By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
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"Then Zac Posen and John Galliano show up, both dressed as Madagascan lemur-herders, which is so, like, Summer 2005, so I feel extra good about myself because I'm way more 'cutting-edge' than they are. We do a line of coke on the free mojito bar and everyone admires us hugely.
"Kimora Lee Simmons does this totally radical Baby Phat show at the old Paris Theatre and she's really amazing and talented and there are lots of hip-hop stars in the audience looking frightening and drinking Cristal so we all pretend we love the clothes in case they shoot us or something. The other models are all totally hotttttttt but no one OD's like that Gia girl from the HBO movie. The son of the mayor or someone like that does get a nosebleed, though, and it makes a huge stain on his 'vintage' NikNik shirt.
"Well. More coke, then dinner at this place Donatella Versace rents out sometimes, this mansion called Casa Casuarina. The décor is like, you know, Martha Stewart doing the set design for Aida or something.
"Party. Party, party, party. Some post-post-party gig at Mansion. The DJ dedicates 'Brass Monkey' to me and I'm like, whatever. We are fashion royalty in our Ash Rana wolf-tail stoles and Giuseppe Zanotti cashmere and baleen wrap dresses, which means we stand in this part of the club behind a rope where everyone can see us but not touch us. Wild. Some teenagers actually wonder who I am. Losers.
"I vomit then go home with the DJ. Yeah. Top-class night."
Old Tin Soldiers Never DieOh, to have been a student at the University of Miami when Tom Laughlin was a teacher there during the Seventies (he returned periodically as a guest lecturer through the Nineties). The notoriously brash writer, director, and star of the Billy Jack film series released this week in a boxed collector's set of DVDs has always expressed his political beliefs through his movies. To sit in a classroom and have Laughlin share his controversial views in person must have been amazing.
"Usually a DVD collector's set is the ultimate collection, the end of the line," Laughlin tells The Bitch. This is just the beginning for us. In November, we are going to launch the most powerful, never-before-seen campaign of five separate national events, unlike anything in politics, social activism, or the film business. One of those things, the final one, is going to be the culmination of the new Billy Jack film, Billy Jack's Crusade, in which Billy Jack and [the character's wife] Jean are like Obi-wan Kenobi, and we pass down the mantle to a young Billy Jack and Jean after we form a third party. It's all about the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, and the corruption. We hate both parties, by the way," Laughlin adds with certitude.
Back in the day, in a time when, according to Laughlin, now 75 years old, "American Indians were box office poison," he followed his convictions and made gritty, action-packed films that found him though he is admittedly of the Caucasian persuasion playing a Native American. The Born Losers (1967) was Laughlin's first appearance as the countercultural icon Billy Jack. The ass-kicking patriot whose career began in such milquetoast Fifties fare as Gidget and Senior Prom earned a loyal following; the film became a cult classic and spawned a legion of sequels. Billy Jack (1971), The Trial of Billy Jack (1974), and the seldom-screened Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977), all connected with fans who were sick of The Man keeping them down.
In the Nineties, Laughlin moved to a ranch in California where he could live in peaceful solitude with his wife/costar Dolores. Still, the fans who were affected by Laughlin's efforts remember Billy Jack.
"At Barbra Streisand's wedding a few years back, [John Travolta] came up to me. He turned to my wife Dolores and he said, 'You changed my life. You totally shaped in me everything that I wanted a woman to be. You were tough as nails but the kindest, most beautiful woman.' Tears started coming down his face. I turned and said to his wife, 'Should we go get a drink or something?'" Laughlin laughs. "That is the impact these films have had. The number of people whose lives have been permanently changed is incredible. I'm not exaggerating. Through the years, it's been millions of letters, e-mails, and faxes," he says.