Sober Virgins of the ’80s

By Eve Babitz Smart, Fall 1988 Not that I like the eighties, but the sixties, if you ask me, weren’t that great, either. I mean, in the fifties, for men to get girls into bed, they had to be good lovers, to persist, to be sensual and seductive and inevitable and...

Ronstadt for President

By Eve Babitz Smart, May–June 1989 [From Eve’s front of the book column titled “Love & Science”] I have been thinking that Linda Ronstadt is more politically effective than Jane Fonda. Linda has made the world safe for Mexican music. I mean, all Jane’s done is to...

Cartoon Country

By Cullen Murphy From Cartoon Country, 2017 Click. That was my after-school job—pressing down on the shutter release—from around the age of six until sometime in my teens. My father had bought a Polaroid camera in 1949, soon after the first one came on the market, the...

Coming to My Senses

By Charles Bowden GQ, October 2004 She stands in the small kitchen of the ancient building by the canal. The stove rides at a right angle to the wall so that she can look out while she cooks in her fourth-floor aerie. She cannot stand to cook if she must stare at a...

“Hul-lo, This is Ca-ry Grant”

By Diane K. Shah, GQ, January, 1986 “Yeah,” I said into the telephone. “Diane Shah?” “Yeah.” It was ten-fifteen in the morning. I was in the office filling out an expense report, a chore that always makes me grumpy. I am never in the office at this hour, so I figured...

American Dreamer

By Elizabeth Kaye Smart, May 1990 Old bodybuilders fade away, open gyms of their own, or become religious fanatics. These are grim potentials, indeed, and unsuitable to Arnold Schwarzenegger, a dubious icon who determined, at age ten, to be “one of the top percent in...

A Fistful of Dollars

By Gail Sheehy Rolling Stone, July 14, 1977 November 20th, 1976, a Saturday night, Clay Felker, the New York magazine publisher, invited Rupert Murdoch, the Australian publisher, to dine at Elaine’s to celebrate the announcement that had hit New York by surprise the...

Hope and Glory

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker, October 5, 1987 It’s hard to believe that a great comedy could be made of the blitz, but John Boorman has done it. In his new, autobiographical film, Hope and Glory, he has had the inspiration to desentimentalize wartime England and...

At Large with Bill Murray

By Harold Conrad Smart, July–August 1989 “In the end, everything is a gag.” —Charlie Chaplin It is 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday in January. Bill Murray has just driven his Jeep from Malibu to Palm Springs. I am waiting in his suite at Maxim’s de Paris, an ultrafancy spot...