Sporting the latest in turned-on seasonal attire, cover girl Cynthia Myers--who beautifully performs double duty as our December Playmate--proffers a glowing invitation to partake of the festive fare that awaits within this gala holiday issue. Our mixed Santa's bag is overflowing with everything from whimsical humor and cultural analysis to stimulating fiction and nonfiction, piquant pictorials and savory seasonal recipes. In a twist on the spirit of Christmas present, we've assembled an old-style catalog of new yuletide gifts fit for good King Wenceslaus himself. In a compendium of short essays On Creativity, 13 eminent authors--including Truman Capote, John Updike and Henry Miller--reveal the spark that has sparked each one to success; and a daylong bash featuring that wildest of wintry gadgets, the snowmobile, is the subject of Snow Ball!, a lively six-page pictorial abetted by Thomas Mario's tips on the perfect après-snowmobiling feast.
Playboy: December. 1968, Vol. 15. No. 12. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc., Playboy Building. 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., Its possessions. The Pan-American Union and Canada $20 for three years, $15 for two years, $8 for one year. Elsewhere add $4.60 per year for Foreign Postage. Allow 30 days for new subscription and renewals. Change of address: Send both Old and new addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. And allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director: Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030: Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. MI 2-1000: Detroit Robert A. Mc Kenzie, Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, Tr 5-7250: Los Angeles. Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721, Everly Boulvard. OL 2-8790: San Francisco. Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, 434-2675; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont RD., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
In view of the swinging welcome extended by Chicago's police to bearded out-of-towners, among others, during last summer's Democratic Convention, we would strongly advise Santa to steer clear of Mayor Daley's house while making his annual airborne tour of the Windy City this month. But if neither Mace nor clubs nor unsheathed bayonets will stay that merry messenger from his appointed rounds, we expect to read the following front-page story in our newspaper on the morning of December 25.
For a third of a century, Andre Malraux has struggled to unite the realms of action and imagination. A contemplative activist, he took part in the early years of the Chinese Revolution and transformed his experiences into Man's Fate, one of the century's finest novels. A meditative soldier, he served as an officer in the maquis during the French Resistance (twice captured, twice escaped), then became a member of General De Gaulle's government. A reflective explorer, he nearly lost his life in his life in the search for the lost city of Sheba, but returned to write speculatively of the cultures of the past, developing the concept of a museum without walls. The natural medium for such a man is the autobiography--the form in which, at its best, life is recounted as a pilgrimage of the spirit--and Malraux' Anti-Memoirs (Holt, Rinehart & Winston) is a masterpiece of the genre, an interpenetration of memory and meditation, of action and thought, so profound that one can almost refer to his eventful life as the incarnation of a spiritual quest. Paradoxically, Malraux writes on the very first page, "I do not find myself very interesting"; but the paradox is resolved, and the title explained, when he later writes, of the time when he was confronted by a firing squad (only to discover, at the last moment, that it was just a German joke): "What was about to befall me was of passionate concern to a worthless part of myself, like the urge to escape from the water when one is drowning. But I did not seek the meaning of the world in a thrashing of limbs." Whether traveling into vanished or foreign civilizations (his tour of ancient Egypt is as vivid as his visits to modern India and China) or carrying on dialogs with history as well as with the great leaders of our age (his portraits of Mao and Nehru convey the tragic dignity of man's struggle to control destiny, while his portrayal of De Gaulle comprehends an enigmatic hero without diminishing the mystery of his personality), Malraux brings to politics and art, to war and culture, both passionate commitment and detached perspective, always seeking "the patient tide of life" beneath its ephemeral manifestations. In this lucid and lyrical, calm and vibrant, wise and questioning volume, one meets a whole man.
In I love You, Alice B. Toklas!, the flower people collide with the embattled Jewish middle class and carry off a booby prize: a Los Angeles lawyer named Harold (Peter Sellers), who begins his search for fulfillment by getting high on fudge brownies. The brownies are full of happy grass mixed according to a recipe in Miss Toklas' celebrated cookbook, and the movie is lull of even happier quirks dreamed up by scenarists Paul Mazursky ami Larry Tucker. Though the film plays familiar variations on a swiftly passing scene, it plays them originally and well. As the turned-on attorney who finds the hip revolution nearly as exasperating as a long business lunch. Sellers is in top form, hanging loose but keeping cool, whether professing love for polite officers or lying abed with his up-tight bride-to-be (drolly played by Joyce Van Patten), who likes to measure her sexual responses ("The earth moved") against those of a Hemingway heroine. How circumstances conspire to plant Harold behind the wheel of a psychedelically painted station wagon that serves as a hearse for his momma's late, lamented butcher is not easily explained, yet director Hy Averback's pacing carries off every caprice with a kind of insane inevitability. In a supporting cast much too accomplished to dim their lights for a one-man show. Jo Van Fleet makes "mother" synonymous with chopped liver. And movie newcomer Leigh Taylor-Young, as a bird who grooves on brownies, is a delectable side dish all by herself.
Donovan in Concert (Epic; also available on stereo tape) is the best LP by the Scottish rock minstrel since Sunshine Superman. Before an appreciative audience at the Anaheim Convention Center, Donovan displays his unaccompanied folk style on Isle of Islay, gets into a jazz groove on Preachin' Love, shows his mystical side on Guinevere and offers some satire on Rules and Regulations.
Eldridge Cleaver has been called the first black leader since Malcolm X with the potential to organize a militant mass movement of "black liberation." Whether he will succeed in forging it, whether he will remain free--or even alive--to lead it and whether, if he does, it will be a force for racial reconciliation or division remains to be seen. But there is no denying that Cleaver, like Malcolm X, has great impact on the young in the ghettos: They know his own ghetto origins; they identify with his defiance of the establishment and with his advocacy of self-defense; and, unlike SNCC's fiery former chieftain Stokely Carmichael, Cleaver offers them a growing organization to join--the Black Panther Party, of which he is minister of information. Carmichael, in fact, has recently joined the group himself. From their base in Oakland, California, the Panthers have established chapters in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and San Diego, with a membership estimated at anywhere between 1000 and 5000.
Forrester had seen them twice before--once at Palermo airport, when they were passing through customs, and once at his hotel in Taormina a few days later. Taormina was where the tourists went and fell in love with Sicily: there had been no earthquakes there. They were an ordinary enough couple by Mediterranean standards--the girl, at a guess, in her early 20s and the man perhaps around 50, balding, paunchy. The girl wasn't conventionally attractive, though the long blonde hair and the pale-blue trouser suit provided a striking combination; she also had a marvelous flowing walk that made the man appear to strut beside her on his thick, stumpy legs.
Her name was Rosemary and she lived in the projects and she was very cute-looking, and guys had gone steady with her, and one day, I'm in, like, fifth or sixth grade, I get a note from her. It says, Dear William, I think that you are so cute, and I would like to go with you. So now, I'm in love with her, because I never thought that Rosemary would dig me. I knew that she was going with--and these are real names--Pee Wee. So I write her a note, and I say, Yes, and I love you, but are you still going with Pee Wee? So she writes me back, Yes, I am still going with Pee Wee, but when I get through with him, I would like to go with you. So I say, Yes, you can go with me, but when are you gonna be through with Pee Wee? She says, Whenever Pee Wee doesn't want me anymore, and you should ask Pee Wee. So I go to Pee Wee and I say, Listen, Pee Wee, how long are you gonna be going with Rosemary? So Pee Wee says, Man, maybe till next week. So I say, OK, what is that--Friday? He says, About Friday, I guess. So Friday comes, and I look for Pee Wee, and I say, Pee Wee, are you still.... He says, I think Monday. So I say, Monday? OK, Monday. So now, I take four baths Sunday night; six times I grease my hair; I brush my hair 982 times--I'm getting these little curls I got down pat; and, like, I wash my face so good--I don't want to get anything that looks halfway like a skin blemish or anything; and I clean my toes; everything, man. And I just feel good and crisp; they've never even seen me coming to school like this before, and Rosemary's not there. She's absent.
Ours is the century in which all man's ancient dreams--and not a few of his nightmares--appear to be coming true. The conquest of the air, the transmutation of matter, journeys to the Moon, even the elixir of life--one by one, the marvelous visions of the past are becoming reality. And among them, the one most fraught with promise and peril is the machine that can think.
My father was a tall, burly man who might once have been regarded by some as handsome, until indulgence and self-pity had scarred his face with weak, ugly circles. Whether drunk or sober, he moved in a shuffling and uncertain walk, defeat and failure rising like a fetid mist from his pores.
modern living SnowMobiles, those low-slung scooters on skis that were featured in Playboy Travel Editor Len Deighton's cinema spy thriller Billion Dollar Brain, offer even wider vistas for wintertime fun and games. Contests can be organized; snowfaris can be enjoyed; or you can hit the trail--as we did here and on the following pages--for a cross-country snowmobile race and cookout, climaxed with a buffet feast back at home camp. On our outing in stunning Grand Teton National Park, couples piloting six different machines engaged in spirited competition, while the timekeepers presiding over the event toted hot food and drink in a Bombardier ten-man snowmobile that resembled (text continued on page 130)Snow ball!(continued from page 124) a 1949 Nash Airflyte. Although snowmobiles have only recently taken the winter-sports scene by storm, prototypes of these zippy little steeds have been used for the past 35 winters by woodsmen who trail-blaze across the far North's great white wastelands. Thus, their dependability and ruggedness have been tested under the most arduous circumstances. Earlier this year, for example, four intrepid adventurers on Ski-Doo snowmobiles rediscovered the North Pole after a 44-day mechanized trek across the frozen Arctic Ocean. And Polaris, another manufacturer, sent two of its machines on a 4000-mile journey from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Portland, Maine.
The Norwegian Writer Knut Hamsun once said that he wrote to kill time. "I think that even if he were sincere in stating it thus," Henry Miller notes of Hamsun's remark, "he was deluding himself. Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery." The voyage of discovery on these pages began when columnist Art Buchwald asked Broadway playwright George Abbott what, in his view, was the basic requirement for creative success. Without hesitation, Abbott told him, "An unhappy childhood. The child becomes expert at creating worlds of fantasy." We asked a successful critic if he agreed. "Nonsense," he said. "Every great writer is motivated by bone-hard selfishness, by a terribly strong urge for self-expression and the fruits that it brings: money and fame." With these contradictory opinions in mind, we decided to seek replies from a varied cross section of the writing fraternity to the following question: "Do creative people have any characteristics in common, in their backgrounds or their personalities, that can be identified as wellsprings of that creativity?" The 13 insightful answers on these pages hardly constitute a final answer to our provocative question, but we think you'll agree that they comprise a compelling glimpse into the self-analytical interpretations of creative minds.
"Funny Girl" provided supersuave Omar Sharif with his first shot at a major film musical. It also provided him with a major headache. How was he going to play the part of the luckless gambler Nicky Arnstein opposite Barbra Streisand's Fanny Brice? Omar's antic approach, in this exclusive Playboy pictorial, was to put out a cast call for his most rewarding screen selves, to see if any of them had the Nick knack.
If Any "Manned" Flying Saucers from Mars have come near enough to observe this planet closely, I am quite sure their commanders have said to their pilots, "Home, James, this madness is contagious." For it is a mad world. Its scientists and technicians have given its nations the power of unlimited destruction. There are, now, many times more thermonuclear weapons than would be needed to obliterate human life on this earth. An hour of war between the United States and the U. S. S. R., President Kennedy once said, would cost 300,000,000 lives. The idea that this obliteration will be permanently deterred through a balance of tenor, history teaches, is preposterous. In the meantime, the weapons that compose the balance cost the world 133 billion dollars a year--while three quarters of the world's population lives in the narrow margin between hunger and starvation.
We suspected a put-on, but December Playmate and cover girl Cynthia Myers swore she was serious when she told us, "I've known since I was 15 that I'd be a Playmate. It's almost as if this had been fated to happen." Cynthia's penchant for precognition can be traced to her early teens. "A junior high school friend of mine in Toledo," she says, "was a nut on palmistry, astrology and even reading tea leaves and crystal balls. Like most people, I thought it was just a bunch of baloney. But when I began reading about prophets like Edgar Cayce, I began to realize that there are strange spiritual forces in the world undreamed of even in The Playboy Philosophy." The alluring Ohioan's belief in psychic phenomena, and her premonitory hunch that she'd be a Playmate someday, led her to write to Playboy a few years ago, informing us that she'd like to be considered as a centerfold beauty. Assistant Picture Editor Marilyn Grabowski answered with a reminder that our Playmates must be of legal age but that Cynthia should keep in touch. She did just that. Several letters, telephone calls and birthdays later, she came to Chicago for test photos after her June graduation from Toledo's Woodward High. "I was so impressed by the people I met when I visited the Playboy Mansion," she says, "that I wanted more than ever to be a Playmate." From Chicago, Miss Myers flew south for a two-week vacation in Miami Beach, where she was spotted in a bikini by an enterprising photographer for the Miami Reporter; her 39-24-36 dimensions promptly graced that publication's first page. Before you could flash another bulb, Cynthia was contacted by the Eden Roc and Fontainebleau hotels, who wanted her for modeling and public-relations work. But she had bigger things in mind. "Those two weeks in Florida, waiting to find out if I'd been accepted by Playboy, were the longest in my life." She didn't learn the good news until she got back to Toledo. "Excited isn't the word for how I felt--and still feel. Now I hope to do promotion and modeling for the magazine for at least two years. By then, having traveled around the country meeting people on behalf of the magazine, I should be socially and mentally ready for almost any career I choose." Can our prescient Playmate predict anything about her prospects? "I'm going to be an actress," she says simply. "Notice I didn't say 'I'd like to be,' but 'I'm going to be.' I don't know how good I'll be as an actress, but I'll be one." Cynthia foresees only one handicap: "Like anything worth getting involved in, acting will take up almost all my time. I want to attend and graduate from college--I'll study anthropology--but I won't be able to get to it for several years." She hasn't styled herself after any sex star, but she'd like to have a few of the qualities of two charismatic leading ladies. "I think Faye Dunaway is terrifically talented, and I admire Raquel Welch, not for her acting but because she's worked hard to make herself a success. I'll be enrolling in an acting school soon," she says, "and when I do, I'm going to study with all the energy I have." Even so, Miss December concedes that she'll probably have to be content with walk-on roles at first, but she's sure she'll make it big eventually. Judging from her track record as a prophetess--and from her already abundant attributes--we'd like to venture a prediction of our own: Playmatehood should be just the beginning for the remarkable Miss Myers.
After the Second World War, I spent two years (1947--1948) writing a small book on the nature of mass movements, which Harper later published under the title The True Believer. These were two years of utmost concentration and absorption. Yet even as I was writing the book, there was something tugging at my mind, making me wonder whether my attempt to make sense of the Stalin-Hitler decades would have relevance to what was taking place in the post-War world, particularly to the strange goings on in Asia and Africa. On both continents, several countries won independence from foreign rule and began to modernize themselves in a hurry. The struggle for independence was relatively brief, but the attempt at modernization became a hectic affair, which turned every country into a madhouse. Now, modernization is not an occult process. It requires the building of roads, factories, dams, schools, and so on. Why should the accomplishment of such practical tasks require the staging of a madhouse?
Ever Since Marco Polo did his thing, wanderers have been lured to the Asiatic shore of the Pacific basin and the island empires of the China Sea. To some, the Orient meant adventure; to others, it symbolized a quick fortune in spices, gold, ivory and silks. But to all, it meant girls--fragile, alluring, warm, sensual and devoted. After the peripatetic Polo returned from Cathay filled with admiration for the courtesans of the great Khan, Dutch and Portuguese sailors, home from the Spice Islands, enhanced the dream with stories of slender, ivory-skinned maidens dedicated to serving man's slightest need. Several centuries later, puritanical Yankee-clipper captains made pious entries in their logs deploring the topless fashions of the Oriental (text continued on page 186)Girls Of The Orient (continued from page 172) island dwellers--but often added a wistful note of wonder at the shapeliness of their uncovered charms.
Next time I met Buttonwood, he was early bartender in a café on Pico called the She's Inn. He bought me a drink but wouldn't let me reciprocate. "To steal anything on this job, you got to stay sober," he claimed. And besides, the customers were a Christian example. "They will come in here about eight in the morning, which is about as early as they can get to the Owl Drugstore and buy their cough medicine, and they will sit down and drink Western beer straight out of the can, and just about half of the time without bothering to open it."
When I Was six, in 1934, Papa would take me up on the Florida Keys to shoot shore birds--golden plovers and yellowbills. They would fly in small flocks and make a whistling sound. Papa would sit in the mangroves and make a soft imitation of their call. The birds would circle curiously and Papa would fire with deadly accuracy. I was retriever, pulling the birds out of the water; and as the stack grew, Papa would whet my appetite by telling me (he called me "Mouse") how good they would be to eat. They certainly were delicious cooked his way, baked in a bird pie, like "four and twenty blackbirds."
It May Come as a shock to the general public to learn the extent to which most of the world's great artists have employed their genius to depict sex in all its aspects, including such activities as masturbation, human-animal sexual contacts, oral-genital sex and every other conceivable variety of sexual experience. These works of art have hitherto been unfamiliar to the great majority of art lovers-and usually are known, and then only by reputation, solely to the most dedicated connoisseurs and scholars. As opposed to widely--though clandestinely--circulated graphic crudities, these genuine works of art have been locked away in the private rooms of museums and galleries, jealously hoarded and hidden by collectors and blotted out of most histories of art, as if they had disappeared down one of the incendiary memory holes of George Orwell's 1984.
In The Year Of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2000, the United States of America will no longer exist. This is not an inspired prophecy based on supernatural authority but a reasonably certain guess. "The United States of America" can mean two quite different things. The first is a certain physical territory, largely on the North American continent, including all such geographical and biological features as lakes, mountains and rivers, skies and clouds, plants, animals and people. The second is a sovereign political state, existing in competition with many other sovereign states jostling one another around the surface of this planet. The first sense is concrete and material; the second, abstract and conceptual.
To Argue in favor of freedom for the teacher seems at first the most pointless sort of preaching to the converted, since everybody--as everybody hastens to assure you--is already convinced. Difficult enough under the best of conditions, everybody explains, teaching would be virtually impossible without a large degree of liberty. But everybody then adds, at the point where piety ends and candor begins, that the teacher obviously must be "responsible" as well as free; the clear implication is that freedom is limited by responsibility--to which everybody else assents, with the sole exception, it sometimes seems, of me.
The Sloop is about 80 feet long, big for a single-masted yacht these days. Her hull is of amber mahogany, sleek and unscarred, with no name or home port inscribed on the transom to mar the glistening finish. The deck is teak, scrubbed white and evenly calked in long, perfectly contoured black lines; and the mainsail is neatly furled on the heavy boom. Up forward, in a navy-blue nylon bag, the big genoa jib awaits storage in the sail locker.