After reading your cover story on Cruise, I could not suppress an amazed chortle. He reveals himself to be self-centered to the point of paranoia. Did he really mean to assert that those who do not contribute to his own success deserve "removal"? Through all his cultish rhetoric, determination, and cunning, he sounds horribly empty.
His first cover photograph for Esquire, the iconic December 2000 image of President Clinton, enabled him to meet one of his "ultimate heroes," and with this month's cover of the famously recalcitrant actor Al Pacino, PLATON (far right) has met another.
Hollywood constantly asks us to suspend our disbelief for the sake of entertainment. And while we'll grudgingly endure Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist, or Kevin Costner with yet another one of his cockamamie accents, we refuse to believe any man would voluntarily separate himself from Bridget Moynahan.
Most Impressive List of Parking Fines The total delinquent parking fines owed by various missions and consulates, as listed on a New York City government Web site (nyc.gov/html/dof/html/pvo25.html): MOISTEN AND FOLD OVER TO SEAL. MAKE CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO CITY OF NEW YORK.
Rule No. 263: Always keep your receipt from RadioShack. Rule No. 345: There is no dignified way to ask why you weren't invited to the pool party. Rule No. 425: it is unnecessary to compound the effect of white shoes by wearing a white belt.
Sign number one that the recession is over: The new Ritz-Carlton in New York has hired a water sommelier. That's right, no longer will Manhattanites blindly stumble about in their choices of bottled H2O, embarrassing themselves and their friends.
The largest great whites—about 18 feet long—have eyes as big as baseballs • In general, large great whites perceive humans as too bony to bother with, so they often depart after the first bite. • Bull sharks have killed people in lakes. • Hooked makos have been known to charge boats and jump into open cockpits, where they've gone berserk and destroyed the boat that has hooked them.
Sure, there are hundreds of video games that let you slash, stab, blood-suck, bomb, and machine-gun the bad guys. But after a while, destroying yet another vaguely antidemocratic evil gets so tired. Hence this growing genre of aggressively indecent games that reward you for immoral and depraved acts.
We know, we know. After Captain Corelli's Mandolin, it's hard to believe that Nicolas Cage was ever funny on purpose. These days, just about any coming-attractions trailer crashes and burns at the first sight of his soulful mug. As those imploring eyes of his chew life's pain like stale bonbons, his face gets busy working out what would have happened had Salvador Dali ever gotten his hands on a Mr. Potato Head kit.
I enjoyed Thomas McGuane’s The Cadence of Grass so little—in fact, I disliked it so much—that after finishing it, I immediately reread The Sporting Club, his first novel, to see what had gone wrong. Nothing. McGuane hasn’t changed. His men are still vacant, voiceless boys; McGwomen are still a little less rough and a whole lot more needy; the prose is lean and clean, a telegraph from the land of that Big Sky Between the Ears.
Say what you will about their love of Marmite, the British have always been good for a few things: tailored suits, rock quartets, and the mother of all four-wheel drives, the RANGE ROVER. Enter the 2003 Rover, with its futuristic headlights and taillights, an interior fit for the royal family, and side air vents that put speed onto its skin.
Somewhere in the transition from YMCA to NBA, the locker room has been transformed from the territory of fungus-infested tile floors and rusty steel lockers to opulent palaces with lacquered wood lockers and thick shag carpeting. After NBA games, the locker rooms take on a sickly sweet smell, a vague combination of de odorants, colognes, and lotions more powerful than David Stern, We asked several NBA players to open their Prada travel bags and expose the Most Valuable Products in their toiletry lineups.
According to Esquire's Rule No. 156, there is no gadget that can not be made cooler by adding titanium. Well, same goes for tools— namely this titanium hammer, the Stiletto Tools TiBone. What do you get for your $194.95? These things don't rust, they've got builtin grooves for holding nails, and they've got titanium's natural shock absorption, meaning no matter how many gazebos you build, your elbow will still love you.
Rule No. 197: The soft taco is the only taco that matters. Rule No. 234: Tollbooths are not for the asking of directions. Rule No. 268: Never trust a man with pictures of balloons on his checks. Rule No. 441: A papasan chair is discarded in the United States every 7.5 seconds.
ESQUIRE'S ANSWER FELLA believes that there are no stupid questions, just stupid people who don't ask questions, fearing they'll look stupid. So ask Answer Fella anything. If he doesn't know the answer, he'll find out who does, or who has a guess that sounds right.
A guy is staying alone at an isolated cabin in the Ozarks. One day, up the path to his cabin comes a Mountain Man. He's got ragged overalls, bits of straw in his beard, and hardly any teeth. The Mountain Man says, "Sure gets lonely up here, don't it?" "Yes, yes, it does get kind of lonely."
DON'T wear limegreen panties, even if Nately's whore gave them to you herself. DON'T wear trunks emblazoned with the Bud logo. Or, if you must, be certain it's not calling attention to your manly bits. DO wear snug, highwaisted trunks if you are Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer.
First of all, this is not a race. So leave the spandex for the lady friend and go for a loose, light, quick-drying nylon or cotton, or a blend of the two, and be sure there's a mesh liner to keep the boys in the neighborhood. As for color, pick something bold to start off the season because, like you, a good suit should fade by August into a soft, end-of-summer mellow.
THE FLAMING BALL may be 93 million miles away, but it will still kill 7,400 Americans this year and make scores of others look like Robert Redford (yikes). So the best way to avoid trouble is to stay out of the sun completely. And the second best is to wear sunblock.
Just how bronze is bronze enough? Why not take a cue from those men in Hollywood who've traded on their pigmentation for decades? Just choose which famous face you'd like to emulate, follow the formula, and don't blame us when you're mistaken for him on the beach.
BEACH RULE NO. 7: Offering to rub oil over the seminaked body of a total stranger is no more appropriate on the beach than at a bar mitzvah. BEACH RULE NO. 19: No one looks cool playing the paddle game. BEACH RULE NO. 1: For the last time, no goddamn Speedos.
What have we learned? investors can be such girls....
I always thought my job was to help readers understand what they are doing and what they should be doing with their money. Apparently, I’ve been wrong all along. I should have been helping you find someone else to hold responsible. That is at the core of the so-called lessons from Enron.
I love writing this column, but this is my last one. Its five-year run coincided with the most fascinating period in the history of this nation's equity markets. Entire business sectors were invented, funded, and exploded; records were set and stars were made; the heart of the country's economic system was literally attacked—and survived.
<p>I'M GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE HERE, so bear with me. The following comparison has nothing to do with the lawsuit fodder that, on Oscar night this year, Barbara Walters commiserated with Tom Cruise for being “plagued” by. When I decided that the actor Cruise most reminds me of is Rock Hudson, I came by it innocently.</p>
A NORWEGIAN BUDDY MOVIE wait, stay with us. Two psychologically addled men—one obsessivecompulsive, one dim and sex-obsessed—are deinstitutionalized and wind up sharing an apartment. Imagine what Hollywood would do with this. Now imagine the opposite.
<p>MARTIN SCORSESE has been talking for about thirty minutes when he gets the word: Harvey Weinstein is waiting. Scorsese, who is still answering my first question (brevity is not one of his virtues), greets the news with a shrug and a wave of the hand.</p>
One of our greatest living actors finally lets us in. As told to Cal Fussman
This was a good one. I wanted to go to a baseball game. I like to go to ball games. I can remember going with my grandfather when I was three years old. Only it’s a little different when you sit down to watch and they’re putting your name on the scoreboard.
It's driving, eating, singing, swimming, and winding your way across this great country, from Miami to Moab, from Boston to Big Sur. It's Arches National Park and Anvil Rock. It's Igor the twelve-foot rat and barbecued bologna. It's ballpark mustard from old Cleyeland Stadium and cheese grits at Sue's Hudson Cafe.
Because, Boston, it's over between us. Because you've been acting so cold and foggy, so damn feckless lately. Because your drivers are the kind of bruisers who tailgate and never give way to someone trying to exit I-93 at Storrow Drive until he's lost out by the fuel tanks south of the city.
MOOSE DROPPINGS Every summer, up near Jackman, Maine, the moose flee the bug-infested forest and head to the highway, where they know they'll find a delicious blanket of salt left over from winter. The only problem is all the cars. For Lieutenant Pete Boucher and the Somerset County Sheriff's Department, summer means moose accidents—"dozens and dozens" of 'em.
Day1 Breakfast: El Palacio de los Jugos Must order: Jugo de mamey (mamey juice, $1.50) and an arepa ($2), a Venezuelan grilled-cheese sandwich. “Check out the parking lot. The pickup trucks and that beat-up van next to the Mercedes and that Jaguar.
THE STEWARD OF THE SWAMP In 1955, back when the Loop Road was a limestone trail so rough that travelers had to rig their trucks with airplane tires, 16-year-old Robert Warren hitchhiked to the Everglades. He trapped coons, snakes, and frogs, and he took a job at a general store where he sold goods to hunters and shot pool with the local Miccosukees.
I ate like a king in Memphis, which is to say that I ate like the King, which is to say that I ate like a pig, which is to say that I ate alot of pig. I started with pig and I ended with pig. Somewhere in between, at KoTo, I paid twenty-four dollars for seared ahi tuna crusted with Japanese spices, but—this being Memphis—it wound up tasting like pig, or, more precisely, like the ribs at a fragrant downtown joint called Rendezvous.
MEET THE FROG QUEEN The town of Rayne calls itself the Frog Capital of the World, a distinction it earned in the late 1800s when it was a mighty exporter of frogs' legs. And on Labor Day weekend, Rayne celebrates this legacy with its annual Frog Festival.
This here's the story of an American man driving an American car across the most American state in America
I've got logging trucks behind me, I've got all of Texas ahead. I've got a big red Lincoln and I've got momentum, baby. I ask you: What is a man in an expensive new car—a rental, I mean— but a god of motion? Mortal attrition, wear and tear? These are simply not his problems.
SOUNDTRACKS FOR EVERY SCENARIO, ALL ACROSS THE LAND
1 When pondering the urge to flee: Joni Mitchell, Hejira. Joni's ninesong rumination on blue motel rooms, black crows, and the high art of getting the hell away. 2 When actually fleeing: The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street. It's the greatest rock album of all time and the greatest road album of all time for the same reason:
I am a son of Cleveland. It is a great city and always was—stow that "renaissance" crapola—and to every hump who's ever asked, "How 'bout that river catching fire?" hark this: Your mattress-back mama got nekkid, wet, and laid—resulting in you—and I don't jam that down your craw each time you break wind.
FINDING A GOOD HOLE is harder than you think. Best rely on the advice of a seasoned pro, someone who drove 24,000 miles last year looking for the finest places to bob up and down in the deep end. Here, then, is a tiny national sampling of moving water on accessible land.
She is the Cream City, our lady Milwaukee. The nation's milk bottle, a lunch-bucket town. She's a big girl, although her bigness is more about width than height—she tops out at a mere fortytwo stories. Not so much a place of shlemiels or shlemazls, really; the Shotz brewery was fictional, and even the reallife beer that "made Milwaukee famous" is now produced in Texas (by Pabst).
THE HOUSE WITH A ROCK IN IT In 1995, Maxine Anderson was sitting in her kitchen in Fountain City when a 55-ton boulder loosed itself from the bluff above, barreled down the hillside, and crashed into her bedroom. Maxine and her husband were gone before dark.
Once I loved a girl who dreamed of nice restaurants. We were living in a fourthfloor walk-up off Times Square, and when we arrived home after a day's work, we'd stamp our feet so that the cockroaches would scurry back into their holes. This girl wanted to eat in the best restaurants of New York—places like Le Cirque and the Four Seasons.
A TOWN YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS That would be Alma, the highest incorporated burg (10,353 feet) in the United States. (Scorn the claims of neighboring Leadville, a full 200 feet lower.) A refuge for free spirits and fringe characters of varied description, Alma made headlines a few years back when its beloved mayor, Willie Morrison, was murdered by a disgruntled neighbor, Tom Leask.
1. Crack in the Ground, about eight miles north of Christmas Valley, Oregon. A freakish fissure about two miles long, fifteen feet wide (at its widest), and seventy feet deep (at its deepest), the Crack is thousands of years old. Bring a picnic! For more information, call 541-947-2177.
I snag a scarlet Mustang at the airport and speed into town, down the Strip with the top down, with roller coasters screaming through the air above the street, with the Stones wailing and the afternoon heat rippling on the pavement around me.
BE AN F.O.B. Along 128, in Professor Valley, John Hauer can look across his land to the very spot where the West was won, repeatedly, in such films as wagon Master, Rio Grande, hell, even City Slickers 2. And yet, what folks mostly want to hear about is Hauer's dog, Blender, a redbone hound whose grifting act is legend in the valley.
On a warm afternoon in Sonoma, a wrought-iron gate gives way to a garden patio overhung with grapevines and ivy. The smells of rosemary and roasted garlic mingle in the air. The table is set with starched white linen, mismatched cutlery, and a single sweetheart rose.
WHERE TO GET SOME READING DONE In Newport, Oregon, on a bluff overlooking the sea, Goody Cable runs the Sylvia Beach Hotel, where each of the 20 rooms are decorated in honor of a different author. The Agatha Christie room is decked out in floral prints and scattered with clues.
There's at Least One Reason Not to Hate the French
<p>One of the cardinal rules of journalism is "Never bury the lead." So here goes: Emmanuelle Béart spends the entirety of upcoming film 8 Women in a French maid’s outfit. No, this isn’t some sort hoax hatched by my editor to get you to sit through some cloyingly twee art-house curio.</p>
IT WAS, OF COURSE, an execution: death by decree. We killed him, or had him killed, with an overdose of barbiturate suspended in a solution as pink as peppermint, drawn into a syringe the size of a rich man's cigar.
Every special occasion for the Sferrazza family of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, means two things: commemorative photos, arid dressing up in a glamorous, double-breasted, pinstriped style that has never gone away
You can't argue with facts and figures. Either people want it, in which case they pay for it, or it’s two guys sitting around at the Plaza having a discussion, which means nothing. I mean, Titanic. I wasn’t crazy about the movie. But you know what? I’m gonna shut up, because the people have spoken.
<p>IT IS DAWN. Inside the white house, there is a purposeful bustle—preparations for another day’s exercise of executive authority. ¶ Coffee is brewing in a galley kitchen. A man straightens up a sitting room near the entrance portico where guests are received.</p>
Store Information For availability of the items featured in Esquire, call the phone number or consult the Web site provided. The Beach, p. 27: Gucci swim trunks, 800-234-8224. P. 28: Pucci swim trunks, www.emiliopucci.com. P. 29: Lacoste Shirt, 800-452-2678.
Hi, how ya doin'? Well, now that you've read the first sentence, it's too late to turn back. Welcome. This is a chain article. Please send copies to twenty-five of your closest friends and you'll have good luck for the rest of your life. Or you could ignore it and face the consequences like the people below.