The great thing about being an ex-president is that your mere presence no longer triggers a knee-jerk, vitriolic response. You can be on a magazine cover and people won’t inundate that magazine with contemptuous messages. Unless, of course, you’re the ex-president we featured on the cover of December’s Best and Brightest issue.
Your answer for question 28 of "The Hardest Quiz Ever" ("The titles of a sixties band’s first and second Top Ten hits, totaling five words, used only two words between them. What was the band?") is the Hollies. I have to assume you innocently overlooked the Ohio Express, which had its two and only Top Ten hits in 1968:
"The Hardest Quiz Ever" was not without its problems
WE RECEIVED 146 COMPLETE SETS of answers for December’s “The Hardest Quiz Ever,” of which nine were 100 percent correct. Or so we thought. While placing dozens of e-mails in the “incorrect” pile, a pattern began to emerge: Quite a few of you shared the same wrong answer for question number 28: the Ohio Express.
To Gideon at Classic Toys on Sullivan Street in New York, for providing the toy soldiers—and necessary consultation—for the item on page 44. To intern Kevin Koenig, our Burger King, for his willingness to walk the streets of midtown in tights and for putting up with the harassment that goes along with that sort of thing.
I’ve been thinking about Abe Lincoln and Tim McGraw lately. I’ve been thinking about McGraw because one of our editors has been hanging out with him and I’ve been wondering what McGraw’s ubiquity has to say about this cultural moment. Lincoln, whose birthday is coming up, has been on my mind because he, too, is absolutely everywhere these days.
A man wakes up one morning with a hangover. Going downstairs, he says to his wife, "Honey, I know I made a fool of myself at the company party last night. Remind me what I did." "You got in an argument with your boss." "Well, piss on him," says the man.
■ The EIGHT Most Remarkable Things in Culture This Month
1 Luckiest Horse From photographer Otto Stupakoff's RioErotico, an exploration of the liberated sexuality of Brazil. 2 Truest Definition “Please advise: 1. Request for input or information. 2. Common e-mail parlance for 'You go do all the work to get an answer to this question.
IF THERE WAS ANY HOPE THAT STEVEN SODERBERGH WAS GONNA SETTLE DOWN AS YOUR ORDINARY, SUCCESSFUL, BORING HOLLYWOOD HELMER, BUBBLE BURSTS IT
<p>It used to be so simple. Since Edison, the release of a new movie inspired a single binary equation: To see or not to see? With the advent of home video in the 1980s, a priority-based fissure de veloped in the former category Suddenly, there were movies you had to rush out and catch immediately, and movies that could wait four to six months.</p>
I’M WELL ACQUAINTED with the wry, ironic spin Maggie Gyllenhaal brings to her zingers in Happy Endings and the subtly gauged insouciance that is Scarlett Johansson's gift to Match Point. Still, Jaime Pressly makes them look as if they were discovered in the food court at an upscale mall.
THE OSCAR WINNER has stepped behind the camera for his latest, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. This revisionist western follows a ranch foreman (Jones) who seeks vigilante justice when a border policeman (Barry Pepper) kills his immigrant friend.
After more than a decade of strum and twang with Dallas’s alt-country pioneering Old 97’s, Rhett Miller is releasing as his second solo album a heaping mound of creamy pop confection—albeit a twisted sort in which the title track wrestles with Elliott Smith’s suicide and the album credits throw shout-outs to Albert Camus, David Cross, Owen Wilson, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Lose the stale stuff and replace it with these four unexpected gems
You own: Norah Jones, Come Away with Me. In retrospect, the ten million Norah Jones fans who bought this weren’t wrong, just boring. Replace it with: Sia, Colour the Small One. She splits the difference between Beck and Beth Orton with stunning slinkiness.
He’s one of cinema's savviest music fanatics. "When I turn in a script," says John Waters, “I turn in a complete soundtrack with it." So what music is Waters digging now? "I'm obsessed with Christmas,” he says, pointing to his own recently released A John Waters Christmas, an anthology of "merry, rotten, scary, sexy, biracial, and ludicrous" holiday novelties.
THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OFFICERS who straddled the line between awesome courage and reckless hubris, whether they were fighting off 4,000 enraged Zulu warriors or flying blind over Nazi Germany. Fifteen of them get their due in Max Hastings’s new book, Warriors:
RULE NO. 73: It’s really great to wear a white suit exactly once a year. RULE NO. 102: Properly made, leftover chili gets better and better every day until the fourth day, at which point it begins its slow decline. RULE NO. 317: Your fear of your boss is directly proportional to the number of boxes of Girl Scout cookies you buy from his daughter.
I DON’T CARE WHAT college professors say; historical drama is the great nap of American arts and letters. Predetermined, with no surprises, it makes for lousy art, loaded with all the tension of a waterlogged towel. What makes The Amalgamation Polka (Knopf, $25), by Stephen Wright, different is that art does not lie down so that history may mount her.
Why is the Prince Albert piercing named after Prince Albert?
STACEY GRENROCK WOODS
I'm afraid no one knows. You see, although everyone was warned repeatedly, no one let Prince Albert out of the can, and he suffocated. People thought it was just a joke, but now who's laughing? Certainly not the guys with rings through the heads of their penises.
We like the idea of losing weight, but we don’t want to make a bunch of painful sacrifices to get there. That’s why we asked Lance Armstrong's coach, Chris Carmichael, to help us generate this list of dietary adjustments that seem minor, even inconsequential, until you annualize the results.
It's going to take a bit of detective work to find the right doctor for you. You don't want to just pick the closest office or the first name you find in the insurance company’s directory. Instead, ask around. Specifically, ask a nurse. No one knows more about doctors than nurses.
For my 40th birthday, I craved a specific kind of adventure: a freeranging few days in a strange land, but nothing too hardcore. No Sherpas or risk of hacking off my own limb, and minimal chance of appearing in a Jon Krakauer book. For company, I chose carefully, luring two friends—ex-college bandmates—to the Chisos Mountains and Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas.
Chef Marc Meyer has built his latest restaurant— New York’s new Cookshop—around the idea that simple is good, but simple with a modern touch is even better. Deviled eggs with caviar. Fried spiced hominy—basically upscale Corn Nuts. And these buffalo wings, which don’t stray far from the American classic that put Buffalo on the map.
Any time a commentator refers to Super Bowl XL as "Super Bowl Extra Large," drink twice. When the singer of The Star-Spangled Banner adds a syllable to a word (e.g., “bra-A-a-A-a-A-a-A-a-VUH"), take a drink for each syllable. If ABC goes to the Skycam, drink.
When we said we were looking for good light beers, the folks at Bierkraft, New York’s mecca for the brew-obsessed shopper, laughed at us. Fair enough; experience has shown us little to contradict the old saw that light beer is like making love in a canoe—i.e., fucking close to water.
The World’s Fiercest Mammal, Contagious Yawning & Why Modern Leaders Don’t Measure Up
Why does America no longer produce great political leaders? Jon Stewart, Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly all say hi. Oh, and Dick Cheney says you're a major asshole. Seriously, though, that's a pretty good, if depressing, question, so the crack AF half-truth squad put it to a couple of pretty good, if depressingly prolific and successful, pseudohistorians.
It's part and parcel of the culture of fashion that any savvy brand can earn big bucks by sticking its name on a cheap watch. And many designers do. But making one that captures your own design style while standing up to the exacting scrutiny of watch enthusiasts?
As subsidiary brands go, Hickey is a very promising chip off the old block, the old block in question being Hickey Freeman. The Rochester, New York, clothing company was founded in 1899, offering ready-made tailoring that was a high-quality yet affordable alternative to custom tailoring for professional men.
Seldom does the American man, so accustomed to endless options and freedom of choice, take the omnipresence of one item as easily as he seems to have taken the proliferation of the boxer-brief. Since the early nineties, boxer-briefs have made even the most skeptical, married-to-his-tighty-whiteys among us capitulate.
The best advice when arriving in Miami? Don't fight it. Start with some sexy wheels. "At Auto Boutique, you can rent anything from a Mini Cooper to a Lamborghini," says Perla Torres, concierge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Or choose a yacht from Water Fantaseas to cruise Biscayne Bay.
1. The most valuable garment you can own for formal occasions? A hand-stitched navy jacket. 2. The only jeans permissible for even the slightest formal situation are made of dark denim, fit like well-made trousers, and feature no holes or rips.
Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy isn’t the only one passing secrets through the medium of preshrunk cotton. Here, four other garments that don’t quite say what they mean.
<p>YOU HAVE NO IDEA what’s going on. You really, truly don’t. I’m sorry to be the person telling you this, but I feel a moral obligation to do so. We live in a false world. This has been the case since the Golden Age of Hoboes (1924-1969), and it will be true forever.</p>
1. Guys, stop dousing yourselves with fragrance. If a man is swimming in cologne, chances are he's drowning out all of his better qualities. 2. Men who wear sunglasses at night don’t look cool, rich, or sexy. They look as if they should be holding a cane or following a dog.
Apolo Ohno is one of those guys who are famous for seventeen days at a time, twice a decade. His next seventeen days are coming, and they will be borderline insane.
<p>HE FILLS THE WAITING MOSTLY WITH ROUTINE. Every night, like tonight, he returns to his shared dorm room at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (where he’s now spent seven of his twenty-three years), stretches out on his floor’s thin carpet, and works on his skates.</p>
Jake Burton Carpenter didn't invent snowboarding-that credit probably belongs to Sherman Poppen, the creator of an early prototype known as the Snurfer. But there's a decent chance that if Carpenter, 51, didn't spend his nights in 1977 holed up in a Vermont barn making bent-wood "snow surfers," 30 percent of Americans on the slopes wouldn't call themselves "riders" instead of "skiers."
Mowing a lawn. Arousing a woman. Flipping the pages of a book. Who can be bothered? Not the author, who set out to create the most indolent lifestyle money can buy.
<p>I'VE NEVER BEEN a guy who liked doing much. I wear loafers because I hate bending over to tie my shoes, I stopped drinking milk years ago because I had issues with those bizarrely resistant unfolding cardboard tops. And I'd gladly pay a hundred dollars for a lightbulb that never—ever-burned out.</p>
At ground zero, now comes the hard work of transforming design into building on the most contested sixteen-acre plot on earth. When it is completed, the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower will symbolize promise and peril to the world, but at the moment, it constitutes one of the great engineering problems of our time. The second in a series of exclusive reports.
<p>The speechifying is over at ground zero. The ceremonies have been held, some more than once. The bagpipers have piped, the silver bells have been rung, and the ground itself, hallowed or not, has been broken more often than Madonna’s maidenhead.</p>
<p>The brightest star in country is always trying to come up with good titles for unwritten country songs. “Some of these have been passed down for generations on the road,” he says, grinning wide. “‘How Can I Get Over You When You Won’t Get Out From Under Him?’”</p>
I like Tim. I identify with him. We come from the same neck of the woods and share the same background, and that seems to have had the same impact on him that it did on me. He's a guy who's justifiably proud of his own success, but he also knows he owes a lot to other people.
YES, COUNTRY IS THE MOST POPULAR MUSIC IN AMERICA. AND, YES, LOTS OF IT BLOWS. HERE ARE THE SONGS THAT DON'T.
<p>THE TRICKY THING about mainstream country is that even the best artists tend to make wildly uneven albums. They almost have to. Country-radio programmers crave tripe patties, not artful song craft, so the finest, most affecting stuff rarely gets played.</p>
When seeking hip, rootsy country that thrills, here's an easy guideline: Ask, "Does Emmylou Harris have anything to do with this?” If it can be quickly traced back to the future Country Hall of Famer through collaboration or influence, it'll work.
Ah, the lingerie shop. Its combination of thrilling, limitless potential and confounding, byzantine wares is enough to freak out even the most determined male customer. So where to begin? While it might seem bold, the thong is actually a good go-to item.
<p><strong>There’s something to be said</strong>
for the niceness and politeness of Canadians, saying thank you and being
concerned with a stranger, being helpful and all that. By the same token, I
would wish for Canada and my fellow Canadians to include in that politeness a
kind of drive that occasionally results in a little ass kicking.
Eighteen years ago, she dropped out of boarding school to work. Now, on the heels of a career performance in The Producers, she’d like to honor the good people—the Dalai, the Ali, the Quentin, the Oprah—she’s learned from along the way. As told to Cal Fussman
<p>The memory of meeting the Dalai Lama makes me think of my younger brother. We were living in India at the time, and the trip to the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharmsala, the holy city outside Tibet, involved many buses and trains. I must have been about nine years old.</p>
<p>POLITICIANS IN HANDCUFFS, starlets in car wrecks, Sean Penn in a dinghy—even the disaster relief needed disaster relief. Clearly, a year so hellishly Dubious demands a heckuva response. Things must be tweaked! So loot some booze, grab some shingle, and make sure Grandma's just sleeping.</p>
The Seven Holy Virtues: Treasures of Love, Faith, Reflection
M.G. "Pat" Robertson
“God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in His eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover [Pennsylvania], I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.” On Fortitude “Take control, Lord!
"Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite." —The Dallas Morning News, June 16 "Please read in paragraph nine: 'about 27 million Soviet citizens died'...instead of...'more than 27 Soviet citizens died.'"
64.2% "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." —George W. Bush to FEMA director Michael Brown 13.4% "You are so fucking hot. Just to look at you. If you agree with anything I've said, just say yes to me or give me a wink. I want to go crazy with you. Drive you nuts."
Store Information For availability of the items featured in Esquire, consult the Web site or call the phone number provided. The Guide, p. 59: Giorgio Armani Privé watch, giorgioarmani.com. P. 60: Battistoni shirt, 888822-7639. Etro suit, 212-317-9096.
1. In which two events do biathletes compete? a) Pie-eating contest while jumping rope. b) Shooting while skiing. c) Swimming with a shot put. d) Making Jiffy Pop while performing oral sex. 2. What is the number-oneselling bumper sticker for the back of Olympic bobsleds?