Comics, Casinos, and the Other Coast
The film of MARGARET CHO’s “Revolution” tour is airing on Sundance Channel this summer, and while chatting her up, we had to bring up the strange final “tour” RONALD REAGAN made in his coffin.
“It’s here, it’s there, and then it’s in Simi Valley,” the comedienne mused. “It’s like Evita or Lenin. I thought they were actually going to taxidermy him and put him in the Simi Valley library but I think that might be too scary for kids. It’s a very pagan kind of ritual, carrying the dead body all over the place. I think he’s like a mummy now. Put him in a tomb with Jelly Bellys.”
Why should Ronald Reagan be the only one traveling to California this summer? Inspired and jealous, we hit La-La land and hung out with friend ANN MAGNUSON. We stopped for a bite of pasta at ever-trendy Fred Segal, where PAT O’BRIEN, formerly of “Access Hollywood,” currently of “The Insider,’ was busy staring into the eyes of a blonde over coffee.
We dropped in for drinks at Chateau Marmont, where we glimpsed LORENZO LAMAS with a busty blonde. He was soon to announce their engagement on “Access Hollywood.” We also devoured sticky rice and spicy tuna at hot spot Koi, a must if you love sushi and fireplaces… like cashmere-clad ROBERT EVANS. He dined with a blonde and a bloke, but we only overheard snippets of his chatter.
Magnuson whisked us to her edgy hood, Silverlake, where we grabbed yet more bites at Eat Well Coffee Shop, where you can enjoy a great view of Rough Trade, a sex shop just across the street. If you soon find yourself in L.A., Ann will be performing July 19 at the launch of a new monthly event, Mata Hari (at Los Feliz’s Tangier), with ex-Go Go JANE WEILDLIN. No trips planned? Catch her here in director RICHARD MOVE’s strangely wonderful Martha Graham biopic, “Ghostlight.”
Magnuson joked that life in L.A. can be like a Raymond Chandler novel. Driving by the Paramount gate we were inclined to agree—the police were driving off with the suspected perpetrator of a double homicide involving the decapitation of a screenwriter. It seems like the killer was waiting at the bus stop across from the studio, leaving us to speculate whether he had just pitched his story there.
Just back in NYC, we darted to Soho and Bloomingdale’s Ralph Lauren Polo section, where Details magazine feted Stahl. Fresh-faced teen shoppers seemed bemused by the Cosmo-sipping hip literary sorts. Alas, no Polo clothing for free.
“I was hoping for a fucking suit,” Stahl quipped. He explained that Arbuckle was an early victim of the right wing’s ever-raging vendetta against Hollywood, framed for a rape/murder he didn’t commit. “They wanted to close down Hollywood and Fatty was the sacrificial porker.”
In researching Arbuckle, Stahl learned that “he almost never had sex—he liked to hug. Chubbies need love. He would’ve been such a great guy for the chubby chasers.” Stahl has also been writing for TV’s “CSI,” whipping up twisted murders involving “plushie/furry” fetishists. “Not many places you can bring out the plushie and furry shit!” he said of the gig.
We chatted with writer/artist ERIC SHANOWER of the outstanding, queer Trojan War epic, “Age of Bronze,” and his partner DAVID MAXINE, publisher of “Oz”-related tomes/ CDs. Shanower said, “George W.’s message is ‘I’m dumb as a stick and you are too! Smart people are bad!’” In the recent 200th issue of “Wonder Woman,” Shanower provided an illustration in which he snuck the protest sign “Throw pretzels at the shrub!”—referring to how pretzels nearly choked Dubya.
DAVID DRAKE and JOSE VILLARRUBIA signed copies of “The Mirror of Love,” a gorgeously illustrated, poetic history of same-sex love. Asked what Dubya might see in the mirror, Villarrubia mused “he wouldn’t see anything, like a vampire! Or the mirror would crack.” “Mirror” was written by ALAN MOORE, a comics deity and longtime pro-gay advocate. “Nothing is too gay for Alan,” Villarrubia insisted. “Wait until you see his upcoming book ‘Lost Girls’… it includes the lost chapter of ‘Dorian Gray’—Dorian goes to a male bordello.”
We found only gambling, no prostitution at Diffa’s Viva Glam Casino Night at the Copacabana. Salsa music pumped, guests dined on garlic-laced Cuban fare and the high-energy atmosphere had hostess MAGGIE RIZER, in a pink and silver Marc Jacobs gown, requesting quiet in order to deliver her speech. Rizer, who chairs the annual event in memory of her father, who died of AIDS, seemed contemplative despite the gaming atmosphere. “I’ve taken many gambles,” she told us, “but didn’t realize it at the time. Any step you take is a gamble—the challenge is to preempt it.”
CHLOE SEVIGNY, in a Louis Vuitton gold dress boasting a sort of “I Dream of Genie”-cum-Ballet Russe frock, believes her biggest gamble to have been “Kids.” “Being my first film, I decided acting was going to be my life,” she said. “I could have walked away, but loved it.” A soundtrack was recently released that features a blurred still from her infamous oral sex scene on its cover. “VINCENT GALLO is one of my favorite people, that’s why I took [the role/gamble]. He’s eccentric, daring, and exceptional, though I can understand why people think he’s an asshole.”
We spotted MOBY hopping from blackjack table to table, not having much luck with the cards. YOANNA HOUSE may have won big as reality TV’s next supermodel, but she only did “so-so “ with the chips. After his so-so attempt at reality TV’s making of a socialite, FABIAN BASABE clung to the elbow of the real thing, LAUREN BUSH, and her coterie, while skirt-clad designer ZANG TOI made the rounds, kissing-up to the N.Y. Post’s new fashion writer. “It’s my favorite newspaper,” he chattered away. “Did you get my flowers? Let’s do lunch.”
Model RHEA DURHAM cracked us up when she hopped into the queen-size bed displaying Anichini Italian linens for auction. The beauty took off her shoes to get more comfortable on the eight thousand dollar threads, but the lovely mother of MARK WAHLBERG’s child was asked to vacate her throne by a Diffa volunteer. “I have a ten-month-old, I need rest,” she protested. “Wait till they’re eighteen,” the volunteer retorted, unimpressed. “Go rest out there.” And she did.
We rested over a drink at the bar, chatting with “Queer Eye”’s KYAN DOUGLAS, who bet high this year. “I took a gamble on a relationship and said ‘I love you.’ Jackpot—‘I do too,’ the guy responded.” Douglas is working on a book for women, due out in October, focusing on practical beauty basics and elaborating on his philosophy that “real beauty is not just a physical exterior but about personal revelation and individual journey.” “Don’t get caught up on your aesthetic,” he warned.
Easier said than done in a room that included models LING TAN, MAGDALENA WROBEL, ANGELA MARIE, ANNE V., ASTRID MUÑOZ, ANOUCK LEPERE, UJJWALA, NATASA VOJNOVIC, OLUCHI, THEODORA RICHARDS, and ALEXANDRA RICHARDS.