TAYLOR BRANCH’S ARTICLE “CLINton Without Apologies" (September) didn’t succeed in whitewashing Bill Clinton. Instead, it just pointed up the lack of character this president has displayed since day one. Branch is just as dumb today as he was in the 1972 incident he related.
LIKE MOST AMERICANS, Esquire is a little schizophrenic where movies are concerned: We're convinced that the majority of films made today are not intended for intelligent adult viewers, and yet we’re still in love with them, fascinated by their makers and their stars.
WRITER Kathryn Harrison has some serious Electra issues to work out. The theme of paternal incest has run through her fiction for years—and soon it will become clear why. Her first novel, Thicker Than Water, detailed an incestuous relationship between a daughter and a long-lost father, and her next two, Exposure and Poison, contained intimations of intrafamily love.
Hillary Clinton RECENTLY faced one of those awkward social dilemmas that have kept Emily Post in business forever: seating arrangements. The First Lady attended a Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills not long ago and was introduced by actress Geena Davis.
BEFORE THE LORDS OF Sony settled upon John Calley to run their troubled studios, they made a stunning free-agency bid to buy Hollywood’s Dream Team: Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. According to a source, the studio, which recently fired Columbia/Tristar chairman Mark Canton and squeezed out Sony Pictures president Alan Levine, attempted to lure Katzenberg to run the place.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE Third Reich, Arnold Schwarzenegger sure knows how to create a furor. The action hero is hoping to make a film that people in Hollywood are calling the "nice-Nazi movie." With Wings as Eagles would star Schwarzenegger as a World War II German officer who, according to reports, fights "for all of Germany, not for one man or one party."
PERHAPS THE FAMILY Channe1 should have consulted with Carnac buying the rights to old episodes of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. As part of its plan to promote Carson’s Comedy Classics, the Pat Robertson— owned network hired Rich Little to do his trademark Carson impersonations in several commercials.
TOSS ANOTHER MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE ONTO THE bonfire. Eddie Hayes, who was the model for the fasttalking lawyer in Bonfire of the Vanities, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Hayes claims he was pushed into the move largely because an appellate judge recently ruled that he had overcharged the Andy Warhol Foundation and ordered him to pay back $1.35 million.
WITH THE POSSIBLE exception of Marilyn Monroe, it pays to be nice to the Kennedys. At least it always has for ICM agent Esther Newberg, who recently lined up John F. Kennedy Jr. as a new client. The literary agent—also known as “Lobster Newberg” on Don Imus’s radio show—was recently shopping around a book imprint based on Kennedy’s magazine, George.
THAT FRISKY ANIMAL-rights group, PETA, has an unlikely new foe: Boys Town. The home for neglected youths—which was the subject of the classic 1938 Mickey Rooney-Spencer Tracy film and a 1994 Newt Gingrich polemic—has become the target of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
JUST HOW FAR WILL Diane Sawyer go for a good interview subject? Sawyer, who lobbed softballs at Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, was so eager to lock up Mark Fuhrman for a second interview for PrimeTime Live that she even succumbed to that most nefarious of n-words: networking.
Dick Morris HAS A NEW BEST FRIEND. THE EMBATTLED foot fetishist/political adviser has been cozying up to his neighbor in Redding, Connecticut, Mary Travers (as in Peter, Paul, and...), says a source. "Mary at a party, telling everyone what a wonderful guy he is and how we have to support him and be there for him,” says the source.
The AMERICAN EUROCOPTER EC 135 IS A COMPACT LUXURY HFLIcopter—forty feet long, remarkably small when you consider that it has twin Pratt & Whitney jet engines packed beneath the insectlike curve of the fucelage. So, depending on the size of your backyard, heliport could fit next to the Power Rangers jungle gym with slide and detachable photon cannon.
THE FLOOR IS TREMBLING; THE iced-tea glasses are shivering. Even the cucumber bits in the gazpacho vibrate. "That feels weird," Renée Zellweger says. "Can you just help me out with what that was?” Why not? We’ve already covered all the requisite topics: her nightmarish experience filming The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, redeemed only because she got to work with another then-unknown Texan, Matthew McConaughey; her storybook discovery (she blew off her first callback because her dog was sick), which led to a starring role alongside Tom Cruise in this month’s Jerry Maguire; her plans to go on a cattle drive in Idaho with her dog.
"The clothing looks actually more exciting than the clothing in fashion magazines," Sex Tips for Girls author Cynthia Heimel wrote recently and all too correctly of one popular catalog's offerings. The mail-order industry has matured astonishingly, ranging from the high gloss of the three J's (Crew, Peterman, and Press) to the 'zinelike scruff of American Science & Surplus.
BETWEEN THE RElentless search for the Big Trend and the careful evaluation of the Fine Details (wherein God resides), the real innovations of the largest industry on the planet often get lost. let’s step back a second, forget the “customer satisfaction” index, and choose our Best of the Year—the features and models that surprise and delight.
FRANCE HELD ITS breath. Joël Robuchon, the man considered that nation's greatest chef, announced his retirement this year at the age of fifty-one. A chef who rarely entered the dining room named after him, he was an intense perfectionist for whom exquisite simplicity was always the goal.
A Man’s Life: The Complete Instructions, by Denis Boyles (HarperCollins): Wickedly funny user’s guide covering everything from “how to make small talk with a urologist” to “beer as food.” Tools of the Trade: The Art and Craft of Carpentry, by Jeff Taylor (Chronicle Books):
THERE'S ONE THING I always say to friends who visit my native city from abroad, and that is: London is a grate, mondial city; it’s cosmopolitan; it’s got genuine edge; and yet still, somehow, it’s boring. Not boring in the sense of being uninteresting, you dig, but in the sense of being dull, torporous, weighed down under the crumbling inertia of its own past.
ONCE, SO LONG AGO, Murray the K, or rather the pastrami-dripping, sly, and low voice of Murray the K, known to some as Murray Kaufman, the greatest deejay outside of Wolfman Jack, told me how to make myself hip. The answer was to listen to what Murray played from seven to eleven and go out and buy it, thus separating myself from the squares who liked Cousin Brucie.
REINCARNATED: Fundamentalist firebrand and rocker David Koresh, after a long bureaucratic snafu on the Second Level of Being. The ex-cult leader came back as a two-pound bag of roasted mixed nuts. CEASED TO EXIST Robert Reich, fifty, secretary of labor.
Some state-of-the-art styles and designs to spoil yourself with this winter:
Canon’s ELPH camera is a vest-pocket Wunderkind employing the industry’s brand-new Advanced Photo System. Autofocus, flash, zoom, bang, the works—in a full-metal jacket of stainless steel smaller than a hand grenade. $350. Patagonia’s Puffball vest is a half pound of wind-resistant, water-repellent warmth in ripstop nylon.
WHAT KIND OF woman would you make? Could you be as smoochable as RuPaul in his M·A·C lipstick, be invited aboard Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, convincingly woo Wong Foo? More seriously, is gender identity, as many arbiters of sexual politics maintain, a mere social construct?
<p>You will live longer than your father. Medicine keeps contriving to shortchange the grim reaper—and not simply with new cures for diseases. Hormonal therapies that alter the aging process are already in use. There's talk, too, of tinkering with DNA to turn back the body's clock or at least slow it down.</p>
IF THE REASSURING endearments in "My Funny Valentine" were given a contemporary twist, the lyric would not go “Is your mouth a little weak?” but rather “Is your chin a little weak?” Psychologists will tell you that high on women’s wish lists for the man of their dreams is a strong jaw.
The next time you’re about to be trampled by a rhinovirus, try chasing it off with zinc lozenges—one every two waking hours from first sniffle. It’s long been suspected that zinc might suppress colds, but data was inconclusive. Now, though, in a trial at the Cleveland Clinic, doctors have found that zinc lozenges reduce the average duration of colds from 7.6 days to 4.4 days.
A FRIEND CAME OUT OF the closet recently. Naturally, his friends and colleagues were all very supportive, but if he’d asked me—and I know this is heresy, blasphemy of the most egregious order—I hope I would’ve had the guts to say, “Stay in the closet.”
Rising at dawn for a game of hoops may energize you, but you’d play better after a day in the office. A pair of new studies support the long-held theory that the human biological clock is wound in such a way that late afternoon is when our power, coordination, and reflexes are at their peak.
<p>IT HAS BECOME HARDER, THIS past year, to go back into the dark with hope or purpose. The place where "magic" is supposed to occur has seemed a lifeless pit of torn velour, garish anonymity, and floors sticky from spilled sodas. Forlornness hangs in the air like damp; things are so desolate, you could set today’s version of Waiting for Godot in the stale, archaic sadness of a movie theater.</p>
MY DAUGHTER, GABY, ATtends a cooperative nursery school, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 11:30 A.M. Once a month, each child's parents are responsible for bringing in that day's snack. I've been monitoring Gaby's reports on typical snack fare and find it to be some sorry Mid-Atlantic pabulum: cheese and crackers, cream-cheese-and-jelly white-bread sandwiches, teeny-weeny plastic boxes of sparkly vanilla yogurt, et cetera.
<p>GET READY FOR A NEW MARketing blitz from the institution you love to hate: your bank. Many of the nation's largest commercial banks— having linked up with software companies like Intuit and Microsoft—are beating the drums to make computerized home banking a reality at last.</p>
Perception has at last won its war over reality. Meet the men who invent the truth as we know it.
FRESE FROM PRODUCING A REPUBLICAN convention that was a model of racial inclusiveness and gender neutrality, Michael K. Deaver is on the auditorium stage at the New-York Historical Society, explaining his craft. "The media don't want to talk about substance," says the former White House deputy chief of staff, whose earlier extravaganzas included the celebration marking the fortieth anniversary of D-day and Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” reelection campaign.
A PROSTITUTE, FOR a modest sum from a disreputable publisher, betrays a client who is in the habit of fondly comparing his own profession, political consulting, to prostitution. This client, instead of fleeing in shame, proceeds to exploit the scandal in which he finds himself by announcing his intention, for a much larger sum from a reputable publisher, to betray his client, the president of the United States.
Rapper Tupac Shakur felt he had to live up to his hardcore lyrics—but then the line between art and reality was riddled with a hail of bullets.
<p>It’s a prizefight Saturday night, hot and mobbed. A black BMW 750 inches down the Strip, followed by a half dozen other black luxury cars. Tupac Amaru Shakur, twenty-five, stands up through the open sunroof, which is probably not too wise. Not if you live in the crosshairs you’ve spent your life creating.</p>
<p>I first met Tupac Shakur almost five years ago, when John Singleton invited me to do a behind-the-scenes book for his second movie, <em>Poetic Justice</em>. It was early on in preproduction when Tupac was cast, and we were on a location scout. </p>
SYLVESTER STALLONE SUSAN FALUDI the evolving ming, body, and soul of the contemporary cinematic man-god, whose studly action heroism is a disguise for a creture in gender crisis. Is this man happy? Is any man?
<p>ONE NIGHT NOT LONG AGO, Sylvester Stallone made an appearance at the Planet Hollywood on Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan. The occasion was a charity fundraiser, and Stallone gamely stood in the pit before the sea of gawkers and hawked the restaurant’s latest Celebrity Limited Edition collectible: a black cotton T-shirt streaked with a skeleton-and-sinew torso bursting from claylike globs of red and yellow paint.</p>
Photographer Joel Sternfeld's memorial to famous moments in American mayhem
Three and a half years ago, on a day in late May, I went to Central Park in New York to find the place behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art where Jennifer Levin had been murdered. It was bewildering to find a scene so beautiful, to see the sunlight pour down so indifferently on the earth.
i am man without a woman on a ship without a country in a harbor called home sweet home by a shark on a winnin streak. life's mean lessons, in three acts.
<p>I PENCILED THAT TOMCAT BUSINESS IN my diary right off the bat on December 2, 1995, the morning my ship sailed from Liverpool, commencing her maiden voyage round the world. I did not have the tactile awareness then, there in my first hours aboard, to note that my cabin was vibrating, for it was vibrating at such speed that the physical sensation was subliminal, at least in the beginning.</p>
On the preservation of shoes, with a few words on trees
THERE IS AN OLD STORY about a man whose wife had run off with his chauffeur. His son was a convicted criminal. His daughter had expensive tastes and no visible means of support. His business was bankrupt. So he wore shoes three sizes too small for his feet7#x2014;because taking them off at night was the only pleasure left to him in life.
With fire in his boots and flamenco in his soul. Joaquín Cortés has become the hottest star on the international dance scene. On these pages, with his dancers, he wears the season's standout evening trend: velvet.
Gypsy Passion, p. 112: Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche shirt ($290) and suit ($1,400, jacket not shown) at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, New York. P. 114: Gucci suit ($1,090) at Gucci, New York; Neiman Marcus select stores; Bergdorf Goodman Men, New York.
ANOTHER YEAR AND NO FACElift," I said, meaning myself, to Dr. Gerald Imber when I saw him under the tent at a block party. In the evenings when a few brown and ruby drinks have blurred my ability to look in the mirror, I often think I look young and okay.