It was just two years ago this month that Richard M. Nixon stood beside the Great Wall of China at the climax of a historic junket that transformed the visit to Peking, theretofore a passport-lifting offense, into a chic stop-off on the grand tour. One of the more attractive--and articulate--new China hands who've followed in the President's footsteps is actress-writer Candice Bergen, whose Can a Cultural Worker from Beverly Hills Find Happiness in the People's Republic of China?, illustrated by Herb Davidson, appears herein. After a two-and-a-half-year vacation from films, Candy recently made 11 Harrowhouse, shot in London; before that, she spent a month in Ethiopia on a magazine assignment. There she found, in order: "Haile Selassie, camels, dust and a man who feeds wild hyenas for a living, which gives you an idea of what night life in Ethiopia is like." Two other China watchers, coincidentally, are among this month's contributors: Susan Sontag, whose sardonic Baby is our lead fiction, and John Kenneth Galbraith, who reveals Neuroses of the Rich. Miss Sontag toured China a couple of months before Miss Bergen; last we heard from her, she was in Israel making a war documentary. Galbraith, author of (among other things) A China Passage, now spends a good part of the year among the Beautiful People in Gstaad, Switzerland. Richard Rhodes, back home in Kansas after a trip to Africa (on which he wrote for us last November), had only to cross the wide Missouri to witness the hotel demolition he describes in Strung Out on Blast.
Playboy, February, 1974, Volume 21, Number 2. 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 $15 per year. 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: Robert A. Gutwillig, Marketing Director; Emery Smyth, Marketing Service Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Herbert D. Maneloveg, Associate Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago, Sherman Keats, Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street; Southeastern representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
It may have something to do with the way those guys in the White House kept breaking the law with such dazzling ineptitude, but we think we've spotted a national trend. While the competition from Washington was, admittedly, pretty stiff (when those two missing tapes made a splash last November, one White House aide couldn't take it any longer: "Jesus, we can't even bug ourselves right!"), there were examples elsewhere of strange improprieties and klutzy wrongdoing worthy of attention in their own right. In Franklin, Tennessee, a man was arrested for drunken driving and taken to the station house. With a rueful smile, he told police that other people had also had the same mistaken impression about him in the past: Whenever he ate black-eyed peas or corn on the cob, he explained, his breath smelled as if he'd been drinking. The officers listened patiently but decided to press charges when the man fell out of his chair.
Two of the most happily public lovers around, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, seem also to be most publicly happy. They share some of their joy on Full Moon (A&M), a delightful excursion into various modes of country-and-western, folk, pop, even one quasi-Mexican number. Although Rita can sing rings around Kris, their duets have a lot of charm. With an outstanding group of backup musicians and a good selection of tunes--by Paul Williams, Bobby Charles, Kris and others--the album offers glimpses into a rare, musically rewarding relationship.
Recently, we learned that the most avidly anticipated civic event in Lansing, Michigan, is the annual football game between the Pigs and the Freaks. More than 35,000 advance tickets were purchased for last October's meeting of teams fielded by the Fraternal Order of Police, Capitol City Lodge 141, and the local hippie community.
In his philosophy of government, Daniel P. Moynihan doesn't come on quite as strong as, say, Machiavelli or Marx--which, when you think about it, may have something to do with the way things have been for the past few hundred years. Moynihan is most emphatically not an earth shaker; in fact, his approach is pretty well summed up in the title of his latest collection: Coping (Random House). If he is anything, Moynihan is flexible: not strictly against government--only the kind that promises much, delivers little and generally excites great passion to no sure end--and for government that speaks in quiet tones (no more New Frontiers, please--although Moynihan served in the Labor Department under Kennedy) and pays special attention to those things that it knows for certain it does not know. That may not sound like a theme for the ages, the kind of thing to part the heavens, but Moynihan makes it sound appealing. He can write about such things as welfare, automobile safety and aid to education with wit and grace (which should be enough for a prize right there). He is a thoughtful, articulate man of wide experience, and even if all that weren't true, he would still be worth reading, since he is a member in good standing of the Nixon Administration (currently ambassador to India) as well as an intellectual. It goes without saying that he writes of paradox most lucidly.
Fresh from a prison break, boy meets girl, robs banks and comes to a bad end in Thieves Like Us, a blistering slice of life based on Edward Anderson's mid-Thirties novel and transformed into prime-quality Americana by director Robert Altman, whose M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye (to name a few) guarantee his place in the top rank of U. S. film makers. Already filmed once--as They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's 1949 drama starring Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell--Thieves will inevitably invite comparisons with Bonnie and Clyde. Yet it belongs to an altogether different breed--as a gritty, unretouched and moving portrait of America's losers, marvelously photographed by Jean Boffety in backwater Mississippi towns where the Thirties and the Seventies meet without a visible seam. Altman establishes the Depression as the social context of his tale only in the endless background drone of old-time radios crackling with Gang Busters, The Shadow, Rudy Vallee and the tinny strains of I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store). An eloquent, finely detailed evocation of period, this rueful ode to the have-not generation is built around three dim but daring fugitives (Keith Carradine, John Schuck, Bert Remsen) and their molls, one a beauty-school dropout, the other a scrawny country mouse (played with stunning effect by Shelley Duvall). These are the common, ignorant folk whose lives lack beauty or purpose or hope for anything much beyond mere survival. Altman approaches them with compassion but not a jot of cheap sentimentality, and with special emphasis on the stunted relationship between Carradine (a fine young actor improving all the time) and Miss Duvall, as his disadvantaged doxy, who sucks on bottled Cokes as if they were truly the opium of the masses. If she is Bonnie and he is Clyde, they are naked prototypes, stripped of glossy veneer and closer kin to a shantytown Romeo and Juliet (as the movie points up in one awkwardly groping love scene played against a radio broadcast of Shakespeare's classic). Thieves Like Us has very little graphic violence, for it is essentially a study in unsparing close-up of some trapped social misfits who'd hock their souls and bodies for a chance at the jack pot. Just as he has done in earlier works debunking the glib mythology of war movies, Western movies and private-eye thrillers, Altman takes the romance out of crime with surgical precision.
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is a landmark in the American theater--the first black play to touch a rising consciousness. Since Miss Hansberry's death in 1965, her husband and "literary executor," Robert Nemiroff, has been mining her creations with a sometimes questionable compulsiveness. For that reason and because the original play is basically a close-knit naturalistic drama that wears its sentiments on its sleeve, one greets the musical Raisin with skepticism--which is overcome by the strength and professionalism of the production. As an asset, there is, first of all, the play. What could have been soap opera becomes myth deepened by memories--of more peaceful black-revolutionary times, of the deaths of Miss Hansberry and Diana Sands, who first leaped to fame in the original production in the role of the awakening sister. The musical book (by Nemiroff and Charlotte Zaltzberg) retains the essence of the drama. As director and choreographer, Donald McKayle stays firmly inside the Younger household but surrounds it with the pulse of the street. To a certain degree, Raisin becomes a play within a musical, and although the music and lyrics are not milestones, the dances fill the stage with vitality and the songs are smashingly delivered by a highly musical cast--Joe Morton, Ernestine Jackson, Deborah Allen, Robert Jackson, Ralph Carter (as the youngest Younger) and, especially, Virginia Capers as the domineering, soul-filled mother. The new Raisin is an irresistible emotional experience. At the 46th Street, 226 West 46th Street.
Nearly 30 years ago, I married the eldest of three wonderful sisters. Four years ago, the second sister lost her husband and moved in with us. None of the sisters is jealous and as the second sister and I had shared a bed discreetly many times, she soon became a second wife. About 18 months ago, the husband of the youngest sister passed away and, as she was childless, the ladies wanted very much to bring her into the household. Within a few months, she was on equal standing with her sisters. However, she began to assert herself, gently at first and then more firmly, holding my hand in public and coming to my room frequently. (We have separate bedrooms.) I have reprimanded her for her selfishness, but scolding her is difficult, since I do love her. My problem is that I'm 74 and have a limited amount of love to distribute. I must not neglect the other sisters. How can I solve this problem?--H. S., Palo Alto, California.
The Playboy national sex survey finds that sexual liberation, which has had impressive effects on many attitudes and behavior patterns, has a mixed record where masturbation is concerned. Our data, compared with those gathered by Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey from 1938 through 1949, indicate that the belief that masturbation is sinful has largely disappeared and that today both males and females start masturbating at a younger age, continue to masturbate longer (many into their married years) and do so more easily and more often than used to be the case. These changes, however, have been less impressive than those in many other areas of sexuality, and most people, despite their professed liberalism on the subject, still are more ashamed and secretive about their own masturbating, especially current masturbating, than about almost any other sexual behavior.
About ten years ago, rumors started drifting back to Hollywood that a new movie, directed by an Italian, shot in Spain and starring an American actor hitherto known only for his labors as the second lead in the moderately popular television series "Rawhide," was packing moviehouses from Rome to Frankfurt. Studio heads shrugged. Flash in the pan, they said, scornfully dubbing "A Fistful of Dollars" a spaghetti Western. When "Fistful" was followed by the equally profitable "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," skeptics were forced to take a more serious look at the lanky, laconic star of these runaway hits: Clint Eastwood.
In her latest starring role--in Cinerama's just-released film How to Seduce a Woman--actress Alexandra Hay plays the sexy proprietor of an art gallery, a part that she explains was a natural for her. "I've always been a great art lover," she says, "although my tastes in art might well be considered conservative. My favorites are Monet and Dürer and I hate cubism and surrealism." The cultivated Miss Hay's tastes extend to other areas as well--notably, classical music (she plays piano) and opera. "I'm quite an opera singer myself," she claims facetiously. "I can sing the arias from La Bohème and Carmen--quite rottenly, in fact."
Turning [to] the Segretti matter. Early in the precampaign period I agreed with an idea that was suggested to set up a man functioning independently of the White House, the Committee to Re-elect [the President] and the [Republican] National Committee, for the purpose of generating for our side the same kind of [activity] that [was] so ably carried out over the years for Democratic candidates and in 1972 for Senator McGovern by Dick Tuck, a man who has been widely praised by political writers as a political prankster, whose basic stock in trade is embarrassing Republican candidates by activities that have been regarded as clever and acceptable parts of our political tradition. The repertoire of the political prankster includes such activities as printing up embarrassing signs for the opponent, posing in trainman's clothes and waving the campaign train out of the station, placing an agent on the opponent's campaign train to produce witty newsletters mocking the candidate, distributing opposition signs at rallies for use by members of the crowd, encouraging bandleaders to play rival songs at rallies, and so forth.
Well, no, we really don't mind the fact that Playboy is the most imitated magazine in history. And yes, we're sincerely flattered. But why should only a few dozen publishers get rich by aping us? Why doesn't everyone jump onto the band wagon? You guys out there, putting out your specialty magazines, why not get yourselves a centerfold, hire a few sex-crazed photographers, throw in some kinky--what the hell, let's get specific. We don't mean to set ourself up as an expert, but we just thought we'd show you the kinds of publications we'd launch if we didn't already have a lot on our mind. So here are suggestions for a wide variety of special-interest magazines that should do dynamite business at the newsstands--or at least give the mailman his jollies. Just be careful where you put those staples, and--this is important--if you're the editor-publisher, remember the pipe and Pepsi.
If we are to believe Darwin, people used to come with built-in sweaters. This may have had its advantages, but what if a guy was born with a crew-neck and wanted to go a little more formal one evening? Tough luck, eh? Nowadays, however, there's more than one way to put skin on a cat. And if Darwin's modern-day buddies are right, we've been fleecing sheep for their naturals since neolithic times. From the Angora goat, with its stylish mohair wraps, to the Rambouillet ram, sporting the finest of woolen fibers, these otherwise unprepossessing creatures have occupied the front ranks of fashion since prehistory. But today the sweaters made from these hairs are no longer just something to throw on for a football game or a car wash; they range in price from a few bucks to a small fortune, and you can choose anything from a sitting-and-drinking model to a style that matches your RollsRoyce. Whichever way you go, it's a good way for a man to keep himself covered.
The study of Body English--those nonverbal expressions and gestures that reveal a person's inner feelings--has become a burgeoning discipline. Scientists in this field have concluded that social gatherings provide the best context for the observance of Body English, as subjects are likely to be in a relaxed state and thus expose themselves more willingly. The following poses and attitudes are among the most commonly noted during festive occasions and it is hoped that the serious student will memorize this basic vocabulary in a new and exciting language.
Dillon Whirled and shot the bully for the fifth time. Pauline clenched her teeth and said, Miss, you bastard, but the marshal didn't, his accuracy guaranteed by rerun inexorability. Arnold Summerly breathed a fifth sigh of relief and Pauline said, "For God's sake, Arnold, didn't you know how it was going to turn out?" but Arnold was narcotized now by the commercial following the shoot-out. Pauline reached out to tune in the seven-o'clock news, but Arnold's hand beat her to the dial and spun it to the local channel; it was their own shootout, re-enacted every night.
During the days of Watergate, we heard a lot about some guys who used to work for the President and typified the "Orange County mentality." Roughly translated, that means you consider blue shirts with suits a little flashy and you think the weight of one's say in government should be directly proportional to the size of his avocado ranch. Well, just to set the record straight, there are some very good things about Orange County, too, and, as evidence, we offer 23-year-old Francine Parks. She grew up there with absolutely no visible ill effects and takes the liberated view that a lady should make her own way in the world. She also believes that if she can make it someplace near the ocean's edge, life will be just that much better; and so far, she's on course. Francine has recently rented an apartment in one of Southern California's rapidly developing areas, Marina del Rey, the world's largest man-made small-boat harbor, scooped out of Santa Monica Bay. Restaurants, shops and cleanly modern apartment complexes have replaced the bugs and mallards that used to fill Marina's waters, and Francine both lives there and works at Tiffanys, one of its most popular discos. "As a place to live, it has everything I crave. I water-ski, sail, play a little tennis, and I can enjoy my greatest passion--dancing--at Tiffanys." Although she works there only part time, there are very few empty spaces in Francine's weekday schedule, which also includes classes at Santa Monica College, a second part-time job as a trip consultant for Leisure World Travel, assignments from Playboy Models and, most importantly for her future, a weekly class with drama coach Eric Morris. "The classes are absolutely stimulating. We do a lot of encounter-group kinds of exercises. There's one where he asks you to do something in front of the whole class that would normally make you feel embarrassed, or stupid, in order to get rid of inhibitions. It's called Reluctancy." We have an idea that that exercise might be tough for Francine, because if there's one thing she isn't in her enthusiastic confrontation with life, it's reluctant.
One of the most dramatically effective music systems you can buy has comparatively small and inexpensive speakers, an amplifier that by most standards is woefully underpowered and uses as a sound source slow-speed tapes--a source not noted for its fidelity. Furthermore, the acoustical environment in which you listen to this system is relatively noisy, with the music constantly interrupted by outside sounds. Most people who have purchased such systems, however, swear by them: They're relatively cheap, easily transportable, the variety of models is almost unlimited and they're far and away the most popular means by which to listen to four-channel music.
Nothing in the appearance of the manor alarmed me. A large former estate on the banks of the Hudson. But I had entered too many institutions not to experience a tremor of irrational dread. True, I was signing myself in. More, I was paying for the privilege. But I have known those who committed themselves to Bellevue and, having met some real crazies and reassessed their own sanity, were not allowed to leave.
A serious lag exists between the avowed political concerns of our time and the kinds of studies that are being done in universities and other places of solemn thought. For many decades, beginning at least with the Thirties, the official concern of the country was with the poor. In consequence, they have been much studied. Their education, ethnic composition, marital and sexual tendencies, psychiatric afflictions, unemployment and shortage of income have all been subjects of exhaustive academic attention. They still are, and therein lies the lag.
A two-mile Gondola ride up Vail Mountain, then you suddenly see this irresistible girl, sipping spicy Glühwein at Mid-Vail Restaurant before taking that final run down Bear Tree. She's standing alone, leaning against a fireplace; her face, bronzed by sun and flushed by wind, radiates an inner smile. She's beat from racing down the slopes all day, but she's hardly ready to call it a night. Back East, at Mt. Snow in Vermont, you catch a glimpse of her again, partying with the après-ski crowd at Reuben Snow Tavern. Out on the sunny slopes of California's Mammoth Mountain, you find her once more--well on her way to perfecting her christie. She's your own idealized image, but she really exists--stretch-pants-clad and sun-goggled--among the hundreds of thousands who frequent America's rapidly expanding winter-sports resorts. She's often a blonde, usually in her early 20s. Her lifestyle is as free as her hair blowing in the breeze; and she comes in two basic models: the weekender or short-term vacationer and the (text continued on page 165)the girls of Skiing(continued from page 131) long-stay ski bum. The latter, a season-pass skier, is the purist, the devotee. She's often an expert who assaults life with all the verve she brings to every slalom. Twenty-four-year-old Hedy Chew, who finances her snowy pursuits by working as a model and sometime hula dancer in the Mt. Snow area, is typical. She revels in the outdoors with a consummate zest; for when she's not digging her edges into hard pack, she's flying on water skis, playing tennis, hiking or cooking (barbecue, of course). Blonde and blue-eyed Debbie Chenoweth candidly lists her occupation as ski bum. The daughter of a film producer, she says, "I came to Vail because I won a trip on The Dating Game TV show and got into the place so much that I decided to stay the winter."
Aesop, the Matchless Teller of fables, spent much of his life as a slave. At the time of our story, he was serving in the house of Xanthus, a well-to-do man who was also a scholar and a philosopher. Reduced to this miserable state, Aesop had nothing but his wit to recommend him--although even that, when coupled with his sharp tongue, often added to his misfortunes.
Dynamite: the big red-paper-wrapped sticks lying in their box ominous and yet exhilarating, fuel for fantasies of some ultimate Fourth of July, giant firecrackers packed with brown paste that looks like plastic wood--is plastic wood, but the binder that holds the sawdust is nitroglycerin. Wicked, lethal stuff, the weapon of choice of skyjackers and left-of-far-left radicals and terrorists and underworld hit men; but today two clean-cut, fresh-faced young guys in white hard hats, Mark and Doug Loizeaux, are handling it. They pull sticks out of the box and slash them with a razor blade and prime them with blasting caps, fine orange and yellow wires running out the end, and load them in holes drilled into concrete columns that support Kansas City's moribund State Hotel. And after they've loaded the dynamite, my God, they ram it into place with a sawed-off hoe handle, as if it were so much packing, and then ram some stemming turf on top to plug the hole and move on. The owners of the hotel put a contract out on it. Tomorrow morning, Sunday, Mark and Doug and their dad, Jack Loizeaux, are going to blow the place up.
In a year when a Vice-President was forced to resign for being on the take, and when Watergate and its noisome ramifications brought down key Presidential advisors while the President himself was at bay, country music came on strong. Maybe it's because of that music's down-home verities and the reassuring straightforwardness of its performers; but, in any case, over 800 radio stations from New York to Los Angeles were all-country outlets by the end of the year (a steep rise from 81 such stations in 1961). And college campuses throughout the country also swelled the audience for true-grit sounds. As Buck Owens put it, "In the old days, the family that listened to me drove a broken truck and came from the fields. Now it has two cars and a TV set. The music hasn't changed much; the audience has. It's more hip, but it still wants music from the soil and the soul."
She's just turned 19, but she's been a family breadwinner for a dozen-odd years. She was brought up as a typical California teenager--high school cheerleader, drive-in-movie fan--but her dates in those teen years were showbiz figures (My Three Sons' Barry Livingston and Maya's Sajid Khan). And she's just completed her first motion picture; but instead of a bit part, she landed the only major female role--opposite no less a personage than Steve McQueen. Her name is Ratna Assan and she comes from a long line of entertainers--musicians, dancers, clowns--in both of her parents' families in their native Indonesia. Ratna herself was born in Torrance, California, December 16, 1954. Her mother, Devi Dja, had been under contract to MGM in the Forties and appeared in several of the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope classics, among them Road to Bali, Road to Morocco and Road to Singapore. She's also a choreographer and dance teacher, and it was she who set Ratna to studying dancing, singing and acting three hours per day from the age of three and a half. By the time she was seven, Ratna was performing professionally, doing intricate Javanese dances and singing native songs in clubs, theaters, even the Hollywood Bowl. That turned out to be (concluded on page 176)"Butterfly" Girl(continued from page 152) a boon to her folks, because her mother had become ill and her father, who wasn't then fluent in English, was having trouble finding a job. So it was partly up to Ratna--dancing, playing kid roles in TV series from Destry to Bonanza, even mowing neighbors' lawns--to help support the family, which more often than not included several foster children.
During the early days of organized criminal activity, neither the police nor the public much cared when gangsters killed one another. In the Twenties, Chicagoans followed the local beer wars like a kind of underworld series, wondering if the aggressive North Siders could take the pennant away from the Capone mob; and in the early Thirties, New Yorkers bemusedly read the morning papers for latest scores in the feud between Dutch Schultz and Mad Dog Coll. Murder was the primary instrument of gangland policy and corpses were simply another feature of the urban landscape. Discreet killing and disposal of the body did not become a common underworld practice until the Thirties, when the gangster-businessmen of the national crime Syndicate, beset by reform movements and politically ambitious prosecutors, decided that bodies were bad for business.