If there's a thread that links the diverse articles in this earlysummer issue, it might be called refreshing irreverence. A case in point is Further "Up the Organization," in which Robert Townsend continues his frontal assault on the inhumane and unprofitable practices of big business that he launched in his number-one best-selling book, Up the Organization. Formerly head of Avis, Townsend is currently publishing The Congressional Monitor, which he describes as the "world's most expensive daily newspaper" (it costs $285 per year). Also in a debunking spirit is Morton Hunt's Man and Beast, which questions the fashionable notion that ethologists can fully understand human behavior by observing the behavior of lower animals. Hunt, a veteran journalist whose newest book is The Affair: A Portrait of Extra-marital Love in Contemporary America, tells us that he finds it "easier to love animals as an ethologist than as a homeowner and part time country gentleman"; his lawn, he explains, is infested with moles.
Playboy, July, 1970, Vol. 17, No. 7. 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 address 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.
Although it occasionally presents concerts and dance programs, the Theater for Ideas, in Manhattan, is primarily a forum for intellectuals to talk to one another. From time to time--there is no regular schedule--panels of the prestigious are assembled (Hannah Arendt, Norman Mailer, Robert Lowell, et al.), and the core of the audience is equally prestigious. The "theater" consists of colliding ideas and rising emotions as the panelists argue among themselves and with the audience. The young attend in relatively small numbers, not only because ticket prices are high but because it has become clear since the Theater was founded in 1961 that its middle-aged constituency is about as close to youth culture as Renata Tebaldi is to Grace Slick.
Conversation with Eldridge Cleaver / Algiers (McGraw-Hill) took place in the summer of 1969, with journalist-photographer Lee Lockwood, who interviewed Fidel Castro for Playboy (January 1967), asking the questions. In exile, Cleaver has become a confirmed Marxist-Leninist who believes that guerrilla warfare is the first stage for revolution in America (or Babylon, as he calls it). He foresees a "North American Liberation Front" that will include white, black, Mexican-American, Puerto Rican and even such domestic Chinese revolutionaries as may exist. (He is, indeed, far from home.) Though vague as to how this grand design for revolution is to be accomplished. Cleaver remains amazingly hopeful about the ultimate support he and his prospective associates will get in reaction to the Governmental oppression that would result from the first intimations of such an uprising. By 1972, Cleaver predicts, a military dictatorship will take over, because of the full-scale internal war then under way. But the dictatorship will inevitably be succeeded (again, he offers no program beyond fantasy and faith) by democratic socialism under which "men will relate to each other as brothers and not as enemies." Cleaver's revolutionary fervor has been transformed into a self-delusionary sentimentality. In Seize the Time (Random House), fellow Black Panther Bobby Seale, sentenced by Judge Julius Hoffman to four years for contempt and facing a murder charge in New Haven, has written a long and bristling account of his own awakening into revolutionary consciousness and of the beleaguered history of the Black Panther Party. This is the most comprehensive account so far of the focal figures in that movement, with particular emphasis on the seminally influential Huey Newton--a man who knew that "he first had to organize the brothers he ran with and fought with ... and that once you organize these brothers ... you get black men, you get revolutionaries." Much of Seale's book is a chronicle of the party's accelerating struggle against destructive elements within the organization, as well as against the systematically repressive police. For Seale, as for Cleaver, the eventual aim is humanistic socialism. Of the Panthers' credo. "Take up the gun," Seale says that "violence is ugly, guns are ugly"--but self-defense is necessary. He agrees with Huey Newton that the revolution will come first through the organization of the Lumpenproletariat, followed by an awakening among large numbers of whites that the route to "liberation" is class struggle. For all its illusions, Seize the Time is the book of a man of indomitable courage who has risked everything he has for his beliefs.
Time was, and not so long ago, when making films in America was comparable with the running of General Motors--the Hollywood model being a majorstudio blockbuster with the equivalent of chromium trim and tail fins, costing anywhere from $5,000,000 to $40,000,000. What looked for a while like a modest new trend--toward inexpensive, artistically independent productions--assumed the proportions of a stampede sometime in 1969, the year when such profligate endeavors as Sweet Charity and Paint Your Wagon bit the dust raised by Easy Rider. Tooled together on a budget of less than $500,000, this youth-oriented sleeper woke Hollywood from its long slumber, made Dennis Hopper an important director and Peter Fonda a star and promises to make Columbia Pictures $40,000,000 richer by the time all the receipts are in. You wouldn't have guessed it when Hollywood was gingerly parceling out Oscars last April, but this fireball is known to the trade as the movie that wrecked the star system as well as the industry's traditionally stubborn faith in assembly-line superspectacles. If the new releases and production schedules for 1970 and beyond are any indication, more and more films aimed at the under-30 moviegoing majority will be made by young directors with a flair for innovation, particularly if their innovations can be budgeted in six figures. Whether or not movies will be better than ever remains to be seen, since there are as many pitfalls in worshiping youth as in worshiping mammon--and who can guarantee that an economy-minded industry, still largely controlled by aging moguls who have let their sideburns grow, won't produce 20 small flops for the price of one big one? There is hope, though, in spreading the risk among such men as Hopper, John Korty, Robert Downey, John Cassavetes, Aram Avakian and actor-writer-director Jack Nicholson--Easy Rider's scene stealer, already committed to Columbia for two pictures of his own. The following three reviews of recent low-budget efforts--wildly disparate in technical skill and creativity--should give some preliminary indication of the new directions being taken by the new breed.
The "freaking fag revolution" decried by Chicago Conspiracy prosecutor Tom Foran gets a big shove from the MC5, the Detroit hard-rocksters who began as protégés of jailed White Panther leader John Sinclair. On Back in the U. S. A. (Atlantic; also available on stereo tape), they mince no words as they sing about such ugly but real stuff as Teenage Lust and The American Ruse. Meanwhile, members of Spiro T. Agnew's "effete corps of impudent snobs" can groove on So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright and the other subtly inflected, good-humored statements of love and faith offered by Simon and Garfunkel on their much-needed Bridge Over Troubled Water (Columbia; also available on stereo tape); it's a strictly nonpolitical construction project.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is a rare play, a deeply felt, honest, unique piece of work. Treated with gamma rays, marigolds either explode into mutations or wither and die. Whatever the result, the flowers are forever altered. On a symbolic level, Beatrice Hunsdorfer plays gamma rays and her two daughters are her victims: the unstable, oversexed Ruth and the almost pathologically repressed Tillie (who provides this play's prevailing metaphor by winning a science contest with her atomized marigolds). To Beatrice, her daughters are "stones" that have sunk her from any possible fulfillment. But the truth, of course, is that Beatrice has sunk herself. Except for a sometimes sardonic attitude toward her "half-life," she is a pathetic creature. Yet she is also hugely theatrical, finely written by Paul Zindel and beautifully acted by Sada Thompson. How can one despise a character so much--as she devastates life around her--but be so strangely fascinated and even moved? Pamela Payton-Wright and Amy Levitt are both excellent as the shy sister and the horny one. And Judith Lowry is perfect as a doddering zombie of a boarder, the "$50-a-week corpse" that Beatrice has committed herself to keeping. But mostly, the evening belongs to Miss Thompson, giving a tough, funny, fiendish performance, and to Zindel, a playwright fully formed. At the Mercer-O'Casey, 240 Mercer Street.
My girl and I have been dating steadily for the past six months and are quite serious about each other. She claims she's very much in love with me and has never lied or been unfaithful to me. She has also told me she's never "gone the distance" with another man. Now I find out that when she was going steady with another guy last year, they spent from 11 P.M. to three in the morning alone in her house on prom night. She said they didn't do anything but eat snacks and talk. Should I believe her? It's the principle of the thing that I care about.--L. N., Miami, Florida.
It's been 11 years since a slim, long-haired 18-year-old girl appeared at the Newport Folk Festival and transfixed the audience with what one writer called her "achingly pure soprano." After dominating all accounts of that event, she returned to Newport the next year, 1960, and her first album (on Vanguard) was released that fall. Its sales were unprecedented for a folk singer self-accompanied on guitar, and her subsequent concert appearances were unfailingly triumphant.
It was Cold up in the bow of the ship, but Thomas liked to be there alone, staring out at the long gray swells of the Atlantic. Even when it wasn't his watch, he often went up forward and stood for hours, in all weathers, not saying anything to the man whose watch it happened to be, just standing there silently, watching the bow plunge and come up in a curl of white water, at peace with himself, not thinking consciously of anything, not wanting or needing to think about anything.
Thomas Malthus missed the first environmental teach-out at Northwestern University on January 23. The disaster he had predicted--mass starvation as a result of world population expanding more rapidly than the ability of agriculture to sustain it--had been deferred for 160 years by the Industrial Revolution. But that Friday night in Evanston, Illinois, the same intense sort of people who gathered in London salons to discuss Parson Malthus' gloomy prophecies listened raptly as new doomsdayers--Paul Ehrlich, Lamont Cole, Barry Commoner and others--told them that technology is no longer the salvation of the world and may, in fact, be its doom. They preached a common theme of urgency, and everyone was fashionably distressed.
Having Been Barred unceremoniously from all the under-wraps auditions and something tantalizingly referred to as "nude improvisations," I was ultimately informed that it was a propitious time to visit Oh! Calcutta! in rehearsal. "They're shooting some film tomorrow," said director Michael Thoma, his worry beads almost audible over the phone. "That might be the best time for you to start. Since two other guys will be here, it won't be such a shock to the performers to have another outsider. You might dress as informally as possible."
Chances are, the only bow tie you have on hand is the black silk one you wear on formal occasions. Ever since the Depression era clip-on was adopted by coast-to-coast gas jockeys, daytime bows have virtually bowed out of sight. But not anymore--bows are back, with a boldly fashionable look reminiscent of the flamboyant flapper age. In bowcoup fabrics, colors and patterns, the new look of the relaxed big bow will spruce up any wilting summer wardrobe. From the top, here are four silk butterflies to start off your collection: bright paisley, by Liberty of London, $7; geometric print, by Hut, $6.50; muted paisley, by Liberty of London, $7; random stripe, by Handcraft, $6.
It Would Hardly Seem Likely that a man who spends every day watching ringdoves building their nests or bees gathering honey or mother rats nursing their newborn pups would be particularly well qualified to analyze the human psyche, prescribe ways to better mental health or advise mankind how to minimize the likelihood of nuclear war. Such, however, is apparently the case. In the past few years, the scientific study of animal behavior has emerged from relative obscurity into the glare of worldwide attention, and its practitioners, once viewed as harmless bird watchers, are now regarded as scientist prophets at whose feet modern man sits all atremble, waiting for the word. The reason is that in studying doves, bees and rats, along with hundreds of other species, zoologists and animal psychologists have recently made a number of discoveries that seem filled with profound implications for mankind. And since today we are in all sorts of trouble--personal, social and international--we are pathetically eager for any new understandings about ourselves that may hold the key to salvation. If those who study man--psychologists and sociologists--have not been able to tell us what we need to know, perhaps we can find it out from those who study animals.
The Fanfares accompanying new-car debuts usually resound with claims of revolutionary developments; but such claims are more often the product of a copywriter's imagination than of an automotive designer's efforts. There seems little doubt, however, that the Ford Motor Company and De Tomaso Automobili of Modena, Italy--an esteemed constructor of high-performance automobiles in the racing and race-bred molds--have combined resources to create a motor vehicle worthy of an adman's enthusiastic accolades; the Pantera is the first volume-production mid-engined sports car geared specifically to the American market. The low-slung (text concluded on page 168)Torrid Italian Beauty(continued from page 92) (43-inch-high), bobtailed speedster--with all-steel bodywork designed and built by Ghia, magnesium wheels and wide-tread radial tires--looks as if it will run comfortably at 150 mph, and it will, provided the U. S. driver can find a road on which to open it up. Its interior, on the other hand, offers the kind of futuristic niceties found on the sleekest auto-show dream car. Although it has air conditioning, AM/FM radio and five-speed transmission as standard equipment, the high point of the Pantera's space-age cockpit is its furniture: two fully adjustable bucket seats, based on formed aluminum shells, each of which supports 11 individually molded polyurethane pads, spaced to provide its occupant with maximum ventilation and comfort. Additional pads at the sides give lateral support.
True To her Astrological and genetic determinants--she's an Aries and part Cherokee--21-year-old Carol Willis is a genuinely optimistic young lady who'd rather be pursuing pleasure under a sunny sky than sitting by a strobe candle and wondering if Homo sapiens is rushing headlong toward extinction. A Texan by birth and an exresident of San Francisco, Carol now enjoys the relatively placid atmosphere of Laguna Beach, a combination art colony and oceanside resort town south of Los Angeles, in the heart of conservative Orange County. She lives in a small house not far from the ocean and spends her work week operating a switchboard for an answering service, taking calls for local doctors, lawyers and other professional men. In the evenings, Carol likes to entertain small groups of friends, watch old movies on TV or listen to rock music à la Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Her free afternoons are likely to find her heading for the nearby hills to hike or go horseback riding, and she gets a kick out of scanning the seascapes and other artistic wares in the galleries that line the Laguna Beach segment of the Pacific Coast Highway. Most of all, she digs the beach, though on sunny summer weekends, one of the many quieter lagoons in the area may take the place of the seashore, since Laguna's population skyrockets during the tourist season and Carol isn't especially fond of crowd scenes. She grew up with three sisters and a quintet of stepbrothers, including a pair of identical twins. Most of Carol's siblings are now scattered as far afield as Florida and North Carolina, which prompts her to joke that her tribe "has the United States virtually surrounded." It isn't often that the Willises can get together for a reunion--but that doesn't bother Carol, who operates with enviable self-sufficiency, living as she does within a few minutes' reach of both job and recreation. Though astrological primers observe that Arians are always in need of new challenges--a contention borne out by Carol's expressed desire to add skydiving and skindiving to her list of outdoor pastimes--Miss July claims to be more than content with her lot in life, which she finds as unhurried as it is unharried. "Isn't that what it's all about?" she asks. It is, indeed.
As the Mercury Pushes Skyward, New York is once again a "summer festival"--except on weekends, when wise Manhattanites play the exodus game and get out of town. Thirty-five-year-old bachelor architect Earl Combs is among the thousands who make this weekly pilgrimage from city to sand; but by building his octagonal beach house in the Pines section of Fire Island, just a 60-minute drive and boat ride from his mid-Manhattan apartment, he has managed to avoid the time-consuming, nerve-fraying bumper-to-bumper hegira that usually dims the pleasure of a distant hideaway.
There was the Smell of Urine, the smell of violets, the wind of the dairy farms floating toward the city. Along about, perhaps just before, certainly after Newark, across the marsh, came the green stink of sewage gases and gas gases and sulphur from our great industries. Seated alone, riding backward, secretly fingering a proximate erection and smudging his tan permanent-press pants with The New York Times newsprint off his tan fingers, his golfer's fingers, his once baseball-batting, cub-scouting, now account-counting fingers, Avery read and felt grief.
There's a Very Good Reason why the urban host is a firm believer in the positive power of hors d'oeuvres. Called on to entertain at any hour of the day or night, he finds them perfect party provender before or after sunset, sunrise, theater, the big game, a movie, a sail--you name the pleasure. One of the greatest attractions of hors d'oeuvres is their seemingly infinite adaptability. You can--as they do in Italy--serve a single hot hors d'oeuvre, such as a roll stuffed with fontina cheese and baked, as the first course of a dinner. You can easily assemble a plate of curried herring in sour cream with black bread and butter to offer to visitors who have arrived 'twixt meals. Or you can combine prepared hors d'oeuvres from a gourmet shop--anything from Japanese smoked mussels to Strasbourg pâté de foie gras--with appetizers of your own making. When served as snacks already perched on crackers, squares of black bread or pieces of toast, they're great for enjoying while martinis are in hand and conversation is in full swing.
Since 1959, Russ Meyer has produced and directed sexploitation films well enough to earn him a dubious title: "King of the Skin Flicks." Prior to Meyer, nudie-movie makers relied for subject matter on piously salacious studies of such hackneyed anti-heroines as unhappy nymphomaniacs and remorseful Lesbians. Meyer changed all that by hyping the formula with hokey melodrama and a bawdy sense of humor; more important, he filled the screen with a cascade of cleavage and eclipsed his competitors' sleazy products with skillful cinematography and superior production. As a result, Meyer's films--24 in all--have never failed to earn at least four times their cost. From his very first production, The Immoral Mr. Teas, to such epidermal epics as Mud Honey, Motor Psycho, Eve and the Handyman and Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers, Meyer proved he could fill almost any downtown theater that doubled as a cheap place to sleep. Then, last year, along came Vixen, which he shot for a shoestring $72,000--and which has thus far grossed more than $6,000,000 in first-run moviehouses. Vixen's success caught the eye of Hollywood's major studios, many of which were--and still are--floundering about for quick bucks to bail them out of near bankruptcy. After seeing the film, 20th Century-Fox's Richard Zanuck said, "If he can produce those values for that kind of money, we need him here." Meyer was signed forth-with to a multipicture contract, and the first of his $2,000,000 productions--huge for him, modest for Fox--is Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which will reach the screen this fall. A predictably prurient follow-up to the big-box-office potboiler, it traces the rise and fall of The Carrie Nations, an all-girl rock trio. Two members of the group are portrayed by Playmates; 25-year-old Dolly Read graced our centerfold in May 1966 and 20-year-old Cynthia Myers in December 1968. The third is played by Marcia McBroom, a 21-year-old fashion model. After an opening-scene sneak preview of two grisly murders, Valley begins with The Carrie Nations playing at a high school prom. In a motel room after the dance, Kelly MacNamara (Miss Read) decides that the group will split for Los Angeles, where she plans to claim from an aunt a portion of her family's $1,000,000 estate. The aunt, who turns out to be the au courant proprietress of a hip ad agency, takes the girls to a Hollywood version of a Hollywood party, where they're "discovered" by the rock impresario who is always present at such occasions. The girls, of course, immediately achieve national prominence; and, almost as rapidly, they slide in and out of love--and bed--with a procession of male and female partners. Jealousies, both professional and (text concluded on page 128) amorous, involving an assortment of satanic swingers, eventually crescendo in the film's improbable climax: four murders, three weddings and one nearly successful suicide attempt. Like Meyer's other flicks, Valley is a lusty, lightheaded entertainment that offers ample opportunities to watch a number of extravagantly endowed beauties in the throes of polymorphous passion. Meyer boasts, in fact, that his next sex saga--Irving Wallace's The Seven Minutes--will feature twice as many (count'em) acts of intercourse as his long-green Valley. If he makes good on that boast, Meyer could conceivably put Fox back into the black--but he may also drive stag-movie makers out of business.
Last Night I fall asleep while reading over the script and when I wake up this morning, I am lying on my white-leather couch in my living room (I have a brownstone in the East 30s) and the clock reads ten o'clock. This means I am already late on the set, since the call is for 10:15. By now, all the streets from my house to the Central Park boat pond will be clogged with film crews and it will take about an hour by car. By rights I should walk, but I feel like a ride this morning. I call the agency and there's a limousine waiting outside my brownstone by the time I'm dressed and ready. I'm wearing the suit I wear in the commercial. A fine spring day. I tell the driver Central Park and we set off. As expected, it takes about an hour cross-town, but I use the time to go over the script once more and then just sit back and enjoy the view. On every cross street there are cameras, crowds and cable, falling past like pencils rolling off a table. Arc lamps blaze holes in the sunlight. On Fifth Avenue, we turn (they have made Fifth Avenue one-way uptown again) and the big productions swing into view. In Rockefeller Plaza, they are shooting a whimsical saving-and-loan commercial; people are throwing money into the fountain and every few seconds, a teller surfaces and makes change. The crowd seems to be loving it. Across from St. Patrick's, they are holding man-in-the-street interviews and volunteers are lined up on 50th all the way to Madison Avenue. Zenith is videotaping a spot in its own showroom at 53rd and Fifth: Here the crowd is being asked to watch itself on the TVs in the window. In front of the G.M. building, I notice a group from GS&C, the agency that gave me my first acting job. They are shooting a crowd scene, too, and I see one of the producers handing out delicatessen numbers. A camera car rides our tail for two blocks, getting some limousine footage, then swerves around us, the cameraman saluting. Now we are at Central Park and I notice Revlon has booked the zoo. There is a huge crowd here, as well, and throughout the park. The cops are on hand to ensure order, but the people seem as cooperative and contented as ever, the more so in retrospect, inasmuch as the grumblers-- that envious minority that circulates through all location crowds, complaining about the traffic, the noise, the lights, the humming of the cameras and the expropriation of public property--must at this moment be massing secretly in some location of their own.
It's Obvious that denim has deftly made the move from engineer's garb to ultracasual jeans to warm-weather wear elegantly suitable for the club car. Our man's striped cotton denim single-breasted suit features trousers with double front pleats and wide straight legs, $105; the cotton denim shirt has double-button cuffs and white metal buttons that match the suit's, $17, both by Larry Kane for Raffles Wear; silk twill bow tie, by Berkley Cravats, $6.50.
The Ladies were sitting in the boudoir, which was sweetly scented and delightfully warm. The flames played in the fireplace, almost giving movement to the figures painted on the folding screen. The ladies were playing a kind of card game that the English call pinochle and the French, mariage. Between the deals, they amused themselves with talk of a particularly spicy divorce case, the newest and liveliest scandal in town. It was thus that they didn't notice when the cards in their hands began to converse among themselves.
In a Letter dated March 29, 1969, Ronald L. Ridenhour--a student at Claremont Men's College in California and a former Army specialist, fourth class, in Vietnam--wrote to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense and 23 members of Congress that, as a result of private conversations with men he knew in Vietnam, "It became impossible for me to disbelieve that something rather dark and bloody did, indeed, occur sometime in March 1968 in a village called Pinkville in the Republic of Vietnam."
The Bouncing Betty is feared most. It is a common mine. It leaps out of its nest in the earth; and when it hits its apex, it explodes, reliable and deadly. If a fellow is lucky and if the mine is in an old emplacement, having been exposed to the rains, he may notice its three prongs jutting out of the clay. The prongs serve as the Bouncing Betty's firing device. Step on them and he will hear a muffled explosion; that's the initial charge sending the mine on its one-yard flight into the sky. He takes another step and begins the next and his backside is bleeding and he's dead. They call it "ol' step and a half."
-Trouble with Hippies, EH? Just calm down and tell me the story from the beginning, Anniepoo.It started at Ralphie Towzer's underground newspaper! They wanted me to find out who their readers are. He was showing me the latest issue--