The Latest Bernstein-Woodward revelations tell us that Nixon was having conversations with the portraits of his predecessors in the White House. But Art Buchwald, also a patriotic American, was never lucky enough to rap with Thomas Jefferson: "I've always admired paintings of the Revolution, and I've wondered since childhood why they didn't say anything to me." Well, after we locked him in an office with a huge stack of Revolutionary paintings and drawings, it was only a matter of time before he heard their voices--as reported in Art Buchwald's Special Commemorative Bicentennial Souvenir Album.
Playboy, July, 1976, Volume 23, Number 7. 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 $25 per year, allow 30 days for new Subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: send both old and new addresses to Playboy, p.o. box 2420, Boulder, colorado 80302 and allow 30 days for Change. Marketing Herbert D. Maneloveg, Director of Marketing Information; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; lee gottlied, director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, eastern regional director and Associate Advertising manager, 747 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; Sherman Keats, Western Regional Director and Associate Advertising Manager, John Thompson, central regional director and Associate Advertising Manager, 919 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; Atlanta, Richard Christiansen, Manager, 3340 Peachtree Rd., N.E.; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Bldg.; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Blvd.; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
On a Cathay Pacific Airways flight, the stewardesses had just distributed drinks and salted nuts when a message came over the loudspeaker: "The captain informs us that we are about to enter an area of turbulence. He suggests for your safety and comfort that you fasten your seat belts, hold your drinks in one hand and your nuts in the other."
With the Olympic games coming on this month and all, we just wondered what was happening with the hero of the 1972 go-round, Mark Spitz, winner of a record seven gold medals. We knew that he had married, had done a stint as a TV sportscaster and had enrolled in dental school at Indiana University. But where was his head? Writer Lawrence Grobel sends this report of a conversation with superswimmer Spitz:
Any list of great screen performances compiled from now on will have to save a niche at the very top for Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face. A landmark movie even according to the exalted standards set by Bergman himself, this devastating, impassioned essay on "life, love and death" (that's Bergman's description of his real topic) seems, at first, to be simply a case history spelling out the complete mental crack-up of a competent, successful, happily married lady psychiatrist. It's a role so loaded with emotional fireworks that few actresses would dare to attempt such virtuosity and practically none could match Ullmann's incredible range. Tour de force is too mild a term for what Liv does here, with the camera fixed on her in long takes as if cinematographer Sven Nykvist were performing a kind of radical psychic surgery by laser beam. In one scene, within the space of a minute or two, while describing how a young thug tried to rape her and couldn't, because she was "too tight"--though she wanted him to--she runs the gamut from embarrassed reticence and uncontrolled laughter to retching hysteria and back again. Later, she spews a total catharsis of childhood guilt, fear, rejection, sexual repression and smothered love in a time slot barely adequate for plugging a headache remedy.
Producer-director Radley Metzger's The Opening of Misty Beethoven (made under his hard-core nom de film, Henry Paris) is the Pygmalion of deluxe porno. That's the idea, in any case. And Misty gets off to a loverly start with its story of a rich pleasuremaster (Jamie Gillis) who brings a hooker home from Paris to undergo a crash course in sexual submissiveness. Fellatio seems to be the major required subject in his curriculum (we thought they already knew about that in Paris) and Misty manages it with ease. The title role is played by a classy new porn queen who has the country-club look and calls herself, rather whimsically, Constance Money. In the film, she explains that Misty Beethoven isn't her real name--she used to be Dolores Beethoven. Metzger, as usual, shows a higher level of wit and sophistication than do most of his competitors, and there's promise in a scene aboard a transatlantic jetliner--in the first-class, fucking, nonsmoking, adult-film section--where a solicitous chief stewardess tells an underling to take better care of her passenger: "He's only had one blow job and he hasn't got his brandy yet." Too bad that the movie begins to take sex seriously about halfway through. When a film maker settles down to filling the screen with the usual wall-to-wall genitalia and come shots in close-up, one hard-core movie looks pretty much like another. As the king of elegant sexploitation, Metzger's hallmark was style. As a closet pornographer, he seems a little uncertain about where to draw the line between real eroticism and outright raunch.
Olivia Newton-John has won all sorts of awards as a country singer, but listening to her latest, Come On Over (MCA), you have to conclude that she is the unlikeliest country singer since Vaughn Monroe did Ghost Riders in the Sky. Her voice is very sweet, but it just doesn't have any edge to it. The first few times through the album, you feel as if you've been wrapped in cotton candy and set out in the sun. But then a more sinister pattern begins to emerge. Underlying the sweetness is an almost total passivity, a desperate drive to conform--minute by minute--to whatever her master wants. What's really weird is that if you listen long enough, she pulls you into her world. You want to kick hell out of her. It's scary.
Without warning, in the middle of my 30s, I had a breakdown of nerve," Gail Sheehy writes in Passages: The Predictable Crises of Adult Life (Dutton). A woman who knew herself as a successful and enterprising journalist suddenly became so mesmerized in a personal nightmare of doubts and fears that she was incapable of any act of will more demanding than watching TV. "That's it," she finally said to herself. "I've come unstuck ... I was hanging on to shreds and I knew it."
Some time ago, I heard the word bullshit on the William F. Buckley, Jr., show. I'm not kidding. Jimmy Breslin was Buckley's guest and they were talking about New York City's problems. The conversation was intelligent. Intelligent I was expecting. It was witty. Witty I was expecting. It was dirty. Dirty? William F. Buckley, dirty? I wasn't expecting dirty. Someone in the studio audience had asked an ordinarily clean question and casually edged in the word bullshit.
G. K. Chesterton said the beginning of wisdom with regard to sex is the realization that we are all a little crazy on the subject. Sex has magic in it, to turn back upon even the most skillful sorcerer. That is why human cultures have found such a variety of interesting ways to go sexually bonkers. Some claim the current way is by an unresisted, unquestioning permissiveness. Is there anything to that, or even any sensible way of talking about it?
My girlfriend likes to make love standing up. She claims the position allows her as much control as the much-touted woman-on-top position, plus it has the added benefit of pressure: With her back to the wall, she enjoys the feeling of being caught between a rock and a hard place. I must admit that the position does have its advantages--we have made love in showers, in telephone booths, in self-service elevators, in hallways and in rest rooms on airplanes. When we experimented with bondage and discipline, instead of tying her spread-eagled on a bed, I handcuffed her to a chinning bar and did it in a doorway. As long as she gets off on it, I'm willing to go along, but it's gotten to the point that we almost never do it in bed. My question is this: Is she weird?--D. D., Detroit, Michigan.
Crimes Against Nature: If any person shall carnally know in any manner any brute animal, or carnally know any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than three years. --Virginia Criminal Code
Soon after winning the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination, in a characteristic moment of breath-takingly inappropriate candor, Barry Goldwater frankly told a group of startled reporters how unhappy he was with his own campaign. He complained bitterly about the tacky practices of local Republican advance men, about offensive TV commercials aired despite his disapproval, about the seemingly endless parade of shadowy hangers-on who spend the money and refract the energies of a national campaign.
It was the Season of the black wind. Proud Afro-scats bugabooed the midnight streets. Tongues lashed brimstone medleys about the coming Armageddon, when America would finally pay for her sins. Hip revolutionaries demanded the new order. Out of the fire of the Watts and Harlem battalions that took to the sidewalks of the Sixties swinging Molotov melodies, The Last Poets arose. They issued several albums of poetry and music that were a summation of the decade's passionate rhetoric, from Malcolm X to Jerry Rubin. The Last Poets preached the voodoo Gospel, a strangled cry that beat against the siren shriek of the Harlem night. For many people in the black movement, they represented the ultimate union of poetry and politics. They spat into the metal breeze and screeched the frenzied incantations of Malcolm X, Huey Newton and Imamu Baraka. Their screams were part of the Sixties shock wave that convinced America she could no longer look away.
Mis for the million things she gave me." And for a girl named Jayne Marie Mansfield, embarking upon a movie career of her own--with some inherited savvy and other obviously marketable assets as her birthright--that sloshy old Mother's Day sentiment may not be far wrong. She is her mother's daughter beyond question, though the blue eyes and chestnut hair and more subtly curved contours add up to a cool contemporary understatement of those pinup-girl attributes that Jayne the First deployed as if she meant to shake the world at least once a day with a 21-gun barrage of platinum curls, quotes and cleavage. Jayne Marie is a sexpot of the new breed and would rather be called a daredevil than a femme fatale. Just back from her debut film gig in the lead role of The Great Balloon Race, she talks like an excited home-coming athlete who's had a hot streak at the Olympics: "I should be put into the Guinness Book of World Records for this one.... I was the first woman to cross the Bermuda Triangle and touch ground in a hot-air balloon. It was a real race they used for the film, with lots of sinister little subplots added. I play one of the good guys, a girl who just wants to win (concluded on page 172)Jayne's Girl(continued from page 87) the prize money so she can get married and ride off into the sunset or whatever."
Art Buchwald's Special Commemorative Bicentennial Souvenir Album
There are many paintings and drawings depicting events of the Colonial and Revolutionary period, and we know from studying them what the British and our patriots did. But no one is certain what was being said.
Her Worst Dreams were coming true. The Funniest Lady in America was about to be followed around, tagged after, scrutinized and pried upon by a reporter. You knew they were her worst dreams because in the Real Live Lily Tomlin Show that toured the country last fall, there was an obnoxious reporter, Deirdre Dutton, played by Lily Tomlin. Deirdre badgered Lily. She was whiny, creepy and sanctimonious. She wanted to know all about Lily's sex life. She interrupted; she was exasperating. It was all done on an 11-foot-high video screen, Deirdre, in a floppy straw hat and eyeglasses, popping onscreen to annoy the real live Lily with questions.
You can tell at a glance that there is nothing ordinary about Deborah Borkman. As she says, "The Eurasian combination certainly gives you a different look." Deborah's mother is Japanese; her father--whom she hasn't seen in eight years--is Swedish-American. Deborah, the fourth of six children and the first born in America, is so striking a woman that when she went to Japan with her mother a couple of years ago, she attracted just as many stares as she always had in Painesville, Ohio, where she grew up. As a matter of fact, all four Borkman girls looked so exotic that the neighborhood boys used to hang out on their front porch; whenever the courting got difficult, they would press Mrs. Borkman into Ann Landers-type service: "She has always tried to help everyone, and she's the kind of person with whom you can't be anything but yourself." Debbie's admiration for her mother is in sharp contrast to her negative feelings about her father--a soldier who wouldn't allow Japanese to be spoken in his home--and about Painesville, a small industrial city that, for Debbie, has always lived up to its name. "There was nothing for me there," she says. "All I thought about was getting away." Despite her obvious intelligence--she chooses her words with care and uses them with accuracy--she dropped out of high school in her freshman year ("It was so violent they had armed guards in the corridors"). She worked as a cab dispatcher for a while. Then she broke a leg in a motorcycle accident; advised to swim as part of her therapy, she became a lifeguard and spent a year working in Florida ("It was OK because of the sunshine; I'm a child of the sun and as long as I get it, I'm happy"). Then came the trip to Japan. Debbie and her mother traveled throughout the islands, visiting long-lost relatives. Deborah intended to stay there and model, but she found that getting into a new culture and a new profession was a bit much. Back to Painesville--but not for long. Our heroine went to visit some friends in Los Angeles; while there, she was offered a fashion-modeling job. And, of course, she stayed. There are some things Debbie doesn't like about L.A.--such as the "meat market" singles scene and the rampant image-consciousness ("Sometimes I feel like saying, 'Could you please scrape away the plastic, so I can get inside and talk to you?' "). But, of course, she digs the great California outdoors. She also likes to go dancing and to shop for funky items at L.A.'s many antique shops and garage sales. Not too long ago, she visited Painesville--to help her mother move to Kent, some 90 miles away--and realized how good things were on the West Coast: "I saw all my old friends who had tried to discourage me from quitting school. I'd expected some of them to amount to something, but they were all just working and drinking, and they were all unhappy. I could remember feeling the same way--but at a much younger age." Deborah, who is all of 19, couldn't resist walking down the block to see her old cherry tree: "I would sit up there in the summertime, looking at the sky and eating cherries. That was where I found peace of mind; in a family of six kids, you've got to do something. So I looked up at it this time and I thought, How the hell did I ever get up there? And I didn't dare try it again. You're not going to write that, are you? It's pretty silly...." Not by us, it's not.
Listen, stupid," Mack told Billy. "You always say you ain't got no luck in life, but now that's changed. This is going to be the biggest thing ever happened to you, so you hear me good and you don't do nothing but what I tell you, see?" "Sure, Mack," said Billy. It was night and moths were tumbling around the overhead light in Mack's bungalow down near the waterfront. There was a third man in the room, a fat man in a white suit and dark glasses who sat in a corner, drinking beer from a paper cup. Anybody who wore dark glasses made Billy nervous, and he said: "Listen, I don't want to break no law."
It may seem unpatriotic or even treasonous, in this Bicentennial year, to suggest that our beloved frankfurter--America's ubiquitous hot dog--is a German immigrant. Nevertheless, it's true--at least technically. As a member of the sausage family, of which there are more than 500 varieties, the frankfurter has a long and noble genealogy. Born of necessity as a means of preserving food, sausage was known to Homer, Aristophanes and Apicius. It was a favorite nosh of carousing Romans during their periodic freak-outs. Sausages were so closely associated with pagan revels that the Emperor Constantine banned them after his conversion to Christianity. That experiment was no more successful than our own attempt at Prohibition. A big (continued on page 170)Hot Dog!(continued from page 111) trade in bootleg sausage soon developed and the edict was ultimately repealed.
Once upon a time, short pants were for little boys. And big boys like yourself wouldn't want to walk down the streets of your basic metropolis in a pair. A crack from someone and you might lose your cool, right? Well, that was once upon a time and now shorts on guys are as common as no bras on girls. Of course, it also doesn't hurt to be built like the four boys at right--whose names just happen to be Dwight White, L. C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes and Steve Furness, and whose occupation is manning the defensive line for the world-champion Pittsburgh Steelers. When they want to horse around in the latest looks in shorts--styles that are about mid-thigh and trim--who's going to stop them? (The Cowboys sure couldn't.) You may not be as immune to smartass remarks in your shorts as these studs are, but you'll be every bit as cool.
To westernize The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, a novel by the late Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, producer Martin Poll and adapter-director Lewis John Carlino changed the Yokohama setting to a seacoast village in Devon. They then teamed England's provocative Sarah Miles with Kris Kristofferson (now co-starring with Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born) as ill-starred widow and able-bodied American seaman whose headlong sexual collision is no secret to a gang of dangerously precocious British schoolboys. Anglicizing does little to inhibit Mishima's heady blend of romance, eroticism and horror in a movie that takes liberties--occasionally startling ones, even in the present permissive era--to flesh out the unique, decadent spirit of an author, too little known in the West, who was once hailed by The New York Times as "a master of gorgeous and perverse surprises."
Picking up, three years late, on a canceled interview with Sarah Miles is not the first thing a weary Easterner wants to do on arriving in L.A.--City of Angels and of love goddesses en masse. Storm warnings have been posted by people who speak of Sarah in a whisper, the way they might speak about being trapped somewhere during the last big earthquake: "She's impossible." "Careful how you handle her." "Unpredictable, but you'll probably like her ... she's great with men." "Completely flaky ... and don't bring up that David Whiting business." "Very difficult." "No comment." Oh, well. It helps a little that she's so unequivocally damned brilliant in The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with (continued on page 161)The Soul of Sarah(continued from page 128) the Sea. But then, she's always brilliant.
After king Arthur had established his court at Caerleon-on-Usk, he set out to find a lady to comfort his despondent nephew, Gawain. Riding far afield, Arthur one day reached the castle of an evil Caitiff, who could cast a spell such that no knight could face him but straightway his strength decayed. Arthur challenged the Caitiff, but he, too, succumbed to the magician, who refused to release Arthur except under the condition that he return at the end of a year, bringing the one true answer to the question: What thing is it that women most desire?
There is no Rational justification for a boat. Oh sure, you might dredge up some legitimate excuses if you are a cod fisherman or Jacques Cousteau's second cousin, but let's face it, if God had meant for us to float around on the surface of the water, he'd have given us keels and masts and little portholes instead of eyes. And yet, damn it all, useless as they might be, boats are fun. Big ones, midget ones, kayaks, catamarans, tall ones, stubby ones, ketches, canoes; you name it and you've got a line on a brand of hedonism that dates back to Cleopatra's barge. To hell with utility; boats may be the last refuge for pure foolishness on the face of the earth. On land, they are elbowing the crazies into tight little enclaves, sterilizing the highways and the ski slopes and the mountainsides and the great wilderness--where adventure comes only amid a barrage of regulations and cautious sanctions by the state. Yet boats remain essentially free. Once afloat, you can do about anything you please, which may be the underlying reason why recreational boating is the fastest growing sport in America. In view of this booming popularity, it may be time for you to shed your landlubber's boots in favor of a pair of Top-Siders. It is time to go down to the sea--in boats; time to take part in that vast armada of pleasure (text continued on page 138) vessels sometimes referred to as plastic toys for girls and boys.
Dr. and Mrs. Sweet's daughter Candy--known to her friends as Hard Candy--felt the snake between her breasts, felt him there and loved him there, coiled, tumescent, ready to strike. They were roaring along in Duffy Deeter's Winnebago and the slanting light through the window caught the little snake--sign and mascot of the Mystic, Georgia, high school football team--where it was sewn onto her letter sweater. She particularly loved the snake because slumped against the wall directly across from her was Willard Miller, an enormous boy with a blunt head and small ears: Boss Snake of all the Mystic Rattlers. Her Boss Snake. The best running back in the state, the best back coach Tump Walker--who had four of his boys playing in the N.F.L.--had ever coached. With one exception. The exception was sitting across from her slumped just as drunkenly against the other wall of the Winnebago. Two years ago, in his senior year, he'd been Boss Snake not just of the Mystic Rattlers but of everything. He had offers from 50 colleges. But it all went sour when they discovered he couldn't read very well. Hardly at all, really.
Movie producer Tony Bill is one man who knows how to follow his own formula for success. "The only secret to finding good scripts is to keep your eyes and ears open and know a good idea when you hear one," he says. Easier said than done--except for the 35-year-old Bill, who has discovered or produced such good ideas as The Sting and Taxi Driver, in addition to the forthcoming Harry and Walter Go to New York, which stars James Caan and Elliott Gould. Such success in discovering young writers has led him to become a sort of guru to Hollywood apprentices, who appreciate his willingness to look at new material (all his films have been by rookie screenwriters, including David Ward of Sting fame), and that's led to a mountain of scripts on his desk. But Bill's talents range a good deal beyond just producing movies. He started out in Hollywood as an actor, playing Frank Sinatra's brother in Come Blow Your Horn. He'd left Notre Dame with a master's degree after turning down a Fulbright scholarship in writing and seemed headed for a solid acting career, until the siren song of behind-the-camera action intervened (he still keeps his hand in via such roles as Goldie Hawn's smoothy boyfriend in Shampoo, a part he took at the request of his friend Warren Beatty). Now that he's proved himself as an actor and as a producer, he's looking for new worlds to conquer and has set his sights on directing. "One of my next two projects will see me as the director," he says. "I'm really looking forward to it." For all his ambition, Bill has managed to remain easygoing and totally relaxed in the Hollywood pressure cooker. A passionate sailor and collector of vintage autos (he's shown here with his favorite, a Packard), he is always ready to hoist anchor in his 65-foot yawl and head for Mexico or the Caribbean. Tony is sanguine about Hollywood's future; he says that today's young screenwriters look just as promising as the older ones. And with his record, who's going to doubt him?
Hardly ten years ago, owners of hi-fi systems--if they weren't simply rich and showing off--were usually pale, odd types who favored rimless mad-bomber glasses and had degrees in engineering framed on their walls. Bernie Mitchell, president of Pioneer Electronics, is one of the people who changed that. When he started there seven years ago, Pioneer's sales were $3,000,000 a year; last year, in spite of a recession, they were up to $90,000,000, representing a 15 percent jump in the market share. It happened because Mitchell takes Pioneer's name seriously. In 1969, when he arrived after being head-hunted away from a smaller firm--he had spent nine years as a district manager for Westinghouse before that--much of the hi-fi industry was hopelessly confused by the shift from tubes to transistors. "We took a leadership role in making what was essentially a big hobby into a mature industry," Mitchell says. "We talked loud and often, with a high visibility, about the industry's problems--we created the illusion that we understood them and could solve them. That's when I began to learn about mystique. If people believe that you can do things, you can probably do them. We began to grow very rapidly, because people seemed desperately to want a leader." Under Mitchell, Pioneer was the first to take ads in nonspecialty magazines--beginning with Playboy, it should be noted. Mitchell is also the reason you've seen Gregg Allman and Elton John and Andy Warhol in those ads, grinning and fondling the equipment. They do it not for the cash but because they like the stuff. Which is saying something in today's fierce amp-eat-amp market. Mitchell, who's married and has five children and lives in the wilds of New Jersey, is an opera buff, but he likes his rock 'n' roll, too. "The best concert I ever saw was Chicago and The Beach Boys. Second was the Stones. If Mick ran for President, I'd vote for him. He's got leadership skills that I really envy." Now, that's a compliment.
We don't know how you like your current events, but we take ours with a twist, via the "Weekend Update" spot on NBC's hit show Saturday Night. "Hello, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not. Our top story tonight: Gerald Ford pierced his left hand with a salad fork at a luncheon celebrating Tuna Salad Day at the White House. Alert Secret Service agents seized the fork and wrestled it to the ground." Outrageous, but credible. Chase was originally hired as a writer for the show, but he soon proved his worth as gadfly, fall guy and by far the least prepared of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. When the 32-year-old Chase parodied a Presidential press conference, the White House asked for a tape. A few weeks later, Chase ran into Ford at a Washington dinner. The President stumbled to the podium (knocking over a water pitcher, dropping his notes in the process) to congratulate the comic on the accuracy of his impersonation. "Mr. Chase, you are a very, very funny suburb." It turned out that the two had much in common: For one thing, they perform their own stunts. Chase perfected his pratfall playing soccer for Bard College: "I believe that most great comedians were great athletes; physical humor demands rhythm and timing. I love making people think I've just killed myself." Chase's irreverence may seem suicidal (General Franco is still dead?), but his comic credentials are impeccable--Mad magazine, the National Lampoon, The Great American Dream Machine, The Groove Tube and the Woodstock parody, Lemmings. Insiders have predicted that he will replace the Prince, Johnny Carson, but Chase disagrees. "Doing his show would be fun for about two weeks. But it's not what I want to do. I have nightmares where I'm interviewing actors all the time, at home, in my shower." Imitation may, indeed, be a form of flattery, but, in recent months, the White House has soured on Chase. After all, said the Chief Executive, I'm Gerald Ford and he's not.
"The Wrath of God"--Israeli agents, avenging the slaughter at Munich, killed 12terrorists. The 13th hit was a Major Blunder that laid Israel open to the Yom Kippur attack. A startling expose--By David B. Tinnin