Network Encore? I'm Glad as Hell.

We interrupt regular programming to take you back to 1976's darkly comic masterpiece.

I fixed my bike and headed to the Expo's after-party at Rebel NYC, where a Japanese woman was frantically signing—not doing air guitar—over the music. Was it RINKO KIKUCHI fromBabel? Nope—this babe had a dick.

Ballsily, TERRENCE MCNALLY's Some Men spans the modern history of gay relationships with an unconventional structure applied to some conventional topics, resulting in a very mixed clutch bag. The play manages to be both heavy handed and filled with insight, dotted with the clichéd (a hustler with brains), the unlikely (two guys falling in love at a bathhouse), and the utterly lovely (two pre-Stonewall types defend their unmilitant lives to dismissive young interviewers). The play deals with various roadblocks to gay commitment, leading up to our more accepting time—and though the gay husband-to-be character recently cheated, at least he left the trick tied to the bed.

On an even more delightful note, did you find 9/11 a bit of a nuisance? Well, it's not anymore! That hateful day has finally found its purpose! It's been completely depoliticized and mined for a gross Academy Award–type wallow—namely Reign Over Me, which has ADAM SANDLER as an emotional shut-down who's gone so crazy over the loss of his family that he thinks BOB SEGER is a genius. Meanwhile, DON CHEADLE's sexually harassed dentist character admires Sandler's total freedom, which involves sitting in a theater all day and watching MEL BROOKS marathons! For the most part, the film manages to be both indulgent and dull—except for the moment when the otherwise upstanding dentist tosses out the word "faggoty." Any potential compassion for these sad freaks blew up at that moment.

The World FamousBOB*, the local diva who could portray Anna Nicole
photo: Tricia Romano
The World FamousBOB*, the local diva who could portray Anna Nicole

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Real-life homophobes are still out there too, I swear. KEVIN SESSUMS has been banned from promoting his personal remembrance, Mississippi Sissy, in Tupelo, Mississippi, the town where DONALD WILDMON's American Family Association is based. Hit too close to homo? Well, they didn't care for Kevin's revelation that he had a gay affair with one of the town's football heroes. Then again, I have a feeling all books are banned down there—except, of course, for the holy one that's conveniently picked up whenever it's hate time again.

Finally, seeing as I'm a big reader—of Inches magazine—I recognized two guys in the large photo displays in Loehmann's windows. They're large-penised porn stars BEN ANDREWS and ERIK RHODES, though in this case they're fully clothed and striking fashiony poses. Top that, Filene's.

Web extra:

The Miss USA pageant was as riveting as usual, with its bizarre procession of girls tarted up to look like Hooters waitresses, knowing full well they're expected to behave like nuns if they win (minus the same-sex action, of course). This year, the interest was up because of the final presence of almost dethroned alkie TARA CONNER, and they played it up for drama all night. She started and ended the show, and her scandal was milked throughout, Tara sweeping out to thank DONALD TRUMP for his incredible generosity as Trump sat there beaming as if he didn't write that whole speech. All the while, cohost Nancy O'Dell stood there looking quite preggers, almost as if to warn the girls: "Don't do this!" The winner, Miss Tennessee, is clearly not going to cause any problems. She's a grinning replicant who surely hasn't even guzzled a Shirley Temple. She was eerily smooth in her speaking, hit all the right notes (like "underprivileged children"), and gave great swimsuit action. She couldn't lose—especially after Miss Kansas said she wouldn't give certain criminals a second chance (yeah, but how about Tara Conner?) and boasted that she volunteers with a Catholic group at abortion centers, no doubt meaning she stands outside screaming at the satanic baby killers. Anyway, the winner is off to a year of soberly, smilingly cutting the ribbon at pet food store openings and such around the country. She's driving ME to drink.

Speaking of beauty queens and substances, can I please go back to ANNA NICOLE one more exploitive time? Her death has just been officially deemed an accidental overdose, but there’s more to it than that, subtext-wise. It wasn’t suicide in the strict sense, but there was definitely an element of her wanting to self destruct à la Marilyn, too afraid to seek help for fear of bad publicity. Her sad end might also not have been murder in the literal sense—unless that Mickey thing was true, of course—but at the very least it was clearly egged on by her enablers standing around not only watching her self sabotage, but videotaping it and laughing. None of this could have happened without the bizarre, dark construct of stardom. But I don't care, I still want to be famous!


musto@villagevoice.com

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