Hillary and Condi and Dykes, Oh My!

Plus items of purely prosthetic appeal.

Let me be your MC for various A.C.-D.C. happenings down in D.C. First off, I recently wrote, only half sardonically, about Hillary Clinton's ultra-closeness with her aide de high camp, the glamorous Muslim from Kalamazoo named Huma Abedin. Well, moments later, bigheaddc.com got a Department of Justice source (who's "always right") to say something roughly like, "Oh yeah, uh-huh, duh, everyone knows they're tighter than Jodie Foster and Cydney Bernard!" And then, even more incontestably—nudge, nudge—Huma was seen trailing Hillary as she accompanied Ellen DeGeneres on a "girls only" trip to New York. You do the math! (And if you're good at math, by the way,you're a lesbian too. Think Suze Orman.) Oh, wait! Ignore this whole paragraph! Hillary just told an interviewer she's not a lesbian after all! That should immediately stop all the wishful chanting (from both sides) of "Hillary, dillary, dyke."

In other butch news, a new book says that Condi Rice's very best friends include a gay guy (strange considering the relentlessly queer-bashing administration she works for), not to mention a woman with whom Condi shares credit and ownership of a home. I'm sure there's an explanation for that, too!

Back in the big city, a certain male cable presence's supposed love interest is on one of those super-friendly web sites, where he looks exotically handsome and trumpets himself as a master of everything from piano-playing to jogging and an embracer of all things both highbrow and kitschy. Not surprisingly, he also admits to being "ambitious." But the guy also seems to be blatantly looking for lovers, so the supposed relationship is either very minor or very open.

But let's go back to the world of heteros, who keep astounding with their own very special charms. In fact, the hot directors in movieland these days, bizarrely enough, happen to be Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow's brother Jake, and David Schwimmer! The deadpan Friends star directed Run, Fat Boy, Run, a formulaic but very cute comedy about a commitment-phobe who puts KY on his nipples and runs a marathon to get past his personal wall. After a special Film Society of Lincoln Center screening last week, star/co-writer Simon Pegg (the wacko from Shaun of the Dead) exulted that he's not a fat boy anymore: "I'm ripped—look at me. I'm like a coiled spring here!" But Schwimmer explained that Pegg was in good shape from the start. "He didn't have time to gain weight," said the man who'll always be known as Ross, "so we put him in three prosthetic outfits, the worst of which had man boobs and a butt." "And muffin tops!" added Pegg. "Not convenient for the toilet!" Schwimmer's original choices for the role-—Philip Seymour Hoffman or Paul Giamatti—wouldn't have needed the padding at all, but the original studio shockingly turned them down anyway.

From prosthetics, we segue to prosties via Trade, the movie about the kidnapping of girls in Mexico for sex enslavement. (Think Maria Full of Dicks.) The flick is loaded with high ideals, though it's punchy enough to have played well in parts of the old Times Square. At a post-premiere screening party at the U.N., people walked around with ashen faces, cheering up when they saw a giant cake shaped like the U.N. building, delightfully studded with flags of all nations. Dessert! Hidden at the farthest possible table was Paulina Gaitan, who plays the kidnapped girl who's auctioned off on a sleazier version of eBay. With the help of a translator, Gaitan told me, "In the beginning, making the movie was difficult, but I got along with the director, so it was fine. [Awkward pause.] I feel funny talking about this in front of my mother." Mom was a tough type in a striped jacket, watching us out of the corner of her eye as she scarfed down the pasta. Gaitan bravely kept talking anyway. "The emotions my character had to express— being raped, being taken away from my family, seeing a friend killed—are difficult to tap into at that level," she admitted. "It was hard to have confidence that you'd represent that accurately." So does Gaitan squirm and shriek while watching the result? "No, it's a joy," she said. "I know all the hard work that went into it, so it's a triumph to watch it." This girl's going to be fine.

But enough with artistic representations of sordid situations—let's get down with some real raunch. At a rentboy.com event at Slurp at the Cock, I got to interview a colorful array of escorts and dancers, one of whom admitted he'll gladly pee in your mouth, but he won't kiss you afterward—not convenient for the toilet—and another of whom complained about the rising predominance of "gay for pay" go-go dancers who demand currency every time they're touched and who, even worse, sport shriveled "squirrel nuts" (if not muffin tops). But I feel weird talking about this in front of my mother.

Clubbies are still in toxic shock over the raiding of Mr. Black, where everyone always ended up because it was open so late, you came home to a Social Security check. Well, the club's mascot, Luke Nero, just announced that there'll be an October 4 court date "to clear our name" and the place will reopen in a larger space in January, which is great because that's even more square feet in which to not do drugs. On the downside, I hear the old Mr. Black's investors have freaked out and pulled out and that at least one potential new location has been resistant to selling to a club with a black mark, even if that rep seems to have been zanily exaggerated by coppers.

More definitely, club legend Kenny Kenny is starting a Thursday-night party called Sebastian at the former Eugene, and among the other hosts will be dueling trannies Amanda Lepore and Sophia Lamar. Maybe they'll have to speak again—to each other, I mean.

Everyone's speaking to me lately—and they're saying some kooky, crazy shit. I just got an e-mail declaring, "I'm a graduate student at CUNY's school of journalism and I'm researching a piece on anal bleaching. Would you mind telling me where you went to have yours done?" I was doubly touched—first, that you can actually do a thesis on anal bleaching these days, and second, that someone was that intimately interested in my anus.

The most memorable lines overheard in clubland recently have been "Warning: It's Asian size" (said by a Vietnamese go-go dancer on flashing his wares to a letch—all right, me) and the immortal "I'm so tired of sitting on 10-inch dicks and having to pretend it hurts!" Don't I know it, girlfriend!

I've searched my mind and soul for a segue that can take me from oversized gonads to Betty Comden, and I can only come up with this: I'll tell you what hurts. (Oh, shut up. That'll have to do.) Last year we lost Betty Comden, who, with Adolph Green, wrote scripts and/or scores for Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon, On the Town, and even some non-legendary musicals. Betty was funny, sophisticated, and so influential that the all-femme tribute to her at the Majestic last week proved to be a Broadway queen's fantasy, attracting so many theater types you could finally see that Beth Leavel and Lucie Arnaz are not the same person. Betty would have loved this "girls only" trip to New York, especially the group sing-along finale to "Make Someone Happy."

And finally, Does Your Soul Have a Cold? is the documentary by Mike Mills (who did the Ritalin-laden Thumbsucker) about how antidepressants have been marketed in Japan in order to make everyone happy. At a Paper magazine–hosted UnHollywood Film Festival screening, Mills clarified: "I'm not Mr. Pharmacology Guy, I'm Mr. 'I Feel Fucked-Up in the World' Guy." And his next film will be much frothier. "It's about how my dad came out of the closet at 75," he said, "and is a super gay. And he didn't take any pills!" Even Viagra!

musto@villagevoice.com

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