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go about this in a rather spicier way.

who is hoisting what in the scales of naughtiest murals are hidden in dimly
Guests at its opening parties last week justice?!? lit back passages, they prompted a few
were titillated — or horrified — by a “That is his manhood,” Sax owner guests to walk out. “I know that art
series of murals and paintings depicting Errol Lawrence calmly told us. (We’re sometimes can be controversial,” arts
famous folk as lurid, sex-tinged told the scales thing is a reference to an publicist Sandro Kereselidze told us.
caricatures. ancient Pompeiian fresco of Priapus, if But “it was simply offensive and
There’s a George W. Bush dancing on that helps.) disgraceful.”
the Oval Office desk in Texas-flag briefs, Lawrence and co-owner Nancy Koide Koide acknowledges that Sax “is not
a bottle in his hand and a lady swinging (the team behind hot spots Sei and Oya) for everyone” — like, say, families. But
from the curtains. There’s a Barack were “looking for scandal” to amp up are they concerned that they’ll miss out
Obama smoking a blunt. There’s a Bill the room’s rococo decor, opulent with on visits from the city’s top political
Clinton as a centaur, with a saxophone red velvet, gold leaf, tufted damask and folk? Lawrence shrugged and gestured
in his mouth and a Monica type on his crystal. “And we realized we were to a team of lingerie-clad dancers
back. (And, in another painting, with a standing in the middle of it” here in undulating on a stage over the bar.
MELINA MARA/THE WASHINGTON POST blue-dressed woman huddling Washington, he said. They hired artists “They can’t come here anyway,” he said.
Former Nevada senator John
Ensign, shown in 2009.
C2 EZ SU KLMNO EVAN AGOSTINI/ASSOCIATED PRESS MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011
GOT A TIP? E-MAIL US AT RELIABLESOURCE@WASHPOST.COM. FOR THE LATEST SCOOPS, VISIT WASHINGTONPOST.COM/RELIABLESOURCE
 

THE RELIABLE SOURCE


 
BOOK WORLD
 
A tale of a modern-day Messiah from an author who’s risen again
Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger

Ensign’s lost
BY M ICHAEL L INDGREN act of his deeply checkered career.
Carefully designed and format-
has no use for. The historical Je-
sus’s poverty and lowly associa-
version of Dostoyevsky’s GrandHEY, nalISN’T
Inquisitor, destroying Christ in or- ! Michael
Testament”
absorbing
THAT is a. . strong
piece ofdining
Imperioli
.?
writing.
and
at Frey’s

Wfriendship
hat to make of this ted to resemble a traditional Bible tions are fundamental to Frey’s der to save Christianity, except, ofLunaprose seems
Grill on to have undergone a
Connecticut
strange, ambitious, near- — right down to the words of Jesus conception, with Ben taking as his course, without the blazing poetryAvenue miraculous
early Friday transformation
evening. The of its
brilliant piece of ventrilo- highlighted in red — “The Final companions not the rich and pow- and magisterial sense of dread. “Sopranos”
own: The surly, stunted
and “Detroit 1-8-7” postur-
quism from controversial mem- Testament” tells the story of Ben erful, but the truly marginalized: Instead, Ben’s contempt for reli-actorings
had of
his“A Million
wife and sonLittle
with Pieces,” so
oirist James TheFrey? “The about
old advice Final Tes-
D.C. — “If Zion Avrohom, an alcoholic drift- homeless people, drug addicts, gion takes on the aspect of anhim, one-dimensional
and hid at a cornerand limited as to
table,
tament of you the Holy
want Bible”inpresents
a friend Washington, er in modern-day New York who prostitutes and criminals. energetic if somewhat repetitiveshades beon.
close to parody, have been re-
the reader with a knotty exercise
get a dog” — is sounding better undergoes a transformation after One of the book’s loveliest sec- polemic. He emphatically rejects ! JulianplacedSchnabel
by an exceptionally
dining at expres-
in genre disorientation. he miraculously survives a horrif- tions is the testimony of Judith, a any constraints that are based on sive range of voice.
than ever since last week’s release Buck’s Fishing & Camping on
The book is, among other ic accident. self-described “fat, ugly failure” literalist readings of Scripture, The men and women who offer
things, aofvivid
the Ensign report, which
re-imagining of the When Ben comes out of his whose painfully barren existence saying that “the Bible is a book.Friday night with his
testimonies daughter,
about their experi-
details
life of Jesus the unusually
Christ, a pricey close
quasi- near-fatal coma, he is in posses- is transcended by Ben’s ability to Books are for telling stories. Lola. ence artist/filmmaker
The with Ben include woredoctors,
friendship between
objet d’art from super-gallerist former sion of the same otherworldly love and be loved. “That feeling of They’re not for denying people the pajamas to his meal of steak,
cops, lawyers, priests, rabbis, drug
Gagosian, senator John Ensignact
a calculated and hisof powers that the New Testament being alone,” she recalls, “always right to live as they choose.” boneaddicts
marrow,and ice cream.
homeless(Why? men, and
THE FINAL
BFF/administrative
provocation, a gesture of assistant
almost ascribes to Christ. Is he the Messi- alone, truly and deeply and horri- There’s a fish-in-a-barrel ele-Becausetheyhe’s
areJulian
almost fricking
all endowed with
TESTAMENT OF
stupefyingDoug Hampton
egotism, andforanearly
sincere 20 THE HOLY BIBLE ah? Ben is evasive on this point, bly alone, disappeared.” ment to this, of course; the novel’sSchnabel, that’s why.)
remarkable In the
authenticity, their
and movingyears until Ensign’s ruinous
examination of the affair By James Frey but he brings a sense of serenity to The central force of Frey’s con- villain is Ben’s brother Jacob, whoDistrict to give
voices a talk at the and realis-
convincingly
nature of with Cindy Hampton.
spirituality. The multiple Gagosian. 400 pp. everyone he meets, and he quickly ception of Christ, however, lies in has become in the years of Ben’sHirshhorn.
tically inhabited.
ironies at handHow close? Accordingdis-
are potentially to the $50 develops a devoted following. His Ben’s rejection of the hierarchies wanderings the worst kind of ! Vincent TheseD’Onofrio
variegatedposing narratives,
abling. riveting 75-page narrative charisma and refusal to acknowl- of organized religion, which he born-again preacher: bigoted, ho-for photos
sketchedwithwith
fansincisive
outside psychologi-
the
This book
submittedof prophecy,
to the Senatewritten
ethics edge any civil authority become a calls “a beautiful con . . . the long- mophobic and inflexible. cal acuity,
National Museum give “The and
of Crime Final Testa-
by one of the most
panel, famous
they were liarsthat:
so close of threat to the established order, est-running fraud in human histo- In reaction, Ben emphasizes thePunishment
ment” on its Saturday
own weird integrity.
our time, isTheir
also an ode to the purity
families vacationed which inevitably leads to a har- ry.” Not for him such worn-out and holiness of love, which in hisafternoon. Through The “Law & Order” Frey has
these voices,
of poverty that costs $50,
together every summer at the a cry rowing and suitably mystical end. repressive concepts as the after- teaching turns out to mean limit-actormadewas inan honest
town attempt
for VIP dutiesto follow
against exploitation by the founder
Ensigns’ California lake house. Frey has thus taken as a starting life, prayer, the soul, sin and in- less sexual partners of both gen-at National
the teachings of Jesus to their radi-
Police Week
of a notorious digital sweatshop
. . . The Hamptons moved to Las point for his book the not especial- deed the whole concept of faith in ders, all the time. Few peopleactivities.cal conclusions; in doing so, he has
and an expression of hubris from a ly original but still thought-pro- general. would disagree with Ben’s rejec- created a chronicle that, despite
Vegas to be closer to the Ensigns
man ostensibly humbled first by voking question of what a contem- “Faith,” Ben says, “is the fool’s tion of the hatred and divisiveness its contradictions, moves to its
(who wanted
his addiction and then “their families
by his very to porary Jesus would be like. His excuse. . . . Faith is what you use to that so often accompany religious own inner spirit.
walk through life together”). . . .
public discrediting. account, like all such exercises, is oppress, to deny, to justify, to judge dogma, but to counter that with an bookworld@washpost.com
Forget They bought
second a home
acts; Freyjustis, ato
three- fundamentally interpretive, em- in the name of God. . . . If there explicit mandate to start your en-
contradictminute walkFitzgerald’s
F. Scott from the Ensigns.fa- phasizing the elements of Christ’s were a Devil, faith would be his gines for a rolling, never-endingLOVE, ETC.
Lindgren is a writer and musician who
. . . The Ensigns
mous dictum about lent the
American life and teachings that he values greatest invention.” In this, he orgy is its own kind of tyranny. ! Married:
divides hisCountry musicManhattan
time between
lives, onHamptons
the third or $40K to refinance
maybe fourth the and de-emphasizing those that he sounds almost like a pop-psych Exegesis aside, though, “The Fi-starsand
Miranda Lambert, 27, and
Pennsylvania.
home, which they couldn’t really Blake Shelton, 34, on Saturday
afford. . . . Hampton and Ensign, night in a Boerne, Tex., ceremony  
“addicted to golf,” hit the links witnessed by Nashville
together almost every Saturday luminaries such as Dierks
and Sunday. . . . The two families Bentley and Reba McEntire,
DOONESBURY
had dinner together mostby Garry Trudeau CUL DE SAC by Richard Thompson reports Us Weekly. Venison
Sundays. . . . The Ensigns insisted “harvested” by the bride was
on footing the tuition bill so the served at the dinner reception,
Hampton kids could go to the AMY ARGETSINGER/THE WASHINGTON POST
reports People magazine. She
same private school as their own The mural of a saxophone-playing Bill Clinton as a centaur with a Monica Lewinsky look-alike on his back by painter Balage was first launched to fame on
kids. . . . The Ensigns paid for the Balogh is among the scandalous political decor at Sax, a new upscale restaurant downtown. one reality competition,
Hampton family to join them on a “Nashville Star”; he’s now a celeb

For those craving scandal . . .


Maui vacation. . . . The Hamptons judge on another, “The Voice.”
moved into the Ensigns’ home They’ve been together six years;
after theirs was burglarized. it’s her first marriage, his second.
That’s when the affair began. And

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