By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
Barneys' pixieish creative director Simon Doonan had a store party for his book Eccentric Glamour, flitting around his guests—mostly wearing expensive glamour—and dispensing wisdom and giggles. I felt eccentrically chic prancing over to Veronica Webb to ask if that Tim Gunn show she co-hosts is moving to Lifetime, like Project Runway is. "No, it's still on Bravo," she said. "It's on hiatus. I've moved to the BBC, where I'm producing a show called Living Style. I love going to work a wreck." Please, Veronica Webb a wreck? "I mean a wreck à la Edie Beale," she clarified. Ah, a wreck in a towel turban!
In her own choice headwear, arts maven Chi Chi Valenti told me that her eccentrically glamorous Motherboardsnyc.com is seven years old—that's older than some of Hulk Hogan's girlfriends. "The Dean Johnson fans and the Night of 1,000 Stevies people have bonded on one of the forums," she gushed, "and made it into a total religion!" Sounds totally kooky and hot—hand me my red ribbon!
Downtowner-trapped-in-an-uptown-body Doonan was sporting a "Good Taste Doesn't Exist" jacket, which naturally implied that bad taste is fiction too. As Doonan told me, "People always say, 'What about really fat women in midriff tops and butt-crack jeans?' But why is that bad taste? If it makes them happy and they want to be in midriff tops and butt-crack jeans, then fine. It's all subjective!" And there's always the prerogative of not looking.
Moments later, the dinner was served, and since it turned out to be a huge slab of filet mignon followed by a mound of chocolate cake, we all left in midriff tops and butt-crack jeans.
Horror is quite fashionable nowadays, thanks to headlines that make you want to completely stop eating. As a reflection of that, Standard Operating Procedure—Errol Morris's powerful documentary about how good taste didn't exist at Abu Ghraib—makes Hostel look like Horton Hears a Who. At a MOMA event for the movie, I asked Morris if horror flicks have become so grisly because unspeakable events have upped our shock threshold. Affirmative. "This is a war about sexual humiliation," said Morris. "The head of the MPAA told me, 'I have to look at every single horror movie, and since the war began, they have not been simply about killing people, but about humiliating and degrading them!' " Gee, one more thing we can thank Dubya for: sadistic slasher flicks!
Logo is also doing a campy series called Sordid Lives, co-starring Leslie Jordan (from Will & Grace) as a Tammy Wynette–obsessed nutcase. At ADD-TV's Pill Awards—no, I have no idea—Jordan told me they got Tammy's daughter, Georgette Jones, who's a nurse in Alabama, to dress up and play her mama! By the way, Jordan was standing by his man that night—a beefy, hair-extensioned guy who's in the last stage of auditions for American Gladiator. Are they fucking? "No, we're friends," said the diminutive actor. "Some people have pets, I have straight guys!"
Well, I almost adopted a gay guy last week. At Barracuda, I met a drunken mess who blurted that he was in town because DC Cowboys—the gay dance group he's in—was shooting America's Got Talent. (It's sort of like American Gladiators with Fosse hands.) "What we do can be described as Broadway meets Brokeback," he gurgled, which somehow led him to promise that I'd "get sex" if I took him out that weekend—a sloppy dance this guy had clearly auditioned for before.
Yentas had talent over at UCB Theatre last week, where Ronna & Beverly was a faux talk show guest-starring the very real Mary Lynn Rajskub from 24. Rajskub revealed that a boyfriend once weirdly expected her to become completely hairless down there. "Shaving around the thing, maybe," Rajskub said. "But I'm not waxing down there. I'm from Michigan!"
Speaking of well-groomed privates, I hear Lindsay Lohan has her removable panties in a twist about one of those recent Bert Stern New York magazine shots of her as Marilyn Monroe—the sideways one where her face is adorned with an airy fabric, but her boobs are completely flapping in the wind. Stern supposedly didn't want that one to run, but they went with it anyway, and now the photographer is afraid to syndicate the shots for fear Lindsay will sue. This all comes from Shannah Laumeister, who's doing a documentary called Becoming Bert Stern, which will feature an appearance by this little old Voice covergirl as Lindsay/Marilyn—and I ain't gonna sue!
But let me get serious for a moment, if I may, about private parts and what famous people do with them. I have a piece in the new Out magazine updating my views on "the glass closet"—that phenomenon whereby stars live gay lives while never officially saying they're that way—and how it was affected by Jodie Foster acknowledging "my beautiful Cydney" at a lunch late last year. Well, as I say in the piece, there have been some lovely strides, but heavy sheets of glass are still very much up, folks. A March 16 profile in Parade magazine alluded to the remark, but pretty much presented Jodie as someone who's never fallen in love! And she went along with it!
Promoting her "family film" Nim's Island all over the place, Jodie has talked endlessly about her kids, still weirdly portraying herself as a single mom who is too analytical for romance. And the media is every bit as terrified to delve further into the topic as she is. At a recent screening, I overheard a reporter saying he was going to interview Jodie, so I nervily chimed in: "Are you going to ask her about her Cydney remark?" The excuses he came up with not to do so were beyond those offered by Dubya for not pulling out of Iraq. He: "If I ask her that, she'll hang up." Me: "Maybe. But she made that remark to the world." He: "No, she didn't. Someone picked it up." Me: "A lot of people picked it up. She said it at a power luncheon in front of major people. It's not like she was wiretapped." He: "Do you think she knew it would be picked up?" Me: "Yeah! She went to Yale!" He: "But her publicist will hate me and the studio will never invite me to another movie." Me: "But she said it! Why can't you just ask her to elaborate? Do it as your final question." "But he'll get fired!" his friend chimed in, practically having a heart attack. I left with a deeper understanding of the way journalists, flacks, and stars conspire to keep certain things so tidily wrapped up. For Jodie, eccentric glamour clearly means keeping her beautiful Cydney locked in the closet with all her other rusty accessories.
But hold onto your crotch razors! Some private stuff about a public figure is trying to come out, albeit with less credibility than my attempt to be bisexual back in college. Let me explain. As a gossip columnist and trash target, I get all sorts of wacky e-mails, many of them as spun out of pure air and sugar as circus cotton candy. Well, I just got one that really tickled me, because it comes off like either a lame joke or an amusingly desperate attempt to tarnish the leading Democratic contender's chances. Riddled with misspellings (which I've corrected), it reads: "Hello, Mr. Musto. I'm a transgendered male to female. My name is Lupe. I was with Barack Obama in 2004. He was very nice to me. I was an escort at the time. But since I'm not legally here in this U.S., I can't say too much. I'm from Mexico. He told me he would help me with my citizenship, but he flaked on me. So I guess you can call this karma. Thanks. Lupe."
I showed the e-mail to a friend, and her savvy response was: "Huh? When did Hillary start calling herself Lupe?"