While transsexual icon Amanda Lepore and naked Lady Fag were parading down the blue carpet at the Fellini-esque Life Ball in Vienna, the crème de la crème of old Viennese society joined founder Gary Keszler in honoring President Clinton at an intimate dinner at the historic Imperial Hotel.
"This is a real, old fashioned black tie event," whispered Maggie Rizer during a private performance by members of the Vienna Philharmonic.
After the concert, in typical Clintonian manner, the empathetic former president warmed the room by bowing to and hugging the lead violinist. The gathering, a coming together of a few passionate philanthropists, focused attention on the real reason behind the celebration -- to raise money for the fight against AIDS.
Fran Drescher, now an American diplomat for women's issues, reminded us that "AIDS is not just a man's disease" and teased Clinton about "putting in a good word with her new boss, Hillary."
Rizer revealed her relationship to the cause: "My dad died of AIDS when I was 14, so being involved in this is very personal to me."
Clinton, whose foundation is a beneficiary of the Life Ball, said, "the Life Ball is like an Internet campaign; with small sums of money they are able to do a tremendous amount."
So, in our culture of hyperbole, what exactly does that mean? According to Keszler, "each drink provides someone with medicine for a month, and each ticket for a year."
All photos from Patrick McMullan
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste. Learn more