THANK YOU, Woody, for allowing me into your life for a few moments (“So You’re the Great Woody Allen?” by Bill Zehme, October). All is not lost if you can maintain your sanity, dignity, and sense of humor through it all. And thanks for helping me keep my own sanity throughout the years.
THOSE WHO BELIEVE that the atmosphere in Judge Lance Ito's courtroom is fractious, combative, and generally insufferable would do well to sit in on a session with the Dubious Achievements team. True, the food is marginally better, in the sense that there is no food in Judge Ito's courtroom.
Nancy Reagan may have preferred astrology to set the nation's course, but Hillary Clinton is even more of a new-age kinda gal. According to a Beltway source, the First Lady, a self-described “old-fashioned Methodist,” has become tight with Marianne Williamson, the self-described “bitch for God.”
IF INTELLIGENCE agents seem a tad more open about their feelings these days, there may be a very good reason. Experts who study cults say that est— the quintessential 1970s self-improvement movement founded by Werner Erhard—has insinuated itself into the former Soviet Union.
THERE'S ONE witness in the O. J. Simpson case who carries even less weight than that famed belletrist Faye Resnick. According to a source, concerned friends of Nicole Simpson’s called in an animal psychic to question her beloved Kato—the Akita, not the Kaelin—who is believed to have witnessed the murders.
SO YOU think Madonna has revealed everything about herself? As far as the Internal Revenue Service is concerned, she hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about her taxes. A source says that the IRS is investigating “major tax problems” of Madonna’s.
THOSE who've ever wondered where Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse gets his management style might be interested to know he’s a Joseph Stalin buff. The billionaire publisher, who is fond of Trotskying editors without warning, collects memorabilia from the Russian despot and even commissioned a private translation of Stalin’s autobiography, which was published in Russian and French but never in English.
DEBATING Charles Murray's theories about race and intelligence was contentious enough, but what really annoyed New Republic readers last year was senior editor Michael Lewis’s writing about the superiority of his wife’s beauty. In October, Lewis, author of the best-selling Liar’s Poker, penned a paean to his wife—Kate Bohner Lewis, an ex-Bloom-ingdale’s model, pictured right— paying particular attention to her “perfectly shaped bottom.”
NOT SINCE he went toe-to-toe with William F. Buckley in the pages of Esquire or took a head butt from Norman Mailer on Dick Cavett’s old talk show has Gore Vidal squared off against such a formidable foe as David Letterman. The notoriously combative author of Myra Breckinridge and Lincoln has been talking trash about Letterman ever since his appearance on Late Show went badly a while back.
Next Semester: Debits Are on the Left, with Chris Whittle
WHICH is a better financial risk: taking Frances Lear’s advice or a wooden nickel? The ex-wife of Norman Lear was awarded $113 million in her divorce settlement and sank an estimated $25 million of that into her eponymous magazine, Lear’s.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN the sun goes down on Elton John? A music-industry insider says that when the singer has had a tough day in the studio, he asks that friends call him Sharon, and he goes out on the town in drag. “It’s all in fun,” says the source. “Elton doesn’t take himself that seriously.”
FORGET Burt and Loni. For several months now, Martha Raye's wid ower, Mark Harris, has been circulating a proposal to write a tell-all about the feisty Big Mouth herself So far, there are no takers. Harris, the forty-two-year-old self-proclaimed “handsome...bisexual... producer and former textile designer and hairdresser,” says Take It from the Big Mouth: The Martha Raye Story would reveal such need-to-know tidbits as these:
MEN WHO are looking to retile the bathtub with old seashells or caulk their windows with acorn-squash fettuccine may finally have their prayers answered. Though they deny it, Time executives are putting together a magazine that is being described as Martha Stewart Living for men. “Actually,” says one source, “it’s more of a cross between This Old House and Martha Stewart Living," leading one Time wit to call it This Old Martha.
THE LATEST brain-child of onetime mogul, now independent TV producer Brandon Tartakeoff is Q & E!, a pleasant half hour on the E! channel, wherein celebrities are asked open-ended questions about life. (Asked whether she had ever consulted a medium, comedian Marsha Warfield answered, “I’ve consulted a few smalls, and I didn’t mean to.”)
I ORIGINALLY wanted to make an artsy-fartsy black-and-white movie, a real noir kind of thing, for maybe $1 million," says Robert Longo, famous in the 1980s for his paintings of yuppie-ish men and women twisting anxiously in space. It took $28 million and half a decade, but Longo has finally completed Johnny Mnemonic— with Keanu Reeves, Ice-T, and Henry Rollins, based on a short story by cyberpunk guru William Gibson—and graduated from SOHO artist to sci-fi auteur.
ILLUMINATION is one of the few twentieth-century experiments that hasn't failed," claims A. Alvarez in Night (Norton), the distinguished poet and essayist’s extended meditation on nightlife, sleep, and that dark time when we’re vulnerable to intruders and our very own dreams.
TOM ROBBINS'S fleW novel, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (Bantam Books), immediately leaped onto the New York Times best-seller list. We caught up with him beside a Florida lagoon, wide awake in no pajamas, and asked him to explain his most amphibious novel to date.
COUNT Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was born too late. The son of the private counselor of Czar Nicholas II, he found himself an exile in America, regarded as eccentric for his habit of dressing in riding breeches and boots with open-collared white shirts.
Jonathan Rothenberg's Visor lamps mark the first force ashore of a new British invasion. Rothenberg is one of Britain’s eighty-four-person New Designers group, which, with all the exuberance of the Dave Clark Five, has begun a concerted assault on American markets.
PORTLAND, Oregon, is home-town to two great American radicals: John Reed, who wrote Ten Days That Shook the World, and James Beard, who wrote, “I will match a good Dungeness against the best lobster in America and against the best langouste in Europe.”
THE HARD-BITTEN, Gaelic-speaking folk of the Dingle Peninsula learned the mixed blessings of fame in the early 1970s, when their savagely beautiful fist of coastline served as the backdrop for David Lean’s epic Ryan’s Daughter. Lashed by apocalyptic gales, scattered with medieval relics, Dingle became fixed as a mythic, if not always flattering, vision of provincial Ireland.
His agenda’s on the rocks and the GOP tide is rising fast. Can Bill Clinton find higher ground?
<p>BY NOW, the most overused four words in the English language are "Memo to Bill Clinton." Everyone this side of Kim Jong II has weighed in with self-serving suggestions on how Clinton should behave as a lone Democratic sapling in a forest of giant Republican redwoods.</p>
From golden boy to leading man to Human Love Machine, Frank Gifford hasn’t lost a step
<p>FRANK GIFFORD sweeps through the revolving doors of Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel at six o'clock sharp, a garment bag over his shoulder, a briefcase in his right hand. There is a stretch limousine parked out front. In three hours, the Eagles will play the Oilers on Monday Night Football.</p>
<p>THROUGHOUT this tumultuous year, we have been increasingly appalled at the rampant tabloidization of the critical, complex events that shape the culture. What kind of world is it in which we live? A world in which a hero is tried and convicted by a rabid media before the first juror is chosen?</p>
Smothering under the weight of its own history, Time, Inc. needed an outsider with a singular set of talents to lead it into the next century. It’s Norman Pearlstine’s time now.
THIS WASN'T the first time Henry Muller woke up on the shoulder of the information superhighway. The first time—in March of 1989, as word leaked about the secret plan to merge his employer, Time, Inc., with Warner Communications, the entertainment conglomerate—Muller, then the editor of Time magazine, was sipping a sunset cocktail at his vacation condominium in Switzerland when his boss rang to tell him the rumor was true.
<p>WE'RE SPEAKING with supermodel Tyra Banks, who will soon appear in John Singleton's new movie Higher Learning What s this, Tyra7 A little something I'm messing around with. An invention? I call it Virtual Imagination. Want to try it? Do we have to wear a helmet?</p>
He’s bigger, stronger, and more driven than when he ruled the NBA. And yet, Earvin Johnson inhabits a strange netherworld, caught between the triumphs of his past and the terror of his future.
SUNSET IN BARCELONA. It is late September, still warm, though an evening wind has picked up, and shadows are gathering. A blue luxury bus with a colorful poster taped to the side, reading MAGIC JOHNSON AND HIS MAGIC ALL-STARS, rolls past stately churches, their steeples sparkling red in the sinking sun, and it wheels past apartment buildings with drying clothes rippling like flags from window-sills.
DIANE SAWYER has become the symbol of all that’s right about the network magazine shows. And all that’s wrong.
<p>IT IS TUESDAY, and Shelley Ross is on the second floor in the edit bays, supervising the cutting of Diane Sawyer's third piece with the family of Nicole Brown Simpson. They cut in modules at Prime Time Live. The pieces are broken into sections, and different teams of editors and assistant producers put them together, here under Ross’s direction, based on Sawyer’s script.</p>
Holt Euliss thought he was kidding around in the office. But soon he was accused of sexual harassment, suspended by AT&T, fined, transferred—and dead.
WHEN HOLT EULISS was four years old, his father died and his mother had to rely on schoolteaching to feed Holt and his older sister, Daphne. Four years later, he was run down by a motorcycle while chasing a baseball across Alamance Church Road near their home outside Greensboro, North Carolina, and spent several months in a body cast.
<p>DON'T WEAR A SUIT TO JAIL—it's inappropriate and identifies you as a member of a group (guys who wear suits to jail, i.e., morons). It's important not to wear anything that identifies you as a member of any group, not even inadvertently. Wear a red sweatshirt and you may be mistaken for a gang member and get treated accordingly.</p>
Dear Bill, I have recently had the great pleasure of receiving Ginsberg as a visitor to my house, whereupon I learned that you would be returning to New York within the next month. Allow me to congratulate you on your speedy recovery and to express the heartfelt wish that in the future there will be fewer rocky bumps on the road of life for you.
Serious quiz. Resort clothes at sea. Part one of a new history of fashion.
<p>AFTER READING the articles ranting and raving about The Bell Curve, the controversial book that inextricably links IQ with success—thus dooming many of us to a lifetime of genetically programmed schlemieldom—one couldn’t help but wonder if certain “cognitive abilities” were being conspicuously overlooked.</p>
Tracing the two main strains in American fashion to our British colonial oppressors and the pint-size, armor-plated Spaniards who explored the Southwest, a best-selling author and clothing designer begins a series of articles on the history of American men’s wear
<p>MOST of the men's fashion in America has had two main sources, British and Mediterranean. It’s always either Brit or Med. Over the years, they have come in waves, like the highs and lows those gabby TV weather people keep throwing at us. (Why don’t they just tell us if it will rain tomorrow?)</p>
JAZZ MAY BE THE ONE TRUE soundtrack to this great American century of ours, but, as the millennial moment approaches, it behooves the humble listener to note that some elements have never quite fit in. Why is it that Johnny Ramone, who can barely play two chords, somehow man-ages to create a more compelling guitar sound than maestros like Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery?
The Great Escape, p. 100-107: Motor sailer: M/S Arian/Athens, Greece; p. 100: Joop! Menswear jacket ($275) and trousers ($159) at Saks Fifth Avenue select stores; Barneys New York select stores. For information contact: Joop!, 300 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022.
AFTER SEEING THE NEW, I want my old monsters back. I miss my mummy with his peeling face, his bandages unwinding, his foot dragging in the dust. I miss the expression-less space aliens compelled to take over the earth for lack of resources on their native planets, the nuclear mutants, the Igors, the stiff-armed zombies risen from their graves.