Did Cain Act Alone? Any day now we expect to see an article on the world's first political murder. No doubt, the author will challenge the official inquiry ("Are you going to take His Word for what happened?"), present evidence to support the "second rock theory," then charge that the whole affair was a plot involving a group of dissident exiles from someplace called the Garden. You know the form: Was Brutus set up as a patsy by the Roman military or the olive-oil cartel? Did Shakespeare take part in the cover-up? Assassination and conspiracy theorizing have become, respectively, our first and second favorite national sports. The American dream has taken on a new twist. Any child can grow up to be the President or the assassin of the President. Ours is the land of Sam Colt equality: one man, one vote, one gun. It's time we faced the reality of political violence. This month marks the debut of Playboy's History of Assassination in America, a six-part series by James McKinley.Death to Tyrants! probes the conspiracy and cover-up involved in Lincoln's murder. Future installments will probe the deaths of Garfield, McKinley, Cermak, Huey Long, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. We hope that there will be no cause to continue beyond six chapters, but given the political climate, the series probably will go on forever.
Playboy, January, 1976, Volume 23, 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 $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: Richard S. Rosenzweig, Director of Marketing; Herbert D. Maneloveg, Director of Marketing Information; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Don Hanrahan, Associate Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Advertising Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago, Sherman Keats, Associate Advertising 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.
Here's one flavor Baskin-Robbins hasn't heard of yet. A man in Athens, Georgia, is suing a local restaurant for $25,000, because it sold him a bowl of vanilla ice cream with a prophylactic in it. In the official wording of the lawsuit, it's explained that condoms are not "normally or usually found in ice cream."
Voted in for having made the most idiotic scientific discovery of the century: Lotmar Knaak, a Swiss psychologist, who, after years of research, determined that Winston Churchill's cigar was a phallic symbol of potency.
Remember when the television season lasted all year? Once a series was scheduled, it ran (with liberal helpings of reruns) more or less from mid-September to late spring. Then the networks started slipping in January replacements for shows with sagging ratings; when this practice became common enough, it was legitimized with its own ballyhoo as The Second Season.
It's Saturday night and we're at the Rodger Young Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways join in smoggy embrace above a neighborhood of warehouses and funeral parlors. (About 50 years ago, the city fathers exiled the funeral parlors to special districts and there they have remained.) The occasion is the First Annual Bondage, Leather, Fetish, Inquisition and Masquerade Party, sponsored by a newspaper called Fetish Times. The advertising circular promises demonstrations of bondage and discipline, spanking, slaves in cages and on the rack, TV (that is, transvestite) serving wenches, commercial exhibits and door prizes.
Perhaps some social historian of the future will discover the cultural and psychological reasons why so many Americans are fetishistically fascinated by doctors--not by medical science, particularly, and certainly not by health care but by doctors themselves, especially the ones who are colorful, egotistical, stinking rich, maybe even a little quacky. To his credit as a popular writer, Roger Rapoport takes this topic--which, you'll remember, he's dealt with in Playboy--and produces in The Super-Doctors (Playboy Press) light and highly readable biographical sketches of almost two dozen celebrity physicians who have managed to do for medicine what Joe Namath did for football. We have the renowned Dr. William Jennings Bryan, Jr., world's leading practitioner and promoter of medical hypnosis, who cures patients of such maladies as the Snapping Pussy Syndrome (impotence through fear that the vagina has teeth) and who claims to have balled 11,999 women, with up to 15 orgasms a day. More conventionally, we have heart-transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard; the venerable Benjamin Spock; openheart surgeon Denton Cooley; Robert Atkins, the fabulous "fat doctor"; and the polio-vaccine war between Salk and Sabin. And many more, all high priests of the healing arts whose skills are often equaled by their eccentricities.
One of the major disappointments of the movie season, Royal Flash is a letdown because audiences had every reason to expect a lot from the first screen treatment of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman novels (the newest of which was previewed in Playboy's September, October and November issues). Adapted by Fraser himself for director Richard Lester, with whom he had scored with the ribald and rollicking Three and Four Musketeers, Royal Flash has gone wildly off target in countless ways. Miscasting is the real problem, and a bit of judicious role swapping might have made a difference--since Alan Bates, who walks through a thankless role as second villain, seems a far better candidate than Malcolm McDowell to play the cowardly, cocksure, flamboyantly unprincipled Captain Harry Flashman. Although a good actor in his usual contemporary milieu, McDowell lacks both maturity and style and makes Flashman's boldest debauches look like mere schoolboy mischief. In sum, he's meagerly fitted to fill the boots of a hero whose exploits here were dedicated by the author to such swashbucklers as Errol Flynn, Basil Rath-bone, Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The plot, for the benefit of those who have yet to discover Fraser, takes Flashman to Bavaria--where mad King Ludwig's mistress, Lola Montez, asks him to impersonate a local nobleman who cannot go through with his impending marriage. "The crown prince has a dose of clap," says one wily conspirator. Britt Ekland is a fetching bride-to-be, Florinda Bolkan a gloriously womanly Lola--though she, too, appears to be playing for real what ought to be played as rowdy early Victorian fun. Only Oliver Reed, as a pompous Count Otto von Bismarck, catches the improper spirit of the piece. Perhaps with a cue from the mock-Wagnerian Sturm und Drang on the sound track, nearly everyone else seems to spend tremendous energy transforming a lightweight period spoof into stale pumpernickel.
The explosion of porno chic in France partly explains the mad success, over there, of Exhibition--a success echoed over here, since director Jean-François Davy's quasi documentary about the on- and offscreen life of a Parisian porn queen became the first unabashed sex movie ever to be billed as a main attraction at the cool, cultish New York Film Festival. "The public wants fuck scenes," declares Claudine Beccarie, a slender 30-year-old brunette who may be France's answer to Linda Lovelace, though she generally appears to take much less pleasure in her work than Linda did. Mlle. Beccarie, a onetime prostitute and reform-school alumna (unjustly put away after an uncle raped her when she was scarcely into her teens), lets a movie crew tag along while she pays a visit to her mother, strolls in the park with a lover ten years her junior (he taught her the joys of vaginal orgasm, she insists) and performs in hard-core sequences with a steely-eyed professionalism that could prolong the so-called impotence boom. "You're a real turnoff," she snaps at one nonplused male partner whose sweating annoys her, then confides to the director, "He means less to me than that door." One rapturous French critic saluted Exhibition as "a sexual cordon bleu," but any connoisseur of the real thing will quickly detect that what's happening here is not sex but sociology. Still, director Davy--like some of the pure pornographers whom his femme star dismisses with contempt--tries to have it both ways by stressing the serious aims of Exhibition while shrewdly including more fuck-and-suck footage than this portrait of a lady requires. Although too talky and attenuated at times, the film combines an air of open-mindedness and sympathy with some of the freaky human interest of a Screw interview. Certainly there's never been anything quite like it on the limited horizons of hard-core.
For a really enjoyable English hardrock album, try Nightingales and Bombers (Bronze), by Manfred Mann and his Earth Band. The material--including Bruce Springsteen's Spirit in the Night, Joan Armatrading's Visionary Mountains and Dylan's Quit Your Low Down Ways--is plenty tough and the band puts it all across with electric sounds that are always in harness, never in the driver's seat. And there's just enough experimentation with rhythm--as on the group's own Time Is Right, which, as it happens, is in ten-four time--to keep the music at a relatively high level of interest.
The holidays are that time of year when you occasionally hate yourself for thinking that the gift you're giving someone would be put to much better use in your own hands. And nowhere is that more apparent than with recordings. But don't be embarrassed by those selfish instincts: The more it hurts to give it away, the better the gift, and you can always buy two and keep one for yourself.
My girlfriend and I have been getting it on for three years now. We've always enjoyed ourselves; but lately, I've become aware of a growing problem. She has started to leave out a large part of love-making--the foreplay. She can't get enough of sex, but sometimes she treats it like instant food. As soon as she notices that I'm aroused, it's time to climb on board. I've tried to handle this problem myself, with little success. What should I do?--W. K., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Five years ago, Elton John was just another schlub like the rest of us. He was broke half the time, he was shorter even than Robert Redford, his hair was already beginning to thin, he was usually more plump than he liked and he wore glasses as thick as Coke-bottle bottoms. Hardly what you'd call a head start in the Rock Star Derby; he would have stumped any "To Tell the Truth" panel asked to make the real next Mick Jagger please stand up.
It is fairly common knowledge that since about 1960, the world's climate has been deteriorating. It is also commonly known that throughout history, weather has moved in cycles. Some can be short, such as the 11-year cycle of sunspots; some, for unexplained reasons, can last for a century or two. The Danes fell victim to such a long cycle about 1250 A. D. The previous centuries had been so mild that the Danes had established their colonies even in Greenland--then aptly named--and pressed on with their explorations of America. But then came the switch. Pack ice pushed down from the arctic to deny further navigation and Greenland could no longer be reached. Western exploration was abandoned.
Seven years had passed since he and she had parted in Petersburg. God, what a crush there had been at the Nikolaevsky Station! Don't stand so close--the train is about to start. Well, here we go, goodbye, dearest.... She walked alongside, tall, thin, wearing a raincoat, with a black-and-white scarf around her neck, and a slow current carried her off backward. A Red Army recruit, he took part, reluctantly and confusedly, in the Civil War. Then, one beautiful night, to the ecstatic stridulation of prairie crickets, he went over to the Whites. A year later, in 1920, not long before leaving Russia, on the steep, stony Chainaya Street in Yalta, he ran into his uncle, a Moscow lawyer. Why, yes, there was news--two letters. She was leaving for Germany and already had obtained a passport. You look fine, young man. And at last Russia let go of him--a permanent leave, according to some. Russia had held him for a long time; he had slowly slithered down from north to south, and Russia kept trying to keep him in her grasp, with the taking of Tver, Kharkov, Belgorod and various interesting little villages, but it was no use. She had in store for him one last temptation, one last gift--the Crimea--but even that did not help. He left. And on board the ship he made the acquaintance of a young Englishman, a jolly chap and an athlete, who was on his way to Africa.
Over the years, Staff Photographer Richard Fegley has photographed hundreds of Playboy's most beautiful women. So vast is his reputation that Stanley Kubrick recently picked him to photograph a feature on actress Marisa Berenson, star of his new film. Many of the following shots, from Fegley's portfolio, such as the one at left, "an attempt to use the female body as a design element," have not run in Playboy.
All right, you guys. Quiz time. We've been answering all reasonable questions--from fashion, food and drink, stereo and sports cars to dating dilemmas, taste and etiquette--for 15 fun-filled years. Now it's your turn. (Did you think you were going to get off scot free?) The following pertinent, provocative queries were previously presented in the pages of The Playboy Advisor. To a certain extent, they reflect the changing concerns of a generation of Americans. At the beginning, it seemed we answered as many questions about sartorial splendor as about the kind in the grass. In the politically paranoid atmosphere of the late Sixties, we addressed ourself to the question that was plaguing everyone: Is it legal to remove the tags from pillows and mattresses? Recently, the Advisor has gotten more into the nitty-gritty aspects of sexual freedom: What is the caloric content of sperm? Is kinky sex before marriage a proof of love? Take out your pen. Match wits with The Playboy Advisor.
That band of Adventurers, patriots, libertarians, zealots, horse thieves, wenchers and visionaries collectively known as our forefathers was an industrious but convivial lot. After labor and the Lord, there was always a little time for amusement--harassing redcoats, chasing petticoats or hoisting a few with other recent immigrants (continued on page 220)Spirits of '76(continued from page 105) at the local ordinary. Drinks of the day bore such forbidding names as Kill Divil, Rattle Skull, Whistle Belly Vengeance, Coo-Woo and Ipswich Switchell, which says something about the Colonial sense of humor--and even more about the quality of native firewater.
Iused to hear trainers and managers, during my amateur days, commenting on the poor showing of certain fighters with sad shakes of the head. "Serves him right. I told him to stay 'way from that trim. That pussy ruined him." Listening to them, I prayerfully resolved to avoid sex at all costs. And up until the 1958 Golden Gloves, I was glowingly successful, without even a struggle. What I wanted in life was to be a spectacular, winning performer. And if turning my back on sex was what it took, I would be like a nun.
Back in those prepubescent days when the stuff actually cost one cent, penny candy served the same purpose as five pounds of Godiva chocolates or a quart of Joy perfume does today. You could lure your fifth-grade sweetheart off to a corner of the playground on the promise of seeing what lay clutched in your sticky palm--a root-beer barrel, perhaps, or a marshmallowy fruit redolent with imitation banana oil. Well, we got to reminiscing about those golden moments, one thing led to another and herewith are the mouth-watering results, not available in any store: Playboy's X-rated treats for adult tastes.
I must admit I had certain misgivings about becoming a Playmate. Down in Texas, which is where I was born and reared, we used to hear all kinds of kinky rumors about Playboy--like what those little stars on the cover meant and all--so you might say I had my doubts. It all started about a year ago, when I did an ad for a platform-shoe company in L.A. One of the photographers asked me to do a promo gig for him and I said OK, and he took a bunch of my pictures up to Playboy with the intention of promoting the shoes. Ironically, Playboy wanted the girl--me--not the shoes; but I said no at first. I figured I'd have to put up with all sorts of hanky-panky from the photographers. But Marilyn Grabowski, the West Coast Photography Editor, was real nice and assured me that it wasn't that way at all, and eventually I agreed. I love modeling, anyway, mainly because I love to have my picture taken. Even as a kid in Dallas, I used to be the star of my dad's home movies. Which is one big reason why I'm an actress. Acting gives me a lot of satisfaction--it's a release for my frustrations. People tend to think beautiful girls are all dumbbells, which I'm not. Acting gives me a way of showing those people that I've got talent. In fact, I'd rather play a nun than a sexpot. My movie credits so far haven't been all that impressive, but after all, I'm just starting out. I had a tiny walk-on in Farewell, My Lovely and I'm going up to Montana to film The Winds of Autumn, in which I play a whore. Also, I'm up for the female lead in Tom Laughlin's new film, The Deadliest Spy, so keep your fingers crossed. You've got to be pretty ballsy to get ahead in this business and I am ballsy, but I'm all cotton inside and I hurt easily. Also, I can't stand phoniness. There's a lot of that in showbiz and I react to it by being real. It's hard sometimes, but I try. It's just the way I am. Like it or not.
Fashion is a nonverbal language. It communicates in silence, conveying to the world how an individual relates to himself and to his surroundings. There are many other nonverbal languages, one of them being the rooms we live in. Like clothes, rooms also reflect lifestyle--their decor is an extension of ourselves. With this in mind, Playboy decided to add a new dimension to its annual Creative Menswear Collection by inviting talented interior designers Angelo Donghia and David Easton and Michael LaRocca to produce rooms inspired by the originals shown here. The language may be nonverbal, but the message is clear.
The largest national debt of any country in the world is that of the U. S., where the gross Federal public debt reached 486.4 billion dollars on June 30, 1974. This is expected to climb to 508 billion dollars by June 30, 1975. This amount in dollar bills would make a pile 30,073 miles high, weighing 428,102 tons.
It was a melancholy evening in a northern Michigan tavern when I sat down to watch The Guns of Autumn, a CBS News documentary ostensibly about hunting in America. In what I thought to be a strange tack, hunting was presented as a white-trash habit, something that ill-educated, mostly rural boobs do every fall. In one of the strangest forms of advocacy journalism I'd ever seen, CBS developed an idea of hunting, then wandered around the country shooting footage that supported its idea. It was, in short, the total New York cheap shot: badly researched, poorly filmed and edited, full of honkie slurs that most poor hunters wouldn't begin to comprehend. For the first time as a leftist I felt some sympathy for Republicans who complain about media bias.
If someone were to ask you what has eight legs, five boobs, three penises and can perform every trick in the book, the answer wouldn't be a transsexual spider at a hookers convention. It's the ink-pad porn set shown here that the renowned artist and former Playboy Contributing Editor Tomi Ungerer fashioned one terribly horny night. What artist Ungerer has done is fashion assorted male/female anatomical parts from rubber and glue them to clear Lucite blocks--thus enabling the stamper to see that all extremities fit snugly in the right sockets. Unfortunately, Ungerer has no immediate plans to market his set, but if he did, imagine how postal clerks, routing supervisors, junior executives and other nine-to-five rubber-stampers would react when given the opportunity to illustrate what they mean by Urgent, Special Delivery and This Job is Very Hot!
The main entrance to Falconer--the only entrance for convicts, their visitors and the staff--was crowned by an escutcheon representing Liberty, Justice and, between the two, the power of legislation. Liberty wore a tnobcap and carried a pike. Legislation was the Federal eagle, armed with hunting arrows. Justice was conventional; blinded, vaguely erotic in her clinging robes and armed with a headsman's sword. The bas-relief was bronze but black these days--as black as unpolished anthracite or onyx. How many hundreds had passed under this--this last souvenir they would see of man's struggle for coherence? Hundreds, one guessed, thousands, millions was close. Above the escutcheon was a declension of the place names: Falconer Jail, 1871, Falconer Reformatory, Falconer Federal Penitentiary, Falconer State Prison, Falconer Correctional Facility, Falconer Rehabilitation Center and the last, which had never caught on: Phoenix House. Now cons were inmates, the assholes were officers and the warden was a superintendent. Fame is chancy, God knows, but Falconer--with its limited accommodations for 2000 miscreants--was as famous as Old Bailey. Gone were the water torture, the striped suits, the lock step, the balls and chains, and there was a Softball field where the gallows had stood; but at the time of which I'm writing, leg irons were still used in Auburn. You could tell the men from Auburn by the noise they made.
Last year certainly wasn't reassuring to male chauvinists. Ladies KO'd male opponents in boxing rings from Manhattan to Phoenix and, in the shoot-'em-ups of real life, generally carried on like Jesse James, knocking off banks and leading the federales on all sorts of wild-goose chases. Which was only the local news; overseas, women were heading up more and more governments (and occasionally heading them down the road to perdition). We are left, however, with one consoling fact: Even though you can no longer identify the girls by the way they act, you can still tell them, in most cases, by the way they look. And, fortunately for us, there has been no shortage of Playmates to prove it. Herewith, 12 ladies about whose femininity there is no doubt. One will be selected Playmate of the Year. The final choice is ours, but we do welcome your nominations.
A Young Man, Duncan Anderson by name, crossed the world to seek his fortune in the New Zealand gold fields but discovered that the hard toil of panning for gold scarcely paid for a week of his provisions.
"I call these sketches exploratory drawings," says artist Elizabeth Bennett. "I wanted to study the peaceful eroticism that comes over a woman's body in repose. The models would arrive at the studio about ten P.M. We'd share an Irish coffee, look at first editions of Beardsley, Rackham and Dulac, then they'd relax, fall asleep, dream. The transformation was close to the change you see in a lover after making love. The devils in them would disappear. Sleep is a mystery. Sometimes I would work until morning, trying to capture that magic, that beauty."
For years, Dr. Goldman has been after me to do two things: let him bleach my black front tooth and call his daughter, Phyllis. For years, I have not exactly refused, but--my mouth packed with cotton, my throat parching, the drain sucking under my tongue--I have avoided both by ambiguous grunts, by dodges, by head feints, by lines in my forehead that plead: I must rinse now!
Dominant Writer Seeks Submissive Miss with Spankable Bottom....
One day about six months ago, I am having lunch with my Playboy editor, we are kicking around ideas I could write about and the talk turns to the kind of ads some folks run in the back of certain publications, inviting people to contact them for various sexual activities. My editor says, What would I think about following up some of these ads and writing about it?
Print Culture, they say, is dying. Novels and short stories are dead art forms from an earlier age; and journalism is becoming a matter of electronics. Right? No, wrong--and the gentlemen cited below can so testify. So can our editors, who spent a bloody week determining which of last year's contributors were most worthy of our annual writing awards. Each of the winners gets $1000, plus the silver medallion shown above; each runner-up gets 500 bucks, plus a medallion. Which all seems like small potatoes when we think about what they've done for us. Thanks, friends.