Excerpts: Part 1

May 16, 1997 Feb. 23, 1996. Just the two of them, driving home after dinner in Newport Beach. The moonlight dances on the Pacific and the passenger's red little face. After the car stops at a light, the driver turns to his left. Way left.

Nervously.

"Poppy, you know I love you very much. I have something very important to tell you. I'm gay."

Long pause. The passenger puts his podium-pounding paw around the driver. He kisses the confessor on the cheek. "I've loved you like a son for 20 years," he announces in that annoyingly hoarse voice only a C-SPAN junkie can appreciate. "Did you think this would make a difference?"

No, this wasn't the beginning of a gay-porn film. It was real life, according to Brian O'Leary Bennett, former chief o'leary staff to ex-Congressman Bob o'dreary Dornan. Bennett's admitting he's queer and detailing the exchange in a May 8 Times story drew intense reaction from the gay community; Bennett's employer, Edison International; and—natch—the media.

As you'd expect, Dornan came up with a stupid, insensitive soundbite, saying his left-hand man (don't go there!) of 12 years should consult a priest (don't go there, either!), that Bennett will never become a father, and that this is just a "phase" the 41-year-old is going through. Above all else, blabbed B-1 Buttplug, Bennett has just ended his political career, particularly in Orange County (a subject Dornan knows all too well).

Matt Coker, A Clockwork Orange

1997

May 23, 1997 Where's my subpoena? I am goddamned if I'm going to be the only guy around here not subpoenaed by Bob Dornan. Along with serving papers on virtually everyone from [Representative Loretta] Sanchez to the Maytag man, Dornan issued a subpoena for the Weekly's own R. Scott Moxley this week. R. Scott, come on down!

Of course, Scott has become insufferable, strutting around the office like a peacock. Moxley insists his new glow isn't due to his elevated status—he got his name in the Register!—but because poor Bob has been brought so low. As Scott told a Leisure World audience a few weeks back, here's a guy (Dornan) who, not too many months back, was exclaiming that Bill and Hillary roamed the White House halls at night worrying how to get rid of him, and now Dornan's going around worrying about little Scott Moxley.

Jim Washburn, Lost in OC

May 23, 1997 God must be on my side. Not only is it Gay Night, but it's also Transvestite Night. The place is pure cheese, but in a good way: I'm not talking donkey shows and Ping-Pong balls, just a lot of campy '80s bilingual disco, enough blinking lights to send a youngster into epileptic fits and a haywire fog machine. I'd never seen so many beautiful women over 6 feet tall.

Funny thing, though. The novelty of trying to distinguish between female and faux female gets old fast. Rich, on the other hand, never tries: he gleefully takes to the dance floor with the first tallish—um—girl who asks him to dance. I take the opportunity to sail the sea of androgyny. And, ahhhhhh, the advantages. It's not every day that women far more masculine than I offer me whatever it is I'm drinking. And why the hell not? It's nice to be the one fending off horn dogs with idle promises. After a while, I feel like every drink I mooch off my new friends is a small victory for all the guys out there who've drained their paychecks on frosty hetero girls. If nothing else, I have discovered a new place to drink for free.

Michael Alarcon, Boy About Town

May 30, 1997 Isn't it funny how we're more likely to believe something outlandish than something that could be true? When I asked lead singer Rivers Cuomo about all the rumors circulating of Weezer's inner-band turmoil—how people say his band is unraveling faster than the sweater in their first hit, "Undone"—he laughed it off. "I keep scratching my head, wondering where that's coming from," he said.

Well, maybe it came from bassist Matt Sharp repeatedly insisting his other band, the Moog-happy Rentals, wasn't a mere side project but his main deal? Or from guitarist Brian Bell and drummer Pat Wilson then busying themselves with their other bands, Space Twins and Special Goodness, respectively? Or from Cuomo being so hard up for attention that he demanded all future videos should be a 70-30 split between shots of him and the band? Or how his annoyed band mates retaliated by participating in only one interview to publicize their follow-up, Pinkerton? Or how the new album is so serious and bitter, so unlike the undeniably catchy, irony-rich eponymous debut that yielded three hits and sold 2 million copies? And it's nowhere to be found on the radio (it's even banned in Singapore, but that has more to do with Pinkerton's sex-crazed topics).

Doesn't that seem like an unstable, tense situation to you?

"I'd be more likely to believe all those rumors I heard growing up about how Rod Stewart supposedly swallowed a gallon of cum," he said.

Jennifer Vineyard, "Sexed Up: Naughty talk flows from Weezer's Rivers Cuomo"
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