Intelligencer: June 6-13

It Happens This Week
• Astros vs. Mets: Clemens returns to New York
• Museum Mile Festival on Fifth Avenue
• International soccer at Giants Stadium: Italy vs. Ecuador
• Glover’s Reef and Bathysphere exhibits at New York Aquarium
• It’s ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’!!!
• Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park
• National Headache Awareness Week

Photo: Kristin Callahan/LFI

Nazi UniformsDon’t Make You a Nazi
Except in Germany.
Scott Weiland, the former Stone Temple Pilot who teamed up with some ex–Guns N’ Roses members to form Velvet Revolver, recently had to make it clear to his record company that “in no way, shape, or form am I a Nazi.” Confusion arose during the band’s current tour, when he took to dressing like an SS officer. This stressed out execs at the German division of his label, Sony BMG, since the band is heading there. One wrote his U.S. colleagues: “Please don’t get me wrong, we absolutely don’t want to interfere in how our artists dress like,” but “any kind of wearing/ presenting Nazi symbols in public is strictly forbidden by law in Germany and can lead to getting arrested!” The exec added, “I’m just telling you this to avoid any unpleasant situation.” Eventually, the note was passed, with much apology, to Weiland, who answered via his BlackBerry that they just didn’t get it, man. He’s actually critiquing Fascism: “The Nazi SS hat that I wear in fact symbolizes the loss of democracy and the shift to totalitarism [sic],” he wrote. “One could make an arguement [sic] that indeed the Government of the U.S. is evolving into, or is already, a facist [sic] police state, hiding under the guise of a republic.”

Photo: Robin Platzer/Twin Images

Golfing WithGeorge
Gimme an ’08 iron.
If you needed yet one more sign that George Pataki thinks he’s running for president in 2008, not governor next year, the invitation to his tenth annual Governor’s Cup Golf Outing fund-raiser on July 18 at Westchester’s Whippoorwill Club asks guests to make out their checks not to his reelection campaign but to his 21st Century Freedom PAC. That’s the outfit funding Pataki’s increasingly frequent trips around the country to, yes, lay the groundwork for a possible presidential run. “This is another indication that the lights are being turned off in Pataki’s governor’s mansion,” concedes a senior administration official. Still not convinced? Then pay attention on July 15. That’s when state campaigns have to file their papers—and political insiders theorize that Pataki’s will show scant funds being raised for the purpose of warding off would-be governor Eliot Spitzer.
—Greg Sargent

Plum’s BrotherEscapes Bungalow 8
Curses gouty gene pool for drunkenness.
Tom Sykes, the Post’s nightlife reporter, blames his family for his being an “incomprehensible” British drunk. He’s not talking about his ubiquitously glamorous twin sisters, Plum and Lucy. No, it goes back much, much further than that. “I’ve found all these documents from, like, 350 years ago, from my great-great-great-great-grandfather, you know, on his deathbed with agonizing gout, still asking for more high-quality port.” Afraid of that happening to him, he’s sobered up and, of course, written about it—for a Men’s Health story, to be followed by a memoir. “I don’t miss waking up with loads of receipts stuffed in my wallet from Bungalow 8 and only one dollar,” he says. “I don’t miss having to call people and go, ‘What the fuck did I do last night? Were you even with me? Oh, sorry, have to call someone else … ’ ” So now the 30-year-old is on the wagon and hoping people care about his book even half as much as they did Plum’s Bergdorf Blondes. “Believe me, getting sober—well, it doesn’t make great copy.”
—Emma Rosenblum

Borscht BeltRevivalist
Drag kings to the Catskills!
The Catskills revival has done little to resuscitate the area’s Borscht Belt past, but that’s all about to change thanks to James Habacker, owner of the Lower East Side burlesque bar the Slipper Room. Habacker just bought the long-shuttered Hotel Clair in Youngsville and plans to turn it into a kind of theme resort for fans of his club’s postmodern, gender-bending cocktail-lounge shtick. “We’ll be bringing back the Borscht Belt,” Habacker says. Guests will be able to take in such acts as drag king Murray Hill and the Pontani Sisters, as well as, Habacker hopes, summer-stock theater in a barn. It’ll take him till 2007 to refurbish the place. As for the Slipper Room itself, “I imagine we’ll be gentrified out of the neighborhood at some point,” but so far he’s rebuffed offers from deep-pocketed suitors like Pop Burger.
—Ethan Brown

Brangelina And Me
Is Mr. and Mrs. Smith based on Doug Liman’s relationship history?
it’s hard to have a Hollywood marriage. Just ask Brad Pitt , who’s now incessantly linked with his Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie . In the film, they play professional assassins who go to a marriage counselor to help them connect again (when they’re not trying to kill each other). At the June 2 after-party at the Garden of Ono at the Hotel Gansevoort, following a screening of the movie attended by Spike Lee , Kyle MacLachlan , and Bill Hemmer (there with Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom , whose marriage to Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, just ended), director Doug Liman sounded nearly Dr. Phil about his movie’s purpose. “I thought of this film as an opportunity to show how hard marriage is,” he says. But can you think of it as true to life? “You can. I thought of the violence as a metaphor for what happens in a marital spat. It’s a way of dramatizing it in a more fun and palpable manner. But in the end, it’s about a couple trying to work out their problems.” And they do, right? “They do it through rocket launchers and Gatling guns, but they do.”


Intelligencer: June 6-13