On-line Adventures Sorry to disappoint those of you who’ve been trying desperately to send Lynn Darling e-mail after reading the account of her virtual-cum-actual domination-and-submission relationship, “Dear Ravager, I’ve Never Done This Before.."
TOM JUNOD is one of the true forces in American magazines these days. He’s the only writer ever to win back-to-back National Magazine Awards for feature writing, in 1995 and 1996. Not bad for a guy who began his professional life as an Electrolux salesman, a job at which he lasted exactly one day.
A celebrity has no secrets; he belongs to all of us, completely, not only his artistic output but his every secretory, excretory, and ejaculatory effort as well. There was a time, sure, when celebrities had private lives, when an actress could quietly beat her daughter with a wire hanger or when the president could pork with impunity without anyone making a federal case out of it.
OH, IF ONLY you knew what girls talk about when they talk about you. We wonder, when we wonder—these are innocuous examples, believe me—why you eat standing over the kitchen sink, why you hunch greedily over the mail, like a starving refugee, why you cry in your sleep.
THINK I KNOW why he did it. Hitler, I mean—I think I know why he did what he did. No, not that— the other thing. The mustache. The evil mustache—the carbony square that became his destiny and then the world’s. He did it—he grew it—because he couldn’t be bothered to shave close under his nose, to get up there with his razor, into the tricky architecture.
We’re not going to tell you to buy Gus Van Sant’s first novel, Pink (Doubleday, out this month), which is about an infomercial producer and two “dimensional travelers” disguised as film students. Wouldn’t do that to a friend. Wouldn’t want you to waste the $21.95.
USUALLY, it’s Errol Morris, documentarian of the oddball, asking the questions. So it’s a funny sight, seeing him as the interviewee. Just like that, as if a camera were on him, he turns into one of those indelible, idiosyncratic characters in one of his films, slightly cross-eyed, talking up a storm, answering a question in the most roundabout of ways, prolix, then suddenly pensive.
THIS IS WHAT THEY DO: They go up. They go down. Also, they spin and whirl and go around. Like this cuckoo world, like a Sergio Mendes record, like your head when someone kisses on you real good. There is no need to apologize for shiny, spinning objects.
To the unenlightened, digging Neil Young—and his “whiny voice, cryptic lyrics, and ear-stinging guitar” (that’s them talking)—is inexplicable. To the faithful, it’s inevitable, like being in a cult you never asked to join but can’t help belonging to.
Who: You and a slim, very pretty, usually Asian woman who might once have worked as a model. What: An expert massage, preceded by a shower and followed by the former model/massage therapist’s murmuring to you in an inquisitive tone, “Jerky jerky?”
IT WAS ABOUT CELEBRITY, race, and the manipulation of the Amencan legal system, the O. J. trial was, right? Maybe, though for the players in that Los Angeles County courtroom, it was all about avoiding the hunched backs and torqued vertebrae that marathon sitters (Ito and Co. logged fourteen hundred hours) often develop.
He’s an honest guy, so the counterman at the local liquor store tries to worry me off the elegant glass bottle. “It’s got a nice fragrance, but it’s rough. Burns all the way down,” he says, grabbing his throat in the universal choking gesture.
JUST DAYS AGO, the last Thunderbird rolled off the assembly line at the Ford plant in Lorain, Ohio, and that should have been a sad event, but I don’t hear anyone crying. “It was just a damn car,” bellowed an oaf at the office who heard me fretting but obviously didn’t feel my pain.
She is so lovely it aches. Auburn hair, long and flowing dress, breathtaking when she smiles. And why shouldn’t she smile, considering the backdrop against which you’ve arranged her— the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, say, or the split-rail fence that rings the pick-it-yourself pumpkin farm near that upstate B&B.
KENNETH THREADGILL pumped gas at his place on the highway just outside Austin and sold shine out back. The backdoor business up and went legit in 1933, getting Travis County beer license number one, and things eventually got busy enough that Threadgill quit pump jockeying and just sold beer.
THE OLD ADAGE has been proven time and again: When the stock market goes up, skirts go up. But let’s not forget what a bull market does for men’s fashion. It unleashes the color purple. Look around and see for yourself. Once the market pushed through seven thousand, we started to notice lavender shirts, mauve pocket squares, and lilac ties.
Or was, until now, as L. A. Confidential takes film flair to entirely new precincts
<p>IT’S BEEN TOO LONG since we’ve had a great cop character on the big screen. The best crime movies of recent years have been in love with the lyrical, hardmouthed talk of lowlifes and the guilty panache with which they carried themselves. In The Usual Suspects, the cops were boastful and stupid, while the guys were as cool as sinners in a doomed world.</p>
The largest public-works project in the nation's history has a deadly calculus all its own
<p>WE STAND OUTSIDE the House of Hills funeral home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Two hundred people, mostly men, mill about. A few wear suits, some have sport jackets, many are in polo shirts and jeans. Thick-shouldered white and black men greet one another as brothers.</p>
Action star Steven Seagal has now been officially anointed an action lama
<p>IN HIS 1996 FILM, <em>The Glimmer Man,</em> Steven Seagal pretty much plays himself: a hilarious paradox, a devout Buddhist who <em>kicks ass.</em> “I’m not supposed to fight—it’s against my religion,” he proclaims as an undercover cop whose piety is signified by his Chinese shirts and brocade jackets.</p>
That stuff on ESPN is for babies. we have something way extreme in mind.
<p>THE X Games—those Olympics of “extreme” sports that, according to ESPN, deliver the most male viewers aged twelve to thirty-four per household of any sporting event on television—are for pussies.</p>
Which is precisely what makes him the best mayor in America
A sign out front says, MEET THE MAYOR, and there's a picture of Rudy Giuliani smiling his ghoulish public smile, with his cavernous dimples and aspirin-white teeth. The grin is utterly horizontal, a perfect straight line, as though a ruler and a razor together had cut it into his face.
HAVING LONG AGO CONQUERED HOLLYWOOD, THE MAESTRO OF MILAN TAKES ON WALL STREET WITH HIS CLASSICO LINE, AN UNEXPECTEDLY CONSERVATIVE BUT NONETHELESS STYLISH COLLECTION PERFECTLY SUITED FOR YOUR BASIC BUSINESS TITAN
You cannot say you do not like an Armarii suit. The fabric, the craftsmanship, the comfortable fit, are Just too perfect. You can say, however, that Giorgio Armani suits aren't right for you—that they are too, as the designer himself says, "fashiony."
She was wearing a colorful dress, straw-soled platforms, and a face full of freckles that would have done Jackson Pollock proud when we met at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. On the ground floor, three young painters— John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, and Luc Tuymans—were on display in the Project Room.
I WAS AN INPATIENT AT A PSYCHIATRIC hospital in Queens in July of 1987, being treated for depression and related complaints. This was where I first heard a sensible word on the subject of prayer. I was on the adult ward—a catchall locale for those who didn’t entirely qualify for the drug-treatment ward one floor up or the adolescent unit down the hall or the chronic-care ward above the teens.
<p>“ANDREW, DO YOU KNOW how much your daddy makes? Do you know how much his time is worth?” It is four o’clock. The sun is far away. Winter can be deathly cold, even in North Carolina. The windchill, they say, will make it seem like ten below tonight.</p>
"Lights . . . Camera . . . Hold It, Hold It. Would Someone Please Reattach Mark's Member, Please . . . and Action!"
It's a movie we saw. It's a movie you're going to want to see. It's a movie that made us want to talk to the director.
<p>Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is twenty-seven, and <em>Boogie Nights,</em> a truly awesome piece of moviemaking starring Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, and Heather Graham, is his second feature. (The first was the indie <em>Hard Eight.</em>)</p>
Chuy Carrillo Is Dead and Living Somewhere Far, Far Away
A true story about how our government destroyed one of its own
<p>THEY DON’T HAVE THE LOOK OF PEOPLE YOU NORMALLY SKIN ALIVE. AS CARLOS CARRILLO holds the big black-and-white print of his parents, he smiles warmly and explains that it was taken on their wedding day. In the picture, his father beams in a rented tuxedo, and his mother glows from within the white corona of a massive wedding dress.</p>
ONCE UPON A TIME, I sprang for a gleaming pair of metal-flake purple in-line skates. Within weeks, they were languishing in the nether reaches of my closet. The reason was simple: I couldn’t control my speed on hills. And I live in San Francisco.
TIME WAS WHEN in-line skates were the stuff of Flash Gordon flashbacks, when the futuristic flair of their hard-molded boots reinforced the sense that the eight-wheeled would inherit the earth. Well, we did—but we did so whining all the while, muttering things like “Ow!” and “Damn, it’s hot in here!”
MEDICINE TEACHES US that drugs are good—sometimes even bad ones. If morphine is what you need— perhaps, as celebrated scriptwriter Dennis Potter did in his endgame with pancreatic cancer, swigging it from a flask during interviews, with macabre panache—you can do that.
IT’S 10.00 P.M.: Do you know where your wife is? In another time and place, this was a moot question. Whether powerful despots or lowly laborers, men have a long and embarrassing but highly successful history of “mate guarding”—a fancy euphemism for keeping a tightly clamped lid on the female libido.
HERE’S A SCENARIO: You’re doing some seemingly sensible over-the-counter self-medicating—then one day, without warning, you’re borne away to the ER, sirens wailing, with a bleeding or even perforated ulcer. What the hell were you taking?
IN ONE CLASSICALLY inappropriate George moment, Seinfeld's George learns that he's impregnated a friend of Elaine's, and he throws up his arms in triumph: "My boys can swim!" As well he should—one out of six couples In America Is infertile.
THE MOST PRIMAL PART of the art of driving is what you hold in the palm of your hand: the stick. It’s no accident that hardcore auto enthusiasts are called gearheads. The shift gate is the way to a car’s soul; the stick throbs with the heartbeat of the engine.
“I THINK THE Europeans are laughing at us,” says Doug Nalle, one of California’s premier zinfandel makers, about America’s latest wine obsession. How nice that our tacking and veering trendiness affords them amusement. But maybe they’re actually hurting on the inside, because they’re at the back of the line for the new zins, controversial wines that are goading American collectors into a feeding frenzy.
CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME why the best Mexican restaurants in El Norte are in the North? Why hasn’t San Antonio or Santa Fe—or Los Angeles, for God’s sake—got even one place like the great Topolobampo in Chicago? Maybe southwesterners like their food just fine the way it is—the real deal from a rambling roadhouse or an oldtown family joint.
IT IS MY LAST night in Bilbao, political capital of the Spanish Basque country, and I have penetrated a terrorist cell: two half-French, half-Bilibaino brothers, Daniel and Xavier, and George, an Englishman born and raised here. They are giving me a lesson in bomb making.
Fashion Armani, Inc., pp. 84-89: All clothes available at Giorgio Armani, New York, Beverly Hills, Boston, San Francisco, and Palm Beach; Bergdorf Goodman Men, New York; Maxfield, Los Angeles; Barneys New York select stores; Neiman Marcus, Houston. Car courtesy Harrison & Shriftman, New York: 212-557-2500.
The audience was small, considering who she had been. Reporters, children, previous husbands, lawyers, the costars who were still alive from the television show. Altogether, no more than a hundred people. The youngest of the children, Arthur, sat alone in the front pew.