Goodwill to all our alumni, and a welcome to Lifestyle
Seeing the little Esky figure on this issue's front cover, for the first time in well over a decade—not counting the stylized representation of his features that dots the “i” in each issue’s logotype—is a reminder that there may be more than a few members of this magazine’s audience who are too young to know, and certainly to remember, that in the old days he used to be on our cover every month.
In the Preface to my book, The Diffusion of Power, I make this observation: "In reviewing the published material on this period (1957-1972), I found a good many references to my alleged views, actions, and advice that I rendered when in government.
Ray Bradbury’s siren song (Los Angeles Is the Best Place in America, October issue) must indeed stir the soul of any reader—who doesn’t live in Los Angeles. Lest the desperate burghers of other regions of God’s Country take L.A.’s answer to H. P. Lovecraft too seriously (remember, this is the land of make-believe), let this obscure resident of mega-Pompeii offer a word of caution.
The second installment of George Kennan’s reminiscences (Memoirs 1950-1963, Little, Brown, $12.50) is a good deal more interesting than such volumes usually are. One expects a personal apologia combined with the standard scarification of State Department policy designed to show that, apart from the writer’s own abortive efforts, it has been consistently misguided and Pentagon dominated.
For the moment Stewart Udall’s son can’t—and maybe won't—go home again
On a brilliant July afternoon last summer, two friends and I were ascending a steep snow face leading to the 11,200-foot summit of Mount Lefroy in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. For several hours the three of us climbed quickly and surely and soon we reached the summit, where we sat exhausted, viewing the immense panorama-—nothing but limestone peaks and glaciers as far as the eye could see.
The Eskimo lives in the cold, which he is constantly destroying with fur. However, the wife of the Eskimo smiles when water drips from the ceiling of their igloo. What does she mean? But nature is much too harsh for one to linger on the mysteries in the woman’s smile.
Happy days came to Europe again with the meeting of foreign ministers from the ten countries of the enlarged European Community. Earlier meetings had been held in hideous, functional buildings put up for the purpose in Brussels and Luxembourg, but this time they met in the baroque splendor of Villa Aldobrandini at Frascati, outside Rome.
The travel and resort industry's unwitting contribution to the emancipation of American womanhood current1y is its campaign to entice the family away from home on Christmas. Certainly the chores of Kirche, Küche und Kinder are never more onerous than on December 25 when the unearthly mess kids make unwrapping packages is no sooner cleared away than good old Mums has to tackle the turkey.
<p>Give me this time, my first and severe Italian, a poem about gold, The left corners of eyes, and the heavy Night of the locomotives that brought me here, And the heavy wine in the old green body, The glass that so many have drunk from. I have brought my bottle back home every day To the cool cave, and come forth Golden on the left corner Of a cathedral's wing:</p>
Mrs. Norman Taurog was on the phone (her husband won an Oscar in 1931 for directing Skippy); being on a committee to Re-Elect the President, she was calling to find out how I was voting this year and whether I'd endorse Mr. Nixon. I told her I wasn’t endorsing anyone.
It may be that, of my friends, more are out of work than in. Of colleagues at Time, when I had a job at Time, one is now in Pago Pago, two live in Spain, and one is writing a novel in Vermont. One of the rare college teachers I know who actually teaches at a college said she could staff a university with friends out of work, and she proceeded to list them.
That green tones are ineffable Discovered while I ride a sailfish. Beached, it recalls a clever toy Carved so simply, jigsawed, mounted, Readied for a pond race in a city park. Someone has improvised a crib Under the footbridge to contain A dozen crabs and two sea urchins.
During one of the climactic games of the professional football season last year, a spectator suddenly raced up to the line of scrimmage, picked up the football, and was hardly in stride again when he was leveled by the middle linebacker of the Colts.
On the cover of this issue we promise, and inside it as usual we deliver, a bundle of Christmas Cheer appropriate to the season and proportioned to the temper of the times in which it appears. Since you probably turn to this column last (sing ah! for the humility of the anonymous columnist), you probably feel pretty good by now; and since that’s the case it won’t hurt any if we turn for the moment to the soberest article in this issue, Getting Back by Gloria Emerson (page 178).
We have lived through the era when happiness was a warm puppy, and the era when happiness was a dry martini, and now we have come to the era when happiness is “knowing what your uterus looks like.” For this slogan, and for what is perhaps the apotheosis of the do-it-yourself movement in America, we have the Los Angeles Self Help Clinic to thank: this group of women has been sending its emissaries around the country with a large supply of plastic specula for sale and detailed instructions on how women can perform their own gynecological examinations and abortions.
Every time I see Gwen Verdon I go a little crazy. Too rarely it happens in a theatre, the last occasion a sold-out matinee performance of Sweet Charity in Philadelphia. Sneaked in by director Bob Fosse, huddled on a folding chair in a side aisle, I watched Gwen build a nonstop performance that just never let up.
You tell your father you’re crazy about him, every summer, quietly but so he hears before he dips both oars in and you run back for the net you always forget. A kind of duel, plus lust, lowering of faces, you see the first fish he hooks into, are much too young and full of hope: remember the time you hung yours on the tree, the headlights cleaning it when he got back from town, hugged you again, there was no limit to the hot light.
Last January, D.D.R. (the German Democratic Republic, better known as East Germany) agreed with the governments of Czechoslovakia and Poland to abolish visas for citizens of the three states. Even among East Europeans whose ability to move around is limited, the East Germans have the doubtful reputation of being the most hermetically closed off.
Continuing the turbulent reassessment of Stravinsky
<p>Did anyone really expect that some six decades of Stravinsky controversy would end with his death a year ago April? (Indeed, will it ever end?) The latest brouhaha concerns Lillian Libman’s memoirs, which deal with the composer’s final decade during which she was his personal (but part-time) representative.</p>
The success of the American television show entitled All in the Family, the model for which was a British TV series named Till Death Do Us Part, no doubt had something to do with the release in the United States of a full-length film based on the latter and called Alf ’n' Family.
The gift record of the year, to my taste, is a new Argo disc combining the Stravinsky Capriccio with the Shostakovich Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, both performed by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields under the direction of Neville Marriner, with John Ogdon as the piano soloist in both and John Wilbraham playing the trumpet in the Shostakovich.
<p>Since I was sure that neither my mother, father, friends, relatives, brothers or sisters would ask me, except in passing, what I thought of <em>The Godfather</em>, I would (as a member of the Puzo clan, a noncombatant observer of the movie troops, and an Italian in the eyes of the Italian-American anti-defamation league, and my enemies) enjoy writing this article for those who don’t know me and would therefore not be prejudiced against my viewpoint.</p>
Your whole heart can fail. You can be a hundred years old in May & still walk to work or cut down trees. You can fly through the swollen mirror, eat sour blue hornets, spit up the glowing fetus. You can blackmail lawyers attempting to straighten up your life.
<p>And middle age is the suspicion that the water is seeping in somewhere belowdecks. You begin to choose your company with a particular care, because you value safety above adventure. So it is, one very soon comes to see, as comfortable for Muhammad Ali to fight Floyd Patterson as it is for Floyd Patterson to fight Muhammad Ali.</p>
While teams of doctors are applying to go to Communist China to study acupuncture, others are getting first-hand demonstrations of the ancient medical art right here in this country. More than five hundred M.D.s elbowed into a small auditorium in San Francisco a few months ago to watch two Chinese doctors stick needles into volunteer patients, one of whom was the president-elect of the California Medical Association, Dr. Thomas N. Elmendorf, who had long suffered constant, nagging pain from arthritic hips.
Sing we now Noel, which, you may have noticed, isn’t what it used to be. As originally intended, this holiday was based on the proposition that someone up there liked to redeem mankind from its mistakes. And now we all know better. Visions of sugarplums have been supplanted by paranoid fantasies of one kind or another.
Why They Aren’t Writing the Great American Novel Anymore
A treatise on the Varieties of Realistic Experience
<p>I have no idea who coined the term “the New Journalism” or even when it was coined. Seymour Krim tells me that he first heard it used in 1965 when he was editor of Nugget and Pete Hamill called him and said he wanted to write an article called “The New Journalism” about people like Jimmy Breslin and Gay Talese.</p>
In which the author enlarges upon five of his favorite themes
<p>When Truman Capote insisted that In Cold Blood was not journalism but a new literary genre he had invented, “the nonfiction novel,” a flash went through my mind. It was the familiar “Aha!” flash. In this case: “Aha! the ever-clever Fielding dodge!”</p>
Four sports headlines, from The New York Times and The Poughkeepsie Journal, invite the Muse and teach her some manners
<p>I was running the last lap well when all of a sudden I see this guy sneak up behind me. No, I never saw him before. No, he wasn’t on anyone’s team. He had white hair like fireworks, he had wheels instead of legs, six pairs of wings and too many eyes. Well, I kicked his front wheel and wrestled him to the ground, and that’s why we had a pileup.</p>
Dateline: October 21, 1947. Headline (Chicago Sun): "Gangster Era Jazz Pianist Finds Chicago Kinda Quiet." The copy reported I did a date (concert) with clarinetist Edmond Hall and trumpet man Lee Collins plus blues singer/ composer Big Bill Broonzy.
When William Randolph Hearst told Hollywood to come to his birthday parties, Hollywood damn well came
In the mid-Nineteen Thirties Hollywood flowered with an opulence, glamour, and elegant frivolousness that Basil and I not only observed but shared. At the center of this social corsage was a waxlike orchid, Marion Davies, movie star and dear friend of William Randolph Hearst.
There are two kinds of Americans: those who have opinions on the war, and those who have been to Vietnam
<p>New York: So far I have seen no one here weeping, or crying out for help. Not a single person has crept up to me in the streets, holding out his hands for money. There are no children playing on the pavements. The city appears exhausted and more gentle.</p>
There are two kinds of soldiers, and one kind is perfectly harmless
D. Keith Mano
<p>Nineteen Forty-two: over Rabaul. The nimble Zero cruises at 10,000 feet—self-effaced in green/brown camouflage paint. Its Japanese pilot is aggressive, eager. He begins a tight sukiyaki turn and...crack. Tailspin: wings snap off at the armpits, shrugging hugely.</p>
There was only one Bumpy. Respect he demanded, respect he got
<p>One evening last winter I was lying in bed in my London flat, watching a TV program about new films in town, one of which was Shaft. They showed the scene where the black private eye has a fight with two thugs, one of whom he pitches through his office window.</p>
Remember when fathers were stewards of wisdom—and how else have you lost your way, America?
R. V. Cassill
Some men of well-digested experienceߞI envy them —have equipped their sons with serviceable maxims and armored them with admonitions which you might find adaptable to your personal needs. The two which give me most faith in the capacity of the race to endure and prevail were uttered, I am told, by fathers of friends of mine.
What to do with yourself when you’re finished with you
The perfect gift for those who don’t quite have everything
You must decide whether to donate parts of yourself to help sick people get well—or all of yourself to help medical education and research. You can’t really do both, because once your vital organs, your kidneys for instance, are extracted, you become useless to medical schools which want you intact.
<p>Consider the lilies of the field; not only do they all look fine and dandy when their time comes, but not one lily strives fruitlessly to resemble some other lily; the tigrinum does not yearn after the elegance of the regale, nor the shy canadense for the highbred splendor of the speciosum.</p>
About literature and revolution, about burning the Mona Lisa, about why he likes unliberated women, etc.
<p>Iterviewer’s Note: Any photographer would have given his right arm to be in on the scene, when, in 1952, Charlie Chaplin arrived in Paris from McCarthy’s America and was asked: Would he like to meet de Gaulle? Buy the Eiffel Tower? Spend the night in the vaults of the Banque de France?</p>
Sticks and stones can break his bones, but needles never hurt him
David M. Rorvik
<p>The brightly lighted room seems an unlikely setting for what is about to happen. One expects candles, perhaps even a little incense, certainly hushed tones. Instead there is a clatter of electrical equipment, an explosion of flashbulbs, the whir of a video-tape recorder, loud voices, even some joking.</p>
The secret to this seven-day reducing plan is “Wok and Wo.” You lose one pound just reading about it
Roy Andries de Groot
<p>What is it about even the simplest Chinese meal that makes it so supremely satisfying?" I asked my Chinese friend, the fine bouche from Fukien, the infinite "man of taste,” as he served me his dish of silver bean sprouts with tree ears and tiger-lily buds.</p>
In 1924, a 16-year-old kid in denims and cowboy boots decided to climb the 13,766-foot Grand Teton mountain in northwest Wyoming. Paul Petzoldt nearly froze to death, but still managed to claw to the top of Teton’s western slope. Petzoldt knew he had a lot to learn.
It is now six months since the first regular issue of Ms., a magazine for women published not so very far from the offices of Esquire. Six months seems to us to be long enough to qualify for immortality. Never before has a magazine adopting the viewpoint (ideology? conventions?) of the Women’s Liberation Movement taken a fair try at Commercial Success, with slick paper, color pages, advertisements and all.
A new novel, from start to finish, from intricate riddle to simple enigma
<p>Here's the person I want. Hullo, person! Doesn’t hear me. Perhaps if the future existed, concretely and individually, as something that could be discerned by a better brain, the past would not be so seductive: its demands would be balanced by those of the future.</p>
<p>The Audichron Company, which makes time machines, is tucked away in a small nondescript industrial park north of Atlanta, Georgia. There’s an exit off a road called Buford Highway. Then there’s a macadam strip that runs past a “Religious Book Discount House," past a sporting-goods warehouse and past a building with a sign on it that simply reads “CADRE," before it reaches the Audichron Company.</p>
The only way to remain sane while Christmas shopping is to fix in your mind an image of what you want and then train your eye to filter out all distractive influences. As to what you ought to want, trust us. Here are four distinctive looks, or moods if you will, which seem just right for Christmas 1972.
<p>The day had begun unpleasantly at breakfast, in fact it had gotten off on a definitely wrong foot before breakfast when Horne had popped her head into the narrow “study” which served as Elphinstone’s bedroom for that month and the next of summer, and she, Horne, had shrieked at her, Happy August the Tenth!</p>
Enough! Let this season end, this summer of unnatural heat, of untimely storms, of water subject to winds, of land subject to nature’s whims, aridity of human imprint: phantoms whose eyes speak of wasted lives, journeys left, loves not had, lusts not tried; phantoms in place of flesh and passion in the night.
Sand-hill blowouts cracked bottom playas salty pluvial basins rusty barbed-wire woven up with tumbleweeds— roll up hills like a pack of jack rabbits, metate fragments manos chalcedony spalls risen by wind patina glazed ring the shorelines
DRIVING THROUGH THE COUNTRY AMERICA THAT IS VANISHING
It begins to snow in a country Between the past and what I see, Soft flakes like eyelids softly descending, Closing about branches, orchards of pecans, Like washpot soot streaked in lines on the sky Or is it that these husks empty of nuts Are moving upward among the flakes they have suspended, Like eyesockets gaping or a mockery of birds
In the frost night clear as the scent of cloves little heads cry ice and curl down like my cold own They have more petals to confess yes to They are more beautiful than I, even in my own rooted say-so Yet I, too, nod my head to my own brown season and lie down in a drift of thin waned leaves I crumble, too
Neither rain nor sleet nor pain of hemorrhoids stays these couriers from their appointed rounds
Here he comes; roaring east out of Portland, Oregon, on Interstate 80-N, doing the limit and just a little bit more, shifting up and shifting down through sixteen gears, pushing a rig that is eight feet wide and fifty-five feet long and weighs seventy-two thousand pounds, a dozen different tags fastened to the bumper and fuel permits plastered all over the door, waving to a girl in a golden Mustang as he pulls down on the overhead lanyard and lets go with a long blast of the air horn.
A number of new Chinese restaurants have opened in the United States, it seems in the months since television gave Chinese banqueting such an impetus, but in reality the number has grown rather steadily from the early Sixties, and the New York area has gotten its share of the good ones.
You remember Mike Hammer. Twenty years ago he kicked men in the balls and slapped women across the face, with the long side of a .45 automatic. What Mike did to the men was usually effective. It resulted, almost immediately, in the solution of crimes which had theretofore baffled the authorities.
A small but feisty agency of State government in Sacramento, California, recently announced that it was saving the taxpayers a large chunk of money by converting from “a complex and costly automated system” to “streamlined, fully manual operation,” which meant that it had fired its computer.
The boy races through fields through butterflies unaware of functional invaders of pink glacier’s glare impervious alps pie sliced pines climbing up the hammock hills. His iris of eye pure thistle his whistle mocked by a magpie, the cause of his boyhood unknown the cause of his being indentured to the soul of Thomas Aquinas, the cutting edge of the finite lends him his limbs, his grace at scrupulous usurer’s rates.
Red and yellow. My two specimens. Sunshine in the cup, ruby in the tube. My tubes flow with colors a flower would be proud To flaunt toward any fascinated bee. And they are warm, warm as my own unflagging Heart, heroic in its stethoscopic Tympanies, its thumped exactitudes.