer exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, specifically the View of Delft, a painting he judged ‘the most beautiful in the world,’ and he was so mesmerized by the exquisite touch of yellow on a tiny wall in that painting that he suffered a near-fatal stroke.
WHEN tectonic dyslexia pushed forth the first knobs of the Rocky Mountains some no million years ago, the West was under water. Thirty-foot sea-lizards and forty-foot flying reptiles roiled and hissed in that Mesozoic stew. The mountains heaved heavenward, the fauna got weirder.
NEW YORK may have its chronic problems, but empty restaurants isn’t one of them. Open a restaurant anywhere in town these days, wait a few hours, and Charlie Rose, Kate Moss, and a Baldwin will show up for lunch. By dinnertime, all the city’s restaurant critics will have eaten there twice, within a week your chef will leave to open his own place, and within a month you’ll either be opening a branch in East Hampton or be utterly passé.
With Lloyd Cutler, either you’re part of the establishment or you’re part of the problem
<p>IT WAS AN ALL too typical White House gathering last spring: eight top advisers sprawled around the conference table in the Cabinet Room, wrestling with what to say about Whitewater. Suddenly, the President strolled into the meeting unannounced.</p>
If showing up is 90 percent of the job, staying awake has got to be the other 10 percent
<p>HERE I AM, WALKING. On the treadmill. Big treadmill. Cost a lot. Now, after two years of using it as a tie rack, I’m putting it to the use God intended, if indeed he intended anything. There is a Van Damme movie on the VCR in front of me, but I’m not watching it.</p>
<p>CONCEIVE OF A HISPANIC NOVELIST with exceptional powers whose name is Jesus Ramirez. He has the conviction, given in part by his first name, that he is here on earth to make a great change in the way people perceive themselves, and so he signs his books with his first name only: Transcendence, by Jesus; Vertigo, by Jesus; Shadow of War-Jesus.</p>
You can win or lose with grace and style. Or you can be yourself, like Tonya Harding.
<p>HERE CAME TONYA HARDING, who probably should have been a firefighter to begin with, answering the call when the alarm went off in her blue pickup truck. She had on a T-shirt and sweatpants and ran barefoot out of the apartment and across the driveway and now there was a cameraman in her way and she went to his right and now there were two more cameras and she made a crossover in midstride and with her little bare feet went pounding, pounding, pounding across cement and asphalt.</p>
WHERE DO THEY come from, our personal goddesses, the embodiments of, as Goethe put it, the eternal feminine that draws us on? Well, The Abbott and Costello Show, for one. To me, the click and clack of Hillary Brooke’s heels were like the wondrous first footsteps of Aphrodite in the sands of Cyprus.
Buy a Circuit Girl a drink. She’ll sip it while waiting for someone better than you.
THEY MEAN EVERYTHING and nothing, depending on whom you’re lying to—your wife, your girlfriend, or yourself. Is it you, or does every sultry five-foot-eleven funnel cloud of temptation in a size-six eyelet dress happen to be in the house tonight? Say hello to the Circuit Girls, a loose confederation of working models posing in the fivegrand-a-week range and possessed of an armament of physical beauty that could make a monk weep.
WHEN A MAN hits sixteen, he finds himself wanting certain things from his woman. First of all, she’s got to be there, not in some other room, talking to somebody else. Second, she can’t be a bummer, not ever. And she’s got to make you want to weep when you put your hands around her, got to bust your mind wide open and turn your entire body into one spasmodic muscle when she’s doing nothing more than chewing on a pen while thinking over her algebra homework.
SHE WAS ONE OF those New York publishing figures I was always hearing stories about. Fascinating stories. Audacious was the word I heard most often. The books she edited made money, lots of money. Two of her authors, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, a more disparate couple of literary figures I could not imagine, had been way high up on the bestseller lists for months and months.
Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon knows what sex sounds like
THE FIRST TIME I saw Sonic Youth play was in a biker bar up the Bowery from CBGB’s around 1981. Maybe play isn’t the right word. Smash, assault, irritate, is more like it. In the middle of this banging and ripping and tearing of my eardrums was Kim Gordon—a fellow downtowner who worked a day job at an art magazine (or something like that) and whose central distinguishing characteristic was these sunglasses she wore over her regular glasses.
Saturday Night Live's Linda Richman: what’s not to love?
LINDA, LINDA, LINDA, I can’t get you out of my mind. What went wrong between us? Why do I yearn for you still? I dream of your immense hair, your scarlet nails, your husky contralto, those earrings big as meat loafs. Remember our blind date? It was my first Streisand concert.
When Connie Bruck asks, people answer. God help them.
James B. Stewart
THE GREAT MYSTERY OF Connie Bruck is why people talk to her when the results can be so unsparing, so unsentimental—so revealing of what detective writers like to call the naked truth. For talk they do, betraying themselves in ways large and small, leaving a reader gasping that someone actually said such a thing, let alone to a reporter.
HER BODY WAS OF the Fifties, my Fifties, full and opulent as the replenishing epoch itself, not the taut, slender, athletic silhouette of the Nineties models nor of today’s high-ballasted strippers with the silicone aspect. Dwelling later in New York, I knew people who had haphazardly sighted her on the Manhattan streets at the acme of her esteem and described her to me: the long legs, the nearly ebony hair set in bangs across her forehead, her guileless southern-girl’s smile.
There’s a knock at the door. Helen Mirren is the arresting officer. Well go quietly.
SHE’S ON THE SMALL SIDE, but she has golden skin, dark-blue eyes, and a smile, seen only rarely, that suggests sexual ease in the world, an acceptance of men and of herself. Helen Mirren, a great, classically trained British actress, has astounded American TV watchers just by seeming a grown-up person with ambition, will, and a touch of ruthlessness—as well as a body and soul responsive enough to register every current in the room.
Sandy Pittman has been to the mountaintop—and it’s fabulous
SURE, SHE is AT EASE in fashionable salons from here to, well, quite literally Timbuktu, but where exactly does Sandy Pittman feel most at home? Mortimer’s? Front row at Richard Tyler’s spring collection? No. Climbing Mount Everest with a strip of aluminum foil covering her nose to keep it from getting sunburned (inspiring some of the wittier ladies who lunch to nickname her Outdoor Barbie).
Vanessa Williams has risen above it all and is shining
THE FACE IS, IF ANYTHING, more beautiful now—sensuous, sultry, elegant. The voice is richer, the laugh more self-assured. The eyes are still a lustrous green—a little wiser, perhaps, but not sadder. Definitely not sadder. It’s been ten years since the ordeal, as she calls it, since those nude photographs in Penthouse forced her to abdicate as Miss America.
New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman is unusual—she does what she says she'll do
ACTUALLY, love is a tad strong. As is well-known, we conservatives are incapable of tender feelings, and anyway, conservatism teaches that love is a disproportionate response to things political. But I’ll say this: I’m fond of Christine Todd Whitman, the governor of New Jersey, and not just because she kept her promise.
WHEN ESQUIRE ASKED ME to photograph Lassie, I put aside my reservations about working with other dogs. I only like working with my dogs. But Lassie . . . Who could resist the chance to work with an icon? The Tarzan of dogs. My ideas streamed out all day and night preceding the big moment, our meeting at the Polaroid 20-by-24 studio.
Women We’d Take on the Rebound Drew Barrymore Claire Bloom Woman We’d Take on the Rebound (Assuming We Had a Stun Gun) Woman Who Likes Men Who Rebound Madonna Woman Who Would Make Us Hire New State Troopers If We Were Governor and She Were the Best They Could Do
<p>IT’S THE OLDEST RULE of hunting—if you wait at his watering hole, the lion will come to you. The rumor is that Eugene Terre Blanche, leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, the largest white militant organization in South Africa, is on the run.</p>
Four astonishing events in four fast weeks, as recalled by four faces in the crowd
<p>THEY WERE AMONG the biggest brandname moments in what still ranks as one of the hottest-selling decades in American history, events of such resonance that only the limitations of the language keep all of them from being known by single names: Chappaquiddick.</p>
IN MY PARTICULAR CROWD, space flights were regarded as an exhausted nation’s pathetic attempt to feel better about itself in the wake of losing both the war on poverty and the war in Vietnam. These losses had supplied a little agony to everybody—rich or poor, left wing or right—and as we saw it, space exploration was a ludicrous diversion with the salient purpose, it seemed, of making Walter Cronkite happy.
<p>I was in the bath when the phone rang in the Spanish duplex where I lived alone in the heart of West Hollywood, surrounded by hippies, rock stars, dealers, and others who clung to dreams of making it—or at least of never having to return home to Arizona or Seattle or wherever.</p>
THAT SUMMER, I was the news editor of Newsweek. Immersed in our coverage of the moon landing, I paid little attention to the first stories coming out of Chappaquiddick, and it wasn’t until a week later, when Senator Kennedy went on national TV to tell what happened, that I began to get up to speed.
AUGUST 17, 1969, was going to be my wedding day. We’d booked the synagogue and arranged to get the flowers from the previous wedding at half-price. Then he broke it off. I’d been engaged twice to the same guy. Once I’d broken it off and now he had.
<p>FOR ALL THE EFFORT aimed at designing perfect diets over the years, the reality is they don’t work. When you curtail your caloric intake, your body, atavistically fearing a famine, responds by dramatically slowing your metabolic rate. Severe diets can cut your metabolism by almost half, meaning you’ll burn only half the calories.</p>
Your abdominals, better known as your stomach muscles, can not only make you look In shape when you’re not but provide the stabilization and power for virtually every type of exercise and sporting activity. They transfer force from the upper body to the lower, and the rectus abdominis—the washboard when finely honed—is the prime mover of your spinal column.
A HANDBOOK, OF SORTS, FOR SOME OF LIFE'S MOST ABIDING QUESTIONS
I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’VE EVER happened to see a pornographic movie. I don’t mean a movie with some erotic content, a movie like Last Tango in Paris, for example, though even that, I realize, for many people might be offensive. No, what I mean is genuine porno flicks, whose true and sole aim is to stimulate the spectator’s desire, from beginning to end, and in such a way that while this desire is stimulated by scenes of various and varied copulations, the rest of the story counts for less than nothing.
IF BOYS WEREN’T CONFUSING ENOUGH, drugs addled the situation even more. Ecstasy had not yet been scheduled by the DEA in any of the agency’s illicit categories, so the little white capsules that looked like a vitamin supplement and felt like a nitroglycerin love-bomb going off in your cerebral cortex were still perfectly legal during my freshman year. I didn’t like pot, I didn’t like cocaine, I didn’t like drinking—though I seemed to do all of them anyway— but ecstasy was sweet relief for me.
THAT WHICH MEN CALL BEAUTY in woman, which lures them on in endless pursuit, mad and helpless as any other animal, is not something abstract or idiosyncratic or in the eye of the beholder only, but rather her apparent readiness for reproduction—in a word, woman’s nubility. This quality, in optimum, is equivalent to what we call “beauty” and generates the compulsive attraction to which all healthy men are susceptible.
OUTSIDE THE HOTEL WINDOW an Indian girl was saying: Pay me, and a white man said: It’s in the car. I’ll get it, I promise. No, don’t come with me, bitch, you just stand there and wait. I’m going around the corner. I said you just stand there and wait! —Inside, an Indian girl—an Ojibwa, this one—threw herself down on the bed, groaning. She’d been hit by a car when she was drunk.
Tommy Hilfiger goes tailored; fall styles on the cast of Models Inc.
On Fashion: Woody Hochswender NOT SINCE THE 1950s,when Perry Como’s fuzzy shape warmed America’s living rooms and Andy Williams repopularized the cardigan, has knitwear been so much in the forefront of men’s fashion. For fall, Calvin Klein showed many of his suits with V-neck sweaters instead of shirts and ties.
THE DESIGNER KNOWN FOR his all-American sportswear debuts his first tailored clothing collection, featured here on actor Chris O’Donnell
Tommy Hilfiger, who has spent the last decade building a thriving sportswear business, introduces his first complete line of tailored clothing this fall— classically inspired suits, sport jackets, and coats. And while he naturally hopes to bring in new customers, Hilfiger also acknowledges that “this collection is for guys who pew up on my clothes.”
THE CAST MEMBERS of the sizzling new series Models Inc. take a break from TV acting to live up to their show's tiilemodeling the season's top looks
IT’s TOO BAD that Teri (Stephanie Romanov) got hurled off a balcony to her death in the first episode of Models Inc. She was the only real working model in the cast. But Aaron Spelling wasn’t taking any chances with his current foray into the cutthroat world of modeling.
HE WASN’T WEARING BLACK, he was wearing madras. When he took the nozzle and began to pump gas into his big country bus, he sighed as if that were what he did all day, scraping for a dollar in that Indiana truck stop. But when he saw us staring at him, he stepped up, way bigger than you’d figure and about as friendly.
Is THERE ANYTHING more insanely tedious than reading a detective novel? Maybe watching paint dry. Or observing the New York Knicks on offense. (Bo-ring!) The point is, we know in advance the fundamental design of the detective story, that we will be presented with a discernible mystery that may—or may not—be solved by novel’s end.
Tommy Hilfiger’s Great Leap, page 108: Tommy Hilfiger coat ($275), suit ($495), shirt ($52), and tie ($40) at fine department and specialty stores nationwide. To Boot by Adam Derrick shoes ($295) at Bergdorf Goodman Men, New York; Silhouette, Washington, D. C.; Ultimo, Chicago.
A COLLECTION OF BOOKS. This is the first item in the Clark Gable estate,” said the woman in the peach suit at Christie’s East. What would you know about this man, Gable, dead and on the block? That he liked monograms and brown leather. That he was a sportsman and a man who traveled a lot.