CLINTON ON CLINTON
Last week, we reported on the reception to our Bill Clinton, First Lady (October 8) cover. But we did wonder if the Man appreciated seeing himself in a dress and pearls. Turns out, yes! At a book party he was hosting for Ian Klaus (a.k.a. Chelsea’s ex-boyfriend), Clinton told our reporters that he not only liked our cover of him dressed as Jacqueline Kennedy, but it also took him back to his good old days as a student drag queen. I haven’t been in drag for 50 years, he told us. In my high-school yearbook, there’s a picture of me and a buddy of mine wearing dresses, and we’re, uh, holding each other. He proceeded to sign the cover with a message to the story’s author, Jennifer Senior: To Jen: I liked Africa better [Ed.: He is referring to Senior’s 2005 cover story on his charitable efforts there] but this is OK (not hot). Not hot? Mr. President, you’re far too humble.
1. The skeptics have weighed in on Norman Mailer’s God (The Rise of Mailerism, October 15). Mailer is shockingly ungrateful for the technological advances of our time, and his association of technology with evil is trite and reductive, wrote Dr. Laurence Mailaender, who described himself as an engineer. Hal Moore of Hunter College High School scoffed at Mailer’s novelistic approach: Rather than disavowing organized religion, Mailer picks and chooses elements of several faiths; the result is an absurd delusion. In other places, conversation about Mailer’s theology was a little more forgiving. The Valve, one of many blogs to quote from the article and invite comments from readers, included this response: I read the article in New York Magazine, and was struck by His creator as being a great artist. I personally thought my creator was an illusionist.
2. Po Bronson, the author of what is probably the most e-mailed story in nymag.com history (The Inverse Power of Praising Kids, February 19), struck again last week with Snooze or Lose (October 15), in which he argued that even a little more sleep has a dramatic effect on the cognitive abilities of children. Linked to by Yahoo (and many blogs), the story was the most e-mailed of the week by a large margin. We also thank Radiohead for linking to our story about the Greenpoint oil spill (The Ooze, June 11); many of the fans who went to their Website looking to buy their new album subsequently linked to our site. Finally, our Vulture blog saw a surge of traffic to the YouTube tour de force it compiled called The Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All-Time. It was praised and linked to by Boing Boing, Boonika, and You Aint No Picasso, among many others. Gorilla Mask called it genius.