About a year ago, Attorney General Edwin Meese formed a commission, ostensibly to find out whether or not pornography caused child abuse and other crimes. On the basis of its findings, the commission would make legislative proposals to Congress concerning the possible regulation of porn. In 1970, a President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography had advised that porn without violence posed no threat to society. But since then, militant feminists and religious fundamentalists have formed an alliance bent on eliminating materials that they deem unsuitable from American newsstands, living rooms and dresser drawers. They pointed at "new research" as proof that sex-related materials caused a host of crimes against both women and children. It didn't matter that the authors of the research had drawn no such conclusions themselves—just the opposite, in fact. The brouhaha led some to think that an impartial new investigation of porn might be in order. But impartiality went out the window when Meese named a majority of antiporn zealots to the commission. In our eyes, the serious purpose of the commission didn't mesh well with the startling lack of objectivity among its personnel. We asked Robert Scheer, the eminent Los Angeles Times reporter and Playboy Interviewer (of Jimmy Carter, Oriana Fallaci and John DeLorean, among others) to join the Meese commission's tour as it held public hearings in six American cities. Scheer, who usually reports on Presidential politics and military defense, found himself audience to a three-ring circus featuring hand-picked witnesses, suppressed evidence, distorted research and built-in bias. He catalogs his findings in Inside the Meese Commission. Read it and see your constitutional freedoms walk the high wire.
Playboy. (ISSN 0032-1478), August 1986, Volume 33, Number 8, published monthly by Playboy, Playboy building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $56 for 36 issues. $38 for 24 issues. $24 for 12 issues Canada, $35 for 12 issues. Elsewhere. $35 (U.S. Currency) for 12 issues. Allow 45 days for new Subscriptions and renewals change of address; Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, post office box 55230. Boulder. Colorado 80323-5230, and allow 45 days for change, Circulation: Ed Condon, Director/Direct Marketing; Jack Bernstein, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: New York: Elaine Hershman, New York manager; Walter Kuenstler, Marketing Director, 747 Third Avenue. New York 10017. Chicago: 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; Detroit: 3001 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48084; West Coast; Brian Van Mols, Manager, 8560 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 90069.
Sri International, a hot Silicon Valley marketing think tank, eyeballs nearly everything you and your friends do and then reports it to some of the most ambitious companies in America. John L. Garrett works in Sri's Values and Lifestyles Program, accumulating thousands of bits of information concerning everybody's living and buying habits. He and his colleagues regularly examine their massive trivia collection and fine-tune it to yield a life styles composite from which they attempt to predict future behavior for those who are commercially interested.
Know what's got guys down these days? No, not women. That would be too much fun. The dilemma of the man of the Eighties is dilemma itself. What stockbrokers call the range of options. What you and I call choice. Consider: In order to survive, the male of today must be able to select a good Mexican restaurant, the right orthodontist, the maximum house at the minimum flexible mortgage rate and the lesser idiot every fourth November. Not to mention a mate, a car, a condom, a college and a hunting partner who knows the difference between a duck and the back of your head. Life isn't a bitch and then you die. It's a multiple-choice test.
Southside Johnny Lyon is one of America's most highly regarded soul rockers. And his latest LP, "At Least We Got Shoes" (Atlantic), gets down to the basics. It made sense to us to ask South-side what he thought of Bob Seger's new one, "Like a Rock" (Capitol).
The Highway is more indisputably American than just about anything else—even television. The road, as a pure physical fact, is immense. The concrete poured into the interstate system would cover West Virginia. As an economic fact, the highway looms even larger. It props up the automobile business, the oil business, an incalculable proportion of the fast-food business, motels, the tire business, bumper-sticker production, Lee Iacocca's book, car washes, insurance and who knows what else. The road accounts for 40,000 deaths annually by crashes and no telling how many more from such side effects as pollution and mobile crime. And, inevitably, the highway provides the spiritual landscape for books, movies and plays by everyone from Sam Shepard to William Least Heat Moon. Now Phil Patton has written Open Road (Simon & Schuster), an effort to come up with some kind of critical appraisal of the road that will do for our thinking of it what Marshall McLuhan did for television an epoch or two back. This is a good book, if slightly pedantic in places—insightful and witty. The sort of book that makes you look again, and with fresh eyes, at something that has always been there.
A Teenager who has invented his very own nuclear bomb transports it to New York to enter a high school science competition. By the time the boy (Christopher Collet), his girl (Cynthia Nixon) and his bomb reach Gotham, The Manhattan Project (Fox) has made him the subject of a man hunt by a swarm of CIA types who behave as though they are licensed to kill. Thematically close to War Games (about a computer-whiz kid whose keyboard wizardry threatened to set off World War Three), Project is a sunnier antinuke satire with some unexpected sting in its tale. Coauthor and director Marshall Brickman spells out the technical gobbledygook with sly wit, whipping up a timely what-if comedy that's both scary and significant. John Lithgow, playing a nuclear physicist who's dating the hero's divorced mom (Jill Eikenberry), performs his usual effortless tour de force as the patsy in charge of explosive secrets. You'll have to suspend disbelief or go out to buy popcorn when Brickman shows how a smartass kid, as cool as any master saboteur, manages to steal some precious plutonium from a well-guarded Government installation. After that, Manhattan Project is right on the button up to a climactic countdown shrewdly timed to detonate laughter as well as aftershock. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Sports columnists get tired, behind on their bills, down in the back and churlish, like everybody else, and there is an old joke that circulates among us. The joke is about the member of our sect who was always looking for a way to bail out on a column, to slide by with an easy one, on those days when even his hair hurt, which were often.
Last February, we passed a point that our fathers probably never dreamed of: The nation's 13,847,000 professional jobs split in favor of women—6,938,000 jobs for women, 6,909,000 for men. Women netted 29,000 more professional jobs, and there's little doubt that this is just the start of something big.
Andrea was spinning records at a fancy New York night club, which is her job. She looked adorable in a low-cut pale-blue-satin gown, her blonde hair piled high on top of her head, her skin a rosy amber.
In those days, we didn't have insurance," said Mel Brooks, in character as the 2000-Year-Old Man. He was explaining what people did 20 centuries ago when they were run down by a lion. "You just lay there till you got better."
Please tell me if the following is a rarity or if you've come across this type of obsession before. My girlfriend, who's 22, and I, 24, like to watch sex films a lot when we're warming up to make love. Lately, we have both expressed an interest in viewing films of cheerleaders doing kicks and bending over to show off their asses. We admitted this to each other while watching a recent basketball game in which the cameraman was shooting a tight close-up up a cheerleader's skirt as she was doing a kick. The sight turned me on, so I jokingly said, "Ooh, what a pretty sight!" To my surprise, my girlfriend said, "I agree!" This led to a heavy bout of lovemaking, during which she put on her high school cheerleader's outfit and told me about the affair she had had with one of her fellow cheerleaders in the 11 th grade. More surprising, it had been with one of our closest friends, an absolutely beautiful brown-haired, brown-eyed female, definitely the very epitome of femininity—aside from my girlfriend, of course! The girl is still single, and we are thinking of asking her about having a threesome. (My girlfriend has also confessed that while they made out, they both wore their cheerleader's skirts and panties, pulling the crotch to the side to have access to each other.) Anyway, the reason I am writing is to see if you can locate for us a distributor of videos that feature pretty women dressed as cheerleaders, doing what cheerleaders normally do: kicking and bending over, showing off their pretty butts. The photos should be taken close to the women's crotches, too. We are also interested in magazines of this type. I have written to every video and magazine outlet I can find and have found nothing of this type.—J. C., Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Johnny Carson joked about it in his monolog and the audience laughed. David Letterman took an informal poll of the late-night crowd: "I don't get angry about too many things, but I am really steamed. Talk about hypocrisy, folks. Seven-Eleven, this chain of convenience stores across, gee, I guess all across North America, have now decided that they are not going to sell Playboy any longer [crowd boos loudly]—yeah, that's just about how steamed I am, by the way—because they consider the material to be obscene. But yet, they're continuing to sell those Slurpees." [Audience laughs]
The folks at 7-Eleven, at the same time they were deciding to drop Playboy, faced another constitutional crisis. A clerk at their store in Nacogdoches, Texas, saw an ad in Texas Monthly for Calvin Klein's Obsession that showed a man passionately embracing a bare-breasted woman. A First Amendment scholar, the clerk decided that the magazine was pornographic. He stashed it behind the counter. Not to be outdone by their East Texas neighbor, a group in Temple, Texas, led by the redoubtable Wanda Vanderbilt, launched a boycott of Calvin Klein products. The Obsession obsession then spread to three major supermarket chains in the Houston area, where local pressure groups demanded the removal of several high-profile women's magazines. Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan were banished to the managers' offices for carrying the Obsession ad. Even that bastion of proper feminism, Ms. magazine, came under attack. Women Against Pornography protested the appearance of an ad featuring three nude women, claiming that Ms. was perpetuating Klein's "long pornographic fantasy." Isn't it wonderful, living in a country where important decisions are made by bag boys and misguided God squads?
[We haven't been the only publication to note that the Meese commission is about the abuse of power, not pornography. The following editorial is from the May 2, 1986, Chicago Tribune, a paper well known for its conservative views.]
On March 14, 1986, The Association of American Publishers sent four letters to the members of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. John Updike, William Kennedy, Susan Isaacs and John Irving offered their testimony on the effects of censorship. What follows is excerpted from those letters.
On May 16, 1986, Playboy Enterprises, The American Booksellers Association and the Council for Periodical Distributors Associations filed a lawsuit against Edwin Meese III, the Attorney General of the United States; Alan Sears, the executive director of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography; Henry Hudson, the commission chairman; and each member of the commission.
Think about this: In some markets, Ted Koppel and his "Nightline" are getting serious competition from a fat, irascible bus driver named Ralph Kramden, the main character in a sitcom that's 30 years old. Of course, as far as many diehard "Honey-mooners" fans are concerned, it would take a full-scale attack by Libya and a hostage crisis, to boot, for them to switch from that one-room tenement in a Brooklyn neighborhood that never was.
Down in Arlington County, Virginia, the lady dancers at what the locals call "tittie bars" had best be wearing pasties, or prosecutor Henry Hudson will bust them. He once was quoted as saying, "I live to put people in jail."
Some Arguments never die; they just get louder and more confusing—which is how it is with boats, a subject of acute disagreement between sailors ever since canvas gave way to the propellor. All we care to say on the subject is that anyone daft enough to insist that power is better than sail or vice versa stands as much chance of convincing a disbeliever as would a man who insists that vanilla is better than chocolate.
Collecting long-limbed and beautiful blondes was no novelty for Sly Stallone, whose romance with Susan Anton had taken its toll of his first marriage waaay before he set eyes on the delovely great Dane known to close chums as Gitte. We don't usually pose as matchmakers, but the real story of how they met began when Brigitte flew to New York to work on her September 1985 Playboy pictorial. Yes, she did drop off an 8"x10" glossy at his hotel—and that's how Gitte came, was seen by and conquered Rambo himself.
Perception," Tom Peters is fond of saying, "is all there is." He is usually leaning on a podium when he says this, midway through one of his almost daily appearances before business groups around the country. He is standing in front of several hundred people, some trying not to make noise with their after-lunch coffee cups, others sitting at attention with writing pads in front of them, as though they were in school. The room is often huge, with massive chandeliers and Oriental carpets, a setting more appropriate to Diana Ross in sequins than to Tom Peters in a blue blazer. After he says, "Perception is all there is," he generally looks down at the floor and shakes his head, looking very sorry about the whole thing. "There ain't no such thing as steak, sad to say," he almost whispers, "just the sizzle."
Except for the roses in their suites, the chauffeured limousines and the TV news crews that greet them, celebrities travel much as the rest of us do, only more frequently. To find out just what they've learned about getting away to it all, we asked a number of well-known globetrotters, from Famous Amos cookie king Wally Amos to novelist John Updike, to tell us their favorite techniques for making life on the run less than total tedium.
Tonight is Ava Fabian's birthday, and she hasn't slept for two days. If she'd been back in Manhattan, her old stomping ground, she would have celebrated at the Palladium. Now that she has moved West, she gyres the night away at Tramps, a Los Angeles dance club that closes too early, at least for her. At two A.M.—just when Ava is breathing the last of her first wind—the club holds last call for margaritas. Show's over, folks. The dynamite Italian girl retires with her friends for further partying. The spectators at Tramps wish they could see her second wind.
Men come up to her, even when she's with me, and say, "Wasn't that you at The Bronco Saturday night?" Or lines like, "Didn't I dance with you at The Outrider? Didn't I see you before? What was your name, sweet thing?" She really turns heads. Men notice Teresa. They remember her.
Tall, lithe, patrician and great-looking, Sigourney Weaver is a thinking man's actor on both stage and screen. She's also not above having a few laughs, whether it means being possessed by Zuul the Gatekeeper in "Ghostbusters" or being chased by an evil extraterrestrial in "Alien." Weaver had just returned from nearly a year in Europe, with a sassy new hairdo and three completed films (including "Aliens"), when she met Contributing Editor David Rensin at a Viennese restaurant on New York's West Side. Afterward, says Rensin, "She told newlywed stories. The prognosis: So far, so good."
There is an old man sitting on a folding chair behind the green on the 12th hole at Perdido Bay. His name is Archie. He is wearing a plaid shirt, buttoned at the neck and wrists, and is absently holding a cigar against the cuff of his pants. It is the second day of the 1985 Pensacola Open, and Archie is setting himself on fire.
Alexander Julian's belief that fashion is closer to comedy than to drama sums up his easygoing, often irreverent approach to clothes. Julian, who grew up in the preppie environs of his father's Chapel Hill, North Carolina, haberdashery, was "one of the weird kids who liked clothes and getting dressed up." Today, he heads a $300,000,000 men's-fashion company, and nobody thinks that he or his philosophy that "clothes don't make the man, but they sure do make him look better" is offbeat.
Some People work out the accounting of their lives by stretching out on psychiatrists' couches; some work off excess guilt by jogging to a frenzy with their Walkmans; and one brave soul we know lowers his body into a tepid tank of water and shuts out the problematic world. Our bachelor Bruce David lives in Los Angeles, where he cartoons his S.M.O.G. feature for the L.A. Weekly, writes television comedy—including two episodes of Family Ties—carouses and allows his subconscious to flourish and be inspired while he sloshes around underwater in an isolation tank. As a student of the Tibetan Book of the Very Depressed, however, he is convinced that all of his alternate selves are having a better time than he is. You can judge for yourself.
Olivia de berardinis can remember the first time she saw Lillian Müller on the pages of Playboy. "She was so beautiful," she recalls. "She really defined sexuality." That was 1976, the year in which Müller had been chosen Playboy's Playmate of the Year and had embarked on an ambitious acting and modeling career in Europe. De Berardinis was an artist—an erotic artist who was just beginning to build her reputation in a field dominated by men. She tore Müller's pictures from the magazine and pinned them to her studio walls for inspiration. Ten years later, the two women met. The occasion was a photo session at Playboy Studio West in Los Angeles, where the magazine was attempting to pull off an unusual homage to De Berardinis' art—which is now ranked with the work of Pat Nagel, Alberto Vargas and George Petty. The idea was to take several of her remarkable paintings and re-create them photographically. When the time came for the artist to meet the model, De Berardinis did a double take. By sheer coincidence, the woman Playboy had chosen for the layout was the very same Lillian Müller whose pictures had graced her studio.
We like to think that every installment of our new editorial-art-photo feature The Playboy Gallery is good, but this month's entries are especially tasty. The art, a fine-feathered femme by Olivia De Berardinis, is a previously unpublished original. If you'd like to see more of Olivia's work, turn to Reincarnation, featuring 1976 Playmate of the Year Lillian Müller, on page 114. Our photo (by Dick Zimmerman) is of Morgan Fairchild, whose bitch-goddess Falcon Crest persona made her second only to Joan Collins as America's favorite dangerous damsel. If you, like we, love to watch Morgan's pert little nostrils flare when she talks, volume five of the Playboy Video Magazine features an interview with her that reveals, among other things, that she always wanted to look like Sophia Loren.
Directly in front of Rick Dees's radio console is a redneon sign reading, Rick Dees is sooo Stupid. In Dees's case, however, stupid is good. It's made him the number-one disc jockey in Los Angeles by one of the widest margins in radio history. And now he's reaping the benefits of taking the show-business capital by storm, with TV gigs, commercials, albums and movie deals occupying his off-radio hours.
Freddie Spencer is not unlike other young presidents of international marketing corporations. He jets between his offices in Amsterdam, Yokohama and Shreveport, Louisiana, making licensing deals, handling endorsements and turning a tidy profit. There is, perhaps, a small difference: Spencer has only one product—himself.
"It's weird to feel that people are looking at you," says Woody Harrelson, 24, a virtual unknown before he landed the part of the sweet but dim Woody Boyd, a bartender on Cheers. "I'm not complaining. This is what I've always wanted."
Porsche's new 924S is definitely a wolf in sheep's clothing. Its $19,900 sticker sets a tempting price trap for Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300 ZX buyers. Recycling the precious 924's dated body and cramped cockpit to cut costs, Porsche has sweetened the deal with the torquey 2.5-liter engine and finely tuned running gear from the sensational 944. At current prices, it's one hell of a bargain. But any resemblance to the old 924 ends where it counts-on the road. We drove "the attainable new Porsche" on twisty highways through the Chattahoochee National Forest, where Georgia kisses the Carolinas. On mountain switchbacks that would discourage lesser makes, the 924S was cheerfully in its element-cruising the curves, looking for victims. Settle in behind the fat, three-spoked wheel and listen to the machine's rich burble. This car handles any tricks the road can throw at you. Toss the 924S into tight, tree-lined, off-camber turns and wicked double dips with no guard rails and serious drop-offs. The beautifully balanced little coupe digs in and comes out grinning. You'll grin, too. Acceleration is quick (0 to 60 in 8.3 seconds with a five-speed: A three-speed automatic is optional) and virtually vibration-free. The injected, 147-bhp counterbalanced four loves to run to its 6500-rpm red line, daring you to find your own limits. (Porsche lists 134 as the top end and it's a claim that we're not going to dispute.) With about one per dealer per month available, the 924S will go fast. Get in line right behind us.
One can never be too rich or too thin or own too many pairs of sunglasses. In fact, having it made in the shades has become everybody's favorite outdoor/indoor sport, as wrap-arounds, clip-ons, leather trims and retro looks abound. There's even a type of sunglasses that allows ultraviolet-A rays to filter through, preventing the bane of all sun worshipers—raccoon eyes. Color also plays an important role when you're getting your glass act together: Swatch offers 12 eye-popping shades, ranging from racy yellow to matte black, while Corning Optics, has opted for light-adjusting lenses that permit clear vision under a variety of conditions. It all looks good to us.
"The VCR Date"–the etiquette of going out by staying in, with hints on what goes well with what's playing-by Kevin Cook; Plus: "The ethics of dubbing"–A trek through a moral quagmire-by P. J. O'Rourke; "Twenty-five Best Guys' Movies"–you know, The wild bunch, the Godfather: films that make you proud to be a man–by James R. Petersen; "Twenty-five Best Gals' Movies"–Gone With the Wind, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights: Pictures that Drive Women Crazy–by Anne Beatts; "Nuclear Popcorn"–the definitive rundown on microwaved kernels–by Teresa Grosch; and "Heavy Breathing"–a look at the latest trend in adult films–by Bruce Williamson