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129. The Monica Wrap-up (1998-1999)

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(Lumpy Space Princess as Monica Lewinsky, drawn by me, for sale in my etsy shop.) 

Monica’s Drama Teacher

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Shortly after the news broke about Monica Lewinsky, her former drama instructor, Andy J. Bleiler came out saying that Monica had an affair with him. The affair began after she graduated from high school in 1992, and Monica even moved the affair to Portland when she transferred colleges … because Bleiler and his WIFE followed her up there a while later.1 Lewinsky befriended Mrs. Bleiler and would send her items from her internship and work at the White House and Pentagon. Strangely, Monica would also send her used blazers and office attire along with typical touristy Washington DC things:

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Perhaps, the most strange thing Monica sent her was this:

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What.

I can’t find the reason why Monica sent this black nightgown to the wife of the man she was sleeping with.2 Monica also bragged to the couple about her sexual escapades in DC, but always referred to Bill Clinton as “The Creep”. Totally wacky. 

The affair ended in 1997 when his wife found out. I guess whenever Monica had vacation, she’d travel to Oregon and they’d do their thing? Or when she moved to DC it became a phone affair? Who knows. In early 1998, when the allegations broke out, the Bleilers sent everything Monica had ever sent them to Ken Starr’s Associates. 3  In 2013, Bleiler’s now-ex wife put the items up for auction—however the items didn’t even meet the reserve. 4 

In the 1999 Barbara Walters interview, Monica said that Mr. Bleiller was the first man to ever make her feel beautiful, that came into her life during a difficult period when she felt self conscious about her appearance, and made her feel “sensual” about herself. 

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Witnesses to Monica’s behavior

When the story first broke, reporters talked to anybody who even barely knew Monica:

  • Classmates from her high school in Beverly Hills (she grew up in the 90210!) said that she “had gone to a fat farm” and she tried too hard to be popular.
  • A mother of a boy she went “steady” with said that Monica was constantly over at their house, and eventually clinging to the boy’s brother after a breakup.
  • A real estate agent who was showing the house that Monica rented during college remembered her as cold, the house being a mess, and that she kept a container full of condoms next to her bed.
  • People who interned with her at the White House claimed that she would exaggerate her menial tasks such as opening mail at Leon Panetta’s office.
  • The witnesses at her internship also said that she always dressed in low cut tops and one time was even sent home to change by Deputy Chief of Staff Evelyn Liberman for wearing a low-cut white dress. That’s the dress I want to see! I want to see what was so scandalous about it. I mean, most clothes women wore to the office back then would be considered “dumpy” today…ha, I picture it looking something like this, even if I know it didn’t:

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(with the black mesh part being white)

  • Another strange behavior of Monica’s was that she brought George Stephanopoulos coffee and bagels on a regular basis, unrequested.
  • Her lawyer, William Ginsburg noticed that after the President’s State of the Union Address, which happened just a few days after the scandal broke, that Monica said that Clinton did a good job, and that Ginsburg believed that Monica still considered Clinton a friend. 5,6

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Monica & Revlon

Monica had an interview with Revlon in New York on December 30th, 1997. On January 9th, she accepted an informal job offer with the company. On January 21st, Revlon pulled their job offer, the day the scandal broke.7 The President’s friend and adviser, Vernon Jordan set Monica up with the job interview. 

From the Starr Report:

… Ms. Lewinsky interviewed with Allyn Seidman, senior vice president [of Revlon’s parent company]…and two individuals at Revlon. Ms. Lewinsky testified that the interviews went well and that Ms. Seidman called her back that day and “informally offered [her] a position, and [she] informally accepted.”

Ms. Lewinsky then called Mr. Jordan and relayed the good news. When shown records of a seven-minute call at 4:14 p.m., Mr. Jordan testified: “I have to assume that if she got the job and we have a seven-minute conversation and the day before I had talked to the chairman [Ronald Perelman], I have to assume the Jordan magic worked.”

According to Mr. Jordan, he believed that he notified Ms. Currie and the President as soon as he learned that Ms. Lewinsky had obtained an offer: “I am certain that at some point in time I told Betty Currie, ‘Mission accomplished.’” Mr. Jordan testified that he also told the President directly that “Monica Lewinsky’s going to work for Revlon,” and his response was, “Thank you very much.” 8

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Monica’s Mom’s Crazy Tenors Book (pg 36, february 2, 98 newsweek)

Monica’s mom, Marcia Lewis, tried any way possible to get attention. She once tried to get a gossip magazine started with her sister after she divorced Monca’s dad. In 1996, she came out with a bogus book about The Three Tenors, The Private Lives of the Three Tenors: Behind the Scenes With Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.She only knew Domingo “casually”, but she wrote the book as though she knew the behind the scenes, juicy details about his life. Descriptions of the book hints that Lewis tried to hint in the book that she’s had flings with Domingo 9:

There is something starry-eyed about the book’s personal focus and adoring approach, especially in the passages about Domingo. A three-page fantasy scene about an encounter with Domingo was cut from the finished manuscript because it didn’t fit with the rest of the book, Schragis said.

But intimations about sex with a Domingo-like figure remain in the book.

In a chapter titled “Domingo as Don Juan,” Lewis described Domingo as an “hidalgo,” a true Spanish gentleman with a broad romantic streak.

She wrote that hidalgo is Domingo’s favorite Spanish word and then she went on to imagine what an affair with an hidalgo must be like for women lucky enough to have one:

He telephones before the concert, “whispering to protect his famous voice.” They meet late at night after the triumphant concert, his adrenalin still racing from the encores. Later, every message he leaves on her answering machine ends with the words, “For you, darling, a big kiss.” If she travels to New York to meet him, “he fills her suite at the Plaza Hotel with dozens of red roses,” she wrote.

"An hidalgo’s lovemaking would be passionate and romantic, with murmurs of adoration and love, and an expert knowledge of how to pleasure a woman," Lewis wrote. "Is Domingo an hidalgo? Millions of women the world over sincerely believe he is." 10

Monica’s Car Accident

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I noticed that Miss Monica caught the late 1990s SUV bug, back when if you turned your Ford Explorer slightly to the left, it would flip over on the interstate.

That’s what she did. Digging through her purse while driving. 11

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Monica’s Purses

Monica claimed that while she was under legal lockdown in Washington due to legal reasons she learned how to knit and sew. In late 1999 she debuted a purse collection, The Real Monica Inc. Mmm.hmm. 12 13

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There’s nothing special about those purses. I think If I had a sewing machine, even I could make one. The fabrics look like the reject fabrics that sit in the back of an old JoAnn’s.

1. Claiborne, William. “Lewinsky’s Former Teacher Discloses Affair.” The Washington Post, January 28, 1998.

2. Keneally, Meghan. “Lingerie, a personal note from Bill Clinton and White House M&Ms (but not THAT blue dress): One of Monica Lewinsky’s OTHER lovers auctions off a collection of the former intern’s private belongings.” Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2347661/Monica-Lewinskys-lingerie-note-Bill-Clinton-auction-THAT-blue-dress.html (accessed June 8, 2014).

3. Hall, Landon. “Teacher admits to affair with White House intern.” The Hour, January 28, 1998.

4. The Washington Post. “Monica Lewinsky auction: Buyer interest fell short.” Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2013/07/01/monica-lewinsky-auction-what-happened/ (accessed June 8, 2014).

5. Isikoff, Michael, and Evan Thomas. “Clinton and the Intern.” Newsweek, February 2, 1998. 33.

6. Ratnesar, Romesh. “The Trouble with Monica.” Time, February 9, 1998. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/02/time/1.ratnesar.html (accessed June 11, 2014).

7. Washington Post, “Time Line,” September 13, 1998. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/timeline.htm (accessed June 11, 2014).

8. ”An affair of state.” Time, September 21, 1998. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/1998/09/14/affair.state.html (accessed June 11, 2014)

9. Isikoff, Michael, and Evan Thomas. “Clinton and the Intern.” Newsweek, February 2, 1998, 36.

10. Leen, Jeff. “Role Puts Spotlight on Lewinsk’ys Mother.” Washington Post, February 4, 1998. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/lewis020498.htm (accessed June 16, 2014).

11. Breznican, Anthony. “Monica Lewinsky hurt in car crash.” The Daily Courier, August 2, 1999. (accessed June 19, 2014) 

12. Kedmey, Dan. “Now 40, Monica Lewinsky Guards Her Privacy.” Time, July 23, 2013. http://time.com/6143/now-40-monica-lewinsky-guards-her-privacy/ (accessed June 22, 2014)

13. Hoffman, Ashley. “Let’s All Remember That Time Monica Lewinsky Was a Handbag Designer.” Styleite Lets All Remember That Time Monica Lewinsky Was a Handbag Designer Comments. http://www.styleite.com/news/in-memorium-that-time-monica-lewinsky-was-a-handbag-designer/ (accessed June 23, 2014).

14. "Some Inspiration from The Real Monica." : Some Inspiration from The Real Monica. http://glh3o69.blogspot.com/2012/09/some-inspiration-from-real-monica.html (accessed June 23, 2014).

126. The Matthew Broderick Film Festival #2: Reviews of “Godzilla” (May, 1998)

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(…I wonder how many of those fake Kangol hats Matthew went through during filming….)

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It’s like the new Godzilla movie was made to make us forget about the Matthew Broderick one from 1998. Why Matthew Broderick? Did they see him in The Cable Guy and go, “THERE’S OUR GUY!

Rifftrax is currently funding a Kickstarter to get the rights to the “Broderick Godzilla” to make fun of it…and yes, they refer to it as, “The one with Matthew Broderick.” :

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Thanks to you, we had a hugely successful Kickstarter last year that funded us to be able to riff STARSHIP TROOPERS live in 700 theaters across North America. The show was a success, and this year we have the opportunity to perform a live riff of one of ourmost requested movies ever – GODZILLA! Yes, the 1998 version with Matthew Broderick!

Matthew really needs to give them a buck. He needs to own up to his bad 1990s movies. 

I have never sat through Godzilla. I don’t think I could handle being bored to death. I did sit through the big scene on YouTube where Matthew chases Godzilla trough NYC and there’s something to do with a sewer and its raining, and he’s wearing that dumb hat? Beth from News Radio was in the movie too, and so is Hank Azaria, which is a real shame. He is a legend, and he was in this junk fest. He’s given us so many Simpsons characters, and he was in … this. Harry Shearer from Simpsons was in it too! Did they just get people from whatever was on TV that week they were hiring? 

I’m using the rest of entry to focus on the awesomely bad reviews of the movie. 

Ted Anthony, Associated Press:

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Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Diane Lacey Allen, Lakeland Ledger:

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Joe Baltake, Scripps-McClatchy Western Service:

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Roger Ebert:

How, for example, does a 300-foot-tall creature fit inside a subway tunnel? How come it’s sometimes only as tall as the tunnel, and at other times taller than high-rise office buildings? How big is it, anyway? Why can it breathe fire but hardly ever makes use of this ability? Why, when the heroes hide inside the Park Avenue tunnel, is this tunnel too small for Godzilla to enter, even though it is larger than a subway tunnel? And why doesn’t Godzilla just snort some flames down there and broil them? Most monster movies have at least one bleeding-heart environmentalist to argue the case of the monstrous beast, but here we get only Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick), an expert on the mutant earthworms of Chernobyl, who seems less like a scientist than like a place-holder waiting for a rewrite (“insert more interesting character here”). It is he who intuits that Godzilla is a female. (You would think that if a 300-foot monster were male, that would be hard to miss, but never mind.) 

[…]

Oh, and then there are New York’s Mayor Ebert (gamely played byMichael Lerner) and his adviser, Gene (Lorry Goldman). The mayor of course makes every possible wrong decision (he is against evacuating Manhattan, etc.), and the adviser eventually gives thumbs-down to his reelection campaign. These characters are a reaction by Emmerich and Devlin to negative Siskel and Ebert reviews of their earlier movies (“Stargate,” “Independence Day”), but they let us off lightly; I fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla. Now that I’ve inspired a character in a Godzilla movie, all I really still desire is for several Ingmar Bergman characters to sit in a circle and read my reviews to one another in hushed tones. 5

Gene Siskel:

In one bit of dialogue, we are told, as Godzilla trashes Manhattan, that looters have emptied out the Disney and Warner Bros. stores on 57th Street. But we never see that happen, thus blowing a naturally comic sequence — Godzilla mauling assorted plush toys.

[…]

In a form of myopic revenge, producer/co-writer Dean Devlin has included a hackneyed couple of characters, New York Mayor Ebert and sidekick Gene, because he told USA Today that the critics haven’t liked his previous work. I’m not amused, and the reference seems petty within the context of this huge enterprise. 6

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune:

. The media manipulation surrounding its opening can be no coincidence. First, the 139-minute movie’s first screening for critics was scheduled for 9 p.m. Monday, which pushes certain newspapers (including this one) to the deadline brink to get a review into a features section on Wednesday.

Then with days’ notice, Tri-Star moved the opening from Wednesday to Tuesday night, meaning that either the public could run out to the theaters with no advance word—just as they could for other not-screened movies like “Species II” and Carrot Top’s “Chairman of the Board”—or newspapers would scramble to get in a last-minute review. (The Tribune was able to run a Tuesday review because Los Angeles-based staff writer Gary Dretzka had seen an industry screening before Monday.)

Rushed reviews would work to the studio’s advantage if: 1) writers are composing while coming down from the movie’s adrenaline rush (too bad “Godzilla” becomes stupefyingly boring), and 2) they don’t have time to think of all the Mothra-sized holes in the plot. Like:

Why is Godzilla fast enough to duck missiles shot from airplanes and submarines yet unable to catch up to humans in a taxi or hoofing it?

Could humans really fend off these oversized lizards by slamming doors in their faces and, in one case, tying a fire hose around the handles?

If you were using a mountain of fish to lure Godzilla into a trap, would you place it in the middle of Manhattan, where each monster step and tail sweep causes massive destruction, instead of, say, by the water?

Scientific explanation aside, are we really supposed to buy that a home pregnancy test would work on a genetically mutated lizard?

Why, oh why, do they keep firing guns at him?

[…]

Here’s a sampling of what characters say before they bite it:

"I think we got him."

"I think I lost him."

I think that’s a good wrapup on the awful reviews for this movie. I do however, have a special bonus: the poorly recorded monologue when Matthew was on SNL promoting Godzilla! I recorded it off my screen those 3 days I had Hulu Plus when I was writing the SNL Fashion Show entry last year. 

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(ha, when I opened up YouTube to upload these, I got an ad for the new Godzilla movie)

1. Anthony, Ted. “‘Godzilla’: Big Movie Has Little Soul.”Observer-Reporter, May 20, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=d2teAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cGENAAAAIBAJ&pg=1440,2335018 (accessed May 15, 2014).

2. Norman, Tony. “‘Godzilla’ is another case of the bigger they come….” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 20, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19980520&id=IIRIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=O28DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6803,6705441 (accessed May 15, 2014).

3. Allen, Diane Lacey. “Area Movie-Goers Love That Big Lizard.” Lakeland Ledger, May 22, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19980522&id=y09IAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NP0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=2820,1178718 (accessed May 15, 2014).

4. Baltake, Joe. “It’s Godzilla—over and over again.”Lewiston Morning Tribute, May 22, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yKteAAAAIBAJ&sjid=tS4MAAAAIBAJ&pg=2821,1758030 (accessed May 15, 2014).

5. Ebert, Roger. rogerebert.com, “Godzilla Movie Review & Film Summary (1998) | Roger Ebert.” Last modified May 26, 1998. Accessed May 16, 2014. http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/godzilla-1998.

6. Siskel, Gene. “`Godzilla’ Scores Low On Scare Scale.”Chicago Tribune, May 29, 1998. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-05-29/entertainment/9805290144_1_godzilla-jay-billington-bulworth-hollywood-hairdresser (accessed May 16, 2014).

7. Caro, Mark. “If Size Matters, `Godzilla’ Is Really A Monster.” Chicago Tribune, May 20, 1998. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-05-20/features/9805200039_1_godzilla-roland-emmerich-and-producer-movie (accessed May 16, 2014).

47. The Nagano Olympics Flu (1998)

It seems as though the “Nagano Flu" that ravaged through the 1998 Olympics, hit the figure skaters the hardest:  

 

Elvis Stojko who also pulled a groin muscle a month before the Olympics. 

Alexei Yagudin. Alexei won the gold four years later. 

Tanja Szewczenko was so ill with the flu she went back to Germany and never had a chance to skate. Tanja also had a horrendous 1994 Olympics after colliding with Oksana Baiul in practice. 

Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon and Luc Bradet. I remember watching this on tv, and wondering if that girl was going to vomit right there on the ice. 


Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon is not impressed. 

39.) This picture of Bill & Hillary (Newsweek, January 19, 1998)

HOT. 

1. The Apple iMac, 1998

I still think the original iMac in 1998 was one of the most innovative inventions of our time. There are probably so many people out there whose first time on the internet was on one of these iMacs.

I remember how shocking it was at the time that this computer didn’t have a floppy drive installed in it, and critics blasted Apple for it1. I can see why Apple left them out, in retrospect. I mean, do we really remember how much fit on a floppy disk? Not much, maybe what … four Word documents? Half a PowerPoint presentation? Six .jpg’s? They always screwed up, broke easily, and were damaged easily. Critics complained that people would have to spend extra money for a USB floppy disc drive. Now, thirteen years later, we’re just used to spending a little bit of extra money to store our documents on it, whether it be on a flash drive, or an external hard drive. Or, the very least we have Gmail now, which I used to save my senior thesis on two years ago. 

Steve Jobs named the computer “iMac” because, “The ‘i’ in ‘iMac’ signifies, in part, Internet, because Apple is targeting the computer for users who want to get on the Internet simply and fast.2" It seems in the late 90s, following the iMac’s retail debut in August of 1998, any tv show that had a character using the internet, they were using an iMac. I remember the Drew Carey Show always had iMacs on prominent display at both Winfred-Louder, and at his home: 

Mimi was the first person on the show to use an iMac. 

Also, we can’t forget all the the products that tried to mimic the original Bondi Blue iMac scheme, to the “flavors" that came out in 1999 (orange, strawberry, grape, lime, and blueberry). 

Even Rowena Irons had the color scheme:3

Also, there were the hilarious PC knockoffs, such as the eOne from eMachines4 :

Yup, Apple sued them. 

Here is an interesting article about the ins and outs of the original iMac.