It will come as news only to those who aren't writers--or don't know any--that writing is a solitary profession. As a consequence, writers don't get to know one another very well except in print, and their editors don't get to know them very well except over the telephone--usually with their backs against a deadline. It occurred to us that the time was long overdue to remedy this situation, so we decided to throw a party for them, and just about the time we were putting the finishing touches on this issue, that's exactly what we did. Some 70 of our most valued contributors joined us in Chicago for the five-day Playboy International Writers' Convocation. There were speeches, readings and panel discussions, and they were all fine; but the main attraction for the Writers--and for us--was the pleasure of one another's company. We're glad we did it, and we think they are, too. (January seems a good time to talk about the esteem in which we hold our writers and their work, not only because the Convocation is fresh in our minds but because it's in this issue that we announce Playboy's Annual Writing Awards, as a tangible form of tribute to their art.)
Playboy, January, 1972, Volume 19, Number 1. Published monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, 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 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, And allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Victor Lownes, Director of Creative Development; Nelson Futch, Promotion Director; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, manager, 110 Sutter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
We've never condoned drunk driving nor even excessive drinking, and we've faithfully reported on the country's alcoholic problems in Forum Newsfront; but neither has Playboy built up much of an image as a temperance journal--much less one preaching abstinence. So we confess our apprehension when we walked into Chicago's Pick-Congress Hotel to attend the 25th Triennial World Convention of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. There, in an enormous ballroom, surrounded by septuagenarian teetotalers, we felt a little like a black spy at a Ku Klux Klan rally.
Art, for better and for worse, is much affected by the currents of commerce. So, given the economic doldrums in which the nation has been floundering, it is not surprising that publishers have cut back on those fat, glossy, overpriced volumes that filled Christmas seasons of yore. Yet the discerning giftgiver may still find items in his bookshop that will prove at once a testament to his own taste and a tribute to the taste of the recipient.
In his first movie venture, Hugh Hefner has staked a multimillion-dollar budget and the reputation of his fledgling production company on Roman Polanski's vision of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Previous screen versions of this dark tale--which has traditionally been regarded as unplayable--have fared indifferently at the box office, but this one (adapted by Polanski in collaboration with Kenneth Tynan) should break the jinx. Keeping about half of the original text, and using voiceover techniques--very successfully--for the introspective soliloquies, it bears the hallmark of Polanski's uncompromising approach to the medium, evident in all his previous films, from Knife in the Water to Rosemary's Baby. In a daring departure from routine casting and predictable portrayal of the lead roles, Polanski shows us a Macbeth (Jon Finch) and Lady Macbeth (Francesca Annis) who are young, handsome and passionate. The horror of their crimes, somehow, is all the more repellent because they don't resemble the Machiavellian plotter and the mad harridan of earlier productions. Finch and Annis receive excellent support from a youthful, all-British cast that includes Martin Shaw as Banquo and Nicholas Selby as Duncan. John Stride, Stephan Chase, Paul Shelley and Terence Bayler, respectively, portray Ross, Malcolm, Donalbain and Macduff. From the opening shot on a desolate beach, where we first encounter the three witches--played memorably by Noelle Rimmington, Maisie MacFarquhar and Elsie Taylor--to the final fade-out after Macbeth's grisly decapitation, the film is stunningly photographed by Gil Taylor. The authentic castles are splendidly ancient and rugged, the battles grimly realistic in their medieval sweep and color, and the duels, as staged by fight director William Hobbs, hideously believable and gripping. All is played against a background of striking landscapes often wind-swept and drenched by rain, and the damp chill can be felt in one's bones. All in all--though it's not a film for the squeamish--we think Shakespeare would have approved of Polanski's Macbeth; we think most viewers will, too.
In the beginning was the word. And there are still lots of words around this Christmastime. For example, that exemplary purveyor of the recorded word, Caedmon, has a host of goodies on vinyl. Arthur Miller's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, performed by The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center under the direction of Jules Irving, has as much to say about contemporary morality and ecology and says it better than anything wrought today. The sixth side of the three-LP package carries a discussion of the play by Miller and critic Harold Clurman. For those of us who marveled at Studs Terkel's striking evocation of the Depression, Hard Times, this two-LP presentation of segments of the tapes on which the book was based will only confirm Terkel's ability to find the right subjects to interview and to draw the most out of them. Hard Times is good listening. The untimely death of Lorraine Hansberry in 1965 was a tremendous loss to both the world of letters and humanity as a whole; To Be Young, Gifted and Black bears tragic testimony to that. The three-LP album of the dramatic work, adapted by her husband. Robert Nemiroff, and directed by him and Gigi Cascio, is beautifully performed by a splended cast that features James Earl Jones, Barbara Baxley and Claudia McNeil. Eloquently moving, no matter what one's color. A massive delineation of the black experience is to be found in the eight-LP, four-volume Silhouettes in Courage. Dramatized by a large cast, accompanied by highly appropriate background music, and narrated by Ossie Davis, Brock Peters, Frederick O'Neal and Ruby Dee, the project runs from preslavery Africa through the history of blacks in America up to the present. Presented in a handsome slipcase, it is available through Silhouettes in Courage, Inc., 22 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, for $46.49.
What hath Tom O'Horgan wrought? Apparently, a gimmicky but stupefying deliverance from the misstaged and intellectually shallow concert-opera version of Jesus Christ Superstar (which we reviewed in November). Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar is Jesus Christ super-spectacular--a combination circus, Radio City Music Hall stage show, Todd-AO Hollywood musical, Baths of Caracalla opera and pop apocalypse. Battleship-sized constructions drop from the flies--like flies. Let's hear it for the stagehands (and also for the sound men; the acoustics are excellent). On cue, here comes a phone booth full of the stars of Gethsemane. Jesus soars toward heaven (or the mezzanine) on a triangle. Judas descends on an enormous butterfly and sings with a Supremelike trio left over from Hair. O'Horgan evidently wanted to give the Broadway Jesus story a grounding in science and myth. His actors enter as primordial ooze. The scenery is hung with dinosaursized pelvic bones. An interesting notion--but one that undercuts the already reduced Christ. As played neurasthenically by Jeff Fenholt, Christ is more complainer than saint, as concerned about getting a good night's sleep as about healing the lepers. Dwarfed by the behemoth staging, he becomes the incredible shrinking Man. The show really belongs to Judas, the tragic Jew, with Ben Vereen giving the evening's best performance. In the smaller role of Mary Magdalene (the greatest groupie ever), Yvonne Elliman is touching. Her I Don't Know How to Love Him remains one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's most perfectly formed songs. For all of O'Horgan's directorial pyrotechnics, the pulsating score survives intact. At the Mark Hellinger, 237 West 51st Street.
My wife and I have become good friends with a neighborhood couple and recently the husband suggested we play strip poker. Once everyone was nude, he then proposed a kissing and caressing game that became pretty intimate. My wife and I consider ourselves very open people and found all of this great fun. After a while, our host's wife and I ended up making love, whereupon the host became shocked and angry. He said I was carrying the game too far and asked us to leave. I value his friendship, but in this case I seriously doubt that an apology is in order. What do you think?--H. J., Butte, Montana.
"who is Germaine Greer?" headlines the newspaper advertisement. "The most lovable creature to come out of Australia since the koala bear? A feminist leader who admittedly loves men? A brilliant writer, 'extraordinarily entertaining'? Great Britain's Woman of the Year? The author of a perceptive, outrageous, devastating book on women?" McGraw-Hill, publisher of "The Female Eunuch" informs us: "Germaine is all of the above."
Artemis Loved the healing sound of rain--the sound of all running water--brooks, gutters, spouts, falls and taps. In the spring he would drive 100 miles to hear the cataract at the Wakusha Reservoir. This was not so surprising, since he was a well driller and water was his profession, his livelihood as well as his passion. Water, he thought, was at the root of civilizations. He had seen photographs of a city in Umbria that had been abandoned when the wells went dry. Cathedrals, palaces, farmhouses had all been evacuated by drought--a greater power than pestilence, famine or war. Men sought water as water sought its level. The pursuit of water accounted for epochal migrations. Man was largely water. Water was man. Water was love. Water was water.
The gathering of a gentleman's stable of motorcars--utility and aesthetics the only considerations--calls for an imaginist in good form and an openended bank account. Still, a list of desirable possessions is entertaining to make and may be handy to have, since one never knows when necessity will strike: A New Jersey man was recently obliged to accept two $50,000 lottery prizes in succession and, not having considered the contingency in advance, had to put the stuff into a bank for lack, one must presume, of something better to do with it. One should be on guard against this sort of thing.
"My First Amorous Adventure?" repeated Lord Godolphin thoughtfully. "Well, in our family the tradition never varied much. There was always Miss Crewe, who had inducted my father and probably also my younger granduncle, Charles Martello, into the mysteries of sex. She had kept her little figure astonishingly well. That was due to her fruit diet, someone told me. In a sense, the tradition was, I agree, somewhat incestuous."
As man approaches the three-quarter point of the 20th Century, it's becoming more and more apparent that he has reached a watershed. For the first time in history, the growth curves are flattening out: His rate of population increase is slackening in some areas; his speed of travel on Earth has very nearly reached its limits; if fusion is harnessed for peaceful purposes in the near future, he will have tapped the ultimate energy source for many years to come.
Psychologists have variously and gloomily diagnosed our society as neurotic, emotionally plagued, armored, flattened, one-dimensional, contactless, repressed, robotic and addicted to game playing. These are ways of saying that intimacy is lacking in human relationships--that it is the missing link between our rationality and our emotions, between men and women, between love and sex. Without a sense of intimacy, interpersonal contact becomes a worrisome job of guarding our psychic territory against invaders: Any stranger undergoes a lengthy interrogation through the bars of a high iron gate before he gains entrance, and few pass the test. Both male supremacy and women's lib are products of this rupture in our consciousness, which can turn love into an infantile dependency trip and sex into a track-and-field event (in which either contestant could be replaced by a copulating machine and the partner would never notice the difference).
Many of us in the modern world have never actually seen a tarot card. If we have heard of the tarot, it has likely been through the filter of sophisticated literary allusion, such as T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, which draws much of its poetic imagery from the mystical cards. In times past, however, the tarot was considered by king and commoner alike to be a mirror of life: vivid, valid, vital; worthy of respect, of trust and of fear.
The old man saw the lizard slip out from under a bush in front of the drugstore where he had gone to test his blood pressure and saw its sprawl on the flagstone path beside the sidewalk and hunched toward it, propping himself with his cane. He raised the cane over his head, baring his teeth, and jammed it down and pinned the lizard to the flagstone, tearing its belly out, and it twisted over, its four infant hands clutching the air and its mouth opening and closing, and the old man jerked the cane up and jammed it down and jammed it up and down until he had mashed the lizard into the stone. The black tip of his cane smeared now, the old man looked uneasily around and, breathing hard, set the cane to the walk, staining the white stone red, and lurched away, teeming Florida jerking across his narrowed eyes.
Our attention has recently been drawn to a number of books offering exercises to improve the physical efficiency of sex partners. Laudable in their intent, sternly sober in their style, such books concentrate on the more athletic aspects of what used to be called Doing What Comes Naturally. Grimly accusing civilized man of being "a race of sex cripples." one such book offers, by way of remedy, chapters headed "The Vitally Important Pelvic Thrust," "More Sex Enjoyment with the Gluteal Squeeze" and a lot of other data in that same acrobatic vein. Overwhelmed by these earnest and somewhat daunting manuals, we have devised our own set of deliberately difficult sex exercises, calling upon many little-used muscles and organs--chiefly the Tongue-in-Cheek. Warning The Surgeon General has determined that presexual activity--this kind, anyway--is dangerous to your health.
"My Fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk with you about a subject that is both painful and important. We live in a time when many of our basic institutions are changing, and often in directions we don't like. We have seen this in our schools. We have seen it in the courts. We have seen it even in some churches. And, my friends, we see it perhaps most vividly of all in the press and on television.
We All Have our Pulitzers. I mean, Scotty Reston has his two, Abe Rosenthal has his and I have mine. The New York Times has won more than any other paper, and The Washington Post has its collection. So we are the good guys, the ones with the credentials, certified public and professional, the ones who do more and better and oftener than anyone else. The recognized champs. And Agnew and Mitchell and Nixon himself and all their cohorts--they're the bad guys, the ones who want to vanquish the white knights, the inheritors and continuators of the tradition of Milton and Voltaire and Tom Paine and all the others.
Robert L. Green's annual presentation of Playboy's Creative Menswear International Designer Collection was recently held in the grand ballroom of New York's Plaza Hotel and the colorfully clad audience of 400 enthusiastically responded to the imaginative entries from 60 of the world's foremost designers. The premier show, which will soon tour several U. S. and foreign cities, utilized closed-circuit TV, video tapes and still photos to further highlight the clothes being modeled. An added element this year is the presentation of several outfits from boutiques that are not part of the haute couture establishment. Green specifically included them in order to point up the impact that today's street culture has made on menswear. The six showstopper styles pictured here also point up the fact that the future of men's fashions looks bright, indeed.
Hollywood, January 20, 1999--Probably no one in Hollywood is more qualified to comment on the rampant permissiveness and general dirtiness of current film fare than Erwin Putz. A censor of motion pictures for more than 40 of his 72 years, Putz was interviewed in his small but clean office. He poured himself a glass of cold duck ("Every Wednesday morning," he explained) as the tape recorder began to roll.
Back home in the seaside town of Portsmouth, England, Marilyn Cole used to love sailing or basking on the beach--but, incredibly enough, she felt conspicuous in a swimsuit. "I was afraid my legs were too thin," she recalls. Then, toward the end of 1970, a girlfriend persuaded her to leave her position as a co-op clerk, move to London and apply for a job as a Bunny at the Playboy Club there. She was hired on the spot--and within the week was recommended as a possible Playmate, thus scuttling permanently any lingering doubts she might have had about her bathing-suitability. Before going to London, Marilyn's only previous experience away from home had been a six-month stint in Marseilles as an au pair. Now she's a confirmed Londoner who still enjoys making new discoveries about her adopted home. "I love the city," she says. "It's very cosmopolitan, with so many people here from all over the world that it doesn't seem like England--or at least not like Portsmouth." Her favorite haunts are the parks, theaters, art galleries and, most especially, the shops, from Biba's on Kensington High Street to the Sunday flea market in Petticoat Lane. When she started out at London's Playboy Club, Marilyn worked as Door Bunny, greeting keyholders and their guests. Club executives noted her intelligence, poise and friendly smile, and when their public relations girl, Dawn Lowis--also a former Bunny--retired, Marilyn was a natural choice to succeed her. "My first reaction was that I couldn't possibly handle the job," Marilyn admits. "But now that I'm getting the hang of it, it's turning out to be lots of fun." It's a happy choice of career for a girl who, although she liked cottontailing, hates working nights, which are, of course, the busiest hours at the Club. "I'm basically a day person," she says. "I just can't loll around and sleep until noon." Recently, Marilyn found one other thing she can't abide: commercialized beauty contests. "I was entered in the Miss United Kingdom competition," she says. "It was awful. You're reduced to a number. And the girls--well, you wouldn't recognize some of them without their make-up. I just can't stand phonies." Obviously, Miss Cole herself is very much the genuine article.
A decade before the phrase "Black is beautiful" became popular, Franklin Ambrose knew that he was beautiful. But his beauty had nothing to do with being black. He was naturally handsome in a small, neat way; he cultivated a thin mustache and a very black, rugged, almost savage goatee; his shoes were so shiny that they looked varnished; he wore Pierre Cardin shirts of various peacock-gay colors, expensive silk-twill ties and ascots, and suits whose notched and peaked lapels expanded and narrowed according to fashion laws totally unknown to Frank's mundane, hardworking colleagues at the university. He took an obvious, healthy pride in physical appearances and was critical of his wife's clothes, which always seemed shapeless and dowdy. "Do you want to embarrass me?" he sometimes asked in exasperation.
The Sunday Times is under attack. Recyclists find it lamentably heavy--in the preslang meaning of that word--and some have gone so far as to suggest that it be offered for sale in sections, so that the buyer can carry home, and toss into the Monday-morning trash, only the news he finds fit to read. The Times feels this notion is economically naïve. What to do? Playboy and illustrator James Higa pondered this problem and hit upon a literally constructive solution. Higa went quickly to work. You can see the newsworthy results of his efforts by turning the page.
The Physical Area in which an athlete works has strictly measured peripheries: an outfield wall 400 feet from home plate, a basketball court with painted boundary lines, a wooden rodeo fence surrounding dirt and dust. And in this tight physical environment, the athlete is given a precise amount of time or number of chances in which to do his job. This explains the magic ability of sports to produce intense realities from a set of artificial conditions. The seven men on these pages, all top performers in their fields, know this better than most of us. Here, they share some of what flashes through their minds when the decisive instant--the fraction of a second when actions must be reflexive--is facing them. They also discuss those talents acquired with experience that help account for their great success. And some of them reveal their feelings after a confrontation that has brought loss or near injury, when they are forced to look inside themselves and find that necessary confidence to prepare for their next moments of challenge.
More and More farsighted hosts these days are convinced that the best way to end a New Year's Eve party is by starting another one--a breakfast at dawn. The lazy exodus at sunrise that's often a distinct letdown will be stayed and the revelers revived by mountains of scrambled eggs with anchovy toast, an avalanche of hot grilled link sausages and a chafing dish bubbling with creamed Smithfield ham and pearl hominy. Outside, the dawn may still come up like thunder; inside, the festival will start to the steamed-up rhythm of the coffee maker.
Six o'clock. Late summer. An hour and a half of sun left. Typical San Clemente day. Clear, but with high, cottony cumulus brushed across the sky. (There is an average of 342 days of sunshine per year in San Clemente, you keep reading somewhere.) San Clemente is in Orange County, an eponym for political conservatism to psephologist and gag writer alike. The county was not named after the orange but, according to muddled historical accounts, after the Dutch House of Orange. The principal crops of Orange County are cut flowers, chicken eggs and strawberries. Valencia oranges are fourth.
As an executive recruiter, I often know where exciting jobs paying upwards of $50,000 are for the taking. I know the corporations that are searching for the executives; I know the best way to impress management and I usually know if it's in a candidate's best interest to accept an offer. Superficially, these attainments make me an attractive person to know. Were it not for the fact that the profession I practice is probably the most opportunistic, cynical, defensive and manipulative of the corporate service industries, I would humbly agree with such an assessment.
Sotheby's is a London landmark. Its 18th Century Augustan-style building on New Bond Street headquarters the oldest continuous art and literary auctioneers in the world. Since its founding in 1774, Sotheby's has managed to attract the art and money elite of Europe by offering old masters' paintings, drawings and sculpture, antique books, icons, jewels, tapestries and, relatively recently, vintage automobiles, arms, clocks, watches and works by Continental impressionists, British moderns and even American primitives. "The main auction room," says Neiman, "was once the studio of the 19th Century artist and illustrator Gustave Doré. The auctioneer and, since 1958, chairman of Sotheby's is Peter Wilson, whose low-key outcry is the only sound in the otherwise hushed room. During an auction, bids are made by gesture only, and it's as solemn as a High Mass at St. Peter's. But the bidding is merely the climax of a long drama. First, there's the organization of the sale, which is often as complicated and chancy as handicapping horses. Wilson and his assistants, magisterial as British barristers, select the artworks to be auctioned from among those stored in Sotheby's immense dungeonlike basement. Certain pieces when sold together create a public wave and, as any Sotheby's expert will attest, momentum conceived and sustained prior to a sale is indispensable for a successful turnout. Strolling through the basement is really like walking through time. Here, stored with loving care, stand magnificent examples of almost every artistic style, from Rubens to Duchamp, from classicism to abstraction. Also in the basement are Sotheby's experts, who can tell you almost anything about any piece, down to where and precisely when it was originally created. Formerly the wine cellar of a spirits merchant, the basement, with its low-flung stone arches, is equipped with a fire-prevention system unparalleled for its sensitivity. And with good reason, since Sotheby's has sold the libraries and collections of such luminaries as Napoleon and Talleyrand. Often, though, many of its best-remembered sales are of seemingly worthless effects people bring in for free appraisal. One story concerns an elderly gent who asked a director if a picture wrapped in a brown paper bag was worth a 'fiver.' Upon examining the painting, the director exclaimed, 'Good heavens, sir, you have an early Samuel Palmer.' The man replied, 'I know, but is it worth a fiver?' The picture returned £5600, which probably proves that some people never know when they have something of value. Obviously, that doesn't apply to Sotheby's."
One of the best things about the arrival of a new year is the excuse it affords us to look back leisurely at the old one. For Playboy, January signals a revisit with the centerfold girls of the preceding twelvemonth. In 1971, a goodly number of our Playmates were Bunnies; many had their eyes on the stars. Herewith, a report on what they' re doing now.
A Career Lady, enlightened, building a separate career with and on her husband's (which, reciprocally, her own achievements bolster), told me, all sweet persuasion, how she coped with the pot problem. "I told our Jim [her son] that all we had given him was based on his father's good name as a judge [yes, a judge--I expected, any minute, to hear that his last name was Hardy] and he should take care of that good name by obeying all laws--even silly laws like those against marijuana."
Imagery. An accused soldier at a wartime court-martial stands as a pawn on a checkerboard floor. A maniacal scientist hurtles out of his wheelchair, screaming, "Mein Führer, I can walk!" A man-ape seizes a jawbone, smashing it on an animal skull. Imagery, the kind that mythologizes and endures, is the nucleus of the film experience. And few are better at conceiving, transmitting and illuminating imagery than Stanley Kubrick. In Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and now in A Clockwork Orange, producer-director Kubrick has infused raw celluloid with moments of human drama widely regarded as unique. Part of his mystique centers on the singularity of his work. Kubrick's biographer, British critic Alexander Walker, said, "Each film [Kubrick makes] enables him to extend his own investigation of himself." It is in this mise en scène of self-analysis that his newest film, A Clockwork Orange, has come into being. Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, it concerns, in the director's own words, "the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultraviolence and Beethoven." Though this seems a far cry from the themes of 2001, Kubrick disagrees. In a Playboy Interview three years ago, he said, "The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning." Is that dismissable as mere self-indulgence? Kubrick, aware of the special (text concluded on page 204) unity of all his work, thinks not. He commented in Walker's biography, Stanley Kubrick Directs, "People in the 20th Century are increasingly occupied with magic, mystical experience, transcendental urges, hallucinogenic drugs, and the belief in extraterrestrial intelligence--so that fantasy, the supernatural, the 'magical documentary,' is closer to the sense of the times than naturalism." Hence, Dr. Strangelove can be seen as a surreal plunging into the destructive element of man's irrationality and the absurdity of war, whereas 2001 explored the positive potentialities of otherworldly intervention into the destiny of man. Sharing similarities with both films, A Clockwork Orange is set in England in the near future. The nation, already totalitarian, is being terrorized by gangs of youths called Droogs. The Droogs speak in a violent, strangely onomatopoeic jargon, Nadsat. It is no departure for Kubrick to be thus attracted to language. From Killer's Kiss, his first major film, made in 1955, he has consistently examined the dimensions of human communication. Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is the spokesman of a Droog clan and narrates his bizarre autobiography in Nadsat's ferocious tones, actually a blend of Russian, gypsy argot and portmanteau slang purely of Burgess' invention. Alex describes a mugging thus: "Pete held his lookers and Georgie hooked his rot wide open for him and Dim yanked out his false zoobies. Then we razrezzed his platties.... The knives in the milk-plus were stabbing away nice and horror show." The vision of Alex' world is hypnotically scarifying; seamily corrupt politicians, gratuitous violence, sexuality in an emotional void. But, as the final frame leaves the film gate, only one image is confirmed: that A Clockwork Orange is, like its director, both luminous and inscrutable.
I have never taken kindly to clothes, although I am not the stuff of which nudists are made. My flesh burns rather than grills; I am seldom cooked to a turn. When I lie in the sun, I take care to be fully clothed. People who lie for hours face down on sand should be removed by mechanical scoops. My very old pocket watch is the sole inanimate object to which I am attached. I care nothing for my pen, my cuff links, my Pissarros. Above all, I am not fond of my clothes. It gives me no pleasure to meet them every morning. I am bored by my underclothes, irritated by the constant failure of the elastic in my underdrawers, (concluded on page 210)Take Me to Your Tailor(continued from page 207). dread the days when I have to walk round constantly hitching my waistband. I seem unable to foretell elastic fatigue.
The Selection of any prize winner requires an arbitrariness that vexes both the judges and the judged. For the editors of Playboy, the task of singling out the best works to have appeared in the magazine during the past 12 months was an especially difficult one. The process of assessing is primarily that of comparison, but because so many of our articles, essays, major works of fiction, short stories and humorous pieces were, in 1971, one-of-a-kind experiences, they stubbornly resisted comparison. Diversity was the key word; and in recognizing this, the editors, upon reaching their decisions, voted to award--as tokens of respect and appreciation--not only $1000 and an engraved silver medallion encased in a clear-Lucite prism (shown at left) to each of our first-place winners but, for the first time, $500 and a medallion to those writers who placed second. It is regrettable that all contributors could not be thus honored.
Since Those Testy Washington hearings on the pill, many women have come to question both the safety and the security of nearly every existing means of birth control. Doctors are facing an analogous impasse in trying to find a safe pharmacological substitute for the high costs and occasional dangers inherent in even the most strictly supervised surgical abortions. Extending the options through his work with compounds called prostaglandins is Dr. Leon Speroff, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Gynecologic Endocrine Lab at Yale Medical School. Though prostaglandins may one day treat a variety of ills, Speroff, the 36-year-old son of Macedonian immigrants, is testing them now as abortion agents and contraceptives. "Science isn't sure how the substances work," he says, "but we've found they influence hormone production in the ovary." Such hormones, Speroff explains, are instrumental to not only the continuance but the inception of pregnancy. In experiments abroad, prostaglandins have induced abortion with no adverse aftereffects among 75 percent of the pregnant women tested. And with impending abortion reform, the need for nonsurgical abortion is urgent. The hormonal effects of prostaglandins are what inspired Speroff to test them as contraceptives. "There's the possibility," he says, "that with periodic dosage, perhaps once a month, prostaglandins can negate the uncertainties and hazards of the daily pill." In the meantime, he is convinced a 100 percent safe prostaglandin is at least three years away and, rather than wait for it, Speroff. the father of three, has undergone a vasectomy. "Other means continue to be researched," he says, "but no course is more worth pursuing than fertility regulation. There is no other agent existing that can promise as much as prostaglandins in the way of safe fertility control and safe abortions on an outpatient or at-home basis." We hope that promise will be fulfilled.
A Funky-Looking 28-year-old director may look out of place in an establishment studio such as Warner Bros., but there's no question that Paul Williams, Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard '65, knows the movie business as well as he does the subject of his latest film. Directing Michael and Douglas Crichton's Dealing, or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues--first published in Playboy--Williams was able to draw heavily on his own college experiences, just as he had capitalized on his personal background in the first two films he made. Soon after graduation, Williams began making short films and documentaries while studying fine art at Trinity Hall at Cambridge in England. But it was in London that he met Edward Pressman, a student at the London School of Economics, with whom he joined forces to produce Girl, a Golden Eagle Award-winning short. They've worked together ever since--Williams directing. Pressman producing. Within two years of Girl, Williams was directing his first major film, Out of It, which starred Barry Gordon and a then-unknown actor named Jon Voight and which was based on Williams' adolescent years in suburban Massapequa, New York. Voight also starred in Williams' second major production, The Revolutionary, about a young man's radicalization. "After doing that film," says Williams, "I began to think I was a revolutionary. So I worked on a documentary with Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria. I never completed that film, but I did learn that I was in way over my head." Essentially, he adds, "the main character in Dealing must come to grips with that same realization when he gets into a very heavy drug scene." Williams undoubtedly will score a hit with the film, which should assure studio backing for other projects, among them a film dramatization of Gail Sheehy's recent article in New York magazine, "A Day and a Night in the Life of a 24-Hour Worldbeater." As a director, Williams is proving to be quite a world-beater himself.
It was While Working as a kitchen helper in a fraternity house--of all places--that Jack Shelton got interested in food. "I would read cookbooks in the library, then feed my experiments to 40 guinea pigs that night." When he saw, as a San Francisco advertising executive, that friends felt ambivalent about "the entire experience of dining out," and didn't share his encyclopedic knowledge of what and where to eat, he decided to spend part of his time educating fellow diners. Jack Shelton's Private Guide to Restaurants, a monthly eight-page newsletter, began five years ago as a Bay Area Baedeker but soon expanded to include occasional critiques of restaurants as far from San Francisco as Honolulu. His editorial recipe--combining first-chair expertise and an epicure's perfectionism with the spice of total, eloquent candor--makes each issue as rich as a chocolate mousse. If he loves a place, his narrative runs on lyrically for pages; overrated restaurants--he visits each three times before pronouncing judgment--are verbally destroyed. (He once proposed that the city of New Orleans take over revered Antoine's and restore its vanished excellence.) Shelton, 48, is as proud of favorable reviews that "have saved five or six places from going under" as he is of his memorable demolition jobs. Rumors exist of a restaurateurs' bounty on his photo; he makes it a point to use a pseudonym when he makes reservations. "I don't know about a bounty," he says, "but recently I saw a photographer hiding behind a tree in my yard." Dining undetected--to ensure honest food and service--often requires Mission: Impossible tactics: Learning that an owner who knew him spent Tuesday evenings at the opera, Shelton visited on Tuesday. He tells his readers "not to be intimidated" while eating out; so when he hears a customer complaining that the meat is overdone, Shelton is doubly pleased, for he feels that "a demanding diner, like a properly cooked steak, is extremely rare." He's trying to make for more of both.