If anyone happens to see our December cover girl, Jorja Beck, kissing Santa Claus beneath the mistletoe, it should come as no great surprise. She's just conveying our gratitude for the timely treasures he left with us during his Christmas drop-in. High on our fiction gift list is Love, Dad, an unpublished chapter from Joseph Heller's anti-war black-humor classic, Catch-22. This antic episode chronicles the correspondence of a snobbish, Eastern-establishment old gent with his profligate scion, Edward Nately, serving in Italy with the Army Air Corps during World War Two. As Mike Nichols puts the finishing touches on his film version of Catch-22, Heller is busy writing his second novel, Something Happened.
Playboy, December, 1969, Vol. 16, 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 and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year. Elsewhere add $2 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions 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 Beverly Boulevard, 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.
As a public service to animal lovers everywhere, we're devoting this space to a recommended reading list of four books recently released by London's Wolfe Publishing Ltd.--the same company that garnered applause from millions of innocents abroad for The Insult Dictionary (aptly subtitled "How to Be Abusive in Five Languages"), which we hailed in this column several years ago.
The great American plot is no longer Gary Cooper taming Dodge City but the cynical wheeler-dealer capturing some octopus of commerce. Harold Robbins' newest, The Inheritors (Trident), deals with the president of a TV network and a supermovie producer (Steven Gaunt and Sam Benjamin, they're called) who, when they're not occupied with cupping breasts or signaling maîtres de, can usually be found making colossal deals--buying everything, unloading everything and screwing everybody and his sister out of everything. Somehow, reading about these fictional business triumphs is less than thrilling ("You do five pictures for us, we finance five pictures for you. On our pictures, we pay you double the producer's fee you charge your own pictures and give you fifty percent of the profits. Your pictures we do the same way as we do now, only we reduce our share of the profits to twenty-five percent of the foreign instead of the present fifty percent."). Robbins' main contribution to American letters is his expansion of sex frontiers--showing us the efficacy of hand vibrators in conjunction with Reddiwhip, for example. (For another example, see our pictorial uncoverage of Robbins' new film, The Adventurers, with an accompanying offstage word portrait of the author at ease by John Skow, on page 231.) Early in the book, Gaunt starts in on Chinese Girl (he gives all his partners such names), goes on to Golden Girl, Lawyer Girl and Darling Girl--who turns out to be Sam Benjamin's daughter, a heroin addict. Gaunt makes a stab at straightening her out but is unable to resist her doctor, who thereupon becomes Doctor Girl. A few of the characters are supposed to be modeled after real people, but Robbins is never going to convince anyone that his showbiz folk are real. Robbins himself, though, is a bit too real when he writes, in an afterword: "And to my wife, Grace, without whose love, patience and forbearing this would never have been written at all--turn down the sheets, lover. I'm coming home." Wife Girl, he's yours.
Role after role, regardless of the name they give him, Anthony Quinn continues to play Zorba. "Look at life with the eye of a tiger," says Quinn in A Dream of Kings, which plunges him into the mainstream of a Greek-American community in Chicago. Filmed on location by director Daniel Mann, the movie sponges up local color with due respect for author Harry Mark Petrakis' frankly reminiscent novel but with little of its raucous humor, and gives Quinn license to do his Zorba thing as a ne'er-do-well named Matsoukas. Though still larger than life, this Greek is more or less domesticated, ground down by poverty and defeat. His only son is dying of an incurable disease, his exhausted wife (Irene Papas) no longer gives a damn that the family's roots reach back to the very foot of Mount Olympus, and the young widow (Inger Stevens) whose bed he shares doesn't really understand him, either. When he isn't gambling away his last dollar or operating a "master counseling service" that specializes in earthy wisdom for young and old--an impotent septuagenarian and a 14-year-old masturbator are typical of his clientele--Matsoukas dreams of taking his doomed son home to Greece, in the mystical hope that a miracle may happen there. Dream of Kings is strongly acted in the sentimental tradition, though the dialog occasionally rings false--poor immigrants waxing eloquent about their despair in a manner dictated beside swimming pools in Beverly Hills.
Sold Out! (Warner Bros.; also available on stereo tape) is the four-sided chronicle of versatile Rod McKuen's birthday concert last spring at Carnegie Hall. A well-drilled orchestra backs up the sandpaper-voiced poet as he delivers a tastefully sentimental program of readings and songs (including his themes for Joanna, Me, Natalie and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie); it all goes to show--for the umpteenth time--that McKuen has the energy and sincerity to turn his middlebrow romanticism into an artistic asset.
A two-character drama is often even more difficult for an audience to endure than for a playwright to write, but South Africa's Athol Fugard is a master at this specialized trade. First he wrote The Blood Knot, a provocative play about two brothers, one white, one black, and now Hello and Goodbye, about a brother and a sister (both white) tormented by a desperate family situation. The new play isn't quite as imaginative as the earlier work, but it is no less absorbing, and it is beautifully performed, particularly by Colleen Dewhurst. She plays a weary but undefeated whore who returns to her seedy lower-class ancestral home after an absence of 15 years, in search of her inheritance, which she believes her selfish father has hidden. She is greeted with curious detachment by her brother (Martin Sheen). It turns out that he is on the point of derangement because of his obsession with serving as lackey to his crippled old father--who the audience suspects is not dying off stage but is already dead. As Miss Dewhurst rifles his cardboard boxes and suitcases, she finds no money, only clothes, newspapers, relics and memories, most of them sad and also touching. What lifts this mundane arrangement into something theatrically exciting is Fugard's writing, which is clean and spare, and Miss Dewhurst's acting, which is monumental. In small ways--a touch of her brother's waist, a glance at her childhood Sunday dress--she speaks mountains about the lovelessness of her existence. The usually boyish Sheen manages to summon up surprising power. His voice is low, his gestures sharp, his face (wreathed in a huge mustache) seems ages older than it really is. As he rasps and darts through the part, suddenly it is clear that he is really playing George C. Scott. He talks, walks and even looks like Scott. It comes as no surprise to learn that, although uncredited, Scott (Miss Dewhurst's husband) advised Barney Simon on the direction. At the Sheridan Square, 99 Seventh Avenue South.
My husband thinks the greatest thing in the world would be to have a mirror on the ceiling above our bed, and he threatens to put one in our new home. Don't you think this is ridiculous? A mirror? Over my dead body!--Mrs. W. B., Providence, Rhode Island.
Last January's Superbowl victory by the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts was by far professional sports' most dramatic event since Bobby Thomson's ninth-inning home run won a pennant far the New York Giants 18 years ago. The Jet win was doubly meaningful: It not only proved that the American Football League had achieved parity with the older N. F. L.; it also vindicated Jet quarterback Joe Namath, who boasted before the game that his 17-point underdog team would vanquish the supposedly invincible Colts. In an era when athletes are no longer averse to publicly assessing their chances of victory, it seems ludicrous that Namath's cockiness could have so outraged the sporting world and the public at large, but it did--and does. Namath scoffs at the selfless stoicism America demands from its athletes; his hedonistic, almost anarchic approach to life turns his fans on as sharply as it turns his detractors off. But at least one fact of Namath's life is beyond contention: He is easily the most flamboyant--and probably the premier--quarterback in football today.
From each obstacle encountered and conquered, Stacy sapped fresh strength with which to confront the next; and from that next conquest, his depleted drive was again restored and poised to meet the latest oncoming task. Life to him was an endless series of regularly spaced hurdles he had to leap over. This was the form of his imagination--not that he was in any big hurry to reach some particular goal in life. But life was motion and motion required a direction and Stacy was young and saw the years stretched out before him as he sprinted down the track of his days. He hated dead ends and stagnation and wanted always to see ahead ample room for maneuver. He thought of himself as having no fear, as a strong, rough cat who would become even more so, because in the world he knew, strength seemed to have the edge.
This is an embarrassing subject. Genius is so irregular, disputed and uncontrolled a phenomenon that writing about it is like discussing unidentified flying objects. To have seen a UFO oneself does not make the task any easier, especially if it has landed in one's own garden and little green men with antennae have emerged. But at least geniuses silently recognize one another by the way they come into a room and sit down.
Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec was a tragic figure--ugly, crippled, addicted to alcohol, dead at 37--but tragic figures often have a way of achieving greatness, and Lautrec's output stands as a monument to his enormous talent. Lautrec brought an incredible originality and excitement to his paintings; he roamed the night clubs, brothels, courtrooms, circuses and hospitals of Paris in his search for subjects that he could use to mirror and interpret the contemporary scene. For some 15 years, he wielded his brushes and pastels, until he finally died a drunk in 1901. Among his other successes, he took the poster and illustration and raised them to the level of art. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that Ronald Searle--a renowned British cartoonist and caricaturist--should have developed an affinity for Lautrec and his work. Searle first thought of honoring Toulouse-Lautrec in 1961, when the small publishing house of which he was director was preparing to bring out a biography of Lautrec. Searle combed the artist's old haunts in France, in an effort to unearth material for use in illustrating the book. He discovered, among other things, a cache of previously unknown photographs and--in Toulouse--a gentleman in his 90s who told him how he had been a close companion to Lautrec during the painter's ramblings around the Moulin Rouge and music halls of Paris. As Searle proceeded with his search and accumulated more details and insights into the artist's life, he found himself visualizing an hommage, or tribute, in the form of a pastiche based on photographs of Lautrec's girls. Last spring, after seven years, the project finally began to take shape. Searle made some 50 drawings and settled on six to be printed in black and white by stone lithography. Alain Digard, owner of the Galerie La Pochade in Paris and proprietor of Edition Empreinte, offered to publish the lithographs and drawings as a combination book and catalog to accompany an exhibition of the work, and a special portfolio of the six lithographs (limited to 100 copies, signed and numbered) was prepared. The stones were then destroyed. Lautrec's girls, as Searle has emphasized in the lithographs shown here, appear to have been a pretty plain lot at best. Often small-breasted and broad-hipped, these women hardly could have appealed to Lautrec's artistic and occasionally lustful eye on the grounds of beauty alone. They must have been warm-blooded creatures, indeed, to compensate for their lack of physical charm, just as Lautrec himself reputedly made up in virility what he lacked in attractiveness and height. Perhaps the most delightful aspect of this hommage to Lautrec is Searle's insistence on showing the artist not at an easel or in a café but cavorting with a collection of lusty girls. Ronald Searle has imaginatively ignored the clichés, choosing instead to portray Lautrec as the man he was--a cripple who overcame his deformity to leave a lasting impression on the world of art, a dwarfed creature whose tremendous vitality and vaunted sexual prowess made it possible for him to find at least a modicum of pleasure in life before his untimely death. This unusual tribute to an artist, by an artist, honors not only Lautrec the painter but Lautrec the man as well.
This Past Fall, it was estimated that there were some 120,000 millionaires in the United States --105,000 more than there had been in 1948. This astounding 700 percent jump in the number of American millionaires in 21 years forcefully underlines what I have so often reiterated in my articles in Playboy: There is more opportunity to achieve success in business today than at any previous time in history.
Despite the quibbling of a few critics and the indignation of several staid first-nighters, the New York premiere of Hair in April 1968 blew a gaping hole in the Irving Berlin Wall and threatened to demolish the cherished "no-business-like-show-business" conventions of the Broadway musical. Since then, successful productions in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have made producer Michael Butler's "American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" a left-field, contemporary addition to Old Glory, Mother and Apple Pie. But using itsharmony-and-understanding message as a passport, Hair has also played to enthusiastic audiences in England, France, Germany, Yugoslavia and Australia, issuing a multilingual declaration of independence for young people throughout the world. The cast members, hand-picked in each city from literally thousands of hirsute hopefuls, often develop a communal, mystical group spirit, and collective decisions are frequently influenced by astrological considerations. Having consulted our own star charts, we present this pictorial galaxy of the loveliest, hippest girls of Hair.
I first came face to face with the hidden shame of hunger in America when I visited Mississippi in the spring of 1967. I was one of four members of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty, and we traveled to Jackson to "examine the War on Poverty." We went to Mississippi because we were anxious to see how such Federal programs as Head Start and the one-dollar-per-hour minimum wage for farm workers were faring in the poorest state in the nation.
Almost all today's readers and writers are aware that we are living through the death throes of literary modernism and the birth pangs of postmodernism. The kind of literature that had arrogated to itself the name modern (with the presumption that it represented the ultimate advance in sensibility and form, that beyond it newness was not possible), and whose moment of triumph lasted from just before World War One until just after World War Two, is dead; i.e., belongs to history, not actuality. In the field of the novel, this means that the age of Proust, Mann and Joyce is over, just as in verse, that of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry is done with.
We can't think of a much more pleasant way of proving to the light in your life that she's something special than by making her the sole sharer of your holiday feast. And at this time of the year--when crowd scenes of epic dimensions seem overpoweringly omnipresent--it's a welcome change of pace to dispense with extraneous babble and bodies, so that one may concentrate on essentials. Of course, pouring man-hours and talent into the boned breast of chicken with ham and the rich Bavarian cream of chestnuts and meringue shells may not create quite the same impression as tossing her a little ten-carat trinket from Tiffany's, but at least you'll be able to partake of the fruits of your labors.
Until recent years, lovers of pornography savored their solitary vice as much for the satisfying sense of moral transgression that accompanied its procurement and perusal as for the salacity of its contents. Since the unconditional surrender of the arts to the sexual revolution, however--sometime between the publication of Candy and the production of Hair--what used to be known among the lecherati as good old-fashioned filth has been co-opted by the literary establishment, sanitized with a soupçon of "redeeming social value," renamed "erotic realism" and wrenched from its natural habitat beneath the counter in shady bookstores to repose casually alongside the murder mysteries on paperback racks across the country. It is deplorable enough that this new respectability has robbed aficionados of their forbidden fruit by mass-producing it for supermarket shelves; but this "torrent of smut"--as our guardians of decency so picturesquely describe it--now threatens to engulf the entire nation in a crisis of major proportions. Glutted by a diet of debauchery in every form, countless impressionable school children and suburban matrons, along with the rest of the reading public, are in imminent danger of becoming bored with sex. In order to forestall this tragic turn of events, some have suggested the immediate suppression of pornography; but since this drastic measure would deprive millions of their only sexual outlet, we have a more practical and humane panacea to propose for those who feel surfeited with dirt: Write your own. Don't be daunted if you're not a writer; neither are most of those who churn it out. Your erotic imagination is at least as fertile as the next man's, and you certainly know better than he does what particular juxtaposition of orifice and appendage you find most deliciously lubricious. So why waste time eavesdropping on someone else's tiresome sexual fantasies, when you can conjure up and wallow in your own? Inasmuch as most enlightened social scientists now concede that masturbation is a wholesome and therapeutic pastime, rather than a primary cause of insanity and warts, they would surely applaud its literary expression as a triumphant documentation of psychosexual health. As for acquiring the expertise to become a part-time pornographer--at home in your spare time--it's simplicity itself, even for those who don't boast a diploma from the Famous Ribald Writers' School. You needn't be either a storyteller or a wordsmith, for erotica is nothing more than a roundelay of pan-sexual variations on that age-old theme of boy meats girl; and the action is always described with the same specialized vocabulary. Be reassured, however, that we don't expect you to undergo the ordeal of memorizing either. Since you wouldn't have read this far if you weren't a dirty-book buff, it follows that you're the lazy type who prefers to spend his leisure hours contemplating sex instead of having it. So we've distilled our advanced course in intercourse discourse to a single easy lesson. Within the parentheses of the following all-purpose story-in-a-sentence are enough concupiscent quotes, improper nouns, vulgar verbs, oestrous adjectives and aphrodisic adverbs to rekindle the most jaded appetite, gratify the most exotic whim. If you'd care to try out all the prurient permutations, count on setting aside at least 12 hours a day for the next 622,085,668 years. The 185 multiple choices we've provided can be combined into some hundred trillion different tales of amorous intrigue--the first of which, therefore, should begin without further foreplay.
Surely, you remember that bully who kicked sand on the 97-pound-weakling? Well, that puny man's problem has never been solved, despite Charles Atlas' claims to the contrary. A genuine bully likes to kick sand on people; for him, simply, there is gut-deep satisfaction in a put-down. It wouldn't matter if you weighed 240 pounds--all of it rock-hard muscle and steely sinew--and were as wise as Solomon or as witty as Voltaire; you'd still end up with the sand of an insult in your eyes, and probably you wouldn't do anything about it.
Carnival in Rio De Janeiro is one of the rarer celebrations invented by mankind, perhaps the rarest of all. It begins where the other festivals and pageants leave off and it goes so far beyond them that comparisons are inadequate. Rio's Carnival is a celebration of love, music, sun, food, dance and sex--an exultation of life itself and an abandonment of inhibition. During the four days of Carnival (it's going to be held from Saturday to Ash Wednesday, February 14--17, in 1970), Rio's cariocas and thousands of visitors dedicate themselves to forgetting reality, ignoring yesterday and canceling tomorrow. A city of almost 4,000,000 winds itself up into a nonstop frenzy of parties and passion, and the result is an explosion of contagious and exuberant anarchy. To understand what Carnival is all about, a stranger must plunge into the middle of it all and let himself be swept along with the current. Carnival and the appreciation of it are little more than that; there is no room for spectators. Beg or borrow, pull a bank job, highjack a rubber boat--anything; just get the loot and make sure you're there for the next one before somebody passes a law against it.
Last Night, the Lincoln Center theater opened the new season with the Elia Kazan all-star production of Snow White, starring Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Anthony Quinn, Jason Robards. Jr., Rod Steiger, George C. Scott and Sidney Poitier as the seven dwarfs, with Kim Stanley as the queen and Mildred Dunnock in the title role.
As American Poets from Walt Whitman to Chuck Berry have frequently suggested, the great expanse of the North American continent tends to make migrants of those who live on it. Twenty-one-year-old Gloria Root is one of the new breed of urban nomads who--in Berry's words--"live and love across both borders, trip East and West from coast to coast." In the past year and a half--since she decided that the nine-to-five work routine was a down trip after toiling on a telephone switchboard in Chicago--Gloria has sallied from her Windy City apartment to spearfish in Mexico, ski in Colorado and otherwise pass the time among her peers in such ports of call as New York, San Francisco, Big Sur, Santa Fe and a bohemian community near Taos, New Mexico. Gloria has descended upon most of these locales without knowing anyone in the area, but, as she candidly puts it, "The way the hip scene is, if you look the part, you're in. Kids move around so much today that when I go to a city I've visited before, I never find the same people there. But it's easy for me to make new friends." One sure-fire way to strike up a conversation with most representatives of Gloria's generation is to mention politics; and she finds that wherever she goes, she hears much talk about revolution among her socially alert but alienated contemporaries. Gloria herself follows current events with an almost religious fervor. Although she digs skiing or taking in a ballet recital, she's more likely to be watching a TV newscast or making her way through a volume by one of her favorite radical philosophers, such as Herbert Marcuse, Paul Goodman or the legendary Russian anarchist Prince Kropotkin. It is Gloria's conviction that a major upheaval is both necessary and inevitable in the United States: "We've managed to narrow down all the freedoms we take pride in. We've created a political aristocracy that we didn't want, and too many of us are hopelessly trapped in that tired old business of getting an 'education' and a job that doesn't mean anything." Gloria believes that American society today contains a "hard-core revolutionary middle" that bridges economic, racial and generational gaps--"not just a radical rabble, as the politicians would have us believe." She outspokenly favors a militant approach in dealing with the establishment: "When they club people on the head during a confrontation, it lets the whole world know how coercive the system really is. Until the week of the 1968 Democratic Convention, most of the country didn't realize how bad things could be--and since then, a lot of them have forgotten. That's why demonstrations and protests are necessary--to dramatize the dissenting viewpoint." Relatively pacific means of expressing independence, such as drug consumption and way-out styles of dress, however, do have at least symbolic value in Gloria's view of things politic: "Individuals who have used hallucinogens or pot can experience life in more subtle ways and accept each other more readily than people who haven't." And unorthodox costumes, according to Gloria, serve to remind orthodox citizens "that there are other ways to live than what happens to be considered 'normal' here and now. If more people cared enough to expand their viewpoints by studying history or anthropology, they'd realize how many different life styles are natural and they'd be more tolerant. Young people aren't pushing any particular life style--just the freedom to choose. And the youth revolution bridges all boundaries." Eventually, Gloria expects to widen her own intellectual horizons by completing her formal education (she has studied at Illinois and at Northwestern's Chicago branch). For the immediate future, however, her plans call for a trip to Europe, where she'll visit such outposts of social change as Amsterdam and London and reconnoiter with the Old World's young radicals. We're sure that wherever Gloria wanders, she'll turn people's heads--and blow their minds.
Second Lieutenant Edward J. Nately III was really a good kid. He was a slender, shy, rather handsome young man with fine brown hair, delicate cheekbones, large, intent eyes and a sharp pain in the small of his back when he woke up alone on a couch in the parlor of a whorehouse in Rome one morning and began wondering who and where he was and how in the world he had ever got there. He had no real difficulty remembering who he was. He was Second Lieutenant Edward J. Nately III, a bomber pilot in Italy in World War Two, and he would be 20 years old in January, if he lived.
Like Everyone Else who listened to radio or bought records in the Thirties, I was firmly convinced that there had never been nor ever would be singers to compare with the great crooners of the day--Bing Crosby, Russ Colombo and, the greatest of them all, in my opinion, Mr. Rudy Vallee. Backed by the big bands of the day, they generated the same kind of public excitement and, in Mr. Vallee's case, the frenzied hysteria we usually associate with the best rock groups of the present. But with the beginning of the Fifties, I suddenly discovered that the art of popular crooning had begun at least 20 years before Rudy Vallee first picked up a megaphone and that I had been missing out on the fabulous stars of vaudeville who'd taken America by the ears at the turn of the century and forced it to sit up and listen. Of course, most of them are forgotten today, but their greatness lives on in the recorded music they left behind and in the influence they had on the more memorable Thirties.
In the early weeks of 1964, Cassius clay was bragging that he was "The Greatest," that he was going to dethrone Sonny Liston as the world heavyweight champion in their title bout February 25 at Miami Beach.
How necessary are stars to the movies of today? That question, once considered self-evident, is being increasingly pondered by the higher echelons of Hollywood, where computers are sometimes employed to give read-outs on a picture's financial chances when buttressed by the more expensive star names. What has proved a puzzlement to both human and mechanical brains, however, is how often these days the supposedly dependable stars are failing to steer their vehicles into the black. Why pay Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, Rex Harrison and a good many other seemingly impregnable names their enormous salaries if the public no longer rushes to patronize their pictures? Even more disconcerting, from an executive point of view, is the public's increasing tendency to create its own stars. Who had ever heard of Dustin Hoffman before The Graduate, or of Jon Voight before Midnight Cowboy, or of Ali MacGraw before Goodbye, Columbus? And yet they emerged, without question, as the sex stars--even the superstars--of 1969.
On December 22, 1965, I was arrested in Laredo, Texas, along with my wife, Rosemary, my daughter, Susan, and my son, Jack, for the possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. During the subsequent three and a half years, my family and I were engaged in a continuous series of bizarre legal contests with American law-enforcement agencies. I was arrested eight times (potential total prison time--69 years), Jack also eight times, Rosemary three times and Susan once--all on charges directly or indirectly connected with the possession of grass. In fairness to all concerned, I do not use the word harassment to describe the pressure police directed toward us, because I suspect that many policemen (certainly those with teenage kids of their own) have felt more than equally harassed by our activities. In addition, we bailed out and defended over 50 of our communal brothers. This involved the aid of 18 lawyers and more than $150,000 in legal costs. The expense to the taxpayer to maintain this long engagement was certainly many times greater.
A Living Body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool: The shape alone is stable, for the substance itself is a stream of energy going in at one end and out at the other. We are particular and temporarily identifiable wiggles in a stream that enters us in the form of light, heat, air, water, milk, bread, fruit, beer, beef Stroganoff, caviar and pâté de foie gras. It goes out as gas and excrement--and also as semen, babies, talk, politics, commerce, war, poetry and music. And philosophy.
Harold Robbins, the bad-book writer, was smoking three packs a day, and his doctors told him to quit, and he did quit, except for midget cigars. Now for five weeks here at Cannes, Robbins had moped about twitchily, not bothering any longer even to climb to the rooftop writing room of his villa. Not a word had been added to The Inheritors, the bad novel that was due in six months. The Canadian pulpwood industry was in panic and in the editorial offices of Trident Press, worry beads clicked piteously. If the author of the most beloved bedtime stories since those of Hans Christian Andersen insisted on adopting a healthy attitude, it looked like hard times in the litbiz.
After 15 Years in the entertainment underground, Dennis Hopper, a onetime Hollywood Wunderkind, has finally surfaced, at 33, as director, co-author and co-star of Easy Rider, a painfully honest account of blind intolerance faced by long-haired motorcyclists in rural America. A Dodge City, Kansas, product who migrated to the West Coast in his teens, Hopper made himself persona non grata at Columbia by talking back to supermogul Harry Cohn; at Warner Bros., he made two films with James Dean, who encouraged his drive toward independence; and after Dean's death, Hopper clashed with so many directors that he became an untouchable. But he continued to earn a modest living by acting in TV shows; and on the side, in addition to getting high, he painted, wrote and became a skilled photographer--in short, practiced all facets of the director's art: "I wanted to be ready if a chance ever came." The chance didn't come until Peter Fonda--who had acted with Hopper in The Trip--conceived of Easy Rider. After writing it together, with Terry Southern's help, they started cycling and shooting their way across the Southwest. The completed film, sent to Cannes, won Hopper top honors for a new director: and back in the States, it broke box-office records and inspired a flood of commentary--most of it laudatory. For Hopper, it means that his current project, The Last Movie, will have million-dollar backing. Dean's disciple, however, has matured enough to cope with screen success: "Triumph and disaster," he says with studied equanimity, "are both impostors, and must be treated alike."
"Millions of Young People all over the country are fed up with corporate profiteering at human expense," declares 35-year-old Federal Communications Commissioner Nicholas Johnson. Johnson himself is not only fed up but fired up to square accounts between the "media barons" and the public interest: Since June 1966, when he became the youngest appointee in FCC history, he has been the most vocal member of that normally reticent regulatory agency. He has battled mediocre programing, censorship, misleading advertising, video violence, centralized control of the networks and rubber-stamp renewals of broadcasting licenses. Predictably, he has been roundly damned by self-interested elements of the communications industry; Broadcasting magazine, the industry's most influential journal, has labeled him a troublemaker, a teeny-bopper and a self-anointed savior. But the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named Johnson one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1967 for his dedicated public service. An honor grad from the University of Texas Law School (1958), he served for one year as law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, taught law until 1963 at the University of California at Berkeley, then undertook private practice until 1964, when he was appointed the youngest head of the U.S. Maritime Administration. Two years later, he was offered the FCC post. Though only one of seven commissioners, Johnson ably thwarts the traditional lap-dog relationship between the FCC and the industry it was intended to police. As much as one man can, Nick Johnson is waging his own war on air pollution.
In his Native Boston, Roger P. Sonnabend had long been regarded by the business and social communities as a "good Jew"--he didn't make waves. Raised in the WASP tradition, Sonnabend attended the right schools (Phillips Exeter Academy, MIT, Harvard Business School), served in the Navy and followed his successful father (the late A. M. Sonnabend) into the hotel business. But in the past few years, the 44-year-old president of the Hotel Corporation of America has been rocking the establishment's boat. He doesn't even look the same: He's lost weight, shed his glasses and grown a beard: and the white buttondown shirts, dark vested suits and conservative ties have been replaced by brightly colored and contemporary clothes. But Sonnabend has discarded far more than the businessman's uniform. No longer the conforming nice guy, he's become a vocal critic and an activist opponent of racial discrimination--a fact dramatically illustrated at H. C. A.'s 1968 stockholders' meeting, when he committed the corporation to a new course: hiring and training the hard-core unemployed at the rate of 250 a year and placing 150 blacks in executive positions within five years. Additionally, H. C. A. is helping a New York community group build and own a hotel in Harlem that will be staffed by neighborhood blacks and Puerto Ricans trained on the job. "Of course," says Sonnabend, "H. C. A. cannot be a social cause. But we have to develop a new concept of our responsibility--not merely to our stockholders, employees and customers but a total responsibility. Admittedly, we are just beginning: but at least we have begun."
U. S. SENATOR GEORGE McGOVERN, JULIAN BOND, CESAR CHAVEZ AND TOM WICKER PROPOSE PROCEDURES FOR RECONCILING THE FOUR MOST CRUCIAL POLARITIES THAT WRACK THE NATION, IN A BARRIER-BREAKING SYMPOSIUM-"BRING US TOGETHER"