The other day as I was reading the current issue, I couldn’t help but marvel at how Esquire, some forty years later, is, if anything, more tuned in, more widely read and more influential than ever among the thinking swingers and/or swinging thinkers of today’s very different U.S.A.
Tradition is both the hope and despair of a magazine—too much anchors you to the past; too little casts you adrift in the present. As the publisher has often observed, the only fixed policy of this magazine is our unswerving devotion to change.
For some reason, it’s always the conductors who sneak up on you. New pianists tour after receiving welladvertised prizes, new singers blast onto the aural horizon, and new violinists make an immense stir among their coreligionists. A&R people pick up such artists to make recordings, and conductors invite them to make recordings.
Kenneth Clark’s series of thirteen television programs entitled Civilization, originally put out by the B.B.C., has had almost as resounding a success as The Forsyte Saga, another B.B.C. production. Both celebrate a defunct social order, the one in aesthetic, the other in fictional terms.
Helen Lawrenson’s article The Feminine Mistake (January, 1971) upholds Esquire’s enviable reputation for contrary opinion. Miss Lawrenson is surprised that Women’s Lib is here to stay, and she might ponder why she was wrong in her initial assumption that it would be a fad.
Israel is a place of many surprises, as This Is Israel? on page 114 demonstrates. My own surprises began when I first came upon the land of the Bible twenty-three years ago, less than two years after the War of Independence that had cost the lives of six thousand Jewish settlers—in terms of relative population the equivalent of more than three times the total number of American battle deaths in all our wars.
A few days before I journeyed into the tidy desolation of Queens to find Willis Reed, a package arrived from The Ford Foundation containing a pamphlet called The Black Athlete— 1970. It was bound in neutral grey. Willis, I knew from watching innumerable basketball games, stands six feet eight, weighs 246 pounds and is bound in uncompromising ebony.
The first twenty-three years of Roy De Berry, from a tin-roofed Mississippi shack to the computer building at Brandeis University
J. Anthony Lukas
Every April, the Garden Club of Holly Springs, Mississippi, sponsors a “pilgrimage” through the town’s finest antebellum houses. There are few architectural masterpieces on the tour—nothing to match the splendor of Natchez or New Orleans—but Holly Springs offers not so much buildings as a way of life.
In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, a peculiar connection is made, perhaps unintentionally. The film begins with a speculative vision of The Dawn of Man—panoramic eerie scenes of ape-like men, or manlike apes, who prowl about, snarl at one another and the camera, eat raw meat, and so on.
I One-eyed rooster calls me Perched on the empty glove of dawn Calls me from the end of a tunnel From a withered oak with roots That grow each night nearer to my heart From the roof of a white church I give him my shirt He dyes it red I give him my black nails, my licekillers
A few recent glimpses of our hero, who is still out there working for God, country and the cultural minorities
I knew it was going to be a weird trip when I surveyed the group waiting at Malacañang Palace, official residence of the President of the Philippines. There was Charles Lindbergh, sixty-eight, tall, covered rather than dressed, coming on like some Midwestern bumpkin; Manuel Elizalde Jr., from the Philippines, thirty-three, half-white, short, rich kid, Harvard ’58; Elizalde’s wife, younger, all-white, pure Spanish ancestry; Alden Whitman, Harvard ’35, the obit man at The New York Times acting now in his non-necrological capacity ; and me and my cameras. All of us were paying a courtesy call at the Palace prior to a ten-day trip during which Lindbergh, Whitman and I were to visit various “cultural minorities” in the country and consider their plight for the purpose of a long article in The New York Times.
Sure he’s young and gifted, but would you want your daughter to feed a hillbilly musician?
About fifteen minutes west of Boys Town, Nebraska, and four hundred feet east of the curveless old Lincoln Highway (U.S. 6), the sign in the window of the country bar (the kind of bar that was called a roadhouse in 1940 movies) reads: DANCING TO THE FINEST COUNTRY SOUNDS EVERY WEEKEND.
Little Big Man, an action-packed, wide-screen, family entertainment, is more . . . well, damn it, human than any movie of comparable eight-figure size. Never mind the horse-filled vistas. That’s why it provides such a thumping good time.
It isn’t very often that the editors of this journal give fifteen solid pages in the middle of the magazine to one article, as we have done with Carlos Castaneda’s Further Conversations with Don Juan (page 75), and when that happens we figure we ought to give you a little background by way of explaining how come.
An anthropologist discovers the world of an Indian man of knowledge; compared to which your world is worth $24 and a few beads, at most
Ten years ago I had the fortune of meeting a Yaqui Indian from northwestern Mexico. I call him “don Juan.” In Spanish, “don” is an appellative used to denote respect. I made don Juan’s acquaintance under the most fortuitous circumstances. I was sitting with Bill, a friend of mine, in a bus depot in a border town in Arizona.
Probably you won’t be able to recall the names, either
All right, all right. Since the beginning of time, people have spent uncountable time and effort messing around with the faces God gave them; and since the day after the beginning of time, moralists have seized on cosmetic adornment as proof positive that man is rotten.
Lundin Street is a very old street; it is still brick paved. A “T” is formed at the top of the steep Lundin Street hill by Dunde Street. During the winter it is impossible to drive up the hill, and the snow and ice make descending treacherous, even on foot.
How to win bureaucrats and influence policy, courtesy The Rand Corporation of the Left
The Sixties dawned fast, then steadily darkened. First, Kennedy, the New Frontier, Camelot. Peace Corps, civil rights, We Shall Overcome. But by the end of the decade, bombings had replaced sit-ins. The young, who had been “politicized” and liberalized under J.F.K., were now radicalized, were draft evaders on principle, at war with the university, calling for the System’s overthrow.
<p>With overpopulation and water and land pollution, with cyclamates and zero-nutritional breakfast cereals, with the remembrance of your grandmother telling you that every uneaten crumb registers one sin against the starving children of Europe, you’re probably not as hungry as you used to be.</p>
Q: What’s a five-letter word meaning truth? A:Truth
One day Mr. Weber presented a riddle to the class. He wrote it on the blackboard and read it aloud. “A monk walks a narrow path up the side of a mountain. He begins his journey at six a.m. and arrives at the top of the mountain at six p.m. He does not travel at a consistent rate of speed.
Here’s a sculptor who doesn’t believe that less is more; right now he’s carving a nostril big enough to hold a five-room house
We are all trying to build this private little world around ourselves, a scene that eventually is supposed to contain everybody and everything we could need or want. We have this lifelong task of setting it up, neatening it, tidying it, straightening out the family and the friends and trying to keep all the little objects from breaking or rusting or wearing out.
If you’ve been to Israel many times, the picture of the bearded boar hunter on the opposite page and the photos on the six following pages will probably come as no surprise; you have learned to expect the unexpected in this bizarre country whose very existence challenges all logic.
Horseback on Sunday morning, harvest over, we taste persimmon and wild grape, sharp sweet of summer’s end. In time’s maze over the fall fields, we name names that went west from here, names that rest on graves. We open a persimmon seed to find the tree that stands in promise, pale in the seed’s marrow.
And Secrets of Hong Kong revealed by a friendly native; conundrums of L.B.J. resolved by an amicable expert; mysteries of the ornithopter unveiled in the work of a leading practitioner; fashions for golf and après-golf observed at great hazards; previously unseen fiction by Michael Rogers and Isaac Bashevis Singer; plus much new light on the riddles, paradoxes, enigmas and double acrostics of life, from our own classified files and just in the nick of time.