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I THE BACK PAGE BY PAUL RUDNICK

QUEER EYE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD

I a ueer Eye for the Straight Guy,"


the television show in which a
quippy platoon of gay tastemakers (the
Fab Five) assists clueless heterosexual
Very Hilfiger. Very askewrep tie, rumpled
khakis, and I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-
with-an-ambitious-commoner hair. "

dudes in matters of fashion, decor, and for'


6. Queer'Eye Hillary Rodham CZin-
grooming, has become the biggest hit ton: "Darling. Girlfriend. Sir. Yes, we
on cable. The show has been such a know that black pants suits always work:
smash, why not try broadening the they're slimming, they travel, and you
scope?A few spinoff possibilities: can just toss a pastel sweater over your
shoulders for the 'Today' show, as if
1. Queer Eye for Iraq: "Yes, we you're saying, 'You see, Katie, I'm not
know you're fundamentalist Muslims, just an Orthodox rabbi with highlights.'
but what's with the untamed eyebrows? But let's branch out-why not a black
Tweeze and shape, and then maybe * pants suit with a fuchsia superhero cape?
you'll start promoting education for 3. Queer Eye for Israel and the Pal- O r add jumbo 24k. gold I d Arnin-style
women. But we love the classic head- estinians:"Ladies. Cuddlekins. Can we epaulets. Or a flash of lacy purple bra
wraps, the knee-skimming Bea Arthur retract the press-on nails, put down that tells us, 'Fine, I'm a future Presi-
vests, and those jihad-ready harem the teasing combs, and leave the lav- dent, but sometimes I enjoy wearing
pants-it isn't about hating the West, atory? Think of yourselves as Barbra women's clothing.' "
it's about drape. Let's face it, wasn't Streisand versus Katharine Hepburn-
Saddam just a tad Sonny Bono by duelling divas, yet they shared an Oscar. 7. Queer'Eyefor George IT Bush: "The
way of Tony Orlando with a Yosemite Israel, you're proud, you're undaunted, Marlboro stiff jeans. The 1978 San Fran-
Sam/Village People leatherman mus- you're kibbutz-chic, but remember: all cisco leather bomber jacket. The huge,
tache? Didn't the droopy facial hair of those extra pockets on your cargo state-fair-prize-heifer Republican rodeo ;
and the Connie Francis dye job scream, pants don't really need to be filled with belt buckles. It's all too G.I. Joe on fur-
'Even if I'm not hiding plutonium I still grenades. And Palestine-you're be- lough, Ken in Alaska, the plaid-flannel- *

look like a midtown doorman'? As for leaguered, you're feisty, you're looking and-canvas-work-gloves-for-Father's-
Uday and Qusay, well, let's just say i t for love, but strapping dynamite around Day section of the Sears catalogue. It
they weren't exactly the Hilton sisters. your midsection doesn't just kill inno- cries, 'I'm responsible, I've stopped drink-
Here's our fashion fatwa: no more straf- cent people; it ruins the line of your ing, and Laura thinks that my penis is just "
ing embassies, spitting at U.S soldiers, safari-casual top. Our idea of a suicide the right size, thank you.' So let's loosen
or wearing sandals with tube socks in bomber is whoever's been styling Brit- up, let's tell all those other countries that
the mosque, 'kay?" ney Spears-is that what we want the the leader of the free world is lemon-
world to look like?" cashmere confident.When you'rejogging
2. Queer Eye for Arnold Scbwarz- around the Washington Monument, let's
enegger: "You work out obsessively, 4. Queer Eye for the Blackout: try a Bruce Weber wifebeater-T-and-
you're rumored to have a wild sex life, "Wouldn't it have been heavenly if, when surfer-Jams combo, with all of those
and you love Arnold Schwarzenegger the lights came back on, everyone had hunky Secret Service guys in plaid boxers
movies-you're practically gay already! moisturized?" and sweat. And why not deliveryour next
But here's a tip: ditch the cadre of heavy- State of the Union address in an open
artillery advisers, forget about taking 5. Queer Eye for the Royal Family: collar, a Gucci-narrow peacoat, and a ,
a serious position on the economy, and "Queen Elizabeth, don't touch a thing, who-needs-France baseball cap worn
bring back Conan the Barbarian. The because sometimes everything should backward?You could be the first unstop-
crafts-project jockstrap, the studded match. Prince Charles and Camilla, we pable freedom fascist to say 'I love me in
rawhide bicep bracelets, the macho- love the navy blazers, the muddy hiking a mink-lined vintage acid-washed Levi's
c^
Cher headband with the just-for-fun boots, and all of that scratchy tweed on jacket.' The planet is looking to you, so
noseguard-to the queer eye it says, 'I both of you; we think it's an out-there work the tan, bleach the teeth, and always
am California.' If you want to win, dress statement on lesbian marriage. And as and forever, after your 'May God bless us 5
like a car.'' for those little Princes:yum. Double yum. all' finale, blow a big fat kiss. Mwah!"+ 2
206 THE NEW YORKER, SEPTEMBER 22, 2003
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