Fashion Victim

By Ursula Hennessey

The New York Times is like an old boyfriend I just can’t seem to get over. Our relationship was tumultuous, but some parts of it were so unbelievably good – like his quirky and cool knowledge of all things science, sports, and apartments – that I can’t help but miss it.

Unfortunately, however, I never felt respected, and that was too much to bear. So, the relationship had to go.

Once in a while, though, when I least expect it, I get the itch. And so it was this past weekend. There was the Sunday Times, sitting all fat and juicy on my in-laws’ kitchen table.

“Well,” I thought as I reached for the glossy Style magazine with Josh  Brolin on the cover. “What’s the harm? I mean, it’s just a bunch of fashion pictures and fluff. What harm could come of just a little indulgence? It’s fashion, not politics. There could be none of that cruel condescension that did so much to ruin our relationship.”

Oh, but the heart is a lonely hunter. I was wrong. Oh, so horribly, terribly wrong.

Get a load of this question, asked of Josh Brolin by interviewer Lynn Hirschberg:

Do you prefer playing villains, as you did in “Milk,” where you portrayed Dan White, who murdered Harvey Milk and George R. Moscone, or as you did in “W.”?

(Brolin): You just called George Bush a villain. That’s great. [Laughs] To me, when I look at a character, what makes it interesting for me is: What’s the redeeming value of who the person is, and how far did they have to jump to do the awful thing that they’ve done? I’d heard the confession of Dan White, which was recorded an hour and a half after he killed Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone. He remembered that his fingertips were very hot. I thought that was an interesting thing.

Oh, okay, so George Bush is an assassin. Just like he’s a Nazi, a bigot, and a racist. Whatever. And no one at the Times blinks an eye? Not a single editor, copy editor, managing editor, deputy editor, or executive editor thought, “Hmm. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison?”

Why didn’t Hirschberg ask him about the time he allegedly knocked out Diane Lane? Oh, well, I see. At least she asked what it was like to have a mohawk. Yes, this is about “style,” right?

Thanks, Lynn, and everyone at the Times, for reminding me why we broke up. Lesson learned.

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